Science podcasts are a middle ground for experts and average joes to meet. By listening to science podcasts, anyone and everyone can keep their curiosity for the world alive. On the other hand, experts can share information that matters by making these podcasts. In a world plagued by fake news, science podcasts can shed a light on factual information and help us objectively see the world.
Most importantly, science podcasts can entertain anyone of any age. Interest in the world is an innate quality for humans, and science podcasting celebrates this with every episode. This article will guide you to some of the best science-centric podcasts that you can listen to right now and sate your thirst for knowledge.
22 Best Science Podcasts
It does not get any simpler than the Nature Podcast. This simple but effective gem in this list of science podcasts highlights the latest science news from the Nature Journal. Examples of topics are legal cannabis cultivation, icy spines, human beings’ relationship with the sun, and of course, outer space.
Not all science podcasts are a product of their time, but the Nature Podcast is. This podcast provides the latest news and updates on the world’s climate change crisis. Hosting the podcast are renowned journalists from different parts of the world. As facts come from the professionals, storytelling should come from the world’s best and brightest, too.
The Nature Podcast is a basic introduction to the world of science podcasts. It keeps its listeners up to date but never dramatizes its findings. In many ways, the Nature Podcast is also a basic introduction to effective science communication.
Listen to the Nature Podcast now.
Ologies with Alie Ward
Keeping the ball rolling is Ologies with Alie Ward. This is one of the more comedic science podcasts thanks to Ward, its showrunner. Ologies focuses on the niches of science. Each episode of Ologies has Ward exploring a new “-ology” or a field of study.
However, this science podcast goes beyond the mainstream branches of sciences. Beyond the typical Biology and Astronomy, the show discusses fields like Philematology, the study of kissing. Not everything is as out of the box as this topic, though. Some episodes of Ologies focus on underreported studies in science such as Virology—the study of viruses.
Ward is the ringmaster of Ologies. In each episode, she explores obscure ideas and areas of science that are not commonly known. She can discuss anything from trees to the science of beer. In Ologies, listeners are reminded of the fun of science. Moreover, listeners are encouraged to ask any science question that comes to their mind. There is no such thing as a bad topic or a dumb question for the Ologies host.
Ward stands in for the general population. Ologies is every listener’s safe space, which is a conducive spot for learning. Listen to Ologies with Alie Ward today.
Join science communicator Wendy Zuckerman as she debunks misinformation in our world today. With social media and sensationalized fake news on the rise, many ‘facts’ turn to fiction. Suddenly, everything can be an opinion. Social media feeds slowly tear down what people know about how the world works and how science has evolved from time immemorial.
Science Vs is one of the few science podcasts that face this problem head-on. With Zuckerman leading the way, listeners will draw the lines between fact and fiction on Science Vs. This science podcast even covers conspiracy theories such as the anti-vaccine movement. Fact-checking is slowly becoming a lost art, but Science Vs is fighting for it to stay.
Learn more about juice diets, vaping, and even the truth behind the 1918 Influenza on Science Vs. This way, you’ll have facts and data by your side the next time a social media fear-monger tries to incite panic. Science Vs makes sure you tune out unnecessary noise and guides you into the light. Start your science podcast journey with Science Vs.
Houston, We Have a Podcast
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, joins this list with its very own podcast. Houston, We Have A Podcast is every kid’s dream: it gives listeners perspective on the life of an astronaut. Moreover, it gives people insider news on life in outer space.
From astronaut training to deep space communication, Houston, We Have a Podcast covers it all. If this was not enough to sell you in on the podcast, host Gary Jordan often has several guests from NASA to interview. Get the latest news and facts right from the astronaut’s mouths.
The next astronaut may be listening to Houston, We Have a Podcast right now. It will not be of any surprise, though, because this science podcast’s passion for space exploration is infectious. Even discussions from the effects of outer space to the tissues of a human muscle cell can be an engaging listen.
One of the most popular science podcasts out there is Radiolab. Running for almost 18 years, Radiolab is a gateway for many science podcast listeners.
Behind this podcast is a team of passionate experts, which makes for a fun and factual experience for audiences worldwide. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser, this NPR-produced podcast is for curious people that are open to learning more about the world. What do we mean with the world? This podcast explores anything and everything the world has to offer.
Radiolab explores different topics per one-hour episode. The hosts often have experts with them to more thoroughly discuss the topics at hand. These are the most basic unit of science podcasts: questions being presented to people who have the expertise to answer them.
Radiolab is a Peabody winner, and this comes to no one’s surprise. While science is the name of Radiolab’s game, this podcast is unafraid to explore the lines beyond science. Specifically, the hosts are unafraid to venture into the fields of philosophy, politics, and other gray areas of the academe. Listen to Radiolab’s latest episodes on different streaming platforms.
A mainstay for science podcasts are shows that debunk the fantastical things that happen in science-fiction. Science(ish) is one of the best options in this genre if you want to mix your geekiness with your quest for knowledge.
Produced by the people at Radio Wolfgang, Science(ish) is hosted by Dr. Michael Brooks and Rick Edwards. Together, they distinguish movie magic from scientifically accurate works of fiction.
In recent times, sci-fi movies have made headlines at the box office. Superhero movies such as Avengers: Endgame pose questions of time travel. Other classic blockbusters like Jurassic Park pose questions about recreating animals from bygone eras. YouTube channels even capitalize on the popularity of ghost-hunting videos, but is there truth to any of this? Are these works of complete fiction or are they based on an undeniable truth? These are the kinds of questions Science(ish) try to figure out.
More recent episodes of Science(ish) explore the possibility of the monstrous Jaws coming to life. Hosts Brooks and Edwards ask what it means to be a predator and if sharks are the only way movie predators can go. Go to their podcasts for a brilliant mix of science and popular culture.
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe gives 21st-century listeners their dose of science and media literacy. As mentioned above, there are many fake facts circling the internet today. It is up to science communicators to guide people towards the truth. This podcast is another tool people can use in navigating a world steeped in misinformation.
Promoting critical thinking against conspiracies, controversies, and profoundly fake science, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is hosted by Steve Novella. Science podcasts are never hosted alone, and Steve is joined by his brothers Bob and Jay Novella. The show also has panelists that second the motion of factual discussions.
Listeners of this podcast get to fact-check everything they hear and read online. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, science podcasts like this are more needed than ever before. Fact and fiction are different, and this podcast is here to remind us just that. You can start listening to The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe right away and keep yourself informed.
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry
Coming from media giant BBC, The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry is a science podcast like no other. Hosted by doctors Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford, this science podcast solves the average joe’s scientific mysteries in everyday life.
Not every scientific question is a profound look into the universe. Sometimes, people just want to know if they can make a pizza that meets all the nutritional intake you need for the day. Other times, people just want to know just how YouTube-famous ASMR works for it to be so effective. Why does whispering into a high-quality microphone send people to sleep?
No stone is left unturned in The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. To make things even better, this is a science podcast that brings a refreshing British sensibility to everyone’s ears. The conversations are interesting and the jokes are sometimes dry, which is characteristic of Brit humor. At the end of the day, all discussions are honest and all answers are factual.
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry stays true to science while it also brings out their topic’s lightness and humor. Get your dose of The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry by listening to it today.
The field of medicine has come a long way from its near-zero solutions against the Black Plague in the 1400s. Sawbones is one of the best science podcasts that look into the advancements of medicine thus far.
Hosted by Justin and Dr. Sydnee McElroy, Sawbones gives its listeners an extensive and unique look into the field of medicine. You do not have to be a doctor to enjoy this, either. Science podcasts such as this are unafraid to discuss the disgusting, weird, and life-threatening ways people used to heal the sick with.
Because of COVID-19, people are more aware of viruses and their solutions more than ever. Humans are beginning to learn about previous pandemics, such as the 1918 Influenza that affected millions more than a century ago. Listening to science podcasts like Sawbones paints a bigger picture. Unpack humankind’s most infectious illnesses and best medical achievements.
If there is one thing humans are good at, it is persistence. Listening to Sawbones will give you a different look not only on medicine but also on the capacity of human beings.
Science podcasts tend to be long; most of the science podcasts on this list run for over an hour. If you do not have the patience, time, or energy to follow these podcasts, try listening to 60-Second Science.
Unlike what its title suggests, 60-Second Science does not actually run for 60 seconds. However, it is shorter than most science podcasts today. Every episode only runs for ten minutes, so you can get a quick dose of science to start your day.
Produced by the Scientific American magazine, 60-Second Science gives its listeners hand-picked science news and discussions. Most of the topics on this podcast focus on the latest discoveries of the scientific community. Some of these topics include the historical relationship of man to wolves, how coronavirus shaped world languages, and short science journal briefs. Start listening to 60-Second Science and bring bouts of curiosity back to your life.
Shirtloads of Science
Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki hosts Shirtloads of Science, a science podcast that does not take itself too seriously. Like other science podcasts on this list, Shirtloads tends to answer questions of the average joe. However, it is also unafraid to bring important and more pressing issues such as global warming to light.
Shirtloads of Science, named after its host’s colorful and eye-catching shirts, provides a more casual take in a serious and data-driven field. Dr. Karl is infectious with his love for science, making this a great science podcast for kids to listen to in class or alone.
Listeners of this podcast can benefit not only from learning the topics discussed but also from Dr. Karl’s conversationalist talents. The funnier the show is, the more chances you will remember it. Shirtloads of Science brings all the funny while keeping the right amount of attention to the facts. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction, and Shirtloads doubles down on this with each episode.
The Future of Everything
Science and technology go hand-in-hand when it comes to changing the world. In the 21st century, there have been many technological advancements. This is what The Future of Everything is about.
Now more than ever, human beings are forced to reevaluate their relationship with nature. With climate change and a global pandemic on everyone’s plates, how humans use technology is crucial to their survival.
Produced by The Wall Street Journal and hosted by Jennifer Strong, The Future of Everything is one of the best science podcasts on this list. The show truly is founded on curiosity: no one knows what the future holds, but scientists can make smart guesses. These guesses can help world leaders and everyone on this planet to make the right moves moving forward.
Joining Strong are many leaders and experts of various fields from all over the world. In their discussions, the lines between science, politics, and other world affairs cross. This is one of the best science podcasts that can be used in many disciplines. It shows us that science isn’t just confined to classrooms and laboratories.
A sample topic for The Future of Everything can be Google’s use of AI to save orca whales in the Pacific Northwest. However, other topics can be simple musings such as the future of the diamond industry. Delve into our future as a people by listening to The Future of Everything today.
The Naked Scientists
Who said science podcasts have to be hosted by journalists only? Not discrediting the work of world-renowned journalists, but The Naked Scientists stands out because of its all-scientist group of hosts. This is one of the more informative science podcasts on this list, as long as you can follow along their conversations.
Hosted by Cambridge University lecturer Dr. Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists have been on air since 2003. This is one of the older science podcasts on this list, but it remains effective in educating its audience. Produced by British media company BBC, The Naked Scientists runs for an hour long. Other scientists join Smith within its long run time, all experts in their field of study.
Listen as Cambridge’s best scientists discuss topics like the science behind dancing, the latest viral flu, and more. The Naked Scientists is one of the first science podcasts to get mainstream fame, and this is all thanks to its balance of wit and dry humor when discussing serious issues. What also helps The Naked Scientists‘ reputation is their tendency to invite experts that know how to get their message across.
BBC Earth Podcast
The BBC Earth Podcast is a standout in this list of science podcasts. This podcast is BBC Earth’s first self-made podcast, but its unique attribute does not stop there. The BBC Earth Podcast focuses on immersing you in nature.
Borrowing inspiration from its world-renowned television series, the BBC Earth Podcast sends you sounds straight from Mother Nature. Listen as this podcast takes you to the middle of a dry desert or gives you a front seat to the world’s biggest mysteries such as the miracle of life. Ocean lovers can even enjoy the splashing of waves, depending on what episode they listen to.
Nature lovers will enjoy listening to the BBC Earth Podcast because of its straightforward format. If discussions are not your cup of tea, maybe the tranquility and atmosphere of nature will do. Hearing these sounds will be more than enough to get someone interested in the field of science right away.
Going back to more informative science podcasts, Drilled gives listeners an in-depth look into climate change. A narrative podcast hosted by Amy Westervelt, Drilled covers all grounds of climate change. From climate change lawsuits to the fossil fuel industry, Drilled is unafraid to get as deep as oil companies do when they’re looking for oil reserves to reveal the world’s hard-hitting truths.
As a journalist, Westervelt paints a crystal clear picture of the status of climate change today. Drilled is one of the more serious science podcasts on this list because its subject matter is no joke and will affect us all sooner than we’d like. Drilled treats climate change like a true-crime documentary. And if you’re wondering why they took this approach, that is because it is.
Learn more about the public relations tactics of multinational oil companies and how propaganda changes life as you know it. There is a lesser sense of urgency when it comes to climate change and its issues, but Drilled makes sure these do not go unnoticed. More seasons are expected for 2021, but anyone can get started on Drilled today.
WYNC Studios is a popular podcasting platform for different types of podcasts, including science podcasts. Science Friday is one of the more popular science podcasts on their general roster.
Join host Ira Flatow as she fact checks the facts and figures you get from your social media feeds. Now that news and information are shaped by clicks, it can become difficult to differentiate facts from opinion. People get misleading information on a daily basis, and Science Friday keeps these in check every week. This science podcast functions as a hub for the latest news and updates about the realm of science.
Science podcasts are especially useful for getting correct information about the coronavirus pandemic out to the public. However, Science Friday goes beyond big sensational stories. This science podcast is shaped by the questions it poses—and no one can ever tell what they are. Listen to Science Friday by visiting their website.
Bill Nye is an icon for science communication. With his show Bill Nye the Science Guy, he shaped the minds of kids and sparked their interest in the sciences. Even though this show no longer exists, it does not mean Nye’s influence in the field of science has dwindled.
Science Rules! is a podcast hosted by Nye where he receives calls from people all over the world. Together with science writer Corey Powell, Nye answers queries about anything and everything concerning science and technology. Popular topics for discussion include the coronavirus pandemic, the galaxy, and climate change.
However, don’t think that grandiose ideas are all Nye and Powell discuss on their show. Some questions are about day-to-day technology and other scientific concepts. Nye gives these topics airtime in order to sate the curiosity of his audience.
Of course, science is not under the hands of one man. The field thrives on collaboration and peer-reviewing, so Nye has experts and even celebrities joining him on the show from time to time. Science podcasts come and go, but only one of them has Bill Nye the Science Guy in it. Listen to Science Rules and learn something new!
The Story Collider
In the spirit of creative pursuits, The Story Collider was founded. This science podcast fuses science with creative writing, which makes for engaging but factual content.
Science podcasts are often interesting because of their hosts. Bill Nye, for example, is in large part responsible for the success of Science Rules! Meanwhile, The Story Collider takes a different approach to science communication.
To keep people tuned in, this science podcast focuses on the people behind the science. Scientific breakthroughs are never done alone, much less by a robot in desolation. The Story Collider sheds a light on inspired and inspiring scientists, and how their discoveries shape our reality today.
Science podcasts such as The Story Collider lets the subject matter speak for itself. Learn riveting narratives of scientists and their pursuits. Get inspired with The Story Collider and reevaluate what it means to be a human being in this era.
Listening to The Story Collider will reveal the best facets of the world of science: its spirit and purpose.
If the spirit of scientific pursuits is more of your interest, Invisibilia is a superb science podcast for you to listen to. Science podcasts tend to clarify the truth behind certain bouts of misinformation and lore, but Invisibilia is not the space for that. This science podcast dives into the ideas, beliefs, and other abstract ideas that drive the world forward.
Science survives through the use of the five senses. Invisibilia is unafraid to challenge these boundaries. Hosts Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin discuss intangible concepts. These concepts are present around the world, but are often overlooked by ordinary people like you and me. Noticeably, these intangible concepts shape human behavior. Curious how they affect us? Listen to the podcast to find out where the science and the immeasurable meet.
While this might not look like a science podcast at first glance, its curiosity and inquisitive nature make it a unique addition to this list. There is more to science podcasts than meets the eye, and Invisiblia shows this with all its questioning. Listen to Invisibilia today and discover something hidden.
Are We There Yet?
Of all the genres of science podcasting, queries about outer space may be the most popular. Human beings are always curious, and the dark matter that surrounds us all is a good place to start asking questions.
NPR’s Are We There Yet? is one of the best science podcasts you can tune in to about space travel. Every week, it presents the latest news and discoveries that will forward humans’ exploration of outer space. Hosted by space journalist Brendan Byrne, this podcast answers common questions and asks new ones.
Topics that may seem out of the ordinary—such as what the Mars Rover is doing during the coronavirus pandemic—are welcomed in Are We There Yet. Listeners will even get the most accurate information straight from the astronauts themselves. Other weeks, Byrne interviews experts in the field of space travel such as the world’s best engineers.
Be unafraid to probe, because that is what humans are up to in space. Are We There Yet? is one of the best science podcasts to get you started.
Science communication has come a long way since the 1990s. Popular science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson is proof of that. Other than spearheading StarTalk, Tyson is also the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.
He has experience hosting Disney Plus show COSMOS. Moreover, Tyson may be a familiar face to many because of his various late-night talk show appearances. All these spawned from his enamoring discussions on the universe.
People can listen to lectures on the universe all they want. However, StarTalk is one of the best science podcasts for people who love learning about space travel, aliens, and how it all ties together with our lives today. This science podcast has various sub-shows, from deGrasse’s StarTalk Radio to StalkTalk Sports Edition. In the former, Tyson is joined by co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice.
StarTalk is for the “people who never knew how much they would love learning about space and science.” If you are looking for an interesting gateway to science podcasts, let a familiar face and voice be your guide. Find out where you can listen to StarTalk on its official website.
For people who want kids to be interested in science podcasts, Brains On! is an effective way to start. This is an award-winning series that is both informative and family-friendly.
Some science podcasts on this list, while always a fun listen, maybe too much information in a short span of time. Since podcasts are often discussions, hosts may get lost in banter and it is challenging to keep up. This goes especially for younger audiences.
Listening to Brains On! is a fun and easy listen hosted by Molly Bloom. Do not get it twisted: this podcast’s topics are just as interesting and enamoring as other science podcasts. Even though the show is targeted at kids, the questions Brains On! explores remain timeless. Anyone who listens to the podcast can learn a thing or two from it.
Banking on listeners’ curiosity and natural wonder, Brains On! can discuss any topic under the sun. From why our brains read books to games on mystery sounds, learn and listen to Brains On! This podcast has something for everyone.
What are Science Podcasts?
Getting into the technicalities, podcasts are episodic audio files. These episodes can cover any topic under the sun: comedy, horror, politics, and—as this article shows—science. Science podcasts are not uniform, though. One may think that science podcasts do not have the privilege of getting creative. This goes especially because its subject matter is all about facts and data.
For more creative pursuits, like in horror podcasts, facts are simply a subgenre. Horror podcasts can play make-believe and even encourages listeners to make their own works of fiction in their heads. However, this list proves otherwise. Science podcasts do value fact, but this does not limit them from exploring other topics. Integrated into these podcasts are question-and-answer episodes, nature sounds, and even quick snippets of facts from professionals.
Science Podcasts: Topics
As mentioned above, science podcast topics can include Q&A formats and nature sounds. Beyond this, there are many other popular topics that sciene-oriented podcasts can tackle. A prominent science podcast genre in recent times is the review and critique of sci-fi films. With the rise of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, reviewing the real science behind these pseudoscientific worlds is a fun listen.
Other science podcasts also cover fun facts and documentary-style storytelling. A science podcast included on this list, Houston, We Have A Podcast, is about the lives of astronauts in outer space. Some science podcasts also give listeners a look into the world’s future technologies and/or the history of the planet as we know it.
Of course, there is also a chunk of science podcasting that is political. With climate change on the rise, many science podcasts cover its most pressing feats.
Where Do You Listen for the Best Science Podcasts?
Science podcasts are often produced by a podcasting company, so accessing them will vary. Still, there are popular platforms that usually have all your science podcasting needs.
You will find most if not all the podcasts from this list on RadioPublic, PlayerFM, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Apple Music, Stitcher, and/or Google Podcasts. For those that do most of their listening on desktop, Soundcloud is also a viable choice to listen to.
Why You Should Listen to Science Podcasts
Listening to science podcasts may seem like extra work to some. However, that is not the case for long-time listeners. Science podcasts keep your love and interest in the world moving and growing. To the average person, common activities can seem monotonous, but hearing the science behind them brings back their natural curiosity to even the smallest of things.
For kids, science podcasts keep curiosity and wonder shining. Many of these science podcasts entertain questions for listeners. By doing this, they encourage people to keep asking questions, unafraid of any form of judgment because there won’t be any. If you want your kids to grow their love for science, listening to science podcasts is an effective way to go.
Lastly, science podcasts serve a great deal of convenience for the science community. Podcasting has become a type of forum for many experts and scientists. By engaging in them, they get the word out to as many people as possible. Again, in a world consumed by sensationalized facts and data, the science community needs to boost as much of its guiding voice as it can.
Science podcasts can serve as an escape and as a learning experience for people. No matter what their status is in life, they are humans. The age will not matter either, as everyone has the capacity for curiosity. Science podcasts simply boost what you had to begin with.