Science podcasts to start the semester

Whether you’re folding laundry or walking to campus, podcasts are a great way to pass the time and learn some obscure information to impress your friends. They can also be a wonderful way for science and non-science students alike to engage in a subject that they would like to explore. Although there are plenty of excellent podcast series to discover, The McGill Tribune has rounded up seven of the most exciting ones, from astronomy to psychology. Happy listening!

Science Weekly

Science Weekly is a weekly podcast from The Guardian hosted by science journalists Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin, and Nicola Davis. It covers a wide range of scientific topics, from climate change to space exploration. Episodes are often related to current events, giving a more in-depth look at the science behind news headlines. A polished podcast with excellent production value, Science Weekly is perfect for those interested in a variety of fields.

Living Planet

Produced by German media site Deutsche Welle, Living Planet investigates the toll that global climate change is taking on the environment from the perspective of both humans and natural ecosystems. Episodes feature multiple stories from around the world revolving around a central theme, such as how different communities deal with waste or the psychology of climate inaction. Hosts Irene Quaile and Sam Baker interview a diverse range of people, focusing on those working on or directly impacted by the issues at hand. 

Gastropod

What is the origin of the bagel? What’s actually happening when our stomach rumbles? Science journalists Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley host Gastropod, a fun yet informative podcast that explores the surprising science and history behind food. Chefs and scientists appear on the show to delve into the multiple dimensions behind various culinary subjects. Be sure not to listen on an empty stomach though.

Ologies

Ologies is an essential podcast for anyone interested in niche science fields. Science communicator Alie Ward explores different ‘ologies’ from mycology (the study of fungi) to graphology (the study of handwriting), and everything in between. Through interviews with researchers and personal anecdotes, Ward’s narration style and interview skills keep this series engaging, funny, and digestible. You’re guaranteed to discover an ology that you never knew existed.  

Hidden Brain

NPR‘s Hidden Brain examines topics in psychology and neurobiology through compelling stories and discussions with academic researchers. NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam discusses everything from how we hear our own voices differently from others to more serious matters like how your postal code affects your future. Have you ever wondered if women named Virginia are more likely to move to Virginia? Hidden Brain has you covered. 

Clockwise

Covering four technology topics during a 30-minute podcast, Clockwise delves into subjects such as augmented reality, cryptocurrency, credit card habits, and electric scooters. Engaging hosts Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent interview two guests each week in a relaxed, down-to-earth conversation. Covering a range of topics within the tech industry, the podcast has the power to charm the even most technologically opposed person.

13 Minutes to the Moon

13 Minutes to the Moon is an excellent BBC mini-series hosted by Dr. Kevin Fong, an expert in space medicine. In honour of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the podcast takes listeners on the riveting journey that sent the first man to the moon. The series just wrapped up in July, so you don’t have to wait around for the finale. Scored by Hans Zimmer, Clockwise is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates a well-produced podcast.

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