The best science podcasts: Our top 10 ranked
Discover the 10 best science-based podcasts currently broadcasting.
Whether you’re into psychology, astronomy, physics, chemistry or anything else that relates to science, we’ve rounded up the best scientific podcasts to keep your brain spinning. If you want to delve into the world of psychology or a world far beyond our reach, you’ve come to the right place.
1. All In The Mind
All In The Mind is a weekly podcast run by the ABC that discusses the mental universe, the mind, the brain and its behaviour. This ranges from your very own brain and its characteristics all the way to artificial intelligence. All In The Mind is hosted by Lynne Malcolm, who has won two Mental Health Services media achievement awards for her exceptional hosting of this podcast which is rated highly on the iTunes charts.
CSIRO’s Interronauts focuses on science news from around the world, from Australia and from within the CSIRO itself. Interronauts differs from other podcasts as it puts a bit of a spin on science news by adding humour, wit and a touch of silliness while remaining scientifically correct. Episodes range from brainwashing caterpillars into carnivores to storing Amazon gift cards on DNA.
Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is one of the most unique scientific podcasts available. The topics of the episodes depend on the interests of the two hosts. The underlying difference between Radiolab and its competitors is that they discuss difficult subjects in an easy, unthreatening way but still go into depth on each topic. Episodes we recommend include Season 10, Episode 13 “Colors”, Season 9, Episode 2 “Lost and Found” and Season 2, Episode 3 “Morality”. Often within these episodes, producers double as field reporters and provide humorous and informative interviews.
4. The Infinite Monkey Cage
The Infinite Monkey Cage is a UK-based, hardcore scientific podcast produced by the BBC. Hosted by Dr Brian Cox and the quick-witted Robin Ince, The Infinite Monkey Cage provides a scientific look at the universe. Special guests usually include two scientists and a comedian. The comedian typically asks stupid questions and takes a more light-hearted approach to the topics. It’s always great to see Robin Ince poke fun of Dr Brian Cox’s rock-star background and Cox ridiculing chemistry. This UK podcast is most definitely a hit here “Down Under”.
5. StarTalk Radio
If you’re looking to combine science, comedy and pop culture, this is the right podcast for you. StarTalk’s host Neil deGrasse Tyson provides an educational, yet entertaining spin on modern astronomy topics such as “The Big Bang” and “Extraterrestrial Life”. Tyson prefers to say that the podcast covers “everything under the Sun” or rather “everything under the universe”! StarTalk aired its first episode in early 2014 and since then it has continuously been one of the most popular scientific podcasts.
6. Science Friday
Science Friday (or also known as “SciFri” by its devoted fans) is a popular American science podcast that has aired since 1991. SciFri regularly produces award-winning science content and covers a number of topics ranging from building ant towers to total solar eclipses. This podcast caters to dedicated scientists and to the general public. A fun section to listen to is the call-in segment, where viewers phone in with their questions to be answered by the panel. Although this can sometimes be frustrating, it can also be useful and provide different views on the same topic or issue. You can listen to SciFri podcasts on their website or on the Apple iTunes store.
7. The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is a weekly podcast that delves into the latest science news, critical thinking, bad science and some out-of-this-world science conspiracies and controversies. Hosted by Dr Steven Novella, this podcast combines banter alongside very informative information. Novella prefers to focus on how we think rather than what we think. This creates a different perspective on already popular scientific theories and concepts. You can “escape to your reality” by listening to over 300 episodes on the iTunes store.
8. StarStuff with Stuart Gary
StarStuff, hosted by Stuart Gary, explores complex astronomy issues and topics ranging from the death of stars to the birth of new worlds. StarStuff dives head first into those ultimate life questions, such as where do we come from and are we alone? StarStuff also focusses on the latest news and discoveries in the world of science with a particular focus on astronomy. Gary has been praised for his performance on this podcast with viewers saying that he has a deep understanding of the subject alongside a great passion for it. Gary also relays his complex answers in a clear, concise manner so that every listener can completely understand what he is saying.
9. Brain Science
Hosted by Dr Ginger Campbell, Brain Science explores how recent discoveries in neuroscience are revealing how our brains make us who we are. This podcast is perfect for scientists, non-scientists or anybody with a general interest in neuroscience. Campbell relays her information in a way that every viewer will be able to understand. She interviews scientists to discuss the latest books or information relating to the world of neuroscience. Campbell believes that sharing new insights can help us understand what it really means to be human. If you would like to listen to some of the engaging content that Campbell produces, you can visit the podcast on the iTunes store.
10. Stuff You Should Know
The best thing about this popular podcast is definitely the hosts, Josh Clark and Charles Bryant (Josh and Chuck). Josh and Chuck seem to pick topics at random, then dive into the simple questions within society but answer them in an informative and entertaining manner. The questions that they discuss range from how landfills work to how mosquitos work. Josh and Chuck are also very laid back and provide enlightening answers on relevant and challenging topics. If you would like to see a mundane topic turned relevant and interesting, you can listen to Stuff You Should Know right here.