Whether you're listening to science news, watching science shows, reading a science magazine, or following a scientific figure like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, science always makes a good listen. So, we've collected the very best scientific podcasts covering science at the fringes; others are firmly rooted in mainstream thinking. But whichever you choose, you'll love the entertaining and accessible way science is presented across our platform. We've got expert opinions, great narrators, and always the highest quality recordings. So, slide into your lab coat, fire up your Bunsen burner, and put your headphones on for a world of wonder.
What is going on in the North American forests? Can there be an ape-like being whose existence has only ever been anecdotal and which mainstream science scoffs at? Sasquatch, or Bigfoot as it's often known, wouldn't be a leap of scientific possibilities like fire-breathing dragons or magical elves. We know that apes and Homo sapiens have evolved and that we have lived alongside Neanderthals, so would it be that strange to find another species in the vast, undiscovered wilderness of the US and Canada? In Sasquatch Chronicles – Bigfoot Encounters, the case is put forward for the existence of this mysterious beast from eyewitness accounts and other traces. Do they exist? Are they friends or foes? Put your ear to the ground and listen for those big footsteps.
You might know Alie Ward from parts in Grey's Anatomy or, if you've got kids, as the science head-on the excellent Brainchild. But to many, she's simply the writer and presenter of the spectacularly good Ologies. The name comes from the suffix in any number of scientific studies (biology, meteorology, physiology), which probably gives you a clue about what Ward is talking about. She focuses on one particular ology in each episode, which might be pretty obscure (e.g., eudemonology, fulminology). This podcast is a pocket full of scientific knowledge to get an insight into what fuels professional -ologists' obsessions.
Our lawyers would like to let you know that this podcast is improbable to live up to its name, which should come as a relief to all involved. But while listening to the recording certainly won't see you off, the things Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke talk about genuinely could. Each episode of This Podcast Will Kill You covers a particular disease, virus, or other nasty that you should really try to stay away from, if possible. But it's not all doom and gloom. Amongst the talk of risk factors are the means we have at our disposal to tame the beast, and with every passing year, there are new remedies that will hopefully consign many from the list to history. But for now...wash your hands.
You might just start looking over your shoulder and checking under your bed a little more often by listening to The Confessionals. On the face of it, this podcast exists on the boundaries between accepted science and the paranormal, with the testimonies of its contributors taking you to places you might not feel comfortable being in. But there's also a hint that the world of science might have a slightly more fuzzy edge than the mainstream admits, with strange creatures, ethics-pushing experiments, and military advances making unsettling appearances throughout. You're not obliged to believe everything, and yes, it is heavily influenced by conspiracies, but it will undoubtedly get you thinking.
Canada is stunning. You probably already know a lot about Canada's incredible, expansive wilderness, where huge lakes mix with mighty mountains, forests, and plains, where seasons are about as contrasting as possible. This enchanting podcast simply gets out there with a microphone and records it all for posterity, with a calm but informative narration explaining what you're listening to. Each episode of Wild Sounds of Canada features a single province or territory and treats your ears to the sounds that the local wildlife, streams, forests, and lakes produce. Close your eyes, and you'll feel like you're out there.
Are UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) or UAPs (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena) real? Can there be life after death? What's the truth behind Atlantis? These are the types of topics covered in The Best of Coast to Coast AM. And this podcast covers the best of the best. With over a thousand episodes to listen to, it becomes clear that there's more to life than what we see and hear every day and that there are enough grains of evidence to point to broader truths, even if the smoking gun hasn't yet been found. If you're open-minded about phenomena with an uneasy relationship with science, here's your next listen.
If you're a regular listener of Joe Rogan, you might well know Randall Carlson, whose unique insights into human civilization are as challenging as convincing. He's on a mission to enlighten the world about how history, geography, climate, and mythology are intrinsically linked together. Detailing copious stories of disasters in the past and those waiting to happen, you start to get a picture of humankind's frail existence on this planet and how everything feeds off everything else. His followers see him as an authentic voice of reason in a mixed-up, politically corrupted world. Do you care to join them in Kosmographia?
Dinosaurs sure are fascinating. Now and again, it dawns on you that a completely different set of creatures once populated the world, and now they are gone, with birds and reptiles being their living echoes. But the problem with dinosaurs in popular culture is that we become obsessed with how BIG and LOUD and SCARY they are, and that's probably a fossil of pretty much every kid's fascination with the terrible lizards. But the grown-up study of dinosaurs is a much more intellectual, even philosophical, pursuit while never straying too far from the land of popular science. A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs teaches us about the world as it once was, where we are going, and how mass extinction is pretty much every species' destiny – even ours.
It's remarkable that until the 1990s, astrophysicists had no definitive proof that there were any planets orbiting stars anywhere outside our Solar System. Was our sun uniquely able to give birth to rocky and gassy offspring, or was it pretty universal? We first picked up the telltale signals of stars hosting orbiting planets back in 1992, thanks to more sensitive equipment, and as of now, we know of around 5,000 planets, a number that grows weekly. As techniques get finessed in NASA and space exploration continues, this number will grow, and smaller, Earth-like planets will become more discoverable. That leads to some huge questions. Could they host life? Do they host life? And could humans one day settle there? With climate change on Earth looming large, Exoplanets aims to answer these questions and take you through all the latest advances in searching for another Earth.
Once you've finished Exoplanets (see above) and have subscribed, you're up to date with the latest science on habitable worlds in the distant reaches of the Milky Way. But what does "habitable" actually mean? There are no fish in the desert and no tigers in the Antarctic – but species can carve out an existence in all sorts of places. That opens up intriguing possibilities for the existence of life out there in the blackness. In Astronomical, Professor Alan Duffy, Lead Scientist at the Royal Institution of Australia, talks us through the odds of life being out there and what we're doing to find it. Some say it's inevitable; others think we're alone. Who's right?
Sue Perkins is a comedian and broadcaster from the UK, half of Mel and Sue, and co-host of the BBC version of The Great Canadian Baking Show. But she’s also fascinated by animals, and her love of nature comes across in this light-hearted look at some of Earth’s most unusual creatures. From African lungfish to weasels, you’ll just love spending ten minutes in Perkins’ company as she guides you through what makes them unique and, thanks to her feel for a one-liner, amusing. Perfect for a short journey or rustling up a (preferably vegetarian) meal, Sue Perkins’ Earpedia: Animals is an absolute riot. If you love this series, you’ll have to check out Sue Perkins’ Earpedia: Plants.