The best science podcasts to make you smarter

This post has been updated and may be updated again as this is how the best list works.

I like podcasts; you like podcasts; your grandmother might like podcasts. Looking for the scientific knowledge your eyeballs can enjoy when doing something unreadable? Maybe you want to rethink what sounds smart when you sit around with your family in the summer? Big. continue reading.


Half science and half fiction (which is why it's also included in our list of best science fiction podcasts): host Rose Eveleth chooses a fictional future every week and asks real experts to explain how it might work. What if all drugs are legal? What if antibiotics stop working? What if the Internet suddenly disappears? The mind is in trouble.


The presenter, Alie Ward, is not slack in understanding science, but her podcasting approach is purposeful pedestrians: this show is all about stupid questions from smart people. You'll learn about areas of research that have never been imagined, and why someone would devote their entire life to becoming an expert on g-fish, hut, feast or snow, just to name a few recent examples.

The weirdest thing I learned this week

what? We are biased. PopSci does have a podcast, which is related to all the weird things. Topics include smoked enemas, the first celebrity diet, and Thomas Jefferson's obsession with giant sloths. And you definitely don't want to miss our episode with Bill Nye.

Curious about Jonathan Van Nice

Strictly speaking, "Curious" is not a science podcast, but a part of a delightful trend of celebrities secretly courting expert guests-it's a great way to learn new knowledge about any subject, especially science. Jonathan Van Ness brings the passion and enthusiasm we love for him in "Quueer Eye", which covers a variety of topics. Admit it: "What is even astronomy?" Sounds great. So, "What's the big trouble with artificial intelligence?" We know you can't wait to hear "What is the cutest way to fight climate change?" You don't have to pretend that you can do everything to help your audience learn.

Technical competition

what? Tech Podcasts on the Scientific Podcast Suggestion List? Shame and more. Well, you can count on Popular Science's technology editors to keep you up to date on the latest technology news without falling into the whirlpool of Apple fans. In fact, this is not your typical tech news show at all: it is a brutal game show full of trivia, contests, and weird scenes. No matter how much technology you actually know or care about, this weekly update will make you laugh and give you digital knowledge.

Science friday

I am a bit biased because I occasionally appear in SciFri's news digest. But when it comes to reviewing science week, no one is like Ella Flato. His sincere enthusiasm for everything in science means that his performances are very talkative and informative. On the way to a family holiday party, SciFri is particularly nice because it keeps you up to date with the latest scientific headlines and gives you some interesting evergreen stories to impress your in-laws. [Listen now]


This is another great holiday recommendation (because of the food). Gastropods delve into the science and history behind the things we face. The exquisite and long-lasting performance combines long and deep snippets with the fact that bite-sized food makes you feel like a smart cookie on the dining table.


Invisibilia is a must-see show: This show explores the hidden forces that influence human behavior. The host enters a lot of fascinating psychology, but my favorite plots are those that focus on extremely weird brain quirks that can occur. Can't feel fear? check. Do compassionate people believe that their bodies will feel what others see? Correct. A blind man insisting that he can see? absolute.

20,000 Hz

The podcast about sound makes sense, but 20k goes beyond that. Each episode tells some new stories about the most well-known and interesting sounds in the world. My favorite episode is about weird sound design, which covers everything from the ins and outs of sound engineering technology to fear.

This podcast will kill you

Apart from this show, I have never recommended such a show to me, and it makes sense: its creator said they started, so they have an excuse to drink cocktails while talking about pus and poop. Both Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke have PhDs in disease ecology and epidemiology, so their hilarious performances on epidemics and medical mysteries will give you all the knowledge you want (and people named Erin).


This is the scientific and historical package gos of the (duh) period. If you have menstruation, you will be fascinated. If you don't have menstruation, you will also be fascinated. Keep learning. The period is not total. everything will get better.

Science and

This scientific show from Gimlet tested various ideas (fracture, gun control, hypnosis). What is fashion, what is fact, and what is it? Now when your cousin starts to attach to the importance of parenting, you will gain a lot of knowledge. If you are already a fan of Science Vs, don't miss our recent crossover episode with Wendy.

Story Collider

Scientists do interesting work, but they are also often interesting people. "Science Collider" is a story-telling podcast that is different from Moth, but its focus is on "scientific" stories. This is broadly defined for display purposes: sometimes you hear what is happening in the lab, sometimes scientific experts tell an emotional story that they can relate to work in a powerful way, poetically , Sometimes someone will have many scientific or medical facts to share some random facts that happened to them. If you like science and love stories, it will be obvious.

Scientific rules!

For someone of a certain age, hearing Bill Nye talk about science feels like going back to elementary school (unless there is no pop test). Check out his new show to alleviate those scientific problems (unless there is more cursing).

Work hard!

The best way to learn science is with childlike enthusiasm. This podcast gives you the enthusiasm of your child to actually learn new things. Real (cute) children ask real (cute) questions. This Podcast can be used by any young'un, but if you are not listening with your child, don't let it stop you from enjoying it. Don't pretend you don't want to listen to kids talking to scientists about farting.

Saw bone

The bodies are weird, and historically, we have done a lot or even weird things to them. Sawbones, an exhibition of medical history hosted by Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin, has become vulgar, fun, and educated. Bonus: It's been a hit on the internet since 2013, so there's a lot of backlog to catch up on your next car trip. Over the past four years, processing science hasn't changed much.

drop out

Not every science story is just a science story. Scientists and engineers have always had a huge impact in our daily lives, and in times of rapid innovation, this power can sometimes have disastrous consequences. If you are unfamiliar with the recent failure of the biomedical company Theranos, ABC Radio and ABC News Nightline shows on the subject will help you get started quickly. Of course, there are documentaries about the company, but you can't watch them from the driver's seat. Seriously, don't do that.

Every little thing

ELT is a spin of Flora Lichtman's "I don't think this is such an interesting topic, thinking = touting" type. Strictly speaking, not every episode is science-centric, but rest assured that you will learn a lot.

Not found

Science Friday's first non-Science Friday product is one you shouldn't miss. The show explores countless scientific stories. This sounds like a tired premise. There are many podcasts claiming to tell no stories, which is not bad, but please believe us, Annie Minoff and Elah Feder actually took Listeners took to some strange and wonderful places.


Ever wonder what would happen to pretend to be on Mars? Gimlet recorded a year in the lives of six eratz astronauts. The team's recorded diary provided "the true story of the fake planet" and hinted at what it actually looked like when it went into space.

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