Best Science Podcasts for Explaining Our World

Just as the Universe is infinite, so is our hunger to understand it. There are countless scientific topics ripe for discussion on podcasts, from the latest to discoveries to historic mysteries to the most celebrated scientists that have made our world a little easier to understand. Here's a hand-picked list of 25 science podcasts for you to peruse.

1. Houston We Have A Podcast

If you are interested in exploring the world of human spaceflight or listening to stories on how to train to become an astronaut, how space suits are designed or test modules are crash-tested, then NASA's "Houston We Have A Podcast" weekly podcast of the Johnson Space Center in Houston (Texas), hosted by Gary Jordan, is right for you.

You'll listen to in-depth conversations with scientists, astronauts, and engineers who make things possible. The show features guests like official NASA scientists telling interesting stories about NASA and the projects they work on and providing exciting insights into how they prepare for the moon and Mars exploration, thus giving listeners an opportunity to get an inside scoop right away from the source.

2. Planetary Radio

The Planetary Radio science podcast, hosted by Mat Kaplan of The Planetary Society, gives a unique perspective regarding knowledge about astronomy, deep space, and the solar system. The show features different guests like scientists, project managers, engineers, writers, and advocates, providing unique and exciting perspectives on the exploration of the universe. This weekly podcast is famous for its great coverage of space missions and breaking space news. If you are a space exploration enthusiast and want to keep up with the most recent development in the space industry, tech developments, planned future missions, or the future of mankind in the solar system, then tune in to this podcast.

3. StarTalk Radio

The StarTalk Radio is a science podcast hosted by the well-known astrophysicist, author, and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's a weekly podcast that is published every Friday. With more than 430 episodes, the show covers not only space topics but also a wider subject of science in general. With his various guests, they discuss space, physics, astronomy, and everything about life in the universe, like how scientists measure distances between galaxies or stars, what it would be like if other planets were closer than Earth; or why Pluto was reclassified from planet status after being discovered to be a dwarf planet, etc.

If you are new to space-related topics, this award-winning podcast ("Best Science & Education Podcast award") will be a perfect choice, as it makes complex astronomical concepts seem so down to earth, talking about complex things in a very accessible way for listeners.

4. Science Vs

The Science Vs from Gimlet Media is one of the best science podcasts out there and is hosted by science journalist Wendy Zuckerman, whose humor and engaging storytelling keep listeners intrigued right until the end of each episode. In each episode, the team of fact-checkers investigates various topics to dispel common myths related to science and put different ideas to the test to see what's a fact, what's not, and what's somewhere in the mixed-up middle.

Recent episodes were about coronavirus, who built the Pyramids, Ukrainian War and how to fight Russia's propaganda machine, debunking misinformation, fear-mongering rumors, etc.

If you're someone who always wants to stay up to date on the latest science trends and news or if you're hearing a lot of buzz about something in your feed like the effects of 5G, the war on plastic straws, and want someone to clear things up for you, then Science Vs is your jam, be sure to tune in.

5. RadioLab

The WNYC's "RadioLab" science podcast, launched in 2002, is hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. The show explores our strange world by examining the science behind the most bizarre questions. The "RadioLab" is a Peabody and a National Academies Communication award-winner, and its host Jad Abumrad received a MacArthur Genius Grant to continue creating engaging shows. They cover various interesting scientific topics like the nature of addiction, gene-editing, and more, even philosophy and politics.

6. The Infinite Monkey Cage

Physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince join forces to create a unique and entertaining podcast that fuses science and humor. The Infinite Monkey Cage features lively discussions with a panel of experts, including scientists, comedians, and other notable figures. The topics explored range from the fundamental principles of physics to the broader implications of scientific discoveries on culture and society. The witty banter between Cox and Ince, combined with the diverse perspectives of their guests, makes The Infinite Monkey Cage a delightful journey into the world of scientific exploration.

7. The Naked Scientists Podcast

A dynamic and accessible exploration of science, covering a wide range of topics from astronomy to biology. Hosted by a team of experts from the University of Cambridge, the podcast combines in-depth discussions with a commitment to making complex scientific concepts understandable to a broad audience. Each episode features interviews with leading scientists, answering intriguing questions and shedding light on the latest developments in research. With its engaging format and commitment to demystifying science, The Naked Scientists Podcast is a valuable resource for anyone curious about the wonders of the natural world.

8. The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is a podcast that promotes critical thinking, scientific literacy, and skepticism. Hosted by Dr. Steven Novella, a clinical neurologist, the podcast features a panel of skeptics who discuss a wide range of topics, including science news, pseudoscience, and critical examination of various claims. The show aims to empower listeners with the tools of skepticism to navigate a world filled with misinformation, pseudoscience, and unscientific thinking.

9. Ologies

Ologies is a delightful and informative podcast hosted by Alie Ward. The show explores various fields of study, each ending in "ology," through engaging interviews with passionate experts in their respective fields. Alie brings her curiosity and humor to the conversations, making complex subjects accessible and entertaining for a broad audience.

10. Unexplainable

Created by Vox Media, this weekly podcast explores scientific mysteries and attempts to explain the unexplainable. Such as why do studies show that eating ice cream reduces your risk of diabetes or how garlic can reduce the effect of magnets.

11. The Science of Birds

The Science of Birds is a lighthearted podcast that explores the fascinating world of bird biology. The podcast is hosted by Ivan Phillipsen, a passionate naturalist with a PhD in Zoology. Each episode of the podcast delves into a different aspect of ornithology, from the unique adaptations of different bird species to the latest research on bird behavior and migration patterns. The podcast is a great resource for birders and naturalists who want to learn more about the science behind these amazing creatures.

12. Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe

Daniel Whiteson, a CERN scientist, is joined by Jorge Cham to discuss simple, but profound questions about the Universe in a fun and accessible way. Asking big, but out there questions like "Do Black Holes Have Hair?" and "How Can We Keep Solar Panels Clean on Mars?".

13. Breaking Math

Breaking Math is a podcast that aims to make math accessible to everyone, and make it enjoyable. The podcast is hosted by Sofía Baca and her guests, the host and co-host of the “Nerd Forensics” podcast, Millicent Oriana and Jacob Urban. The podcast covers a wide range of topics in mathematics, from the history of mathematics to the latest research in the field. Each episode is about 45 minutes long and is designed to be both informative and entertaining.

14. The Joy of X

Hosted by Steven Strogatz, a mathematician and author, each episode features an interview with some of the world’s leading scientists about their lives and work. The podcast covers a wide range of topics in mathematics, from the history of mathematics to the latest research in the field.

15. The Episodic Table of Elements

The Episodic Table of Elements is a science-history podcast that explores the culture and chemistry behind every element on the periodic table. The podcast is hosted by T. R. Appleton, who is a science writer and historian. Each episode of the podcast covers a different element, starting with hydrogen and ending with oganesson. The podcast provides a basic chemistry education that builds on itself over time. The show is designed to be both informative and entertaining, and it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the elements that make up our world.

16. The AI Breakdown

Get daily updates on the latest happenings in the world of Artificial Intelligence. Includes the launch of new tools, new AI research studies and breaking news such as the firing and re-hiring of Open AI CEO Sam Altman.

17. Hidden Brain

The science podcast Hidden Brain from National Public Radio (NPR) examines the social phenomena that baffle everyone. Hosted by journalist, writer, and science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, this podcast explores the social science behind the human behavior that we witness every day.

18. DNA Today

Want to stay up to date on the latest news on genetics? DNA Today science podcast is right for you. Host Kira Dineen interviews researchers, genetic counselors, and patient advocates educating people on genetics, public health, and more. Topics of discussions are about the future of cancer genetics, Parkinson's disease, the future of genetic counseling, and more.

19. Lost Women of Science

You've most likely head of Marie Curie, 2x Nobel prize winner, but what about Lise Meitner who was responsible for the discovery of nuclear fission? The Lost Women of Science podcast takes you on a journey through the history of science to give credit to the women who have been overlooked or had their discoveries hidden or stolen away.

20. Scienceish

Scienceish is a science podcast hosted by television presenter, journalist, and author Rick Edwards and Dr. Michael Brooks, science writer, editor-at-large of the New Scientist. They are here to shed light on the peculiar science behind the movies. Their conversations are going around topics like could Jurassic World happen or not? Or could we really train our brains like Marvel's Dr. Strange? Another one from Game of Thrones - could one really build an Ice Wall that big without magic? Could a Dragon really fly and breathe fire? Tune in to enjoy solid science mixed with the fascinating humor of the hosts.

21. Rocket

The Rocket science podcast is hosted by Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort, and Brianna Wu. The three hosts cover topics from tech, books, movies, games to recent news, to all the prominent names in tech, from Apple to Tesla.

22. The Future of Everything

The Future of Everything weekly science podcast is hosted by senior producer Janet Babin. She delves deep into the tech industry and covers topics on how technology is changing the way we work and live. This science podcast by the Wall Street Journal looks digs deep in science and technology to predict what the future may prepare for us. The podcast covers topics about the zero-carbon future, psychedelic drugs for depression treatment, the origin of the Covid-19, and many other interesting topics.

23. BBC Inside Science

A weekly podcast from the BBC that explores the mysteries and controversies behind the science that’s changing our world. The podcast is hosted by Dr. Adam Rutherford, a science writer and broadcaster, and features interviews with leading scientists and researchers. Each episode covers a range of topics, from the latest discoveries in space exploration to the cutting-edge research being done in labs around the world.

24. The Complete History of Science

Going right back to the beginning of scientific discovery, this show takes different topics from history such as Early Greek Astronomy and Al Haytham's Theory of Vision and explains how discoveries were made and how they influenced our world in bite-size 15 minute episodes.

25. Science Friday

Hosted by radio and television journalist Ira Flatow, WNYC's Science Friday gives its listeners a weekly dose of science information. During the show, the host discusses current science news and trending topics, from black holes to pandemic history, introducing its listeners to famous science researchers.

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