If this past weekend's March for Science is any indication, the United States (and, honestly, the world) is brimming with curious, adventurous, knowledge-loving people. Hungry for more facts (and also really good narrative long-form journalism)? Here are nine science podcasts to keep you informed — even when our government maybe, uh, isn't.
From its early beginnings as an online movement, the March for Science became a wonderfully inclusive event. While its goals were numerous — adequate federal funding, transparency in policy, and dissemination of accurate information — what I found most inspiring was its call to scientists to engage with communities. Access to knowledge shouldn't be a privilege, the founders argued; those with information to share should share it. There's something incredibly hopeful and pure about this democratization of facts, and I like to imagine a Neil DeGrasse Tyson-type holding free after-school classes for the neighborhood.
Technology clearly has downsides — we had hoped social media platforms would would foster an increasingly diverse, global conversation on topics, for example, and instead they often just helped all the racists find each other — but podcasts, as both a mode of artistic expression and storytelling, as well as a news outlet, are kind of incredible. You can listen to them while you work, while you drive, while you take a walk through the woods, while you cook dinner, and the whole time, you can be learning. And then sharing. Because that's what we're meant to be doing.
Check out these nine podcasts. They're by no means the only scientific listening options out there, but they're a place to start. Because science makes America great, am I right?
Food and history and science? Yes, please. Every two weeks, Gastropod co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a new episode on everything from the birth of breakfast to China's current hold on vitamin production.
2. Science Vs
Tired of wading through sensationalist headlines and angry Twitter trolls for the actual facts? Now you have Wendy Zuckerman and her new podcast Science Vs to do that for you!
3. Stuff You Should Know
The title says it all. Produced by the Science Channel and co-hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, Stuff You Should Know gets into, uh, everything you should know and how it works, from corsets to supervolcanoes to whether a person can die from a broken heart.
4. Pulse Check
One of my favorite genre-bending podcasts, Invisibilia with Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel explores the invisible reigns that help guide our lives.
6. StarTalk Radio
Science, pop culture, comedy — oh, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. That's all I need to say about StarTalk Radio.
7. Hidden Brain
Science, flavored by NPR's signature storytelling. On Hidden Brain, host Shankar Vedantam goes deep into human nature and the patterns that drive us.
8. Science Friday
I'm an admitted know-it-all who enjoys having an endless archive of weird facts to bring up in social situations. Thus, SciFRi, hosted by Ira Flatow, is my jam.
Don't worry, nature buffs, there's a podcast for you, too! From New Hampshire Public Radio (because of course) comes Outside/In hosted by Sam Evans-Brown, exploring the natural world and humans' relationship with it.