Podcasting is an ideal medium because it can tell complex topics in a simple and digestible way.
Because of this, it is no surprise that podcasting is a popular format for those wishing to convey scientific information.
There are plenty of science podcasts covering a range of topics for several different audiences.
If you want to become a science podcast listener or are looking to start your own science podcast, here is a breakdown of everything you need to know about science podcasting.
What Is a Science Podcast?
A science podcast can take a few different forms.
Some podcasts in this genre may be straightforward and informational, while others are more conversational.
Whatever format these podcasts are in, they all focus on discussing scientific topics, such as physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry, medicine, and earth science.
What Does a Science Podcaster Talk About?
A science podcaster can talk about scientific topics in several different ways.
They may lay out the scientific fact, while others will conduct experiments that relate to a specific hypothesis.
A single podcast may focus on one area of expertise in their podcasts, while others look at different areas of expertise in every episode.
What Is Included on a Science Podcast?
As mentioned, scientific podcasts can take several forms.
However, there are a few key elements that most scientific podcasts have.
Most scientific podcasts have a topic introduction, expansion on that topic, and examples.
The introduction is an essential element of a science podcast, as it helps orient listeners in terms of what they should expect to hear.
This component helps put listeners on a more even playing field.
A podcast may expand on the topic at hand in several different ways.
The podcasters may dive into the history of the topic, recent development, and popular debates.
Examples related to the topic are vital components of a podcast. They help support the topic and encourage connection from listeners.
Other Things You Can Find on a Science Podcast
Plenty of other elements may play a role in science podcasts.
- Interviews: Often, interviews will play a major role in science podcasts. Those interviews are often from experts in the field of inquiry. Some of these podcasts are similar to a documentary.
- Sources: Sources are particularly essential in scientific podcasts compared to other podcast genres. Common sources in this podcast genre include peer-reviewed studies, history books, expert testimony, and scientific journalism.
- Experiment: Scientific podcasters will often conduct experiments or surveys of their own and record discussions of them.
- Feedback: Part of science is checking and re-checking the work of yourself and others. So, discussing feedback for podcasts is a frequent component of science podcasts.
Types of Science Podcasts
Within the larger genre of science podcasts, many niches focus on a more narrow topic.
Some podcasts focus on several types of science, while others focus on a niche, such as computer science, data science, and medicine.
Other topics include nature, virology, neurology, and child-friendly science.
Computer Science Podcasts
Computer science podcasts focus on exploring different elements of this field.
Sup-topics include coding tips, the history of computer science, technology news, and philosophy.
While many of these podcasts are best for those in the computer science field, there are plenty of podcasts in this genre appropriate for laymen.
Data Science Podcasts
Data science podcasts explore topics related to the multi-faceted field of data science.
Podcasts in this field explore how statistics, computing, and other forms of data science can yield patterns and insight out of seemingly disconnected information.
Listeners for this podcast can be beginners or experienced data scientists.
Podcasts About Science and Medicine
Podcasts on this topic explore different elements of medicine and science.
Some podcasts describe medical news, psychology, and the history of medicine.
Other podcasts may look at the experiences of medical professionals.
These podcasts are often easy for listeners of all types to experience.
Best Science Podcasts: 15 Examples
If you want to start your science podcast or are just interested in the field, it is essential to know what podcasts already exist.
How Many Science Podcasts Are There?
There are thousands of science podcasts in existence as of early 2023.
While that may seem like a large field, there are many niches within the genre.
As a result, listeners of all kinds can find one or more science podcasts that strike their fancy.
Computer Science Podcasts
Computer Science podcasts may discuss the field broadly or a specific element.
Some are ideal for computer programmers, while others also appeal to the general public.
The Programming Throwdown podcast works for all levels of programmers.
Some episodes discuss programming broadly, while others talk about bigger programming ideas.
This podcast is successful because it can draw in beginners and sustain them as their skills develop,
Spark with Nora Young
Spark with Nora Young touches on many areas related to programming.
Common segments include technology news with contextualization and interactive activities.
This podcast is successful, thanks to its ability to engage and sustain its audience.
The Code Newbie Podcast
The Code Newbie podcast targets those new to programming and computer science.
It provides tips for getting into the field of IT, focusing on providing a broad understanding of many topics.
Many episodes include interviews.
This podcast is successful because it appeals to beginners without talking down to them.
This Developer’s Life
This Developer’s Life talks about computer programming from a more professional angle.
It consists of firsthand interviews with programmers that discuss dealing with the professional environment of computer science.
This podcast is successful because it provides valuable tools helpful to workers in a profession for feeling more mentally healthy.
Talk Python To Me
Talk Python to Me has weekly episodes that look at what Python users of all experience levels are doing with this coding language.
It is an ideal podcast for beginners and experienced programmers alike.
This podcast is successful because it knows its niche and dives deep into several aspects of Python.
Data Science Podcasts
Data Science podcasts explore topics that relate to data science.
Topics include changes in the field, how to get a job, and ways that data science interacts with other fields.
Data Skeptic is a weekly podcast that looks into data science and related topics.
Many episodes include interviews with data scientists.
This podcast is successful because it covers a range of topics with plenty of depth.
Analytics Power Hour
Analytics Power Hour is a biweekly podcast discussing topics related to data science.
The vibe of the podcast is relaxing and conversational.
The podcast is successful because it keeps listeners engaged with several sub-topics.
Women in Data Science
Women in Data Science is a monthly podcast that includes interviews and conversations within data science.
The episodes touch on the intersection of data science with other fields.
Listeners love this podcast, thanks to its unique perspective and the professional advice offered by the hosts and guests.
The Artists of Data Science
The Artists of Data Science is a weekly podcast that dives deep into how to succeed in data science.
The podcast has interviews and listener question sessions.
Topics usually relate to information on this field, ethics in data science, and professional development.
Data Futurology focuses on career advice in the field of data science.
Each episode includes interviews with leading data practitioners.
They discuss their work and offer tips for success in this field.
This podcast is successful because listeners rely on it for expert advice.
Podcasts About Science and Medicine
Podcasts about science and medicine focus on how science affects the health of humans.
Radiolab is a podcast from WNYC Studios.
Each episode explores vastly different topics, including those related to medicine.
The hosts use investigative journalism to explore scientific topics.
Listeners love this podcast because of its high-quality research and production design.
Only Human focuses on exploring and contextualizing human health.
Topics include the physical and mental health of humans and the cultural context of health.
This podcast does well within the field, thanks to its ability to engage readers from several angles.
This Podcast Will Kill You
Each episode of This Podcast Will Kill You explores a different disease.
That exploration involves looking at biology, history, and risk level.
This podcast is successful because of its research and organization levels.
Science Vs. is a podcast that addresses common assumptions about the world and uses science to dispute or affirm.
Topics related to health and medicine, the environment, and social sciences.
This podcast does well, thanks to its high-quality research and presentation.
Ologies with Alie Ward
In each episode of Ologies, Alie Ward looks at different fields of study or “Ologies”, such as enigmatology, mycology, and biology.
She talks to an expert in a field and learns all about what an “ologist” does within the field they describe.
This podcast is successful, thanks to its humor, unique format, and broad subject matter.
Similar Podcasts Types to Check Out
There are plenty of podcast types that are similar to science podcasts.
- Educational Podcasts: Educational podcasts aim to educate their listeners on numerous different topics, from the history of math to literature.
This podcast type can sometimes intersect with science podcasts.
- History Podcasts: History podcasts look at different elements of history, with some pods focusing on specific historical events, while others focus on history in general.
This podcast type is very similar to science podcasts because they make harder-to-understand topics accessible to listeners.
- Medical Podcasts: While science podcasts discuss medicine and science in tandem, medical podcasts delve specifically into medical topics.
There can be a lot of overlap between those two genres.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the spirit of scientific inquiry, it is always essential to ask plenty of questions about science podcasts.
What is the #1 science podcast?
The #1 science podcast is Radiolab due to its longevity, research acumen, and reputation.
This podcast explores different elements of the scientific world.
It has a Peabody Award and National Academies Communication Award.
Who is the most trusted science podcaster?
There are several trusted science podcasters in the world of pods.
Besides the team from Radiolab, the team behind Science Vs., and Alie Ward of Ologies are all trusted to have good science in their podcasts.
Creating a successful science podcast means you need good research first and foremost.
The best podcasts have high-quality research and ethical practices.
Some science podcasts may focus on a specific topic, while others cover science in general.
If you want to share your scientific knowledge with the world, a science podcast may be the perfect opportunity!