With millions of podcasts streaming online these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of variety in the audio storytelling space. That’s why sometimes it’s best to stick with what you know, like PopSci’s two hit shows, “Strangest Thing I Learned This Week” and “Ask Us Anything”. Not convinced? We’ve put our best episodes from this year into a fun, listenable list, and included other science podcasts we love to help you get hooked. Bottom up.
The strangest thing I learned this week
Mary Roach opens up about moose crash test dummies, famous ferrets and deadly planets
This wonderful episode features science author Mary Roach, who has joined the show to talk about her new book. FUZZ: When nature breaks the law. His fact, which comes straight from the book, explains why (and how) researchers created crash test dummies with moose.
Former brain surgeons, crows have eyes, and why radiators are so boring
Actor and famous Schitt Creek impersonator Michael Judson Berry joined this episode, and it was a blast. Hear Berry masquerade as many of the Rose family and find out why we’ve always punched holes in people’s heads, how radiators have saved people during epidemics, and why crows are, terrifyingly, even smarter than we are. the pensions.
Haunted vaginas, dental floss, and human skin books
Weirdest Thing’s Halloween episodes are always bangers, and this one is no exception. We’ve learned that ectoplasm is real, but it’s not quite the gooey pink or green slime we imagine. More dramatically, the material has been linked to numerous scams and scandals throughout history.
Artistic crime doesn’t pay, dogs cook meat and eggs are poorly made
Comedian (and downright wonderful human) Josh Gondelman made this episode an insane delight. From unsolved art thefts to dogs cooking dinner for their humans, this one is a must-listen.
Science meets magic, high-tech killings and bees
Jonathan Sims from The Magnus Archives’ captivating horror fiction podcast has joined The Weirdest Thing for this special recording. The group told a (real!) Story about the first telegraphed murder, discussed bees’ ability to tell the time, and blurred the lines between science and magic.
Q&A: Punkin track, mysterious shipwrecks and Midwestern scorpions
In the hiatus between Season 4 and Season 5, host Rachel Feltman and producer Jess Boddy hopped on Zoom to listen to voice messages from listeners. What ensued was, as always, wonderful and weird, but to Boddy’s delight, sort of Midwestern themed. (Did you know that scorpions live in Illinois?) The episode is a refreshing change of pace from the typical show format.
See the full list of Weirdest Thing episodes here.
Ask us anything
How to send nude photos safely?
Invited by assistant DIY editor Sandra Gutierrez G., the season 2 premiere episode of “Ask Us Anything” was juicy and informative. From metadata to camera angles, Gutierrez explains everything you need to know to send a hot photo in the safest way possible.
How did dinosaurs taste?
It’s one of those questions you might never consider, but once you hear it, you’ll be hungry for the answers. DIY editor John Kennedy goes into the gruesome details of how dinosaurs might have tasted if you had thrown them on the grill.
Why can’t we see more colors?
Most humans see the world in a generally consistent way. But other animals see even more colors than we do, so what’s the problem? Is it possible for us to also perceive these “invisible” colors? Science writer Claire Maldarelli explains what’s (and isn’t) possible.
See the full list of Ask Us Anything episodes here.
Other best science podcast episodes
The Outdoor Life Podcast: The Mysterious Chronic Lyme Disease Nightmare
Our sister magazine Outdoor living launched their new podcast this year and have done several in-depth dives on hot topics in the worlds of hunting and fishing. But this episode on the latest research on chronic Lyme disease, however, seemed relevant to a lot of people.
Flash Forward: What is the future of the genre?
The podcast by Rose Eveleth, a former PopSci collaborator, is a must-see for our staff. This year’s gender episode really stood out for us, in large part because of how it built up from a thought experiment Eveleth conducted six years ago. Much has changed in science and gender politics since then, but at the same time, many of the same questions remain.
Donut podcasts: how these electric vehicles sparked the Tesla
Another sister publication of ours, Donut Media recently turned its popular YouTube channel into a free podcasting space. Their episode on the classic technology that powers modern electric vehicles was fascinating, especially with all of the battery powered trucks and sports cars that were unveiled this year.
For the Wild: moral landscapes in the midst of changing ecologies
Indigenous science continues to grow as a means to seek solutions to climate change, extinction, and other environmental issues. This episode, starring Enrique Salmón, professor at Cal State University East Bay and expert in biodiversity, combines philosophy, chemistry and in-depth analysis to help humans redefine their role in the natural world. It has the power to change mentalities and practices.
Apple News Today: Does blood hold the key to the fountain of youth?
PopSci writer Kat McGowan spoke about her magazine article on Reverse Aging on one of Apple’s first podcasts. Hear her dissect the sensational research that neurobiologists at Harvard and Stanford have been tinkering with for decades. What is a fact and what is still a fantasy at this point?
Here’s a nerd festival you won’t want to miss. WNYC’s “Radiolab” stole our hearts with an entire episode devoted to lighting up the darker parts of the periodic table through poetry, musical theater, and old-fashioned spinning. It turns out that Livemorium rhymes rather well with zirconium.