Ever told a chemistry joke and gotten no reaction? Then it’s time to expand your brain and learn some fun, new facts! Luckily there are many amazing, free podcasts that will teach you all kinds of cool things in a thoroughly entertaining way. They’re the perfect companion for your commute, workout, or for when you just want to kick back and relax.
So get excited! Here are the 20 best science podcasts on the internet, chosen by the GeekWrapped science staff.
Hosted by: Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson and friends
StarTalk is an incredibly entertaining podcast devoted to all things space. It’s hosted by science popularizer and renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey fame). StarTalk Radio bridges the intersection between pop culture and science with clarity, humor, and passion. Hilarity ensues as Tyson is joined each week by a large variety of comedian co-hosts, celebrities, and other special guests.
Fun recent episode to try: NASA’s Vision for Space with Charles Bolden
Hosted by: Brian Cox @ProfBrianCox and Robin Ince
A witty, irreverent look at the world around us through two scientists’ eyes. The show isn’t afraid to tackle the big concepts of science, but a fantastic selection of guests and some great humor make it infinitely entertaining. Featured guests include a mixture of scientists, comedians, and innovators.
Fun recent episode to try: Serendipity
Hosted by: Scientific American Team
Being up-to-date on the newest developments in science doesn’t have to take long. Tune in every weekday for quick reports and insighful commentaries on the world of science — it’ll just take a minute.
Fun recent episode to try: Is Lying a Good Strategy?
Hosted by: Ira Flatow @iraflatow
Lovingly called SciFri by its fans, this clever show has been around since 1991. It regularaly produces award winning science coverage and some of the most original content online, covering everything from octopus camouflage to cooking on Mars. Hosted by veteran NPR science correspondent Ira Flatow, the podcast is brain fun, for curious people. A science classic.
Fun recent episode to try: Lollipops Meet Lasers in This Lab
A new but highly recommended podcast featuring the talented Cara Santa Maria. Cara has dedicated her life to improving science literacy by communicating scientific principles across media platforms. She is also the newest member of the wonderful Skeptics’ Guide to The Universe podcast featured below. Talk Nerdy combines clever interviews with a inspiring curiosity for everything science. One of our favorites!
Fun recent episode to try: Special Guest Dr. Steven Novella
Science for the People is a syndicated radio show and podcast based in Edmonton, Alberta, that broadcasts weekly across North America. They explore the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help you understand the evidence and arguments behind what’s in the news, in your life, and on the shelves. In a nutshell, they explore a plethora of fascinating topics, using curiosity and critical analysis.
Fun recent episode to try: Biohacking
Hosted by: Ian Sample @iansample & The Guardian Science Team
An incredible mix of breaking science news and deep analysis, this podcast is science journalism at its best. The Guardian’s science team bring you the current topics and fascinating interviews from the worlds of science and technology — all wrapped into a magazine style format.
Fun recent episode to try: The Potential of Quantum Computing
Hosted by: Dr. Steven Novella @stevennovella
A weekly science podcast discussing news in the world of science and pseudoscience. This entertaining and all-around amazing show is dedicated to promoting critical thinking, reason, and the public understanding of science. A science podcast leader on iTunes! Skeptical? Check it out for yourself!
Fun recent episode to try: Jurassic World
Radiolab is a podcast and radio show that cleverly weaves together stories and science into sound- and music-rich documentaries. It covers all kinds of interesting topics, guided by its central theme of scientific curiosity. The podcasts unique concept reinvents audio storytelling. It’s where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Highly recommended.
Fun recent episode to try: The Trust Engineers
Hosted by: Charles Bryant and Josh Clark @josh_um_clark
How do landfills work? How do oceans work? How do mosquitos work? Your curious mind has so many questions, but where can you find entertaining and enlightening answers? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the science behind the Stuff You Should Know about everything from genes to the Galapagos. SYSK Covers lots of interesting facts about all the common things around us and how they work.
Fun recent episode to try: How Junk Food Works
Science surrounds us. Even when we don’t notice it, science touches almost every part of our lives. The amazing folks at the Story Collider believe that everyone has a story about science — a story about how science made a difference, affected them, or changed them on a personal and emotional level. They find those stories and share them in their wonderful podcasts. Each week they bring together scientists, comedians, librarians, and other disreputable types to tell true, personal stories of times when, for good or ill, science happened. New episodes every week, often live from New York and Boston.
Fun recent episode to try: What Would Stephen Hawking Do
Quirks & Quarks is the award-winning radio science program of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. For the past 39 years, Quirks & Quarks has brought its listeners to the cutting edge of scientific inquiry. Every week, the program presents the people behind the latest discoveries in the physical and natural sciences — from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the largest objects in the sky and everything in between. The program also examines the political, social, environmental and ethical implications of new developments in science and technology. A program for people fascinated by the world around them.
Fun recent episode to try: Chimps Take Cooking Lessons (Note: Link plays audio immediately)
This show isn’t exactly … science. It’s more science adjacent. Essentially, it’s three comedians who love science having a weekly conversation with a special guest about topics ranging from science to philosophy to the metaphysical. It’s wild, funny, interesting — and definitely worth a listen.
Fun recent episode to try: Loneliness
A powerful podcast that examines neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and the technological underpinnings of our transhuman future. The perfect podcasts to get your friends and family member excited about science. Prepare for a trip down the rabbit hole!
Fun recent episode to try: Grizzly Bears from Outer Space
Four professional comedians/incompetent scientists take you through this week in science. Incompetently. A refreshing look at all sorts of fascinating topics, featuring a rotating cast of special guests from the worlds of comedy and science.
Fun recent episode to try: The Prehistoric Roots of Modern Sexuality (Note: Link plays audio immediately)
Hosted by: Kerri Smith @minikerri and Adam Levy
A weekly, high-quality show produced by nature.com, highlighting content from the week’s edition of the magazine including interviews with the people behind the science, and in-depth commentary and analysis from journalists covering science around the world.
Fun recent episode to try: Lizard Sex Change
Served up fresh weekly, the Physics Central podcast connects you with the most engaging research and personalities in the world of physics. It makes physics easy to understand with range of interesting and accessible features that open up the subject to anyone with a bit of curiosity. Lots of fun.
Fun recent episode to try: The Physics Behind Thor’s Hammer
Describing themselves as “a media–savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who strip science down to its bare essentials and promote it to the general public”, the Naked Scientists are a a likable team that find and explain mindblowing topics week after week. British humor included.
Fun recent episode to try: Dark Matter: A Massive Mystery
Hosted by: Marshall Brain @marshallbrain
What do the symbols on the U.S. one-dollar bill mean? Why do feet stink? How do instant cameras work? Whether the topic is popcorn or particle physics, you can count on Marshall Brain and the BrainStuff team to explore and explain the everyday science in the world around us.
Fun recent episode to try: How Artificial Flavors Work
Long form, quality episodes that dive deep into a huge variety of fascinating topics. A great source for what’s making news in the complex world of scientific research, scandal and discovery. The Science Show is one of the longest running programs on Australian radio. Give it a spin!
Fun recent episode to try: DNA Used to Trace Kidnapped Children