As I have been away from study/scientific work for about 7 months now I am itching to learn new things. I have always had a curious mind and enjoy learning which is the main reason I am doing my degree in a subject that I love.
Being away from University and the scientific world in general has been quite difficult for me, especially for the first few months. I felt as though I was being left behind as I had gone from reading hundreds of papers relating to the experiments I was designing in the Netherlands, to doing nothing even remotely science related.
This is when I properly discovered podcasts. My dad suggested I listen to ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, a BBC Radio 4 show. After thoroughly enjoying this, I then went on to try and find some more radio shows and/or podcasts which I could listen to whilst on journeys or just around the house to keep me entertained. This weekend I have been enjoying them in the sunshine!
I found a good few which I like, they are all science based, some of which focus more on the biological sciences than others. They do the job with keeping me up to date with recent happenings in the scientific world, giving me snippets of information to keep my brain focused. If i find anything particularly interesting I tend to research it further but these podcasts are certainly a great start.
Naked Scientists Podcasts
The Naked Scientists are without a doubt my favourite producers of scientific podcasts. They have lots of different branches coming from the original Naked Scientists Podcasts with my three favourites listed below.
eLIFE Podcast – eLIFE is an open access journal publishing articles within the life and biomedical sciences. This podcast focuses on researchers who have been recently published in the journal and asks in depth questions about methods, results and future research. At about 25 minutes this podcast condenses down a number of papers into a reasonable amount of time, perfect for staying up to date with recent breakthroughs across the spectrum of the biological sciences.
Question of the Week – Normally less than 5 minutes, this bite sized chunk of science is perfect for anyone with a curious mind. The topics vary wildly, asking sometimes absurd hypothetical questions like “Could green humans harvest energy from the sun?” to more real world episodes such as “Is it better to walk or run in the cold?”. They take these highly interesting topics and asks academics for their input on the situation, giving you quick fire facts to impress your friends with.
The Naked Scientists – The original podcast from the Naked Scientists, this is the first one I listened to. They combine the most recent scientific news with interviews of top researchers. I absolutely adore this show, and love that it covers all areas of science giving me a broader knowledge than just the biological sciences.
The Infinite Monkey Cage
Lighthearted, hilarious and great for anyone wanting to learn more about science. The show involves a panel of scientists and comedians and comments on relevant and recent topics within science. The Infinite Monkey Cage is a brilliant example of public outreach, making science fun, engaging and relevant for everyone.
TED Talks Science & Medicine
Who doesn’t love a TED Talk? Often inspiring, eye opening and full of information. Did you know you can get them as podcast videos? If you download the edited versions of the TED Talks as a podcast it allows you to listen whilst you do other things (I don’t normally watch the video) as opposed to watching on Youtube etc. Subscribing to the Science and Medicine Ted Talks means I am more likely to find ones on topics I know I will enjoy!
A few other podcasts I have dipped in and out of include the Nature Podcast, BBC Inside Science, BBC The Life Scientific and Part-Time Genius.
I download all of my podcasts onto the Podcast App on my iPhone. This allows you to download them onto your phone for listening when off wifi or stream them. It also allows you to follow your favourite shows so you never miss an episode! I feel like podcasts are a brilliant form of scicomm and give many people the opportunity to hear about recent breakthroughs in science who may otherwise not have access or understand research papers. Let me know what your favourite podcasts are.