5 Science Podcasts You Need to Know

The habit of listening to the radio was replaced by the habit of following podcasts by many people. Podcasts with the most diverse types of content and subjects exist in droves to listen, whether online and live, or offline after downloading the episode to listen whenever you want. This variety of content and subjects available in the podcast format is one of its great differentiators — and, of course, science podcasts are part of this wave.

According to PodPesquisa 2019/2020, carried out by the Brazilian Association of Podcasters (abPod), “science is the third most sought after subject by Brazilians when it comes to this media, second only to pop culture and humor/comedy”.

With this in mind, Canaltech not only put together five great science podcasts that you need to know, but also talked to each of its creators to understand more about these projects, which, despite the difference in formats, have in common the objective of popularizing scientific knowledge around.

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Endless Science

(Image: Reproduction/Science Endless)

Launched on August 25 of this year by Flow Studios, the Science Without End podcast is presented by scientific publisher and geographer Sérgio Sacani, known for his work on SpaceToday, very popular on YouTube and social networks and a reference in the debate on astronomy and exploration space. Even before its debut, Ciência Sem Fim already reached the mark of more than 10 thousand followers on its social networks and 22 thousand subscribers on YouTube.

The main objective of the new podcast is to make relaxed conversations about scientific research from the most diverse areas, where the guests range from experts to people who are not familiar with the subject, but who are somehow involved with science. In an interview with Canaltech, Sérgio Sacani explained that his main expectation with the program is to bring science in a simple and accessible way for everyone, in addition to introducing the general public to some Brazilian scientists who carry out incredible work, but which are little known.

The idea for the program came at the invitation of Estudios Flow, when they presented this demand from their audience to Sacani. “I was very happy with the invitation and with all the support they gave from the beginning. Also for all the support of the team that is working together and committed to making the best program possible”, added the geologist. Over time — and new episodes — he hopes to build a beautiful community that understands the role of science in society.

Every Wednesday and Friday, Ciência Sem Fim launches a new program, with an average duration of 2 hours, always with a different theme and a new guest present. The podcast is available on the YoTtube channel and Spotify.

dirty science

(Image: Reproduction/Dirty Science)

Ciência Suja is a podcast in the format of true crimes (“real crimes”, in the literal translation), which focuses on real events. Presented by health journalists Theo Ruprecht and Thaís Manarini, the program sets out to address the value of science through its misuse. “In other words, what happens to society when the scientific method is dropped or misrepresented? And how can science itself help society to overcome these episodes?”, Ruprecht explained to Canaltech. No wonder that the program’s slogan is: “in crimes against science, the victims are all of us”.

Ciência Suja brings journalistic content that arouses interest in the scientific method, but from a different angle. In its first episode, released on August 19 this year, the presenters tell the story of a pill developed by a chemist from a renowned Brazilian university who distributed it for free, promising a cure for all types of cancer — until science itself was used to disprove it.

As a good true crimes podcast, the program interviews people involved in the plot and experts on the subject and, thus, brings unprecedented details and its consequences to the present day. “What we want is, through bad examples, to disseminate quality science and the values ​​of the scientific method to the greatest number of people,” added the journalist.

For now, the first season has only two episodes, with new ones every 15 days averaging 50 minutes in length. The program is available on major audio streaming platforms or on the project’s website.

Exoplanet Mission

(Image: Reproduction/Exoplanet Mission)

As the name already indicates, Missão Exoplaneta is a podcast more focused on the field of astronomy, but that constantly dialogues with other areas of knowledge. Presented by scientific publisher Julia Brazolim, the program clarifies common doubts about the universe, presenting concepts and information related to the area — which includes the use of works from pop culture and interviews with experts.

The Exoplanet Mission seeks to encourage astronomical observation, promote Brazilian science and other projects that share the popularization of science. In addition, it provides space for scientists to present their work and research to the general public, encouraging reflection on the role of each one in society. In an interview with Canaltech, Brazolim said that astronomy is, perhaps, one of the most enchanting sciences — and a simple observation of the starry sky is enough to awaken those most fundamental doubts.

When asked about the importance of science podcasts in Brazil, Julia Brazolim said she considers them essential. “Scientific dissemination occupying and being present in different media conquers the most diverse audiences”, he added. For her, this media stands out for its ability to combine with everyday tasks, such as listening to an episode while washing the dishes, for example — especially for those who cannot pay attention to videos or texts.

The Exoplanet Mission was released in February 2019 and, each month, releases up to two episodes that last about an hour each, depending on the topic covered. The program is available on the main podcast platforms and also on the project’s website.

Science from A to Z

(Image: Reproduction/Science from A to Z)

The Science from A to Z is produced and run by biologist and doctor of zoology Diego Santana. Through his experience in field research and visits to schools, he found the idea for the program, with the objective of not only informing scientific matters, but mainly addressing the different knowledge of humanity that go through these discussions.

In a conversation with Canaltech, Santana revealed that he already liked to do scientific dissemination, but until then, he had only worked in areas related to his work as a biologist. Science from A to Z presents not only the knowledge of humanity, but also, through its guests, reveals the paths by which scientific research is built.

In the most recent episode, for example, Ciência de A to Z debates the theme of bioacoustics — the science that studies the sound processes emitted by organisms — bringing a multidisciplinary perspective of this field of knowledge, which includes biology, physics, mathematics and others. To unravel the different ways to study the sound of nature, Santana interviewed experts on the subject.

Launched in May 2020, Ciência de A to Z releases episodes that last from 50 to 120 minutes each, covering various topics, such as plant physiology, paleontology and even astronomy. The program is available on most podcast platforms, but can also be viewed on the project’s website.

science at the foot of the ear

(Image: Reproduction/Science Ao Pé do Ouvi)

Ciência Ao Pé do Ouvido was created in the Directorate of Social Communication (DIRCO) of the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU), in Minas Gerais, under the coordination of journalist Diélen Borges. Ahead of the program’s edition and presentation, journalist Josielle Ingrid Soares, who also works at DIRCO, approaches several themes through the eyes of the interviewed scientists. The program’s name refers to this intimate relationship between the listener and the podcast, which literally speaks “at the ear” of the listener.

Although it is produced within a university, Ciência Ao Pé do Ouvido has as its main objective to bring debates from the perspective of science to the general public — so much so that the themes addressed in the episodes of the program arrive as doubts in comments on social networks. In an interview with Canaltech, presenter Josielle Ingrid Soares explained that the idea is for scientists to respond directly to these doubts and suggestions from the public.

In addition, Soares reported that, for her, all her work of writing the agenda, looking for sources, recording the conversations and editing means delivering to society, in a clear and practical way, what is already hers. “The knowledge is there. I’m just a facilitator for him to be less ‘academic’ and more accessible to whoever wants. And build together, isn’t it? Building together makes a total difference,” he added.

Since its debut in February last year, the show is already in its second season. The episodes last from 19 to 120 minutes, covering topics such as the origin of accents, pseudosciences and quantum physics. Until June of this year, the podcast was monthly, but since then it’s been published weekly on most audio platforms and also on the project’s website.

Source: with information from abPod

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