474 episodes

Whether you’re curious about getting healthy, the Big Bang or the science of cooking, find out everything you need to know in under 30 minutes with Instant Genius. The team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine talk to world-leading experts to bring you a bite-sized masterclass on a new subject each week.

New episodes are released every Monday and Friday and you can subscribe to Instant Genius on Apple Podcasts to access all new episodes ad-free and all old episodes of Instant Genius Extra.

Instant Genius BBC Science Focus

    • Science
    • 4.1 • 88 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Whether you’re curious about getting healthy, the Big Bang or the science of cooking, find out everything you need to know in under 30 minutes with Instant Genius. The team behind BBC Science Focus Magazine talk to world-leading experts to bring you a bite-sized masterclass on a new subject each week.

New episodes are released every Monday and Friday and you can subscribe to Instant Genius on Apple Podcasts to access all new episodes ad-free and all old episodes of Instant Genius Extra.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Placebo: Why this miraculous experience really works

    Placebo: Why this miraculous experience really works

    The placebo effect is a seemingly wonderful experience, healing people with no apparent cure - but how does it really work? We spoke to Jeremy Howick, an epidemiologist and author of the new book The Power of Placebos to find out.
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    • 27 min
    How to cope with whatever life throws at you

    How to cope with whatever life throws at you

    We all have a breaking point. But how close we come to it – and how we cope – comes down to our unique blend of genetics and life experiences. In this episode, we speak to health psychologist Prof Vincent Deary about how we’re adapted to get through with tough times, the physiological processes at work when we’re struggling, and how to build yourself back and recover from fatigue.
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    • 31 min
    How understanding your boredom can improve your life

    How understanding your boredom can improve your life

    It's easy to try to ignore feelings of boredom, but it can actually be trying to tell you something. We spoke to James Danckert, a professor of cognitive neuroscience to find out more about this strange feeling.
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    • 28 min
    How animals speak to each other

    How animals speak to each other

    From birdsong to wolf howls, from dolphins’ clicks and whistles to gibbons’ whoops and wows, the natural world is filled with a myriad of animal vocalisations that are as varied as they are numerous. But what is their purpose? How did they evolve? And will we ever be able to understand them?
     
    In this episode we catch up with Dr Arik Kershenbaum, a zoologist based at the University of Cambridge and author of the new book Why Animals Talk.
     
    He tells us why some animals are chattier than others, how wolves have regional accents and how dolphins give themselves names.
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    • 30 min
    How to perfect your coffee routine

    How to perfect your coffee routine

    Coffee is a drink favoured by billions of people around the world, but doing it right isn't easy. 

    We spoke to Christopher Hendon, a computational materials chemist and coffee expert from the University of Oregon. 

    He talks us through how to make great coffee at home, where to spend your money, and debunks the myths of the coffee world.
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    • 27 min
    Why humans need laughter

    Why humans need laughter

    Laughter is a fundamental part of our lives, but why do we do it? We spoke to Sophie Scott, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College London to better understand why and how we laugh.
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    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
88 Ratings

88 Ratings

Errm...Alex?? ,

2020 - the year of expanding knowledge

Having been made redundant in March, I have been on a year’s worth of self improvement. Over the last few years, I have been so absorbed in the intensive training it required I haven’t been able to learn other subjects. If this year brought anything, time to learn was it. Some enlightening, interesting, and at some points, complex topics that are fascinating even if some just go straight over my head and I have to repeat the last 30secs to listen again!

smithson86 ,

Fantastic

I’ve learnt so much listening to this podcast. They’ve managed to make quite difficult scientific concepts accessible to everybody. I’ve not become a genius instantly but I certainly feel smarter!

PEEZA82 ,

Some good content…

However, too much airtime given to pseudoscientific nonsense.

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