37 episodes

Have you ever wondered…Is the human race still evolving? Into what? Are we already receiving messages from aliens? Could an AI ever become our best friend – or even our lover?
Why? Takes you on an adventure to the edge of knowledge. We ask the questions that puzzle and perplex us, from the inner workings of the universe to the far reaches of our dreams.
WHY? – a brand new podcast that answers the big questions from the frontiers of science.

Why‪?‬ Podmasters

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 25 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Have you ever wondered…Is the human race still evolving? Into what? Are we already receiving messages from aliens? Could an AI ever become our best friend – or even our lover?
Why? Takes you on an adventure to the edge of knowledge. We ask the questions that puzzle and perplex us, from the inner workings of the universe to the far reaches of our dreams.
WHY? – a brand new podcast that answers the big questions from the frontiers of science.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    When will humans go extinct?

    When will humans go extinct?

    Everything goes extinct eventually. When will it be our turn? And will humans disappear because of shifting tectonic plates, catastrophic natural disasters, the earth being engulfed by the sun… or our own ruinous activities? Basically, how long have we got? 

    Dr. Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature and author of A Very Short History of Life on Earth, tells Olly Mann that it isn’t so much a question of if we will go extinct, but when and why.  

    • “My feeling is that humans will become extinct within the next 10,000 years or so.” – Dr. Henry Gee
    • “For most of human history, people have been living at a subsistence level. Populations of humans would become extinct quite regularly. Near-extinction is a feature of human evolution." – Dr. Henry Gee

    Buy A Very Short History of Life on Earth through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund WHY? by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too.

    WHY? is written and presented by Olly Mann. Produced by Anne-Marie Luff and Eliza Davis Beard. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters Production.

    Instagram | Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 27 min
    Am I living in a hallucination?

    Am I living in a hallucination?

    You can trust what’s in front of your eyes, right? Turns out… not really. Everything we see is processed through a filter of our prior expectations. Our brains fill the gaps in the data they receive to create a “reality” that we can understand. If everything we see and hear is just a construct, are we all living in our own hallucinations? 

    Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex and author of Being You: A New Science of Consciousness, explains our world of illusions to Olly Mann. 

    • “There is a real world out there – but we experience it as a construction. We never experience things as they really are. We experience the world as WE are, not as IT is.” – Anil Seth
    • “We think our brains are ‘reading out’ the world but it is totally the other way around… The brain is continually making predictions about what is out there.” – Anil Seth

    Buy Being You: A New Science of Consciousness through our affiliate bookshop and you’ll help fund WHY? by earning us a small commission for every sale. Bookshop.org’s fees help support independent bookshops too.

    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/13277/9781399804516

    WHY? is written and presented by Olly Mann. Produced by Anne-Marie Luff and Eliza Davis Beard. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters Production.

    Instagram | Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 33 min
    Why does music make us emotional?

    Why does music make us emotional?

    Music is a universal language, a connecting force during all of life’s highs and lows. But why does music make us emotional? From feelings of elation and melancholy, to unease and motivation - why and how does music play with not only our emotions, but our brains themselves?

    Catherine Loveday, Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Westminster, joins Luke Turner to discuss the psychology of music, its impact on our memory and why our teenage music loves stay with us forever.

    • "Music is in masses of different areas of the brain, and when we look in brain scanners when people are improvising, performing, or listening to music we see huge amounts of activation” - Prof Catherine Loveday
    • “There is research that shows longer-term musical memories are robust, and are less likely to be impacted by conditions such as dementia than other memories” - Prof Catherine Loveday
    • "There is a theory that music was our communication tool from before we developed language” - Prof Catherine Loveday
    • "There is no consistency in what people choose as their favourite genre of music, everyone develops their own taste and love of particular types of music” - Prof Catherine Loveday

    WHY? is written and presented by Luke Turner. Produced by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters production.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 31 min
    The secret life of pets: How does my dog’s mind work?

    The secret life of pets: How does my dog’s mind work?

    Your dog is really clever, right? You understand one another. Every pet owner thinks this. But can our pets really communicate with us beyond the basic demands for food, walks and play? How is its mind constructed? What’s going on inside that furry head?
    Dr Juliane Kaminski, Associate Professor in Comparative Psychology and director of the Dog Cognition Centre at the University of Portsmouth, tells Emma Kennedy how we’re only just beginning to understand how dogs see and understand the world they’re living in. 
    • “Dogs have a huge motivation to look into our eyes, to maintain eye contact, which is not a trivial thing, because in the wild, a wolf would perceive this as a threat.”- Dr Juliane Kaminski
    • “We’ve created a creature that understands us in ways that no other animal does. Dogs are really good at making sense of our communication.” - Dr Juliane Kaminski
    WHY? is written and presented by Emma Kennedy. Produced by Eliza Davis Beard. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters Production.

    Instagram | Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 27 min
    What is the most powerful thing in the universe?

    What is the most powerful thing in the universe?

    They shine as brightly as a trillion stars, they’re powered by supermassive black holes… and until 2023 we had no idea how they came into existence. These are quasars, awesomely powerful cosmic objects at the centre of some of the most violent events in the universe. What exactly are quasars, and just how powerful can they be? Dr Vicky Fawcett, Research Associate in Astrophysics at Newcastle University, explains the power of the quasar to amazed space cadet Luke Turner. 

    •“A Quasar can be about a thousand times more powerful than the Milky Way Galaxy itself.” - Dr Vicky Fawcett 
    •“Quasar stands for quasi stellar radio source, because back in the 1960s when they were first discovered, they thought they were radio bright stars.” - Dr Vicky Fawcett
    •"The central point of a quasar is so bright that they outshine all the stars in the galaxy.” - Dr Vicky Fawcett


    WHY? is written and presented by Luke Turner. Produced by Anne-Marie Luff with Eliza Davis Beard. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters Production.

    Instagram | Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 31 min
    How can I control my dreams?

    How can I control my dreams?

    If you could control your dreams, what would you do while you slept? Fly? Get romantic with some unattainable object of desire? Or embark on a fantasy odyssey with no equivalent in reality? Lucid dreams – where we know we’re dreaming and we can control what we do – come to many of us  at some point in our lives. But can we learn how to do it? And does lucid dreaming have real-world benefits beyond just being loads of fun? 

    Olly Mann talks to Mark Blagrove, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Sleep Lab at Swansea University, all about the science of lucid dreaming. 

    • “Lucid dreaming gives you something quite extraordinary to think about. It can increase your level of awe at what is possible in the world.” - Mark Blagrove
    • "People who frequently lucid dream have an ‘internal locus of control’, meaning that they feel in charge of their own life, as opposed to feeling that their life is under the control of chance.” - Mark Blagrove

    WHY? is written and presented by Olly Mann. Produced by Anne-Marie Luff and Eliza Davis Beard. Audio production by Jade Bailey. Managing editor: Jacob Jarvis. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Artwork by James Parrett. Music by DJ Food. WHY? is a Podmasters Production.

    Instagram | Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

musonymous ,

Usually Stimulating and Original

I listen quite often. The music episode was interesting but cluttered with lots of extraneous noise. It’s important to not interfere with the essential clarity of the ideas being communicated. Lots of intrusive background clutter. Quite irritating. Give the music its own space if its illustrating a point.

Tabieth ,

Really recommend

I love this podcast. I don’t listen to every episode but rather dip into the ones that intrigue me. It’s an interesting, eclectic dip into a wide range of interesting topics.

Nndroid ,

Really fascinating – a science podcast for everyone

This show asks intriguing questions and always answers them in a fun, relatable way without dumbing down the science. Excellent music too. Recommended.

Top Podcasts In Science

BBC Radio 4
Crowd Network | Greenpeace UK
Pfizer
Dr. Mindy Pelz
The Guardian
Sam Harris

You Might Also Like

Podmasters
Podmasters
Podmasters
Podmasters
Podmasters
Podmasters