415 episodes

The surprising connections in science and technology that give you the Big Picture.

Astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley are joined each week by leading researchers, techies, and journalists to provide a smart and humorous take on science.

Our regular "Skeptic Check" episodes cast a critical eye on pseudoscience.

Big Picture Science Wizzard Media

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The surprising connections in science and technology that give you the Big Picture.

Astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley are joined each week by leading researchers, techies, and journalists to provide a smart and humorous take on science.

Our regular "Skeptic Check" episodes cast a critical eye on pseudoscience.

    For the Birds

    For the Birds

    Birds have it going on. Many of these winged dinosaurs delight us with their song and brilliant plumage. Migratory birds travel thousands of miles in a display of endurance that would make an Olympic athlete gasp. We inquire about these daunting migrations and how birds can fly for days without rest. And what can we do to save disappearing species? Will digital tracking technology help? Plus, how 19th century bird-lovers, appalled by feathered hats, started the modern conservation movement.

    • 50 min
    End of Eternity

    End of Eternity

    Nothing lasts forever. Even the universe has several possible endings. Will there be a dramatic Big Rip or a Big Chill¬ – also known as the heat death of the universe – in trillions of years? Or will vacuum decay, which could theoretically happen at any moment, do us in? Perhaps the death of a tiny particle – the proton – will bring about the end. We contemplate big picture endings in this episode, and whether one could be brought about by our own machine creations.

    • 52 min
    Skeptic Check: Flat Earth

    Skeptic Check: Flat Earth

    Flat Earthers believe that our planet resembles not a slightly squashed grapefruit but a thick pancake. We look at the difference between a truly scientific examination of extraordinary claims and approaches that feel and look science-y but aren’t. One man uses telescopes and balloons in the desert to demonstrate that the Earth is a globe, while a biologist runs a test on the waters of Loch Ness to see if it contains prehistoric reptile DNA.

    • 50 min
    Waste Not

    Waste Not

    Why create more landfill? Resist the urge to toss those old sneakers or last year’s smart phone. Instead, let global junk entrepreneurs repurpose them as they turn trash to treasure. Meanwhile, right-to-repair advocates fight for legislation that would help you fix your electronic devices. And, if you toss food scraps down the drain, are you contributing to a “fatberg” horror in the sewer?

    • 50 min
    Venom Diagram

    Venom Diagram

    Evolution has outfitted some animals with a highly effective mechanism for saying “back off!”. Venoms can ward off predators and disable prey, and some can even be chemically altered into life-saving drugs. Plus, the King of Pain - a scientist who has been stung by more than 80 species of insects to learn more about venom. He describes the worst.

    • 50 min
    Volcanic Mind Melt

    Volcanic Mind Melt

    The more than a thousand volcanoes that dapple Earth’s surface mark the edges of tectonic plates, spewing hot gas and ash, or boiling over with lava. Meet a few currently-active hot heads, uncover some historical eruptions, and hear how much notice volcanologists can give about that next eruption.

    • 52 min

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