53 episodes

A topsy-turvy science-y history podcast, brought to you by the Science History Institute.

The Disappearing Spoon: a science history podcast with Sam Kean Sam Kean

    • History
    • 3.9 • 1.2K Ratings

A topsy-turvy science-y history podcast, brought to you by the Science History Institute.

    Icepick Surgeon bonus excerpt on the making of the Unabomber

    Icepick Surgeon bonus excerpt on the making of the Unabomber

    A bonus excerpt from my book The Icepick Surgeon on the making of the Unabomber, through a cruel, unethical psychology experiment at Harvard University...


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    • 20 min
    The Murderer Who Made Movies Possible

    The Murderer Who Made Movies Possible

    Like Leonardo and Albrecht Dürer before him, photographer Eadweard Muybridge was a legendary pioneer in both art and science. He was also a cold-blooded murderer.


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    • 21 min
    Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and the Irish Giant

    Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, and the Irish Giant

    Charles Byrne was an eight-foot Irish giant ️who loved a beer or 3 with the lads. His funeral became a legendary party—as well as one of biggest scandals in science history, when a famous anatomist named John Hunter stole his body for dissection.


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    • 18 min
    The Screwiest—and Perhaps Most Original—Idea of the 20th Century

    The Screwiest—and Perhaps Most Original—Idea of the 20th Century

    The New York Times one credited biologist Edward Knipling with “the most original idea of the 20th century.” What was it? A way to fight the screwworm, the vilest parasite on earth—and maybe stop malaria, the deadliest disease in human history, too.


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    • 20 min
    The Bird with Four Sexes

    The Bird with Four Sexes

    What a strange little sparrow can teach us about love, sex, human biology, and a whole lot more...


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    • 19 min
    When the Brain Deceives Itself

    When the Brain Deceives Itself

    Can we ever truly lie to ourselves? Actually, yes—just ask Woodrow Wilson and William O. Douglas. They’re two famous examples of a bizarrely common neurological disorder. One that you might have fallen victim to yourself...


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    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

jesshoop ,

Great overall

I love Sam Kean’s books and the content of this podcast. Wish they were consistently 5-10 minutes longer. As someone who reads a lot of science history, Kean does a great job of telling stories which are repeated often but also stories I’ve never heard.

soymara ,

So many ads for such short episodes!

Great information but the ads are killing me. Unbelievable. Worst podcast ever ad-wise.

Illegalhands ,

One of the best science podcasts available

This podcast always hits on the most interesting topics. The storyline is always engaging and Sam is a wonderful storyteller. I would recommend to all ages. Great for students that are showing interest in math, science, and science history.

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