181 episodes

Make Science Fiction. Learn Real Science!

Welcome to our weekly Science and Science Fiction podcast where we learn amazing things by playing a fantastic game: We make a change to the Universe and then, using only real science, we follow the mind bending ramifications as they ripple outward — wherever they lead!

Our brilliant guests are some of the world’s greatest science fiction writers, scientists & science communicators. Strap on your seat belt and let’s leap into a journey to answer the most fascinating question in the Universe… What The IF?

What The If? Philip Shane & Matt Stanley

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 54 Ratings

Make Science Fiction. Learn Real Science!

Welcome to our weekly Science and Science Fiction podcast where we learn amazing things by playing a fantastic game: We make a change to the Universe and then, using only real science, we follow the mind bending ramifications as they ripple outward — wherever they lead!

Our brilliant guests are some of the world’s greatest science fiction writers, scientists & science communicators. Strap on your seat belt and let’s leap into a journey to answer the most fascinating question in the Universe… What The IF?

    Time Travel TRAFFIC JAM! With TOM MERRITT!

    Time Travel TRAFFIC JAM! With TOM MERRITT!

    POP into a parking spot at any point in time?!

    What The If there were a time travel TRAFFIC Jam?!

    Prep your flux capacitors, set your clocks to 1985, and get ready for a time BACK IN TIME!

    On this weeks episode we are joined by the ever talented Tom Merritt. 

    Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. Tom is also a writer, his latest book called “Trigor” which we’ve featured before, and can be found on his website http://www.tommerritbooks.com


    Tom’s podcasts:

    Daily Tech News Show
    Tom Merritt and Sarah Lane deliver the top stories in tech combined with analysis from regular contributors and guest perspectives from the top names in technology.
    https://dailytechnewsshow.com

    Sword & Laser
    A science fiction and fantasy-themed book club, video show and podcast, started by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
    http://swordandlaser.com

    Let’s Talk About Star Wars
    Garrett Weinzierl, Jennie Josephson, and Tom Merritt talk Star Wars theories, predictions, and more!
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/lets-talk-about-star-wars/id1074592854

    Work In Sanity
    Patrick Beja and Tom Merritt have worked from home for decades and share their experiences and insights in helping you stay sane and productive when you work from home. Work Insanity? No! Work In Sanity!
    https://play.acast.com/s/work-in-sanity



    Got an IF of your own? Want to have us consider your idea for a show topic? Send YOUR IF to us! Email us at feedback@whattheif.com and let us know what's in your imagination. No idea is too small, or too big!

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    Special thanks to Kyle Crichton for his help with the show.

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    Want to support the show? Click a rating or add a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app! itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe at WhatTheIF.com

    Keep On IFFin',
    Philip & Matt

    • 45 min
    Report from CHINA!

    Report from CHINA!

    Special guest Howard Zheng has just returned from China and reports on the state of the pandemic there. Gaby and the team compare China's methods with those we experience ourselves in the USA.

    Every week, Rockefeller University Virologist GABY PANICCIA explores the science behind the headlines.

    More info at RockEDU: rockedu.rockefeller.edu and covid-19-research.rockefeller.edu

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    Like the show? Share your love for the IF by dropping a review on Apple Podcasts! itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    Have you subscribed? Grab one (always free!) at pod.link/1250517051 and never miss an episode!

    Comments, questions, and more are welcome! Visit WhatTheIF.com/contact or email us at feedback@whattheif.com.

    • 42 min
    93 - EINSTEIN'S WAR - Part Two

    93 - EINSTEIN'S WAR - Part Two

    For Thanksgiving, a special encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes!

    Matt has a new amazing book! We dive into Professor Stanley's incredible story about how, while living through hunger, freezing and fear, the unknown and unheard of Professor Albert Einstein became... EINSTEIN.

    What The IF, we ask: World War I never, ever happened? Would Einstein have solved his Theory of Relativity sooner -- or, perhaps, NEVER AT ALL?

    REVIEW the show: itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    SUBSCRIBE for free: linktr.ee/whattheifshow

    Thanks & Keep On IFFin'!
    -- Philip & Matt

    • 39 min
    92 - Einstein's War - Part One

    92 - Einstein's War - Part One

    For Thanksgiving, a special encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes!

    Matt has a new amazing book! We dive into Professor Stanley's incredible story about how, while living through hunger, freezing and fear, the unknown and unheard of Professor Albert Einstein became... EINSTEIN.

    What The IF, we ask: World War I never, ever happened? Would Einstein have solved his Theory of Relativity sooner -- or, perhaps, NEVER AT ALL?

    REVIEW the show: itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    SUBSCRIBE for free: linktr.ee/whattheifshow

    Thanks & Keep On IFFin'!
    -- Philip & Matt

    • 44 min
    REINCARNATION, Let's Do This!

    REINCARNATION, Let's Do This!

    Spooky children?! Past lives?! Astrology?! What could we possibly be talking about?


    What The If past lives, and reincarnation were real?

    On this episode, we talk about an article Philip found on NYTimes about reincarnation and how they actually considered the occult as scientific?! WHAT?!

    This if is dedicated to the comment section of this article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/26/parenting/pretend-play-creepy-kids.html


    Got an IF of your own? Want to have us consider your idea for a show topic? Send YOUR IF to us! Email us at feedback@whattheif.com and let us know what's in your imagination. No idea is too small, or too big!

    ---

    Special thanks to Kyle Crichton and Howard Zheng for their help with the show.

    ---

    Want to support the show? Click a rating or add a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app! itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe at WhatTheIF.com

    Keep On IFFin',
    Philip & Matt

    • 1 hr 19 min
    WTIF News - GOOD News? YEAH!!!

    WTIF News - GOOD News? YEAH!!!

    Science wins in the USA! Vaccine research looking good so far!

    As she does every week, Rockefeller University Virologist GABY PANICCIA explores the science behind the COVID-19 Pandemic’s headlines. Three fascinating stories this week:

    "Pfizer’s Early Data Shows Vaccine Is More Than 90% Effective" - The New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/09/health/covid-vaccine-pfizer.html

    "Pfizer announced positive early results from its coronavirus vaccine trial, cementing the lead in a frenzied global race that has unfolded at record-breaking speed." By Katie Thomas, David Gelles and Carl Zimmer

    "Children Produce Weaker Coronavirus Antibodies, Study Finds" - The New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/05/health/covid-children-antibodies.html

    "The research suggests that children clear the infection much faster than adults and may help explain why many don’t become seriously ill." By Apoorva Mandavilli

    "Antibodies may explain some of COVID-19 clotting risk" - Time - https://time.com/5906911/covid-19-antibodies-blood-clotting/

    "Scientists Have Uncovered the Likely Cause of a Serious COVID-19 Symptom: Blood Clotting" By Alice Park

    More info about the virus at RockEDU: rockedu.rockefeller.edu and covid-19-research.rockefeller.edu

    ---

    Like the show? Share your love for the IF by dropping a review on Apple Podcasts! itunes.apple.com/podcast/id1250517051?mt=2&ls=1

    Have you subscribed? Grab one (always free!) at pod.link/1250517051 and never miss an episode!

    Comments, questions, and more are welcome! Visit WhatTheIF.com/contact or email us at feedback@whattheif.com.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
54 Ratings

54 Ratings

Noeta1004 ,

Entertaining

This is a lighthearted show that is very enjoyable and funny...it’s nice to let minds run wild just to see where that leads.

HandwrittenLife ,

Artist Vs. Scientist in an Elevator

Loved your recent podcast! Cage Match. Love that it ended up in an elevator instead of as a cage match! I am definitely a “Bob” and yet, I like to look a the art in an exhibit BEFORE reading all that mumbo jumbo. Loved the idea of the big blue painting versus space too.

RocketMan3333 ,

Really cool show!

Really cool show, I learned a ton and laughed a bunch, which is what I want most in my podcasts!

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