What’s the truth about our world and the universe?
To get answers, sometimes you need to step back and see the big picture — a vast patchwork of scientific exploration and research that’s slowly piecing together our understanding, one bit at a time.
Big Picture Science, the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show and podcast, does a good job of showing the depth and breadth of what science really means, from the secrets of our inner biology to the mysteries of the farthest reaches of space.
Every week, hosts Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley use storytelling to bring scientific discovery to your ears, with the help of experts in fields such as robotics, astronomy, neurology, entomology and more. Each episode is about an hour long and has a theme. A recent episode, for example, covered the physics of motion, explaining how animals evolved to run, jump and fly.
The show tells great stories, but it’s also devoted to helping you debunk fantastical ones. Its recurring “Skeptic Check” feature deflates pseudoscientific claims and conspiracy theories. Recent installations address questions like “Is Earth really round?” and “Is activism bad for science?”
The SETI Institute is perhaps best known for its ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, but its podcast, which is partially funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, isn’t all aliens and speculation. Instead, it’s a concrete look at topics that could feel inscrutable or dull in other hands.
Big Picture Science is on more than 100 radio stations and available free via podcast and Internet radio. It’s a reminder that big-picture thinking — and the endless little discoveries that make up science — will propel us toward the truth.