5 Excellent Science Podcasts to Soundtrack Your Workday

Dennis Miao

Dennis Miao
Aug 3, 2020 6:11:43 PM

Whether it's at your home office, at the bench, or during your commute to work, putting on a podcast in the background can be an engaging and enriching way to help keep your mind stimulated. Here are 5 excellent science podcasts to help you get started on crafting your perfect workday playlist.


1. This Week in Microbiology

This Week in Microbiology Podcast


Average Length: ~ 50 min


Hosted by Columbia University professor Vincent Racainiello, this podcasts delves into a new topic every week concerning the subject of microbiology. Professor Racainiello and his guests break down interesting and complex topics (including the current COVID-19 pandemic) in a casual and easy-listening way. The show is produced by the American Society for Microbiology, who also produce other popular science-related podcasts like Meet the Microbiologist, and Bacterio Files. 





2. People Behind the Science


Average Length: ~ 45 min


Hosted by Dr. Marie McNeely, People Behind the Science is a lesser-known podcast that is certainly worth a listen. Each week, Dr. McNeely features a guest that shares their current research across all disciplines of science. What makes Dr. McNeely's podcast different is that the guests also discuss their unique background and lives, and their paths to wherever they are current in their careers. Guests come from both academia and the private sector, giving you access to both perspectives. PBtS is a fully non-profit organization whose proclaimed mission is, "to deliver fascinating and engaging science related podcasts", and it certainly seems that they've delivered on this goal.




3. Radiolab

Radiolab Podcast

Average Length: ~ 45 min


This is a bit of a less intensely-scientific podcast than the previous two mentioned, and it is a pretty popular podcast that you may have already heard of. The show has garnered two Peabody awards for "its broadcasting excellence", having been aired on radio station since 2002, and more recently in podcast form. Host Jad Abumrad and his guests touch on various topics across science and technology, and contextualizes then with a cultural lens with a focus on discovery and progress. He also frequently takes into account recent news and events as subjects for his episodes.





4. StarTalk Radio

Neil Degrasse Tyson, StarTalk Radio
Average Length: ~ 50 min


The man himself, the legendary astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has hosted this podcast since 2009. This one is another incredibly easy-listening and entertaining podcast that can be a great change of pace from other, more intense podcasts. In his own words, the show is where, "science, pop culture and comedy collide". As expected, many of the podcasts feature fascinating discussions on space, astronomy, and physics. Thanks to the sometimes comedic touch, this podcast is probably my personal favorite on the list and is definitely worth a listen.





5. Big Picture Science

Big Picture Science Podcast
Average Length: ~ 50 minutes


Big Picture Science is a radio program and podcast produced by the SETI Institute broadcasted on quite a few NPR-affiliate stations across the country. As with the other podcasts, Big Picture Science has a new theme for each episode and provides in-depth discussion of developments across the world of science. His guests range from academic and private sphere researchers, science writers, and ethicists that provide a wide range of perspectives on recent scientific developments.




Need more podcasts to round out that playlist? Check out our previous blog here that has 6 more science-themed podcast recommendations. If you're looking for other ways to stay on top of your work while waiting for your experiments to run, check out these tips to boost your productivity in the lab. And finally, check out our curated blogs for researchers, Ph.D. students, and anyone that spends time in the lab here.


Tags: Science Communication, Work-Life Balance, Podcast, Science Podcasts

Dennis Miao

Dennis Miao

Dennis is a Marketing Specialist and a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics. During his free time, he loves keeping up with ‎Boston sports, hiking, and skiing.