Ever since my wife started listening to some true crime and fantasy podcasts a few years ago, I ventured on a different path with my podcast journey as I steered toward celebrity interviews, comedy, and the occasional science podcast. Of course you know we did start our own ABclonal podcast, BioChat, and previously we also highlighted a few fun and interesting science-themed podcasts that won't take too much out of your day as you commute or go about your work. In addition to entertaining and educating you, podcasts also have some mental and personal benefits. There are only so many hours in your day with plenty of choices, so let's see what we can do to help with some constructive distraction!
Michele mentioned Invisibilia in her previous blog, a podcast from NPR that examines human behavior, but I always see the Hidden Brain podcast in the top lists for psychology enthusiasts. Hidden Brain used to also be part of NPR but left to produce their show independently a few years ago. Topics on the Hidden Brain archive include self-reflection about marriage, success, and maintaining happy thoughts in times of stress. I don't think it will replace professional therapy, but the content is still a valuable listen to help you consider better living and interpersonal relationships.
Often, we use scientific innovations and everyday technology without appreciating the hard work of dozens to hundreds of incredible people to bring the science to us at the consumer level. In the Science History Podcast, guests discuss important moments in the history of scientific achievement. This includes not only the inventions and discoveries, but also the political influences and ramifications of science breakthroughs. The topics are incredibly diverse from the history of the characterization of neurological disorders all the way to nuclear power and nuclear disarmament. Some of the conversations stretch out for hours, but you can always break it up unless you're just stuck in a clean room for eight hours like I once was.
We all use technology, whether it is watching our favorite streaming show on the Roku attached to ludicrously large screen TVs or playing Angry Birds on our Samsung Galaxy. The Accidental Tech Podcast is another long-form podcast, with three super nerds geeking out and debating new technology that includes their most recent episode when they reviewed all the reveals from the Apple Conference. I think these guys are biased for Apple products (I use a Macbook Air for work, so it's slowly winning me over), so if you prefer PC or gaming computers, here's another band of geeks on The Computer Game Show who are living their best life reviewing the games that you probably also play on both PC and consoles.
I'm a huge proponent of sustainability in life and in lab, so I am always looking for new ways to reduce my carbon footprint and live a more responsible life to ensure that the planet is still in good shape for everyone long after I am gone. The Citizens' Climate Lobby is a climate change organization that works to effect policies that drive action to combat the negative impacts of climate change. They have a podcast that brings us stories from many diverse people dedicated to climate change education and sustainability because this is a global problem that requires all hands on deck to solve.
Everyone (at least I hope so) likes plants or at least understands how important plants are to our health and our lives. My former mentor used to grow his own vegetables in his backyard, and for those of you who use gardening or hydroponics as a release, the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast might be of great interest to you. The host and his guests are expert farmers and farming scientists who discuss ways to increase the quality and yield of crops, using science to improve soil health and preserve the ecosystem. While this might seem to be more geared towards professional farmers, I imagine many of the techniques and strategies they discuss can be applied to a home garden.
And of Course, BioChat!
Forgive the blatantly gratuitous self-promotion here, but I think that our podcast has a lot to offer and we have a lot of freedom to talk to the wonderful and talented people I've met along the way who also work in science or tangentially to science. One of the great benefits of doing a podcast is that I get to reconnect with friends and colleagues as we discuss the path of scientific research and how we deal with the challenges inherent to our careers. Feel free to listen on our BioChat page where you can also learn how to subscribe, and perhaps one day we might get to talk together for an episode!