Curious about technology, infrastructure, medicine and diseases, or anything space-related? Well then these are just the podcasts that your information-seeking-brain ordered.
1. Unprofessional Engineering – All Engineering Disciplines
Have you ever found yourself lost in thought just thinking about how anything works in our world? “How did the vikings build their ships?”, “how does Wi-Fi work?”, “how do skyscrapers stay standing?” Of course you have, we all have, but you’re engineers and that seems to be all you think about. (If you’re reading this and not an engineer, don’t worry I won’t tell anyone.) If you are interested in knowing how these ginormous feats of technology and engineering work instead of just thinking about them in awe then look no further than Unprofessional Engineering.
Described as “education mixed with entertainment”, in roughly thirty minute episodes Unprofessional Engineering efficiently breaks down a different engineering topic into layman’s terms so that everyone can understand it. Now, just because I said layman’s terms doesn’t mean any engineers reading this should scoff and turn up their nose — you may be smart cookies, but there is always something extra for you to learn.
While I have not spent tons of time with this podcast, it definitely scratches the itch of intrusive thoughts and questions that bounce around my head. A favourite episode of mine, as it mixes history and engineering is episode 15: Ship Building, Viking Style, — Old boats, like, Vikings and Columbus. If you want a podcast that can keep you entertained while also giving you the ability to explain how structures, technologies and other oddities work in our world, this will be the podcast for you.
2. Science Vs – Chemistry, Biology, Medicine and Psychology
Science Vs, hosted by Australian-American science journalist Wendy Zukerman, takes a “myth-busting approach to controversial topics and current events” choosing to not look at them with personal opinion and heightened speculation, but rather using deep dives into scientific literature and interviews with field experts to showcase the reality that is sometimes shrouded from our eyes.
Science Vs is Spotify’s number one science podcast, covering a range of topics on whether Artificial Intelligence is out of control, how the placebo effect really works, or whether processed food is a load of baloney… Get it? Processed meat. Baloney.
Because the show is wide-ranging — but still incredibly deep in its approach to discussing hard and often controversial topics — Science Vs is sure to leave listeners feeling informed about any topic they find in the show’s eight-year long catalogue.
With episodes ranging between thirty to forty minutes, they are the perfect listen as you ride the bus, drive to work or take a lunch break. Additionally each episode is filled with enough conversational banter between Zukerman and her guests that it does not feel like you’re being overwhelmed with information. The Yale Scientific Magazine described the podcast as “A terrific choice for all who are curious about the world and who would like to train their minds not to believe everything they hear.”
3. Naked Astronomy – Physics and Astronomy
Promising an audio-listening experience that is “out of this world” Naked Astronomy tackles subjects pertaining to astronomy, cosmology, rocket science and astro-physics. Naked Astronomy and its hosts, the unfortunately titled “Naked Scientists” brings on experts in the field of astronomy, rocket science and tech to talk about all the newest discoveries in their field, and all those questions that have stumped scientists for decades.
With a healthy dose of big verbiage and intellectual conversation, the podcast lets listeners know it is the real deal when it comes to talking about everything ‘space’. That said, there are plenty of episodes – such as Lessons from an Astronaut,Storms on the Sun and Multiverses, the Big Bang and laws of physics – that your common joe-shmoe, two-feet-on-the-ground types can get behind engaging with.
Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Apple Podcasts, Naked Astronomy is a podcast that will launch your mind off into the stratosphere and drop you back down to earth through its informative roughly-hour long episodes. If you loved space as a kid why not reignite that passion for exploration and the unknown by giving Naked Astronomy a listen.
For all those STEM majors out there, I know you’re busy, I know you’re smart, but give yourself a well-needed break and let some other experts do the talking for once while you turn your ears to their attention. Just think, these podcasts could be your ticket to giving us all a bit of peace and quiet while still growing your brains and becoming just a little more intelligent than all the rest of us – sounds like the perfect tradeoff to me.