Big Picture Science

Series produced by Big Picture Science

Series image

Big Picture Science is a weekly one-hour science magazine that connects ideas in surprising and humorous ways to illuminate the origins and evolution of life and technology on this planet… and beyond.

From free-thinking robots... to the recipe for dark matter... to the mix-and-match genes of synthetic biology, we have it all! One episode a month, Skeptic Check, is devoted to critical thinking.

Produced at the SETI Institute and hosted by Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley.

Big Picture Science can be found on iTunes and other podcast sites. Radio stations carrying the program are listed on our "listening" page at radio.seti.org

The program is freely available to radio stations for broadcast.

The show began with the title Are We Alone? in 2002.


293 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Feet Don't Fail Me, Credit: Seth Shostak
Standing on your own two feet isn’t easy. While many animals can momentarily balance on their hind legs, we’re the only critters, besides birds, fo...

Bought by RadioFreePalmer, KICI Iowa City, and KMXT


  • Added: Jul 04, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Skeptic Check: Hypnosis, Credit: Shannon Rose Geary
You are getting sleeeepy and open to suggestion. But is that how hypnotism works? And does it really open up a portal to the unconscious mind? Hypn...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, CHSR-FM 97.9, KZUM, WRGY, KTXK and more


  • Added: Jun 27, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Fantastic-er Voyage, Credit: Seth Shostak
Thinking small can sometimes achieve big things. A new generation of diminutive robots can enter our bodies and deal with medical problems such as ...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KZUM, WRGY, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KIYU-FM and more


  • Added: Jun 20, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Dinosaurs' Last Gasp, Credit: Seth Shostak
Do we have physical evidence of the last day of the dinosaurs? We consider fossilized fish in South Dakota that may chronicle the dramatic events t...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KZUM, WVTF, KNCT FM and more


  • Added: Jun 13, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: DNA is Not Destiny, Credit: Seth Shostak
We used to think that the genes you inherited didn’t change. You were stuck – or blessed – with what you got. Now we know that’s not true. Epi...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KTSW 89.9, CHSR-FM 97.9, WRGY, KZUM and more


  • Added: Jun 06, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: For the Birds, Credit: Seth Shostak
Birds have it going on. Many of these winged dinosaurs delight us with their song and brilliant plumage. Migratory birds travel thousands of miles ...

Bought by KNCT FM, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KZUM, CHSR-FM 97.9 and more


  • Added: May 30, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: End of Eternity, Credit: Seth Shostak
Nothing lasts forever. Even the universe has several possible endings. Will there be a dramatic Big Rip or a Big Chill¬ – also known as the heat de...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KNCT FM, KZUM and more


  • Added: May 23, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Neanderthal in the Family, Credit: Seth Shostak
Back off, you Neanderthal! It sounds as if you’ve just been dissed, but maybe you should take it as a compliment. Contrary to common cliches, our P...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KTXK, WRGY and more


  • Added: May 16, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Catching Fire, Credit:  Seth Shostak
We have too much “bad fire.” Not only destructive wildfires, but the combustion that powers our cars and provides electricity has generated a worry...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KNCT FM, WRGY, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: May 09, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Skeptic Check: Dr. Oz, Credit: Seth Shostak
Dr. Oz’s personable and folky approach when talking about difficult health subjects has made him a trusted source for medical information. But some...

Bought by WVTF, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KBBI Alaska, KZUM and more


  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: In Living Color, Credit: Seth Shostak
The world is a colorful place, and human eyes have evolved to take it in – from vermillion red to bright tangerine to cobalt blue. But when we do, ...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, WMUU-LP, KZUM and more


  • Added: Apr 25, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Eclectic Company, Credit: Seth Shostak
We present a grab bag of our favorite recent science stories – from how to stop aging to the mechanics of cooking pasta. Also, in accord with our e...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KZUM, KNCT FM, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 18, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Finding Endurance, Credit: Seth Shostak
In 1915, Endurance, the ship that took Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic, was slowly crushed and sank. Shackleton, and the 28 men he brought with ...

Bought by WVTF, KAZU Seaside, Calif., CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 11, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 18
Piece image
Solid materials get all the credit. Don’t get us wrong, we depend on their firmness for bridges, bones, and bento boxes. But liquids do us a solid...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WRGY, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI Alaska, KZUM and more


  • Added: Apr 04, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: The Latest Buzz, Credit: Seth Shostak
Is your windshield accumulating less bug splatter? Insects, the most numerous animals on Earth, are becoming scarcer, and that’s not good news. The...

Bought by WVTF, CHSR-FM 97.9, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI Alaska and more


  • Added: Mar 28, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Nuclear Worries, Credit: Seth Shostak
The nuclear threat is back, and the Doomsday Clock is almost at midnight. How did we end up here again? In the 1930s, German physicists learned tha...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI Alaska, KNCT FM, KZUM and more


  • Added: Mar 21, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Identity Crisis, Credit: Seth Shostak
DNA is the gold standard of all identification methods. Except when it’s not. So, while we refine our ability to work with the double helix, scien...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KBBI Alaska, KZUM and more


  • Added: Mar 14, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: You Are Exposed, Credit: Seth Shostak
There is no place like “ome.” Your microbiome is highly influential in determining your health and the course of disease. But it’s not the only “om...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KBBI Alaska, KZUM and more


  • Added: Mar 07, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Skeptic Check: 5G, Credit: Seth Shostak
5G, the latest mobile network standard, is coming. As new cell towers sprout around the world, do we know enough to confidently claim that this new...

Bought by WVTF, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI Alaska, KZUM and more


  • Added: Feb 28, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Melting Down, Credit: Seth Shostak
Climate change isn’t waiting for us to act. We’ve missed several deadlines to mitigate the dangers of this existential threat, which suggests we pr...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KBBI Alaska, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Feb 21, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16