Big Picture Science

Series produced by Big Picture Science

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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.


300 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Vaccine Inequity, Credit: Seth Shostak
A radical plan could solve a historic global health inequity. Countries in the global south who waited for more than a year for ample supplies of C...

Bought by KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], KMUN, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WLPR and more


  • Added: Nov 21, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Your Inner Tree, Credit: Seth Shostak
Declining biodiversity is a problem as fraught as climate change. Loss of habitat, monoculture crops, and the damming of waterways all lead to mass...

Bought by KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KMUN, KZUM and more


  • Added: Nov 14, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Fuhgeddaboudit, Credit: Seth Shostak
A thousand years ago, most people didn’t own a single book. The only way to access knowledge was to consult their memory. But technology – from pap...

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


  • Added: Nov 08, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Lady Parts, Credit: Molly Bentley
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe has ignited fierce debate about bodily autonomy. But it’s remarkable how little we know about female physiology. ...

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


  • Added: Oct 31, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: AI Comes Alive, Credit: Seth Shostak
When a Google software engineer claimed that a piece of chatbot software was sentient, it was a major story. Just like your dog is sentient, could ...

Bought by WVTF, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KZUM, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Oct 24, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: The T-Rex Files, Credit: Seth Shostak
T-Rex is having an identity crisis. Rocking the world of paleontology is the claim that Rex was not one species, but actually three. It’s not the f...

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


  • Added: Oct 17, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Animals Being Jerks, Credit: Seth Shostak
They’re cute and cuddly. But they can also be obnoxious. Science writer Mary Roach has numerous tales about how our animal friends don’t always bow...

Bought by WRGY, WMUU-LP, KZUM, KTXK, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Oct 10, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Phreaky Physics, Credit: Seth Shostak
It was a radical idea a century ago, when Einstein said space and time can be bent, and gravity was really geometry. We hear how his theories inspi...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KZUM, KTXK, KCNP and more


  • Added: Oct 03, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Data Bias, Credit: Seth Shostak
Sexist snow plowing? Data that guide everything from snow removal schedules to heart research often fail to consider gender. In these cases, “refe...

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


  • Added: Sep 26, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: De-Permafrosting, Credit: Seth Shostak
Above the Arctic Circle, much of the land is underlaid by permafrost. But climate change is causing it to thaw. This is not good news for the plane...

Bought by KUHF, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, WHCP-LP Cambridge, KZUM and more


  • Added: Sep 19, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Like Lightning, Credit: Seth Shostak
Every second, lightning strikes 50 to 100 times somewhere. It can wreak havoc by starting wildfires and sometimes killing people. But lightning als...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KZUM, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio] and more


  • Added: Sep 12, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Coming to Our Animal Senses, Credit: Seth Shostak
Animals experience the world differently. There are insects that can see ultraviolet light, while some snakes can hunt in the dark thanks to their ...

Bought by WUFT, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KZUM, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 05, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Heal Thyself, Credit: Seth Shostak
Do we need doctors? There are umpteen alternative sources of medical advice, including endless health tips from people without medical degrees. Wh...

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


  • Added: Aug 29, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Platypus Crazy, Credit: Seth Shostak
They look like a cross between a beaver and a duck, and they all live Down Under. The platypus may lay eggs, but is actually a distant mammalian co...

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


  • Added: Aug 22, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Rip Van Winkle Worm, Credit: Seth Shostak
Your shower pipes are alive. So are your sinks, books, and floorboards. New studies of our homes are revealing just what lives there, from bacteria...

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


  • Added: Aug 15, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Webb Feat, Credit: Seth Shostak
The James Webb Space Telescope has turned its golden eye on the cosmos. The largest, most sensitive telescope put in space since the Hubble Space T...

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


  • Added: Aug 08, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Building a Space Colony, Credit: Seth Shostak
Ready to become a space emigre? For half a century, visionaries have been talking about our future off-Earth – a speculative scenario in which many...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., CHSR-FM 97.9, WRGY, KZUM, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 01, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Skeptic Check: Shared Reality, Credit: Seth Shostak
One of the many shocking aspects of the Capitol attack was that it revealed how thoroughly the nation had cleaved into alternate realities. How did...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., WLPR , WGBH Radio Boston, KCPW Salt Lake City, WVTF and more


  • Added: Jul 25, 2022
  • Length: 54:04
  • Purchases: 21
Caption: Sci-Fi From the Future, Credit: Seth Shostak
Polls show that most Americans are uneasy about the unchecked growth of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. We all hope to guide socie...

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


  • Added: Jul 18, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Flush with Excitement, Credit: Seth Shostak
The toilet: A ubiquitous appliance that dates to the time of Shakespeare. But billions of people around the world still lack modern sanitation infr...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KUCR 88.3 fm Riverside, Calif., WRGY, KZUM, CHSR-FM 97.9 and more


  • Added: Jul 11, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15