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.


277 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Sesquicentennial Science, Credit: Seth Shostak
We travel to the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its College of Science, and learn how the modern hunt for planets a...

Bought by KPIP-LP, KREV-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KSKQ, KRPS and more


  • Added: Feb 16, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Mars-Struck, Credit: Seth Shostak
The private company Mars One says it will land humans on Mars by 2026, but is offering passengers only one-way tickets. Meet a young woman who is r...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, KREV-LP, KSKQ, WRGY, KRPS and more


  • Added: Mar 09, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Power to the People
Nikola Tesla gave energy to the masses, but the next generation might electrify their lives with hydrogen-powered cars, nuclear fusion, and orbitin...

Bought by KSKQ, KKWE Niijii Radio, WBWC , RadioFreePalmer, KSKQ and more


  • Added: Mar 23, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Skeptic Check: Monster Mashup, Credit: Seth Shostak
Monsters don’t exist. Except when they do. And extinction is forever, except when it isn’t. From Bigfoot to the coelacanth to the wooly mammoth:...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KSKQ, KRPS, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 13, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Life in Space
Discovering bacteria on Mars would be big news, but a novel telescope might find intelligent life by detecting the heat of a large alien city. Plu...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, KSKQ, RadioFreePalmer, KRPS, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 20, 2015
  • Length: 54:06
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Hidden History, Credit: Seth Shostak
Archeologists continue to hunt for the city of Atlantis, even though it may never have existed. And paleontologists now suspect that it wasn’t jus...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, WRGY, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WMUU-LP, KTSW 89.9 and more


  • Added: Oct 31, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Invisible Worlds, Credit: Seth Shostak
What you can’t see.

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, KSKQ, RadioFreePalmer, KRPS, WRIR and more


  • Added: Apr 27, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: The Evolution of Evolution, Credit: Seth Shostak
Move over, Darwin. With genetic engineering, we can make radical changes to species in just one generation. As humans begin to tinker with their ...

Bought by KUNM, XRAY.fm, KVNF, WXDU, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 12, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Emergence, Credit: Seth Shostak
Your brain is made up of cells. Each one does its own thing. But remarkable behavior emerges when lots of them join up in the grey matter club. ...

Bought by KREV-LP, KUNM, KSKQ, RadioFreePalmer, KRPS and more


  • Added: May 11, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: They Know Who You Are, Credit: Seth Shostak
You’re a private person. But as long as you’re on-line and have skin and hair, you’re shedding little bits of data and DNA everywhere you go. Fin...

Bought by WGBH Radio Boston, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer, KTSW 89.9, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash. and more


  • Added: Aug 22, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Math's Days Are Numbered, Credit: Seth Shostak
Are math’s days numbered? Some say that algebra is the Latin of today’s world – old school. So what happens if we do away with math class? Forg...

Bought by KSKQ, KREV-LP, RadioFreePalmer, WYAP, KRPS and more


  • Added: Jun 01, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: And To Space We Return, Credit: Seth Shostak
Earth may be the cradle of life, but our bodies are filled with materials cooked up billions of years ago in the scorching centers of stars. An as...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KTSW 89.9, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Nov 07, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: It's All Relative, Credit: Seth Shostak
How Einstein’s theories radically changed our ideas about space, time, and gravity. His ideas may be esoteric, but they’re essential to such every...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, CHSR-FM 97.9, RadioFreePalmer, KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm, KWMR and more


  • Added: Jun 15, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Skeptic Check: Evolutionary Arms Race, Credit: Seth Shostak
It's hard to imagine the twists and turns of evolution that gave rise to Homo Sapiens. After all, it required geologic time, and the existence of ...

Bought by KSKQ, RadioFreePalmer, KRPS, WRIR, and WRGY


  • Added: Jun 22, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: What the Hack, Credit: Seth Shostak
A computer virus that bombards you with pop-up ads is one thing. A computer virus that shuts down a city’s electric grid is another. Welcome to t...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, WPSU, KUNM, KSKQ, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Jun 29, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Dogged Pursuit of Pluto, Credit: Seth Shostak
Pluto is ready for its close up - but the near encounter during this historic flyby will last less than three minutes. Be ready for the action wit...

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KREV-LP, WRGY, KSKQ, KPVL and more


  • Added: Jul 10, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Forget to Remember, Credit: Seth Shostak
You must not remember this. Indeed, forgetting may be key to having a healthy brain. Our gray matter evolved to forget things, yet we’re building...

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WMUU-LP, KSFR, WRGY, WPSU and more


  • Added: Jul 13, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Moral's Law, Credit: Seth Shostak
“If it bleeds, it leads” they say in the news biz. Indeed, headlines are often no more than a long list of moral atrocities. Yet one man argues t...

Bought by KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer, KTSW 89.9, WRIR and more


  • Added: Oct 24, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 18
Caption: The Fix is In, Credit: Seth Shostak
The moon jellyfish has remarkable approach to self-repair. If it loses a limb, it rearranges its remaining body parts to once again become radiall...

Bought by KTSW 89.9, WMUU-LP, XRAY.fm, RadioFreePalmer, WRIR and more


  • Added: Dec 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Solar System Vacation, Credit: Seth Shostak
Ever gone bungee jumping on Venus? Of course not. No one has. However your great-great-great grandchildren might find themselves packing for the...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WRIR, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Aug 10, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12