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.


278 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: DIY Diagnosis, Credit: Seth Shostak
You can use your DNA to explore your genetic health – but are you ready for what you might find when your genome is sequenced? Plus, practitioners...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, WMUU-LP, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI Alaska and more


  • Added: Dec 25, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: We Are VR, Credit: Seth Shostak
Will virtual reality make you a better person? Seth puts on a VR headset for an immersive experience of a man who’s evicted from his apartment. F...

Bought by WPCA-LP, WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, RadioFreePalmer, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Feb 25, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Imagining Planets, Credit: Seth Shostak
Get to know your planetary neighbors. Dive into a mountain lake and trek though the driest desert on Earth with a scientist who’s had not one but ...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, Royalton Community Radio, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., KBBI Alaska and more


  • Added: Jun 04, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: What Goes Around, Credit: Seth Shostak
It’s not just tin cans and newspapers. One man says that everything can be recycled – cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers. Even radioactive...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, WMRA, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Jul 09, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Too Big To Prove, Credit: Seth Shostak
Celebrations are in order for the physicists who won the 2017 Nobel Prize for the detection of gravitational waves. Unfolding over a century, the ...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, KTSW 89.9, KMXT and more


  • Added: Aug 20, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Plan of a Hack, Credit: Seth Shostak
Before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Today “hacking” can apply to cyberwarfare...

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


  • Added: Sep 03, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Angles of a Hack, Credit: Seth Shostak
The idea of “hacking” has changed a lot from the days when it meant nosing around the phone system. Today computer hacking poses a strategic threa...

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


  • Added: Sep 10, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: DNA: Nature's Hard Drive, Credit: Seth Shostak
A new place to store your animated GIF: in a living organism’s DNA. Researchers have done that as proof of concept that the molecule is a great rep...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KVNF, KCSB-FM and more


  • Added: Sep 17, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Wonder Women, Credit: Seth Shostak
Science is supposed to be merit-based and objective. And yet the data say otherwise. A new study reveals widespread harassment of women of color i...

Bought by WMUU-LP, KICI Iowa City, KUNM, WMUU-LP, CI Dolphin Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 01, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 21
Caption: Space Rocks!, Credit: Seth Shostak
Some astronomers have proposed that an oddly-shaped object that recently passed through our solar system could be an alien artifact, and not an ast...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, KCSB-FM, WUFT, KFOI Radio and more


  • Added: Nov 19, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Skeptic Check: Astrology Ascending, Credit: Seth Shostak
Mars may be in retrograde, but interest in astrology is rising. People are increasingly drawn to this ancient practice for insight and guidance. T...

Bought by WMUU-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Feb 04, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Skeptic Check: Political Scientist, Credit: Seth Shostak
Many scientists Marched for Science; now some are diving deeper into political engagement: challenging public policy and even running for office th...

Bought by WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WHCP-LP Cambridge, KBBI Alaska and more


  • Added: Mar 18, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
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 “...

Bought by WMUU-LP, Gallatin Valley Community Radio, WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KICI Iowa City and more


  • Added: Mar 25, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Free Range Dinosaurs, Credit: Seth Shostak
Dinosaurs are once again stomping their way across the silver screen. But these colossal beasts stole the show long before CGI brought them roarin...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, WMRA, Gallatin Valley Community Radio, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Apr 15, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
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, scie...

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


  • Added: Apr 29, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Rethinking Chernobyl, Credit: Seth Shostak
The catastrophic explosion at Chernobyl triggered a full-scale destruction of the reactor in the worst nuclear reactor accident in history. But res...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, New Hampshire Public Radio, WMRA, Interlochen Public Radio and more


  • Added: May 06, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 22
Caption: It's Habitable Forming, Credit: Seth Shostak
Evidence suggests a subsurface lake on Mars, prompting scientists to use the “h” word. Could the Red Planet be habitable? While we wait – impati...

Bought by WMUU-LP, CHSR-FM 97.9, WMRA, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Jun 10, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Nailing the Moon Landing
Neil, Buzz, and Michael made it look effortless, but the moon landing was neither easy nor inevitable. So on July 20, 1969, despite enormous diffi...

Bought by KUFM - Montana Public Radio, CHSR-FM 97.9, KCPW Salt Lake City, WCQS, WUFT and more


  • Added: Jul 01, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 19
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 WMUU-LP, 'The Sea', KUFM - Montana Public Radio, WGBH Radio Boston, Boise State Public Radio and more


  • Added: Jul 08, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
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 WMUU-LP, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WYSO, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Aug 05, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12