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.


294 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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
Caption: Iron, Coal, Wood, Credit: Seth Shostak
The first coal-fired stoves changed domestic life, and that changed society. We take you back to that that era, and to millennia prior when iron wa...

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


  • Added: Feb 14, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: DYOR, Credit: Seth Shostak
Scientists are increasingly finding their expertise questioned by non-experts who claim they’ve done their own “research.” Whether advocating Iverm...

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


  • Added: Feb 07, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 19
Caption: Bare Bones, Credit: Seth Shostak
Without your skeleton, you’d be a limp bag of protoplasm, unable to move. But bones are also time capsules, preserving much of your personal histor...

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


  • Added: Jan 31, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Make Space for Animals, Credit: Taylor Maggiacomo
Long before Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space, Laika, a stray dog, crossed the final frontier. Find out what other surprising sp...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KTXK, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI Alaska, KMUN and more


  • Added: Jan 24, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Testing Your Metal, Credit: Seth Shostak
Catalytic converters are disappearing. If you’ve had yours stolen, you know that rare earth metals are valuable. But these metals are in great dema...

Bought by WVTF, CHSR-FM 97.9, KZUM, KTXK, KMUN and more


  • Added: Jan 17, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Into the Deep, Credit: Seth Shostak
Have you ever heard worms arguing? Deep-sea scientists use hydrophones to eavesdrop on “mouth-fighting worms.” It’s one of the many ways scientist...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., KMUN, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, KBBI Alaska and more


  • Added: Jan 10, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: What's a Few Degrees?, Credit: Seth Shostak
Brace yourself for heatwave “Lucifer.” Dangerous heatwaves may soon become so common that we give them names, just like hurricanes. This is one of ...

Bought by WVTF, KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, KMUN, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Jan 03, 2022
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Mycology Education, Credit: Seth Shostak
Beneath our feet is a living network just as complex and extensive as the root systems in a forest. Fungi, which evolved in the oceans, were among ...

Bought by WVTF, KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., KMUN and more


  • Added: Dec 27, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Attack of the Mutants, Credit: Seth Shostak
The omicron variant is surging. More contagious than delta, omicron demonstrates how viruses use mutations to quickly adapt. Mutations drive evolut...

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


  • Added: Dec 20, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Hubble and Beyond, Credit: Seth Shostak
The universe is not just expanding; it’s accelerating. Supermassive black holes are hunkered down at the center of our galaxy and just about every ...

Bought by KUHF, KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WHCP-LP Cambridge and more


  • Added: Dec 13, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Identifying UAPs, Credit: Seth Shostak
The Pentagon’s report on UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) said nothing about the possibility that some might be alien spacecraft. Nonetheless, ...

Bought by KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, WUFT, KMUN, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Dec 06, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Talk the Walk, Credit: Seth Shostak
Birds and bees do it … and so do fish. In a discovery that highlights the adaptive benefits of walking, scientists have discovered fish that can wa...

Bought by KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, WUFT, KMUN, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Nov 29, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Skeptic Check: Shroom with a View, Credit: Seth Shostak
Magic mushrooms – or psilocybin - may be associated with tripping hippies and Woodstock, but they are now being studied as new treatments for depre...

Bought by KTXK, CHSR-FM 97.9, KMUN, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WHCP-LP Cambridge and more


  • Added: Nov 22, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Piece image
Life nearby? We’ve not yet found any on our favorite planet, Mars. But even if Mars is sterile, could we ever change that by terraforming it? Or se...

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


  • Added: Nov 15, 2021
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15