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

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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,, KVNF, WXDU, WMUU-LP and more

  • Added: Sep 12, 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: 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 WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WRGY, KMRE-LP Bellingham, Wash., WMUU-LP and more

  • Added: Oct 31, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 18
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Digging Our Past
Digging Our Past. We hear about two projects that use the tools of modern chemistry and anthropology to deepen our understanding of a dark chapter...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, KSKQ, WYAP, KRPS, WRGY and more

  • Added: Feb 02, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest, Credit: Seth Shostak
Shh …mummy’s the word! We don’t want to provoke the curse of King Tut. We’ll unravel secrets about the famous Egyptian pharaoh, dispel myths abou...

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

  • Added: Jan 26, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Big Questions Somewhat Answered, Credit: Seth Shostak
Why are we here? What happened after the Big Bang? What is dark matter? Will dark energy tear the universe apart? Each of these big puzzlers is...

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

  • Added: Jan 19, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Meet Your Replacements, Credit: Seth Shostak
There’s no one like you. At least, not yet. But will the future have androids able to do just about everything, computers hooked directly into yo...

Bought by KKWE Niijii Radio, KREV-LP, KRPS, KSKQ, KUNC & The Colorado Sound and more

  • Added: Jan 05, 2015
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Skeptic Check: Got a Sweet Truth, Credit: Seth Shostak
The sweet stuff is getting sour press. Some researchers say sugar is toxic. But should cupcakes be regulated like alcohol?

Bought by KRPS, RadioFreePalmer, WRIR, WRGY, WYAP and more

  • Added: Dec 29, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Long Live Longevity, Credit: Seth Shostak
The science of sticking around: The latest in aging studies, why there's a silver lining for the silver-haired set (older people are happier), and ...

Bought by KSKQ, KKWE Niijii Radio, CHSR-FM 97.9, KAZU Seaside, Calif., WRGY and more

  • Added: Dec 01, 2014
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9