SCIENCE AND NATURE PODCASTS: SIX SHOWS FEATURING WILDLIFE WONDERS, TOPICAL NEWS AND EXTRAPLANETARY ADVENTURES
Ever wondered what astronauts can teach us about coping in lockdown? For the answer to this and many other questions, have a listen to these six science and nature podcasts that explain our world (and beyond) in a fun and approachable way. First up is Science Weekly from the Guardian, an audio show that investigates a topical story from the science world every seven days. With an understated, understandable style, the series explores questions like whether video games impact our psyche and how birdsong is beneficial to our health. If you fancy a longer flight into the world of birds, Gut zu Vögeln offers a light, amusing look at our feathered friends courtesy of hobby ornithologists Antonia (from Köln) und Philipp (from Brandenburg). In each episode, the pair present a different bird species with insights into its songs, behavior and cultural significance. Worth a listen is the Stockente episode, offering a chaotic guide to this humble duck.
The creatures that feature on I know Dino are on a whole other scale: enormous reptiles are the focus of this dinosaur podcast from husband and wife team Garret and Sabrina. Geeky in the most delightful way, the fortnightly episodes give you the latest on newly-discovered dinosaur species as well as fun facts on more known mammals. The episode on the T. rex in particular will thrill listeners of all ages. Moving beyond the earth (or perhaps not?) The Habitat is a seven-part series that tells the story of a 2015 human space-simulation experiment funded by NASA. Hosted by journalist Lynn Levy, the show explains how six volunteers spent a year living in a sealed dome on a Hawaii mountaintop all in the name of scientific research. Meanwhile, for stories which really do defy gravity, 13 Minutes to the Moon is the BBC-produced podcast series that revisits NASA’s epic voyages to the moon. Featuring music by Hans Zimmer, the episodes explore the successes, dramas and disasters of the American space program using original NASA recordings to create otherworldly soundscapes that are a treat for the ears. Finally, for tales from the science world that are as charming as they are strange, Ologies is the radio show that presents fascinating stories from different scientific subjects, or “ologies”. In these weekly episodes hosted by journalist Alie Ward you will encounter the likes of dendrology (the study of trees), fulminology (lightning) and even cucurbitology (pumpkins). Expect curious anecdotes, smart guests and a whole load of fun facts.
Text: Benji Haughton / Photo: Ketut Subiyanto