Talks and podcasts

Podcasts and videostreaming provide high quality expert talks that often combine serious science with an entertaining style of delivery. They are highly suitable for the curious non-specialist. Some websites are given below; suggestions of others are welcomed.

Little Atoms

A weekly radio series, produces podcasts by experts on a wide range of scientific topics that can be downloaded for free[i]. Examples of titles include: What It’s Like to be a Bird, The Self Illusion and The Epigenetics Revolution. It describes itself as ‘a talk show about ideas and culture, broadcast every Saturday at 10am (and repeated every Sunday at 7am) on Resonance 104.4FM.

 TED Talks

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) provides video talks some of which cover topics in science and technology, often in relation to wider social issues. Examples in include: Why do we sleep?, The levitating superconductor and How a fly flies. Given by experts before an audience they are usually entertaining and can be downloaded free of charge. The website explains that:

TED conferences bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). The best talks and performances from its conferences are made available to the world, for free. More are added each week and all are subtitled in English, and many in other languages, too.

Naked Scientists

A weekly radio programme with a website that offers articles and podcasts that address issues of general interest, such as: Why do insects buzz around lights? Can a mother’s diet affect her baby’s genes? and The Magic of Binary. The Naked Scientists describe themselves as: A media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials, and promote it to the general public.


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