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Big Picture Science

Science • Technology

The surprising connections in science and technology that give you the Big Picture. Astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley are joined each week by leading researchers, techies, and journalists to provide a smart and humorous take on science. Our regular "Skeptic Check"Read more

Popular episodes

Talk the Walk (rebroadcast)

Nov 29 • 54:48

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 walk on land. Not fin-flap their bodies, mind you, but ambulate like reptiles.  ...

Skeptic Check: Shroom With a View (rebroadcast)

Nov 22 • 57:03

Magic mushrooms – or psilocybin - may be associated with tripping hippies and Woodstock, but they are now being studied as new treatments for depression and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Is this Age of Aquarius medicine or something that could really work? Plus, the centuries-long use of psychedelics by indigenous peoples, and a discovery in California’s Pin...

Suitable For Life?

Nov 15 • 52:39

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 seeding it with life from Earth?...

Suitable For Life?

Nov 15 • 55:38

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 seeding it with life from Earth?...

Your Inner Tree

Nov 8 • 50:31

Declining biodiversity is a problem as fraught as climate change....

Your Inner Tree

Nov 8 • 53:30

Declining biodiversity is a problem as fraught as climate change....

Dimming the Sun

Nov 1 • 50:31

Does geoengineering offer a Plan B if nations at the U.N. climate meeting can't reduce carbon emissions? The Glasgow meeting has been called “the last best chance” to take measures to slow down global heating.  But we're nowhere near to achieving the emission reductions necessary to stave off a hothouse planet. We consider both the promise and the perils of geoengineering,...

Dimming the Sun

Nov 1 • 53:30

Does geoengineering offer a Plan B if nations at the U.N. climate meeting can't reduce carbon emissions? The Glasgow meeting has been called “the last best chance” to take measures to slow down global heating. But we're nowhere near to achieving the emission reductions necessary to stave off a hothouse planet. We consider both the promise and the perils of geoengineering, ...

Skeptic Check: Brain Gain (rebroadcast)

Oct 25 • 53:30

Looking to boost your brainpower? Luckily, there are products promising to help. Smart drugs, neurofeedback exercises, and brain-training video games all promise to improve your gray matter’s performance. But it’s uncertain whether these products really work. Regulatory agencies have come down hard on some popular brain training companies for false advertising. But other b...

Skeptic Check: Brain Gain (rebroadcast)

Oct 25 • 50:31

Looking to boost your brainpower? Luckily, there are products promising to help. Smart drugs, neurofeedback exercises, and brain-training video games all promise to improve your gray matter’s performance. But it’s uncertain whether these products really work. Regulatory agencies have come down hard on some popular brain training companies for false advertising. But other b...

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