As science and engineering PR specialists we like to look beyond the traditional media to find ways to reach a broad audience of professionals: scientists and engineers, business decision-makers in the sector and interested consumers. So, we asked our STEM team to curate a list of the best science and engineering podcasts. Here are their top ten.

Science Weekly – The Guardian

This award-winning podcast covers “the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics – and sometimes even maths”. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Science Weekly podcast has focused on exploring crucial scientific questions about Covid-19. Led by its usual hosts Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis, as well as the Guardian’s Health Editor Sarah Boseley, it has been taking questions – some sent by readers – to experts on the frontline of the pandemic.

We recommend it if:

  • You want to hear expert opinions
  • You want a podcast that is well presented
  • You want to listen to something high-level and in-depth

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… You would need to pitch journalists Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis. They’re interested in experts with strong opinions, so don’t try to flog a product to them!

Science Vs

We like Science Vs by Gimlet Media as it tries to weed out the fact from the tabloid-hyped fiction. It is one of the best in the game, and is hosted by science journalist Wendy Zuckerman.

We recommend it if:

  • You want something a bit lighter and easy to listen to
  • You want to know more about current fads and trends

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… This is a narrator-led podcast, rather than one that interviews experts, so if you would like to be featured on the podcast, we think you’d need to have a strong, expert opinion on a fad or trend. We recommend pitching Gimlet Media directly with a few ideas or suggestions (and perhaps asking them what subjects they are working on for upcoming episodes).

Nature

The Nature Podcast covers the best stories from the world of science. It’s a weekly podcast that involves interviews with scientists and analysis of stories. Topics are as diverse as cultivating cannabis to how birds see colour. The podcast is presented by various journalists, some English, some American, most of whom are documentary makers who have a keen sense of the dramatic stories and how to bring them to life.

We recommend it if:

  • You’re looking for a shorter podcast (episodes are 15-30 minutes long)
  • You want to hear about a range of scientific topics at a moderate knowledge level
  • You want to keep up to date on recent scientific papers

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… This is a narrator-led podcast with expert comments woven in. You would need a scientific paper that has been published in an academic journal to get on this one – preferably Nature.

BBC Inside Science

Hosted by Dr Adam Rutherford, with guests, this podcast aims to “illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that’s changing our world.”

We recommend it if:

  • You want a podcast that covers a variety of topics in each episode
  • You’re after clear and concise information
  • You’d like to stay up to date with scientific debates without getting too stuck into details

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… Email science@bbc.co.uk

New Scientist

The New Scientist podcast brings you the most important, startling and just plain weird happenings in the world of science. The podcast is presented each week by New Scientist’s Rowan Hooper, the podcast editor, and Penny Sarchet, the news editor, with guests from the publication’s expert editorial staff.

Introduced with a unique blend of verve, insight and extraordinary attention to detail, the show is essential listening for anyone interested in how the world works, how life evolved… and whether the creation of a nano-sized wormhole in the fabric of space-time is a cause for concern.

We recommend it if:

  • You want to listen to a well-rounded podcast
  • You’re after clear and concise information
  • You like attention to detail

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… They want opinionated, interesting guests to feature on the ‘Big Interview’ slot. Leading author Rana Foroohar, Rebecca Shaw, chief scientist of conservation charity WWF and Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the UK’s Royal Society are all guests that have appeared on the show.

The Amp Hour Podcast

The Amp Hour is an unscripted radio show that airs on Thursdays every week, focussing on the electronics industry. Topics covered can be anything from homemade electrical appliances to ultra-sophisticated electronics. Explicit language is occasionally used!

We recommend it if:

  • You’re particularly interested in electronics engineering
  • You’re looking for regular content and information on engineering
  • You’re interested in both highly complex engineering and the basics
  • You want to keep up with new tech advances in this sector

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… Email ampspodcast@gmail.com. Guests range from advanced hobbyists working on exciting new projects up through C-level executives at a variety of relevant and innovative companies.

WIRED podcast

Listen to the WIRED podcast every week for an informed and entertaining rundown of latest technology, science, business and culture news. WIRED’s audio offerings pull back the curtain on the ways that technology is changing our lives – from culture to business, science to design – providing meaning and context to the people and forces upending the world.

We recommend it if:

  • You want a sideways look at the week in tech, culture, science and politics
  • You want to skip the gadget chat in favour of more interesting topics
  • You like short, insightful podcasts

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… Send James Temperton or one of the team an email or tweet him.

Omega Tau

Omega Tau covers interesting topics in science and engineering. The podcast is produced in both German and English with episodes alternating weekly.

We recommend it if:

  • You’d like to cover a broad range of engineering and science topics
  • You appreciate a well-organised and well-produced podcast
  • You’re looking for engaging content
  • You’re interested in finding out how things are designed, created and the methodology behind this

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… Contact the hosts and editors, Markus Völter and Nora Ludewig, at @omegataupodcast on Twitter. They like to visit interesting locations and facilities to speak with on-site experts, but they are also willing to speak to interesting guests over the phone.

99% invisible

99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture by creator and host Roman Mars. Although it is more focused on the designing element of architecture and the world around us, it is always engaging for an engineer to examine and understand new concepts and ways of thinking.

We recommend it if:

  • You’re a curious about the unnoticed design details that shape our world
  • You’re looking for engaging content
  • You’re a bit of a nerd

And if you want to get featured on the podcast… Get in touch via their contact form.

The Infinite Monkey Cage

The Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Radio 4 show presented by famed British physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince. The Independent described it as a “witty and irreverent look at the world according to science!”

We recommend it if:

  • You want something which is not too simple or too complicated)
  • You want to listen to a panel-discussion style podcast
  • You want some comedy mixed with knowledge
  • You appreciate an engaging and easy to follow podcast

And if you want to get featured… Follow Robin and Brian on Twitter and contact them there, or email MonkeyCage@bbc.co.uk.

You might also like: Our 18 best space videos.

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