Recommendations for science podcasts?
November 17, 2018 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I’m looking for recommendations for science podcasts that are not wildly inappropriate for a 10-year-old. She especially requests paleontology, geology, biology, archaeology, and the 13-year-old wonders about forensic anthropology.
posted by leahwrenn to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry is a BBC radio show that's available as a podcast. It's presented by a geneticist and a mathematician and I believe they've answered questions on most of the subjects your kids are interested in. Each episode is inspired by a listener question (often from kids, though it's not exclusively a kids' show). There are nearly 60 back episodes to check out and they've just begun the newest series this week.
posted by camyram at 11:49 AM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ologies is an incredible podcast that covers all sorts of... -ologies! There's very occasional cursing but for the most part it's just Alie Ward interviewing really awesome experts about their particular fields of study. I also really like Gastropod, which is all food-based but covers a lot of archaeology, anthropology and other fields to get down to the nitty-gritty of food topics.
posted by thebots at 12:01 PM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

My graduate program (the Ohio State department of anthropology) had a podcast about research in our department that covers exactly all of those things. They're not doing more episodes, but there are several series, including ones on death, childhood, and migration (I ramble about monkeys in a migration episode). I would also check out the Sapiens podcast, which is run through the Wenner-Gren foundation, and Origin Stories, which is run through the Leakey Foundation.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:03 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Smithsonian does sidedoor.

Also, these are videos, but she might want to check out the Smithsonian Science How Video Webcast Archives.
posted by gudrun at 12:21 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like Quirks and Quarks from CBC. They also have a more kid-specific show called Tai Asks Why, hosted by an 11 year-old
posted by O9scar at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

Another favorite from the BBC The Life Scientific – interviews with scientists about their life and work, what they've done and why it's important, and usually including how they became scientists (childhood interest, or whatever). There are currently 173 episodes to choose from, so scientists from all the mentioned fields can be found in the list, including forensics. Originally on Radio 4, so general audience friendly, and as a bonus the list of scientists is gender balanced (yay!).
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 1:49 PM on November 17, 2018

Curious very good, and almost entirely child-friendly.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:47 PM on November 17, 2018

My son loves Brains On, though it might be a little on the young side, they do interview scientists and cover quite a lot of information. It's less silly than Wow in the World and is always co-hosted by kids about the age of your two.

There's also a paleontology podcast called Past Time that we like to listen to find time to time. It's made by working paleontologists so the sound and production quality is not super high but it's definitely scientifically accurate.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:48 PM on November 17, 2018

my son is obsessed with wow in the world, but he's 5, so might be a little young for your audience
posted by sabh at 6:18 PM on November 17, 2018

"No Place Like Home" and "Warm Regards" are both great climate change podcasts run by millennial scientists and journalists.
posted by Medley at 4:40 AM on November 18, 2018

I've been listening to Quirks and Quarks, mentioned by O9scar above, since I was 10, if not before.
posted by Canageek at 9:41 AM on November 18, 2018

I have been listening to Quirks and Quarks my whole life. Weekly show that features the host interviewing the actual scientists, who are generally surprisingly great at talking about their work in an accessible manner. About a quarter of the content focuses specifically on research by or about Canada. For example, a recent segment about the St. Laurence could as easily be applied to other rivers, as many of the science or environmental issues are not unique to Canada.

Example episodes that would fit what your are looking for:

Animals becoming nocturnal, cod comeback stumbles, mantis shrimp's brainy punch, drilling holes in skulls, to Pluto and beyond and why cereal sticks together.
Fear of humans is driving animals into the darkness - and nocturnal life; Newfoundland's cod comeback faces a setback - is fishing to blame?; The mantis shrimp's violent punches harness brains as well as brawn; Incan doctors scraped holes in skulls with stone tools - and the patients survived; To Pluto and beyond! The inside story of a mission to the edge of the solar system; Why do Cheerios stick together when they are floating in milk?
What to save? Making hard choices in the conservation of wild animals and wild spaces
How we make decisions about what to save, and do we explore the idea of "conservation triage." So do we choose pipelines or killer whales? And is this an argument about money - or about values that transcend it?
The show even regularly features guest hosts - a serious put together by grad students was very good, and recently they had a show host be a kid:
Tai Ask Why: Bonus
We interrupt your usual Quirks & Quarks podcast feed with a little bonus this week. It's called "Tai Asks Why" and it's hosted by a curious young fellow named Tai Poole - an 11-year old! - who's on a mission to solve the mysteries of life, love and science.
posted by zenon at 6:39 PM on November 18, 2018

More or Less is a fun, family friendly and entertaining podcast about statistical literacy, which is kind of a pre-requisite of understanding scientific research. We've enjoyed listening on family car trips.
posted by latkes at 9:27 AM on November 19, 2018

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