Big Picture Science

by Big Picture Science · · · · 148 subscribers

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" episodes cast a critical eye on pseudoscience.

The X-Flies March 19, 2018
Insect populations are declining. But before you say “good riddance,” consider that insects are the cornerstone of many ecosystems. They are dinner for numerous animal species and are essential pollinators. Mammals are...
Shell on Earth March 12, 2018
ENCORE We all may retreat to our protective shells, but evolution has perfected the calcite variety to give some critters permanent defense against predators. So why did squids and octopuses lose their shells? Find out what these...
Space: Why Go There? March 5, 2018
It takes a lot of energy and technology to leave terra firma. But why rocket into space when there’s so much to be done on Earth? From the practical usefulness of satellites to the thrill of exploring other worlds, let us count the ways. The...
Meet Your Robot Barista Feb. 26, 2018
Move over Roomba. Café robots are the latest in adorable automation. And they may be more than a fad. As robots and artificial intelligence enter the workforce, they could serve up more than machine-made macchiato. Digital workers are in...
Quantum: Why We Want 'Em Feb. 19, 2018
ENCORE Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful. Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described...
Quantum: Why We Want 'Em Feb. 19, 2018
ENCORE Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful. Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described...
Quantum: Why We Want 'Em Feb. 19, 2018
ENCORE Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful. Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described...
Bacteria to the Future Feb. 12, 2018
Why did the chicken take antibiotics? To fatten it up and prevent bacterial infection. As a result, industrial farms have become superbug factories, threatening our life-saving antibiotics. Find out how our wonder drugs became bird feed, and how...
Creative Brains Feb. 5, 2018
Your cat is smart, but its ability to choreograph a ballet or write computer code isn’t great. A lot of animals are industrious and clever, but humans are the only animal that is uniquely ingenious and creative. Neuroscientist David...
It was a shocker of a story, splashed across the New York Times front page: The existence of a five-year long, hidden Pentagon investigation of UFOs. With one-third of the American public convinced that aliens are visiting Earth, could...
It was a shocker of a story, splashed across the New York Times front page: The existence of a five-year long, hidden Pentagon investigation of UFOs. With one-third of the American public convinced that aliens are visiting Earth, could...
It was a shocker of a story, splashed across the New York Times front page: The existence of a five-year long, hidden Pentagon investigation of UFOs. With one-third of the American public convinced that aliens are visiting Earth, could...
DIY Spaceflight Jan. 22, 2018
ENCORE For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies. While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so. Things have changed. We hear how a geeky son of immigrant parents...
DIY Spaceflight Jan. 22, 2018
ENCORE For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies. While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so. Things have changed. We hear how a geeky son of immigrant parents...
DIY Spaceflight Jan. 22, 2018
ENCORE For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies. While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so. Things have changed. We hear how a geeky son of immigrant parents...
Geology is Destiny Jan. 15, 2018
ENCORE The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too. Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped...
Geology is Destiny Jan. 15, 2018
ENCORE The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too. Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped...
Geology is Destiny Jan. 15, 2018
ENCORE The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too. Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped...
ENCORE You own a cat, or is it vice versa? Family friendly felines have trained their owners to do their bidding. Thanks to a successful evolutionary adaptation, they rule your house. Find out how your cat has you wrapped around its...
ENCORE You own a cat, or is it vice versa? Family friendly felines have trained their owners to do their bidding. Thanks to a successful evolutionary adaptation, they rule your house. Find out how your cat has you wrapped around its...