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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Podcasts in Science

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Source: The Scientist

Some podcasts offer quick nuggets of information, while other present long informative interviews. Others have a singular focus – existing solely for a specific discipline. This posting highlights several podcast providers that target scientists and those interested scientific topics.

Many of the podcast services noted below can be integrated into class discussions and utilized for supplemental learning materials.  For example Steve Mirsky at Scientific American has a feature he calls ‘Totally Bogus” where listeners guess which of the four science news clips he reports is fake….Imagine the types of critical thinking activities that could be built around Mirsky’s format…

Some Science Podcasts worth reviewing

  • Microbe World Radio – provides 90-second microbiology news flashes with scientist’s commentary ( ) – Updated daily
  • Nature Podcast – provides interviews with scientists and Nature staff, round-up of the week’s science news ( – Updated every Thursday
  • New Scientist – provides interviews with scientists and staff on New Scientist stories, the latest science news ( ) – Updated every Friday
  • Science @ NASA – provides summary of research being conducted by NASA. Materials are designed for the general public ( ) – Updated several times a month
  • Science Friday, National Public Radio – contains interviews with scientists, authors, and policymakers.  ( – Updated every Friday
  • Science Magazine – provides interviews with scientists and Science staff, round-up of the week’s science news ( ) – Updated every other Friday
  • Science Talk, Scientific American – provides interviews with scientists, historians, and journalists. Also provides some interesting current events quizzes ( ) – Updated every Wednesday
  • The Science Show, ABC Radio National – provides interviews and news coverage on scientific debates, science politics, events, awards, and personalities ( ) – Updated every Saturday
  • This Week in Science – provides interviews with scientists, discussions about current science and technology, and questions from listeners. ( ) – Updated every Tuesday

Suggestions for Finding and Listening to Podcasts

  1. If you are using a LMS (Learning Management System), student/faculty portal, or blog that supports rss feeds skip to Step 3.
  2. Download and install a podcatacher on your computer. The following are a few free packages available on the internet.
  3. Select podcast feeds from your podcaster or  directories such as:
  4. Once you have subscribed to a podcast(s), your podcast software will automatically check for new episodes, and download them onto your computer.
  5. Listen to the podcast(s) on your computer or load them onto an mp3 player for on-the-go listening.


This entry was posted on June 27, 2006 by in Instructional Technology.

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