Big Picture Science

Series produced by Big Picture Science

Series image

Big Picture Science is a weekly one-hour science magazine that connects ideas in surprising and humorous ways to illuminate the origins and evolution of life and technology on this planet… and beyond.

From free-thinking robots... to the recipe for dark matter... to the mix-and-match genes of synthetic biology, we have it all! One episode a month, Skeptic Check, is devoted to critical thinking.

Produced at the SETI Institute and hosted by Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley.

Big Picture Science can be found on iTunes and other podcast sites. Radio stations carrying the program are listed on our "listening" page at radio.seti.org

The program is freely available to radio stations for broadcast.

The show began with the title Are We Alone? in 2002.


198 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Skeptic Check: Political Scientist, Credit: Seth Shostak
Many scientists Marched for Science; now some are diving deeper into political engagement: challenging public policy and even running for office th...

Bought by WHCP-LP, KBBI, WMUU-LP, KCSB-FM, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Mar 18, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Radical Cosmology, Credit: Seth Shostak
400 years ago, some ideas about the cosmos were too scandalous to mention. When the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno suggested the existence of plan...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KICI, RadioFreePalmer, Royalton Community Radio, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Feb 18, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Keeping Humans in the Loop, Credit: Seth Shostak
As our world becomes more challenging, can we maintain control of our own future? Threats arise not just from climate change or inventions such as...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KICI, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio, KCSB-FM and more


  • Added: Feb 11, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Skeptic Check: Astrology Ascending, Credit: Seth Shostak
Mars may be in retrograde, but interest in astrology is rising. People are increasingly drawn to this ancient practice for insight and guidance. T...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio, KCSB-FM and more


  • Added: Feb 04, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Rip Van Winkle Worm, Credit: Seth Shostak
Your shower pipes are alive. So are your sinks, books, and floorboards. New studies of our homes are revealing just what lives there, from bacter...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, CHSR-FM 97.9, WRGY, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Jan 21, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: True Grit, Credit: Seth Shostak
Without sand, engineering would be stuck in the Middle Ages and Silicon Valley would be, well, just a valley. Sand is the building material of mod...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WRST-FM Oshkosh, WRGY, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WHCP-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 14, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: Sci-Fi From the Future, Credit: Seth Shostak
Polls show that most Americans are uneasy about the unchecked growth of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. We all hope to guide socie...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WRST-FM Oshkosh, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Gallatin Valley Community Radio, WHCP-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 07, 2019
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Yule Like This, Credit: Seth Shostak
Fir tree needles embedded in carpet are a holiday headache. Why not opt for a genetically-modified, needle-retaining tree instead? Also, science ...

Bought by WUFT, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI, WMUU-LP, KSFR and more


  • Added: Dec 17, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Skeptic Check: Science Breaking Bad, Credit: Seth Shostak
The scientific method is tried and true. The fallible humans behind the research, however, not so much. Find out why the hyper-competitive pursuit...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WHCP-LP, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Dec 10, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 15
Caption: Space Rocks!, Credit: Seth Shostak
Some astronomers have proposed that an oddly-shaped object that recently passed through our solar system could be an alien artifact, and not an ast...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KCSB-FM, WUFT, KFOI Radio, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Nov 19, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Skeptic Check: Science Denial, Credit: Seth Shostak
Climate change isn’t happening. Vaccines make you sick. When it comes to threats to public or environmental health, a surprisingly large fraction...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KCSB-FM, KFOI Radio, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Nov 12, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: You've Got Whale, Credit: Seth Shostak
We’re all missing out on important messages, and no amount of refreshing your browser will help. That’s because eavesdropping on the communications...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KAZU, KCSB-FM, WHCP-LP, WUFT and more


  • Added: Oct 29, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Air Apparent, Credit: Seth Shostak
It’s easy to take air for granted, but – unlike food and water – you can’t live more than a few minutes without it. This invisible chemical cockta...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio, KCSB-FM, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Oct 22, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: DNA is Not Destiny, Credit: Seth Shostak
We used to think that the genes you inherited didn’t change. You were stuck – or blessed – with what you got. Now we know that’s not true. Epi...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KCSB-FM, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Royalton Community Radio, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Oct 15, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Creature Discomforts, Credit: Seth Shostak
We love them, fear them, use them – and sometimes eat them, too. But how well do we really know animals? Our impressions are often simplistic. T...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WUFT, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 08, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Wonder Women, Credit: Seth Shostak
Science is supposed to be merit-based and objective. And yet the data say otherwise. A new study reveals widespread harassment of women of color i...

Bought by WJFF, KTSW 89.9, CHSR-FM 97.9, KCSB-FM, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and more


  • Added: Oct 01, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Skeptic Check: Heal Thyself, Credit: Seth Shostak
Do we need doctors? There are umpteen alternative sources of medical advice, including endless health tips from people without medical degrees. Wh...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, WRST-FM Oshkosh, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KBBI, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: DNA: Nature's Hard Drive, Credit: Seth Shostak
A new place to store your animated GIF: in a living organism’s DNA. Researchers have done that as proof of concept that the molecule is a great rep...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KVNF, KCSB-FM, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Sep 17, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12
Caption: Angles of a Hack, Credit: Seth Shostak
The idea of “hacking” has changed a lot from the days when it meant nosing around the phone system. Today computer hacking poses a strategic threa...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI and more


  • Added: Sep 10, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13
Caption: Plan of a Hack, Credit: Seth Shostak
Before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Today “hacking” can apply to cyberwarfare...

Bought by CHSR-FM 97.9, KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI and more


  • Added: Sep 03, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 12