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.


169 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: You Are Exposed, Credit: Seth Shostak
There is no place like “ome.” Your microbiome is highly influential in determining your health and the course of disease. But it’s not the only “...

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


  • Added: May 14, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: We Are VR, Credit: Seth Shostak
Will virtual reality make you a better person? Seth puts on a VR headset for an immersive experience of a man who’s evicted from his apartment. F...

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


  • Added: May 07, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: DIY Diagnosis, Credit: Seth Shostak
You can use your DNA to explore your genetic health – but are you ready for what you might find when your genome is sequenced? Plus, practitioners...

Bought by WMUU-LP, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, RadioFreePalmer, WRGY and more


  • Added: Dec 25, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 14
Caption: Weather Vain, Credit: Seth Shostak
History is replete with attempts to control the weather, but we’d settle for an accurate, seven-day forecast. Find out how sophisticated technolog...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, KUNM, KBBI, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Jan 01, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 17
Caption: Are Animals Really That Smart?, Credit: Seth Shostak
Find out how housecats manage to wrap their owners around their paws, and primatologist Frans de Waal on the surprising smarts of chimps, elephants...

Bought by KAZU, KTSW 89.9, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 08, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 16
Caption: Geology is Destiny, Credit: Seth Shostak
Geology is big history. If the Ice Age had been a bit warmer, the U.S. might have only 13 states. But humanity has introduced its own geologic er...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KTSW 89.9, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 15, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: DIY Spaceflight, Credit: Seth Shostak
How the geeky son of immigrant parents incentivized construction of the first private spaceship and kick started the commercial launch industry. A...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, KUER, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KTSW 89.9 and more


  • Added: Jan 22, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: New UFO Evidence, Credit: Seth Shostak
It was a shocker of a story, splashed across the New York Times front page: The existence of a five-year long, hidden Pentagon study of UFOs. We c...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Bandon Community Radio, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP and more


  • Added: Jan 29, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Creative Brains, Credit: Seth Shostak
Many animals are industrious and clever, but humans are unique in their creative and inventive impulses. Composer Anthony Brandt and neuroscientist...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Feb 05, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Bacteria to the Future, Credit: Seth Shostak
Why did the chicken take antibiotics? To fatten it up and prevent bacterial infection. But farms have become superbug factories, threatening our l...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, RadioFreePalmer, KBBI, WMUU-LP, and WRGY


  • Added: Feb 12, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Quantum: Why We Want 'Em, Credit: Seth Shostak
Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting depends on the weird behavior described by quantum mechanics. But will this strange physics soo...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, WRGY, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Feb 19, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Meet Your Robot Barista, Credit: Seth Shostak
We sip lattes in a robot café and contemplate the future of work. Our mechanical barista is just a start as robots and A.I. train to do a variety o...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Feb 26, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Space: Why Go There?, Credit: Seth Shostak
It takes a lot of energy and technology to rocket into space. Find out why it’s worth it, from the practical importance of satellites to the thril...

Bought by KUHF, WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, WMUU-LP, KBBI and more


  • Added: Mar 05, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Shell on Earth, Credit: Seth Shostak
Shells provide straightforward defense against predators. So then why did squid and octopuses evolve to lose their shells? Find out what these cep...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, CHSR-FM 97.9, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KTSW 89.9 and more


  • Added: Mar 12, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: The X-Flies, Credit: Seth Shostak
Insects populations are declining. But before saying “good riddance,” consider that insects are essential to many ecosystems. Find out what might ...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat, Credit: Seth Shostak
Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly lo...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WRGY, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Mar 26, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Hawkingravity, Credit: Seth Shostak
Stephen Hawking felt gravity’s pull. His quest to understand this feeble force spanned his career, and he was the first to realize that black hole...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, WRGY and more


  • Added: Apr 02, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Brain Dust, Credit: Seth Shostak
The brain is a hot research topic, but despite all efforts, your grey matter largely remains a black box – an indecipherable web of neurons with a ...

Bought by Royalton Community Radio, RadioFreePalmer, WMUU-LP, WRGY, WRST-FM Oshkosh and more


  • Added: Apr 09, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
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 WRST-FM Oshkosh, Royalton Community Radio, KBBI, WMUU-LP, and WRGY


  • Added: Apr 16, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: What Have You Got To Move, Credit: Seth Shostak
The world is an ocean of motion. Animal locomotion is necessary to survive, and evolution has provided a diverse means to do it: fins, feathers, a...

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


  • Added: Apr 30, 2018
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 13