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Periodic audiocasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary. For a full archive of shows, please visit www.sciencemag.org/multimedia/podcast.

Latest articles

Cloning for conservation, and divining dynamos on super-Earths

On this week’s show: How cloning can introduce diversity into an endangered species, and ramping up the pressure on iron to see how it might behave in the cores of rocky exoplanets First up this week, News Intern Rachel Fritts talks with host Sarah Crespi about cloning a frozen ferret to save an endangered species. Also this week, Rick Kraus,...

Setting up a permafrost observatory, and regulating transmissible vaccines

On this week’s show: Russia announces plans to monitor permafrost, and a conversation about the dangers of self-spreading engineered viruses and vaccines Science journalist Olga Dobrovidova joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans to set up a national permafrost observatory in Russia. Then Filippa Lentzos, senior lecturer in science and international...

Top online stories, the state of marijuana research, and Afrofuturism

On this week’s show: The best of our online stories, what we know about the effects of cannabinoids, and the last in our series of books on race and science First, Online News Editor David Grimm brings the top online stories of the year—from headless slugs to Dyson spheres. You can find out the other top stories and the most popular online story...

The Breakthrough of the year show, and the best of science books

Every year Science names its top breakthrough of the year and nine runners up. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what Science’s editors consider some of the biggest innovations of 2021. Also this week, Books Editor Valerie Thompson shares her list of top science books for the year—from an immunology primer by...

Tapping fiber optic cables for science, and what really happens when oil meets water

Geoscientists are turning to fiber optic cables as a means of measuring seismic activity. But rather than connecting them to instruments, the cables are the instruments. Joel Goldberg talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about tapping fiber optic cables for science. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Sylvie Roke, a physicist and chemist...

The ethics of small COVID-19 trials, and visiting an erupting volcano

There has been so much research during the pandemic—an avalanche of preprints, papers, and data—but how much of it is any good? Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the value of poorly designed research on COVID-19 and more generally.  In September, the volcano Cumbre Vieja on Spain’s Canary Islands began...

Why trees are making extra nuts this year, human genetics and viral infections, and a seminal book on racism and identity

Have you noticed the trees around you lately—maybe they seem extra nutty? It turns out this is a “masting” year, when trees make more nuts, seeds, and pinecones than usual. Science Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many mysteries of masting years.  Next, Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Jean-Laurent Casanova,...

Wildfires could threaten ozone layer, and vaccinating against tick bites

Could wildfires be depleting the ozone all over again? Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence from the Polarstern research ship for wildfire smoke lofting itself high into the stratosphere, and how it can affect the ozone layer once it gets there. Next, we talk ticks—the ones that bite, take blood, and can leave...

The long road to launching the James Webb Space Telescope, and genes for a longer life span

The James Webb Space Telescope was first conceived in the late 1980s. Now, more than 30 years later, it’s finally set to launch in December. After such a long a road, anticipation over what the telescope will contribute to astronomy is intense. Daniel Clery, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what took so long and what...

The folate debate, and rewriting the radiocarbon curve

Some 80 countries around the world add folic acid to their food supply to prevent birth defects that might happen because of a lack of the B vitamin—even among people too early in their pregnancies to know they are pregnant. This year, the United Kingdom decided to add the supplement to white flour. But it took almost 10 years of debate, and no countries...

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