4 Medicine & Science Podcasts to Check Out


Radiolab is the holy grail of science podcasts. It’s consistently ranked in the top five on iTunes, and for good reason. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the two-time Peabody Award-winner uses sound effects and music to bring great science reporting to life. Often, Abumrad and Krulwich will invite a guest to talk about the issues and raise questions that you probably hadn’t thought to ask. If you’re interested in listening, check out these two episodes: “Update: CRISPR” and “Radiolab Extra: Henrietta Lacks.”

The Show About Science

The Show About Science is hosted by a six-year-old—yes, you read that right. Nate Butkus started the show when he was five years old, and he’s serious about science. In each episode, Nate invites a guest to talk about their research. For example, MIT’s Kevin Esvelt recently came on the show to talk about gene editing. The great thing about Nate’s podcast is that guests often explain things as if they were talking to a six year old (which they actually are), and this makes science much easier to understand for listeners.

Nate already has the quite the following after 28 episodes—check him out on Ellen:

Hidden Brain

NPR’s Hidden Brain is one of my favorite podcasts. Host Shankar Vedantam uses a blend of science and storytelling to uncover how our unconscious drives our behavior. Vedantam focuses on large-scope issues such as the sociological forces behind policing, as well as more micro-level issues like the psychology behind how we spend our money. If you’re interested in listening, a good episode to start with is “Broken Windows.”

POLITICO’s Pulse Check

POLITICO’s Pulse Check isn’t as well-known as the other podcasts on the list because it’s relatively new. But the show, which covers health policy and politics, is a must-listen now that the House and Senate are attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare. Each week, host Dan Diamond brings in reporters and health care’s most influential people to talk about the forces that shape health care legislation. After listening, not only will you feel a whole lot smarter, but you’ll also have a deeper understanding of the politics that shape the health care we use everyday.

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Imaz Athar

Imaz Athar is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, double majoring in Neuroscience and Sociology. He aspires to become a physician and plans on attending medical school in Fall 2017. Imaz fell in love with the art of writing at a young age and is currently the Publisher of Pitt's undergraduate-run science magazine The Pitt Pulse. When he's not writing or keeping up with classes, Imaz enjoys running, playing basketball, watching Empire, singing (in the shower), and listening to all kinds of music.