Podcasts are audio or video files that one can download from the web; or more simply said, downloadable Internet radio shows or video programming. Although many people play them on portable devices (like the IPod, hence the name), one can also simply listen to a podcast on their computer. There are thousands of podcasts that span a broad range of topics. In this post I will highlight a few podcast series that might be of interest to scholars in the sciences. Each of these podcasts is available for free on the websites, via RSS feeds, or in a podcast directory such as the one in the iTunes Store. Here is a list of a few that I recommend.
SEED is a magazine that approaches science from a hip and stylish perspective; but it also accentuates the policial relevance of scientific issues. Imagine combining Wired, Scientific American, and The Economist; SEED is something like that. "Science Is Culture" is their mantra, and their Podcasts reflect this focus on the relevance of science to our lives.
Nature Publishing Group produces a rich array of podcasts that highlight stories covered in their journals. There is also a blog on the site that facilitates discussion of each episode. All podcasts are archived on the site back to the first episode in October 2005.
In December 2005, around the time podcasts became popular in the mainstream, Science started producing their podcasts as a pilot project. They have been posting new episodes to their site twice a month since then. These shows contain excellent coverage of articles published in the journal, but with an interesting down-to-earth tone appropriate for any audience.
Sciam.com has two podcast series: 60-Second Science and Science Talk. 60-Second Scienceis posted every weekday and contains 1 minute reports that explore 1 interesting scientific topic each. With this one, you can't claim you don't have time to listen to a podcast. Science Talk, on the other hand, is posted weekly and covers a variety of scientifc topics in each 20-minute show.
This weekly show highlights many topics in each 30-minute episode and includes science news stories and interviews with top scientists.
Digg Podcasts: Science and Medicine
Digg is a website that unites people on the web around their interests. According to their "about" site,"Digg is a user driven social content website." Everything on digg has been submitted by the Digg community. If you like something on the site you can "Digg It" (vote for it) to affirm it's usefulness, or "Bury It" if you dislike it. This site is great for news and for finding our what the hottest sites on the web are. The Podcast section has a special category for science and medicine.This a great way to discover science podcasts, tell others about them, and discuss their content (each entry has an associated blog).
Excellent weekly coverage of the top stories in science and technology.