Top 20 podcasts for science lovers

1. The Wild Classroom

The Wild Classroom presents video podcasts that can also be downloaded for classroom use. Scientists and graduate students from around the world contribute to the podcasts. The site also offers lesson plans and useful links.

2. This Week in Science

This weekly podcast provides an overview of news and happenings in science from that week. Pocasts are available by download through iTunes or through streaming. TWIS also promotes a book of the month and shares science videos.

3. The Sounds of Science

The National Academies Press presents this podcast, which are 10-minute biweekly episodes that focus on the work that the academy is doing. Issues cover science, engineering, and medicine, and key findings and recommendations are presented.

4. The World Science

The BBC, PRI, and WGBH offer these podcasts with "global perspectives for an American audience.” The weekly podcasts discuss scientific news, and subscription is available through iTunes, RSS, or e-mail. Some recent podcasts discussed biofuels, lead recycling, and gene therapy.

5. Brain Science Podcast

Dr. Campbell, an experienced emergency physician, hosts this podcast about discoveries in neuroscience. Podcasts aim to reach a general audience, and Dr. Campbell "believes that understanding how the brain works gives us insight into what makes us human.” Some recent podcasts cover pop psychology myths, glial cells, and alzheimer's disease.

6. The Naked Scientists

Here you'll find "science radio and naked science podcasts.” Some recent podcasts include "Where does phlegm come from?” "Cosmic Climate Change,” and "AIDS to conquering HIV.” You can subscribe to or download podcasts, and receive a transcript of them. In addition to the podcasts, the site also offers articles, experiments, kitchen science, and much more.

7. Science Update

You can choose from a weekly or a daily update and can subscribe via iTunes or other podcasters or e-mail. The weekly edition premiers each Friday and is about five to 10 minutes, while the daily update is a one-minute "morsel of science.” Podcasts cover the latest discoveries in science, technology and medicine.

8. Slacker Astronomy

Podcasts discuss all topics related to astronomy, and interviews with researchers in the field are often featured. Podcasts can be streamed or downloaded. The site also includes a blog and cool Slacker Astronomy merchandise.

9. Microbe World

Microbe World offers a number of podcast channels, including This Week in Virology, The Podcast for Microbe Lovers, Mundos de los Microbios, Meet the Scientist, and This Week in Parasitism. Each has different subscription options and parameters, but they all offer a fascinating look into different aspects of the world of microbes.

10. Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions

The American Chemistry Society presents this podcast, which attempts to identify the "most pressing sustainability challenges, and explore the solutions emerging from chemistry.” Podcasts are available by subscription from iTunes and RSS. Listeners can also download complete transcripts.

11. The Groks Science Show

This weekly show is broadcast on radio stations throughout the country and is available as a podcast. The shows cover recent events in science and technology and discuss how they impact daily life. Each show also includes an interview with a leading scientist, researcher or industrialist.

12. Lab Out Loud

Two high-school teachers produce this blog, which focuses on science for the classroom. Each week, the hosts discuss science news and science education, and they interview leading researchers and experts in the field. There is also a companion blog.

13. Science and Society

Podcasts cover a wide range of issues, including environmental issues, medical research and breakthroughs, nanotechnology, space exploration, robotics, computer science and science education. Users can search podcasts by category and can download episodes of interest. There are also numerous resources on the site for researchers and educators.

14. Skepticality

Sometimes science has to find truth by determining what isn't true. This podcast takes a critical look at pseudoscience such as the paranormal, UFO reports, astronomy and more. Complete show archives are available since the show's inception. There is also a forum, extensive show notes, and more.

15. A Moment of Science

These daily two-minutes vignettes are available as audio and video podcasts that answer questions such as "What do bicycles, footballs, and space shuttles have in common? Can you really learn while you are asleep? Why do some birds hop and others walk?” Users can listen to, download, or subscribe to the podcasts, and archives are available back to 2003.

16. Science Snaps

This partnership project trained a number of Scottish scientists to produce science podcasts, which are available here. The hope is to give scientists a place to talk about the work they are doing that has not yet made it into the mainstream media or news outlets. Podcasts are available by subscription.

17. The Merseyside Skeptics Society

These podcasts take a look at scientific issues with a skeptical eye. Some recent discussions consider evolution denial, magnetic feet, the Man in the Moon, and much more. Episodes can be streamed or downloaded.

18. Futures in Biotech

This podcast explores issues and developments in biotechnology through discussions with leading scientists and researchers. Shows are available on YouTube, as well as iTunes. The site also hosts past shows, transcripts, and a show wiki.

19. Astronomy Cast

The planets, space exploration, constellation, space history, and more are explored in this weekly podcast. An extensive archive of shows is available, and users can browse shows by topic. Podcasts are available to stream or download.

20. Absolute Science

This weekly podcast "digests the best stories of the week and highlights the science that makes these stories tick.” Some recent podcasts have included "Sex in Space,” "The Language of God,” and "Video Games: The Next Drug for Cancer?” Each podcast includes show notes or a transcript (or partial transcript), and users can download or subscribe to podcasts.