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.


217 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Nano Nano, Credit: Seth Shostak
"Think small to solve big problems" is, in a nutshell, the mantra of nanotechnology - we’ll look at the promise and the peril of this new science.

Bought by KREV-LP and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: Jul 02, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Seth's Storm Shelter, Credit: Seth Shostak
A mélange of surprising subjects from why humans are more like ants than are chimpanzees … to Jonah Lehrer on the creative brain.

Bought by KFOK-LPFM, KREV-LP, and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: Jun 25, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Skeptic Check: OMG, GMO?, Credit: Seth Shostak
You are what you eat – the science –and the controversy - of genetically engineered foods, plus synthetic biology on Mars.

Bought by KREV-LP and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: Jun 18, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Better Mousetrap, Credit: Seth Shostak
How inventors get their ideas, what happens when their creations spawn entire new industries, and how the inventor of a squirt gun might just have ...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh and KREV-LP


  • Added: Jun 04, 2012
  • Length: 54:01
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Mass Transits, Credit: Seth Shostak
On June 5, our sister planet Venus will slowly slide across the face of the sun, the last transit of Venus until 2117; join us for a special episod...

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh and KZYX


  • Added: May 28, 2012
  • Length: 54:03
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: To Earth and Back, Credit: Seth Shostak
Meet the NASA officer whose task is to keep Earth, Mars - and the entire solar system - free of hitchhiking bacteria.

Bought by KREV-LP and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: May 21, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: That's So Random!, Credit: Seth Shostak
We crave order in things, but we can’t iron out every chaotic crease, nor would we want to: from brain cell activity to the evolution of species, ...

Bought by KSKQ, KREV-LP, and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: May 14, 2012
  • Length: 54:03
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Early Adapters, Credit: Seth Shostak
How Homo sapiens can wield technology to adapt to the onslaught of climate change, a growing population, and the blitz of hi-tech.

Bought by WRST-FM Oshkosh and KREV-LP


  • Added: Apr 23, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Humans Need Not Apply, Credit: Seth Shostak
It’s silicon vs. carbon as intelligent, interactive machines out-perform humans in tasks beyond data-crunching – find out what jobs are left for hu...

Bought by WBWC and KREV-LP


  • Added: Apr 16, 2012
  • Length: 54:03
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Second that Emotion, Credit: Seth Shostak
Why flies in milk gross you out and other voyages through human emotion.

Bought by KSKQ and KREV-LP


  • Added: Apr 09, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Found in Space, Credit: Seth Shostak
From Google to GPS – how modern mapping is reshaping our world view.

Bought by KREV-LP


  • Added: Mar 26, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Seth's Cabinet of Wonders, Credit: Seth Shostak
A potpourri show: from Sealab … to the next Cosmos series… to software to replace scientists, you never know what you’ll find when you root around ...

Bought by KREV-LP, Yellowstone Public Radio, and KSJD


  • Added: Mar 12, 2012
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Skeptic Check: Prog-Not-Stication, Credit: Seth Shostak
From psychics to the Mayan end-of-world prophesy to computer forecasts: who can divine the future?

Bought by KREV-LP and KSJD


  • Added: Mar 05, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Skeptic Check: Saucer's Apprentice, Credit: Seth Shostak
UFO sightings are as common as flies at a picnic, but proof of visitation is alien – find out why belief persists.

Bought by KTSW 89.9, KSKQ, KMUN, KREV-LP, and KSJD


  • Added: Feb 20, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Aware am I?, Credit: Seth Shostak
From food to sex to fine art, humans are pleasure-seekers - discover the surprising motivation behind our desires.

Bought by KSJD


  • Added: Feb 13, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Wired for Thought, Credit: Seth Shostak
A cup of coffee can leave you wired for the day, but a chip in your brain could wire you to a machine forever; the future of brain-machine interfaces.

Bought by KREV-LP, Yellowstone Public Radio, and KUNM


  • Added: Jan 16, 2012
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Light, the Universe, and Everything, Credit: Seth Shostak
Universe, cosmology, technology, invention, Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, time

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, KSKQ, WRGY, KREV-LP, and Yellowstone Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:03
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Skeptic Check: Superstition, Credit: Seth Shostak
From fears of Friday the 13th to shattered mirrors - find out why our brains are wired for supernatural belief.

Bought by KPIK-LP, KREV-LP, and WRST-FM Oshkosh


  • Added: Dec 26, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Sensor Sensibility, Credit: Seth Shostak
“Ubiquitous sensing” aims to blanket the world in tiny sensors, the out-of-this world detection system that discovered a possibly Earth-like planet...

Bought by Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting and KREV-LP


  • Added: Dec 19, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Science's Alliances, Credit: Seth Shostak
A particle physicist-turned-U.S. Congressman, Muppets teach toddlers engineering, and other unique science pairings.

Bought by KREV-LP


  • Added: Dec 05, 2011
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 1