The world of research & development is ever-changing, and your job as a scientist is likely to evolve over time — from academia and hands-on bench work, to lab management, or even a startup of your own.
A great way to keep up with the latest trends is to listen to industry podcasts that offer insights on our field and career advice for new entrants.
There are too many R&D podcasts to count these days, especially with the rise of platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Considering scientists don’t typically have a lot of time to waste, here’s our selection of the best science podcasts to get you started.
Top podcasts for academics
Most scientific R&D starts in academia, and most deeptech companies, whether in life science, biotech, materials science, food tech, etc. are founded by PhDs (or PhD dropouts). That’s why we’re opening this list with a selection of our favorite podcasts by and for academics.
A podcast by and for grad students. Elana Gloger, a 4th year doctoral student, chats with fellow grad students about their professional and personal experiences. Episodes include lighthearted conversations about students' day in the life, inclusivity and racism in academia, mental health in grad school, and resources for efficiency. Episodes are about 20–60 minutes.
A podcast discussing current research in the field of genomics. Olivia A Grant, PhD candidate focused on epigenetics, meets other researchers in the field to chat about their experiences and research. Episodes are about 50–70 minutes.
Podcasts by R&D companies
More and more scientific R&D companies are becoming unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion), and established enterprises are adapting to the changing world of media and PR. As a result, many are starting their own podcasts to share their stories with prospective hires, investors, and the general public.
CABTalks by Synthace
A computer-aided biology (CAB) podcast. Dr Fane Mensah, Life Sciences Business Director of Synthace, talks to the ‘who’s who’ of CAB and those in the trenches of the diverse fields of life science. From data scientists to biologists and from investors to engineers, you will hear their stories, opinions, and expertise on everything happening at the intersection of biology and technology. Episodes are about 30–40 minutes.
Lab to Launch by Qualio by Qualio
Stories from the front lines of life sciences. In this podcast, founders share their insights from launching and scaling their business, investors give their outlook on funding, industry experts unfold their latest insights and research, and quality professionals offer QA advice to navigate the regulatory maze and avoid audit pitfalls. Episodes are about 20–30 minutes.
Lessons from Lab and Life by New England Biolabs
Helpful life lessons from successful scientists. Lydia Morrison interviews leading scientists about their cutting-edge research, with a particular focus on their sources of inspiration. Episodes are about 20–30 minutes.
Podcasts by scientific journals
Some argue academic journals are evil and a dying breed. Others see them as the last bastion of scientific excellence. Whatever your view, leading academic publishers such as Springer and Nature continue to produce some of the best content in this field.
Nature Podcast by Nature
Nature’s main podcast brings you the best stories from the world of science, covering everything from astronomy to zoology, and highlighting the most exciting research from each issue of Nature journal. Episodes include interviews with the scientists behind the results and in-depth analysis from Nature's journalists and editors. Episodes are about 20–30 minutes.
First Rounders by Nature
Nature Biotechnology's First Rounders podcast is a series of conversations with biotech founders, financers and developers. Episodes are about 60–70 minutes.
Science Podcast by Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) podcast sharing the latest advanced in scientific research and their impact on the world around us. Episodes are about 20–40 minutes.
Podcasts by Ventural Capital investors
Investment in startups focused on synthetic biology, materials, food & ag, green energy, and the rest of deep tech, is booming. Some of the top VCs in the field have now started podcasts sharing their investment theses, industry updates, and stories of portfolio founders taking their businesses from zero to one.
Bio Eats World by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)
A riff on Marc Andreesen’s original Software Is Eating the World thesis. Lauren Richardson and her guests explore all the ways biology is today where the computing revolution was 50 years ago: on the precipice of revolutionizing our world in ways we are only just beginning to appreciate. Episodes are about 30 minutes.
Designing Science by IndieBio
Another SOSV podcast, this time hosted by Arvind Gupta, Founder of IndieBio, a leading seed-stage life science accelerator program devoted to funding and building startups solving humanity’s most pressing problems through biology. Episodes are about 30–40 minutes.
Data science podcasts
Needless to say, computers have become indispensable in scientific work, and data science is shifting from something delegated to one team member to a skill every scientist is expected to master. Below are some of the best podcasts on data analysis and visualization.
Interviews and discussion of topics related to data science, statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the like, all from the perspective of applying critical thinking and the scientific method to evaluate the veracity of claims and efficacy of approaches. Episodes are about 30–40 minutes.
A podcast dedicated to data visualization. Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner discuss the latest developments in data analytics, visualization and related topics. Episodes cover science communication, accessibility & color palettes, dataviz libraries, history of information design, and more. Episodes are about 40–60 minutes.
General science podcasts
A podcast in which Taylor and Andrew investigate the past, present, and future of materials science and engineering. Topics range from cutting edge materials technology, the history of different materials, the commercialization of new materials, and exciting advances in processing and characterization are all covered in detail. Episodes are about 20–40 minutes.
Methodology, scientific life, and bad language. Hosted by an academic (Dr. Dan Quintana at University of Oslo) and industry leader (Cipher Skin Chief Scientific Officer Dr. James Heathers), the show covers controversial topics such as diversity, the difference between talk and action, red flags in academic research, the role of luck and more. Episodes are about 50–60 minutes.
Luke Timmerman, a biotech journalist, interviews the men and women who strive to apply science for the betterment of human health, and biotech’s relationship with the society that sustains it — which he claims has never been more tenuous. Episodes are about 60–70 minutes.
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