16 Aug Podcast Recommendation: Science Vs.
The podcasting boom of the last few years has really introduced listeners’ minds to a treasure-trove of creativity and useful information. Looking back through my Overcast subscriptions I have gained access to a variety of shows covering music, comedy, technology, Game of Thrones…the necessities. One topic that had never really fallen into my array of interests was science. It probably had something to do with recurring wartime flashbacks of high school chemistry exams. Luckily for me, all of my favorite Gimlet Media podcasts directed me to their latest and greatest addition to the team, Science Vs. Over the last few months as I made my way through countless episodes of Reply All and StartUp, Gimlet Media was actively promoting a unique new show that claimed to put hard scientific facts against topics we encounter every day. They even managed to get the host Wendy Zukerman to make a few guests appearances on some of their podcasts. A brief, enthusiastic description of the show was enough for me to subscribe weeks before the initial release.
Since the airing of the first episode, the show has already tackled the topics of gun control, fracking, and attachment parenting. Zukerman is a multifaceted host with the ability to be light and bubbly while still pressing her guests to get to the heart of the issues. She takes a refreshingly nonpartisan approach which allows the listeners to form their own opinions about the subject matter. This was especially helpful with a topic like gun control, that has been at the center of so many politically charged arguments lately. At no point during the episode did I feel like any of the presented facts were tailored to lean towards conservative or liberal views. The guests provided a comprehensive look at the subject from both sides, and the show was arranged in a way that felt fluid and informative. I guess that’s probably because Zuckerman had been hosting the show part time before being scooped up by Gimlet earlier this year. (If you want to hear some of the episodes from the first run you can check them out here.)
As I eagerly await the next episode to appear on my Overcast page, I keep trying to figure out what makes this show so addicting. Never have I been so interested with the inner workings of things until Science Vs. came along. I believe it has something to do with Wendy Zuckerman’s ability take the ordinary tasks and put them under a microscope; answering questions that many of us have pondered but never explored. Its got all the draw of investigative journalism without the weight of left and right wing media conglomerates looming overhead. The interviews aren’t patched and threaded together to get the desired outcome. Everything feels organic, and that’s refreshing in a world where most of the media intake is so overcooked.