Podcasts are a great source of free entertainment and information on just about every topic under the sun, including a many shows about science and skepticism. These programs give listeners some scientific background to topics in other media, bring a few laughs, and remind skeptics around the world that they are part of a global movement towards progress.
Most of the skepticism related podcasts available seem to be based in the US or the UK, but there are Aussie skeptics out there making podcasts too. The following are some podcasts about science and reason based in Australia. Some are educational, some are funny or a mixture of both, but all are well worth a listen and will liven up a jog or morning commute to work.
The Ingenious Friends Show
The Ingenious Friends Show, aka The Imaginary Friends Show podcast is hosted by Brisbane skeptic, Jake Farr-Wharton. It covers topics about science, religion, secularism and politics. Jake is joined for most episodes by a panel of guests, such as Noah Lugeons of the Scathing Atheist podcast, Callie Wright, Matt Lind and Emily McCool. Often the show takes the form of a quiz, with Jake asking the guests questions about recent topics in the media. Sometimes there are interviews regarding topics like secularism in schools in Australia, chiropractic, and the science of vaccination. There are also sketches and songs written by Jake. The show is fairly light hearted, though it does sometimes tackle science topics in a more in depth way.
The podcast is usually free from explicit language, but sometimes contains adult themes. Most episodes are available to download for free but there is also patron only content available for those who sponsor the show on Patreon.
The Skeptic Zone
Hosted by Richard Saunders, The Skeptic Zone is a weekly Australian podcast which began in 2008. It features interviews with guests such as Tim Minchin, Tim Fergusson, Simon Singh, Dr Phil Plait, Dr Richard Wiseman, James Randi and many others. Richard is also joined each week by the Skeptic Zone cats and reporters Maynard (formerly known as Maynard F# Crabbes, ABC presenter), Dr Rachael Dunlop, Eran Segev, Jo Alabaster and Heidi Robertson of the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters Network, who talk about topics such as vaccination, complementary and alternative medicine and pseudoscience. Richard Saunders has a very relaxed, casual style, making the show feel a bit like having a chat with a friend over a cuppa.
Great Moments in Science
Dr Karl, from Wikipedia by user Enochlau CC BY-SA 3.0.
Author, science communicator and TV and radio presenter Karl Kruszelnicki hosts this ABC Radio National podcast only program about all kinds of everyday or quirky science topics, such as the physics involved in the swing of a ponytail, misophonia (the hatred of sounds) and why cannibalism isn't more common than it is. It's a light-hearted show that presents science in every day, easy to understand language. This one is clean, and suitable for children.
The Herd Mentality
Adam Reakes, host of The Herd Mentality podcast, takes a novel approach with the format of his show. He interviews strangers he "meets" over Twitter about topics relating to religion and secularism. Adam takes a less confrontational tack than many skeptical podcasts, and listens with patience and courtesy as people explain their views.
The show also contains sketches, including a series in which Adam impersonates New Zealand born Christian evangelist minister Ray "the Banana Man" Comfort. The sketches are hilarious, but not safe for work.
Episodes used to be out fortnightly but have been less frequent lately. Adam uses a percentage of the Patreon funds received by the show to make microloans on Kiva.org to support the education of women in developing countries.
The Token Skeptic
The Token Skeptic, hosted by philosophy teacher and award winning blogger Kylie Sturgess, debuted in 2009 and is the first solo female podcast show in the social science category for skepticism on iTunes. It covers topics to do with science, ethics, critical thinking and education, and includes interviews from guests such as Tim Minchin, Julian Morrow of The Chaser, James Randi, Simon Singh, Dr Scott Lilienfield and many more.