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Science Rules! with Bill Nye



4.64.7K Ratings


Bill Nye is on a mission to change the world — one voicemail at a time. Bill and science writer Corey S. Powell take your burning questions and put them to the world's leading experts on just about every topic in the universe. Should you stop eating cheeseburgers to combat climate change? Could alien life be swimming inside the moons of Jupiter and Saturn? Does your pet parakeet learn to sing the way that you learned to speak? Bill, Corey, and their special guests will answer those questions and convince you that... science rules!

151 Episodes

Introducing Sound Detectives from LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton presents SOUND DETECTIVES – a funny, engaging, and thought-provoking podcast that invites elementary school-aged kids to explore the magic and mystery of sound. Breaking News – Across the globe, sounds are mysteriously going missing! Waves aren’t crashing, crickets aren’t chirping, and the familiar jingle of the ice cream truck is a distant memory. Follow Detective Hunch (Vinny Thomas) and his new sidekick Audie the Ear (Jess McKenna) as they solve sound mysteries and track down the nefarious Sound Swindler … all with a little help from LeVar Burton himself! Equal parts fun and informative, SOUND DETECTIVES encourages listeners to engage with the sound mysteries that surround us, while unlocking the door to people and cultures around the globe. Join the team on this semi-improvised comedy caper and help return the mystery sounds before the world falls silent! Listen to SOUND DETECTIVES on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Transcribed - Published: 1 November 2023

Bill Nye, The FOOD Science Guy!

Greetings, Science Rules! listeners! Have you ever wondered about the future of lab grown meat? Or what the deal is with GMOs? What about the science behind salting your pasta water? Today, we are sharing a special episode of the food podcast The Sporkful where Bill Nye and Corey S. Powell tackle your food science questions, and talk about their own food quirks. It turns out that Bill is very particular about his Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, and there’s one thing he won’t tolerate in PB&J preparation. If you want to check out more episodes of The Sporkful, follow us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify.

Transcribed - Published: 10 April 2023

An Update From Bill and Corey

More on where this show is going — and when it will come back!

Transcribed - Published: 24 June 2021

Planetary Radio: Amateur Astronomers Saving the World

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. This week we’re featuring Planetary Radio from the Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has awarded more than 60 Shoemaker near-Earth object grants to astronomers around the world, enabling them to discover, track, and characterize thousands of asteroids. We’ll hear from two of these dedicated observers. The Society’s Rae Paoletta takes us to Venus where three new spacecraft will help answer big questions. Senior space policy adviser Casey Dreier helps us think about UFO claims. Chief scientist Bruce Betts offers a new What’s Up space trivia contest. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/shoemaker-neo-awardees-venus missions

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2021

Coronavirus: What Do the CDC and a Garden of Fake Flowers Have in Common?

The author of Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short explains why a country with so many experts was so unprepared for this pandemic. (This interview was recorded May 24.)

Transcribed - Published: 15 June 2021

This Podcast Will Kill You: Coccidioidomycosis

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. This week we’re featuring This Podcast Might Kill You’s episode on Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley fever.

Transcribed - Published: 10 June 2021

Flash Forward: What If You Could Be Immune to Everything?

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. Today Flash Forward takes us to a future where we become immune to every poison, venom, and toxin in the world. What happens next?

Transcribed - Published: 3 June 2021

Coronavirus: Using Science to Fight Vaccine Hesitancy

Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explains how simple nudges can make people want to get vaccinated. Also: is this the biggest “fresh start” of all time?

Transcribed - Published: 1 June 2021

Hidden Brain: Humor Us

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. This week we’re featuring Hidden Brain's “Humor Us.” Hahaha! The average four-year-old child laughs 300 times a day. By contrast, it takes more than two months for the average 40-year-old adult to laugh that many times. This week, we talk with behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University about why so many of us fall off a “humor cliff” as we become adults. Plus, how we can inject more laughter into our lives, even during the most difficult of times.

Transcribed - Published: 27 May 2021

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. This week we’re featuring Episode #827 of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe from May 15, 2021.

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2021

Coronavirus: A Vaccine for the Economy?

We ask Brian Deese — head of the White House National Economic Council — to survey the economic impact of the pandemic and explain how President Biden can make good on his promise to Build Back Better.

Transcribed - Published: 18 May 2021

99% Invisible: Their Dark Materials

Science Rules! Presents is a series of science-focused episodes from some of our favorite shows. This week we’re featuring 99% Invisible’s “Their Dark Materials.” Vantablack is a pigment that reaches a level of darkness that’s so intense, it’s kind of upsetting. It’s so black it’s like looking at a hole cut out of the universe. If it looks unreal, it’s because Vantablack isn’t actually a color, it’s a form of nanotechnology. It was created by the tech industry for the tech industry, but this strange dark material would also go on to turn the art world on its head.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2021

A String Theorist Helps Superheroes Time Travel

By day, Clifford Johnson is a mild-mannered physicist searching for a Theory of Everything. But in his secret life, he helps slip real science into movies like Avengers: Endgame.

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2021

Coronavirus: W.H.O. Can Prevent COVID-21?

The World Health Organization has a long to-do list: address outbreaks in India and South America, distribute vaccines around the globe, and prevent the emergence of the next pandemic. Dr. Bruce Aylward explains how they intend to do it all.

Transcribed - Published: 4 May 2021

The World’s Most Top-to-Bottom Explorer

From the depths of the ocean to the voids of outer space, maps matter. That's the motto of Kathryn Sullivan — astronaut, oceanographer, and former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Jack Dangermond, founder of the mapping software company Esri, joins her to explain the science of “where.”

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2021

Coronavirus: An Announcement

A brief update from your friends at Science Rules! Coronavirus Edition.

Transcribed - Published: 27 April 2021

The Blunt Truth About Weed

It’s a 4/20 special! The head of one of the few labs doing placebo-controlled research on cannabis joins us to blow up everything you thought you knew about weed withdrawal, medical marijuana, the munchies, and why there will never be a breathalyzer for bud.

Transcribed - Published: 20 April 2021

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Gets Students to Camp Skyhook

The basketball legend is teaching kids from all over Los Angeles a different kind of hook-then-look shot. He wants students to get hooked on science, then come to camp and observe their environment both in the forest and in the sky.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2021

Coronavirus: Do Cry Over Spillovers

The head veterinarian of the Wildlife Conservation Society explains how animals infect humans — and vice versa.

Transcribed - Published: 13 April 2021

“Meat” the Man Who Wants to Destroy the Beef Industry

The food industry is a wasteland for innovation, or so says Pat Brown. The founder of Impossible Foods explains how animal agriculture wrecks our environment, how chemistry can trick our taste buds, and when we might see Impossible Bacon on our breakfast tables.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2021

What Do You Need to Hunt for Life on Mars? Perseverance!

A leader of NASA's Mars Perseverance rover team explains what we've learned about the red planet since the rover landed and lays out the mission to find — and return — evidence of life. Plus, acronyms galore!

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2021

Coronavirus: Piercing the “Brain Fog” of Long-Haul Covid

Dr. Igor Koralnik explains his research on the neurological impacts of Covid-19, especially with non-severe cases.

Transcribed - Published: 30 March 2021

The Science of Smell: New Cars, Old People, and the Stink of the Moon

Harold McGee changed the culinary world in the ’80s with his book on the science of cooking. His new book moves up the face to the nose, breaking down the molecules that make up all the smells around us. He explains why some scents echo each other, how dogs can sniff out cancer, and what happens when a coronavirus takes away your sense of smell.

Transcribed - Published: 25 March 2021

SOS: Save Our Sperm

The chemicals we rely on for practically everything are slowly threatening our health, happiness, and the future of our species. Dr. Shanna Swan walks us through the evidence.

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2021

Coronavirus: Why It Hits High-Income Countries Hardest

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee takes us through his investigation into why low-income countries seem to have largely escaped the pandemic’s wrath — and why they still need to get vaccines.

Transcribed - Published: 16 March 2021

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Neanderthal Sex *

* But didn't know to ask. Rebecca Wragg Sykes will also tell us about the art, language, and mysterious extinction of our brawny cousins.

Transcribed - Published: 11 March 2021

Meet the Woman Tasked With Keeping Joe Biden's Climate Promises

As the first National Climate Advisor, Gina McCarthy may have the most important — and toughest — unelected job in America. So ... how’s that going?

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2021

Coronavirus: Panic Over Variants, and Other Media Mistakes

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci takes news outlets to task for how our coverage has hindered the response to COVID-19 and explains why no matter what variant is going around your community, you should still get a vaccine — any of them — as soon as you are eligible.

Transcribed - Published: 2 March 2021

Acting Is Like Learning Science Backwards

Gillian Jacobs (Community, Love) and Diona Reasonover (NCIS) get back in touch with their science roots and turn the tables on us in a new segment, Grill Bill and Query Corey! Check out Gillian and Diona's new podcast Periodic Talks and subscribe here: https://link.chtbl.com/PeriodicTalks

Transcribed - Published: 25 February 2021

How to Outrun a Horse: Surprising Insights From an Exercise Scientist

How does exercise work? Should all runners go barefoot? And is sitting really the new smoking? Daniel Lieberman shines some science on common exercise myths.

Transcribed - Published: 18 February 2021

Coronavirus: President Biden’s Report Card

We grade the new White House administration's pandemic response thus far with New York Times science and global health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli.

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2021

Cooking with Science: Why Eggs Turn White, Pickles Crunch, and Popcorn Sets Off Your Smoke Detectors

Pia Sorensen has a kitchen laboratory where she demonstrates how pans of denatured proteins and hot fats can create a delicious meal — or a big ol’ mess.

Transcribed - Published: 11 February 2021

NFL Meets MIT: Science Tackles the Super Bowl

Former NFL lineman (and current math whiz) John Urschel and materials scientist Ainissa Ramirez highlight all the science you can see on display at the Super Bowl, from the mechanics of blocking to the psychology of play-calling.

Transcribed - Published: 4 February 2021

Coronavirus: Did COVID Escape From a Lab?

It’s a highly controversial and unlikely hypothesis. But, as Dr. David Relman explains, we can't rule it out, because we still don't know the original source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2021

It's a Parasite's World. We Just Live in It.

When it comes to things that give us the heebie-jeebies, parasites reign supreme. But according to this week's guest, ecosystems couldn't exist without them. Chelsea Wood explains what makes them so creepy, how to prevent them from killing us, and why she keeps digging around in decades-old cans of salmon.

Transcribed - Published: 28 January 2021

The Greatest Invention of All Time Is ... TIME!

We talk to master watchmaker Rebecca Struthers about how people learned to measure time and the twisted way that clocks came to control the way we eat, sleep, work, and relax (if we relax at all).

Transcribed - Published: 21 January 2021

Coronavirus: 100 Days, 100 Million Shots

Dr. Celine Gounder — a member of President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board — answers all of your questions about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and details an ambitious plan to vaccinate a third of America.

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2021

The True Limit to Space Exploration: Our Sanity

If humans want to explore the solar system (and beyond), we'll have to learn to do something inconceivable for most of us pre-pandemic — exist with each other in tiny quarters for months. Kim Binsted's HI-SEAS program is trying to teach us how to do just that.

Transcribed - Published: 14 January 2021

Mayim Bialik’s Contract With the Universe

The star of The Big Bang Theory, Blossom, and the new show Call Me Kat explains how she balances her love of science with her career in acting, and we put her neuroscience Ph.D. to use answering your questions about cognitive disabilities and disorders.

Transcribed - Published: 7 January 2021

How To (Still) Be Happy

It turns out being happy, or becoming happier is possible with a bit of effort. We’re joined by happiness expert and host of The Happiness Lab, Dr. Laurie Santos to talk about her research into human happiness and to take your calls, including one from Mike from Colorado who asks, “Is there a genetic component to happiness?”

Transcribed - Published: 31 December 2020

Save the Oceans: Recycling Is Not Enough

Every year, another 11 million tons of plastic trash ends up in the ocean. Winnie Lau, senior manager of the “Preventing Ocean Plastics” project, explains why recycling isn't helping — and what we should be doing instead.

Transcribed - Published: 24 December 2020

Meet the Olympic Swimmer Making Ripples Out of the Pool

Who better to answer your science-swimming questions than gold-medalist Simone Manuel?

Transcribed - Published: 17 December 2020

The Sound of Stonehenge (and Other Aural Mysteries)

Trevor Cox leads us through a wonderland of sound featuring sonic booms, Stonehenge, and pseudoscientific phenomena.

Transcribed - Published: 10 December 2020

Coronavirus: America’s King of Health Is Skipping Christmas … and So Should You

Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health. He gives us a prognosis for the next few months and diagnoses the future of health research in the U.S.

Transcribed - Published: 8 December 2020

What Happens if You Fall Into a Black Hole?

Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan is an expert on the strangest things in physics: warped space, dark matter, dark energy, and even questions from our listeners.

Transcribed - Published: 3 December 2020

Our Fishy Ancestors Grew a Pair (of Legs)

Neil Shubin reveals how he discovered Tiktaalik — a long-sought fossil link between swimming fish and walking land animals — and shares other remarkable tales about life's evolution.

Transcribed - Published: 26 November 2020

Coronavirus: With 4 Million Currently Infected, How to Give Safe Thanks

Atul Gawande is a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID task force. He helps us dig through the latest coronavirus news including vaccine trial results, mask mandates, and how to manage risks over the holidays.

Transcribed - Published: 24 November 2020

The Science of Bond — James Bond

Can any part of the long-running film franchise stand up to scientific scrutiny? Matt Gourley — co-host of the James Bonding podcast, among much else — joins to answer all your questions about the coolest gadgets, the craziest stunts, and the glaringest plot holes.

Transcribed - Published: 19 November 2020

Werner Herzog and the Vermin of the Sky

The legendary filmmaker teams up with British geoscientist Clive Oppenheimer to explain how meteorites — what they call ”visitors from darker worlds” — have shaped societies throughout history.

Transcribed - Published: 12 November 2020

Yuval Noah Harari Charts the Evolution of Homo Sapiens

As different as we humans are from each other — politically and otherwise — we’re all part of the same species. We explore the history of Homo Sapiens and who (or what) might eventually replace us as kings of the forest.

Transcribed - Published: 5 November 2020

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