Monkey Cage

Maybe six months ago, I came across the podcast The Infinite Monkey Cage. The podcast has been produced and published by the BBC since 2009, and is ongoing, as of today with 21 series. The shows are recorded in front of a live studio audience.1

Two moderators, physicist Brian Cox, and comedian Robert Ince present and discuss a wide array of scientific topics. They are joined by a panel of three guests, usually two scientists, and an actor or comedian.

It’s simply a brilliant format. The topics and themes are covered in a serious fashion, but there’s also a lot of sometimes dark humor. As a bonus, they mostly speak real English. You know, English English.

You can check out the many topics in this series and episodes overview. As you’ll discover, it’s a really wide ranging list, from biology to genetics to cosmology to general relativity to quantum theory to brain science to mathematics. And many more.

I have enjoyed each and every episode that I have listened to. I am not yet through all series, but I am getting there. Each episode is self-contained and independent of the others, so you can select the topics that interest you the most.

A few examples, somewhat related:

Of course, you can subscribe to the podcast directly from your phone, no need to go through the website. On my iPhone, I use Overcast.

  1. It’s interesting how the podcasts are being introduced over time. In the early seasons, they were a completely new medium for the BBC, and were presented as “downloaded programme”. Later, they are just “podcasts”, as now everyone knows what that is. Or should know. I have been listening to podcasts since about 2005. ↩︎