Reviews For Science Talk

I love this podcast! The host, Steve Mirsky, loves to talk and has many fascinating stories, which I love, but still manages to shut up long enough to let his guest tell some even more interesting stories. Whether he's talking about white water rafting on the Colorado River or the battle between pythons and alligators in Florida, it's a fascinating listen!
Overall a very good science podcast.
Politics abound. Host comes off as obnoxious which makes him seem biased from the start.
Scientific American has always been a favorite magazine of mine. One might think that a podcast from Scientific American might contain something about....er, science. Unfortunately, this podcast is not about science. It's primarily about political views and science funding. Everyone seems to remember Ike's warning in his farewell speech about the "Military Industrial Complex." But the speech also contains the warning about science and its funding: "The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite." This podcast is what he was talking about. The host seems to believe that people are interested in science funding. And only in one direction, more. If you are intersted in listening to a continuing argument of the Scopes Monkey Trial, this is your podcast.
Excellent pick. Well done and well explained to the general public. Really enjoyed the information and for format.
I wish the published more frequently
A nice addition to my other science podcasts.
This podcast is awesome, and very educative.
The content of the April 16 2013 podcast was of questionable value. The political snipes were completely spurrious. Keep your politics out of a science podcast.
Thank you for fixing the "8006" error. Love the show!
I have not yet 'upgraded' to the latest iTunes version due to the bad press, but have also been unable to download any of the Sciam podcasts (Science Talk, and the 60 Second podcasts)for the past week (error 8006). I have 'reported a concern' on three occasions but apparently no one reads them. I hope they correct whatever the issue is as I enjoy their shows and would hate to have to unsubscribe. PS-you can listen to the podcasts on the SciAm website, but it not as portable.
Podcasts are not downloading - all SciAm content gets an 8006 error. Please read your reviews! Especially as the new version of iTunes no longer seems to have a mechanism to report problems. Thanks, Apple, so glad I "upgraded."
I'll give it a week. Haven't seen this podcast download correctly since the latest update to iTunes. Don't feel bad, others have been caught up in the epidemic. But do you actually read your reviews? We'll see. I'll give it a week.
Some okay. Many biased, one sided, political. Shame on SI
I cancelled my subscription to Scientific American magazine years ago, after they willingly joined the Reverend Al's Personal Enrichment Holy-Rolling Global Warming Salvation Show. Last week they repackaged Obama's State Of My Campaign speech and tried to call it science. Goodbye.
I always relied on this podcast as a pleasant supplant to my SCIAM subscription. The magazine however has been depreciating their audiences intelligence, which in light of the peculiar difficulty in downloading, compels me to me look elsewhere for serious yet understandable scientific information. You can't like what you can't hear.
I've stopped listening to this podcast and will let my print subscription lapse. Every since the change in the magazine editor, the depth and quality of the articles and podcasts has declined. SIAM served a niche less technical than professionals but more technical than popular science. But no longer. It's not to late to fix it - but do it soon.
If you want a good dose of politics masquerading as a science show this is it!
This is by far my favorite podcast. Excellent interviews, interesting content, and understandable content. I've purchased two books based on interviews. I've spend hours learning about science... mostly due to this podcast.
I feel like this podcast has been declining in quality. It's pretty clear that they view this podcast primarily as a marketing tool to try to sell their magazine. That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, but too often they're leaving out the most interesting parts of the story and saying "see the article in the latest issue for more information." I think a better strategy would be to give an in-depth treatment of one topic and then tease other topics in the magazine. As is, the whole thing is too much editorial fluff and not enough hard-science substance. Add in the fact that it can easily take over an hour to download and it's off my list.
This has been a staple Podcast for me for years. Lately, the download time has been unbearable. A <15mb download has been in the hours. I'm amazed that a major publication can't find file hosting to provide decent downloads.
A 7MB podcast takes 45 minutes to download to my iPad whereas other 7MB podcasts take less than 10 seconds. What gives?
Informative podcast with interesting interviews. The host's personality and experience make this podcast enjoyable almost every week, even when I already know a lot about the material. He is a particularly good interviewer, not inserting himself too much, nor letting interviewee get too detailed or hard to understand for a popular audience. Overall, lighthearted without being lightweight.
why are you reading these reviews? it's free for crying out loud. subscribe, listen and decide for yourself. as for me, I like it just fine. I drive a lot for work and like listen to it versus pop music played a million times, commercials, and trash talk radio. I think Steve is interesting, has good voice and picks good topics and subjects. I also like some of the other science podcasts from across the pond, but some of those Brits are really hard to understand cuz of their thick accents...
This, originally, was a pretty good podcast. I like Steve Mirsky, BUT the last few I've listened too spend way too much time on The next issue of SCIAM. And, unfortunately, the quality of the magazine is dropping too. I cancelled my subscription since the devote too much time to "soft" science which I could get from Popular Science. Too many articles by Science writers, not scientists. This seems to have coincided with the change in editorial staff. Anyway, I'll listen to a few more before unsubscribing to the podcast.
I have listened to this podcast for quite some time now, but I am about done. It seems to be less and less about actual science and more and more about a method for the author to spread his beliefs. I will probably listen for only a few more weeks (after listening every week since they started) If he doesn't start sticking to science news and discoveries, I am going to unsubscribe.
This is boring. It is all you can expect from nerds.

5/5

By ameleh
Do you notice how many of these reviewers complain that there's a "bias" in this podcast, as if there is no bias in their own opinions? But, in fact, there is no such thing as objectivity, even in science. This is not science anyway, it's a podcast about science, and the choices made by Scientific American are choices. That makes them subjective. As is your opinion about this review. As is this review. All the newscasters and historians can boast that they are objective, but they are delusional, and this pretense of objectivity gets in the way of real thought, real information, and real understanding of complex issues. As Stephen Colbert quips, it seems that reality has a liberal bias. The complaints often mention the E word. Understanding how evolution works is basic to understanding almost all the life sciences, and so it comes up when discussing biology, ecology, medicine, etc. So go watch Fox News if you want to hear only those opinions you already agree with. How dull is that? As the fictional character Greg House says, if you don't believe in evolution, you should be happy to get good old penicillin. But the germs that were successfully killed by penicillin died, and the ones that happened to survive produced offspring that survived penicillin too. That's evolution. That's how resistant bacteria got here. If you don't believe that, then why are you even listening to a science podcast?
I love this podcast. Its informative and fun. The interviews are cool because he lets the guests talk. I could listen all day.
If you do not lean to the left this is not the podcast for you. It is at it's worst when the host is snide towards those with religious views.
Geology, Botony, Astronomy, Physics, Medicine, etc. are scientific disciplines too. Why are so many shows about Evolution?
Scientific American is a great magazine without a doubt. Their podcast, on the other hand, is crippled by an abysmally bad host. I subscribed to this podcast for a long time, but ultimately I had to give up on it because Steve Mirsky is so uninformed that I couldn't take it anymore. Every time he reports something or interviews someone from my area (physics), it makes me cringe. On top of that, he sensationalizes the stories in a way that may appeal to a reader of Time Magazine, but is inappropriate for a scientific magazine (even a popular one). Like I said, this podcast host is so bad I couldn't listen to it anymore.
And, of course, if you don't read Scientific American, you really want this podcast. They spend a half hour covering the latest science topics in reasonable detail. They also do a bogus science quiz at the end and are otherwise entertaining to listen to. Occasionally an episode will shill for the magazine and that's okay. You learn lots from every episode.
I've been listening to this podcast for over a year and very much enjoy it! It's filled with interesting topics and interviews and Steve is a great host.
This is an exellent podcast and supplement to the Mag. I love the interviews and subject matter. Keep up the good work.
Ever since the iPhone upgrade I cannot see this podcast.
Not able to listen since, I always get the message " server is not configured properly" and I have tried everything. I know I am missing a good potcast. So sad I can not hear it.
This is one of my favorite general science podcasts. It reviews recent science news from the Scientific American and even from other journals, with generally a pretty interesting mix of news and interviews. The host's style is light and humorous, and the science news quiz at the end is fun.
This is one of the better science podcasts, touching on various interesting topics in a weekly 30 minute offering. The host, Steve Mirsky, is a science writer who asks good questions and keeps things from getting too complicated or dull. Near the end of the podcast he offers a fun science quiz, in which you listen to four science news stories and guess which one is "totally bogus." I choose the correct (incorrect) story maybe half of the time!
SciAm's Science Talk was one of the first science podcasts I started listening to several years ago. I've listened to many podcasts over the years, some stay and some go, this one is a keeper. Steve Mirsky is an excellent host. He is humorous and has a good rapport with guests. The topics range from current science to oldies-but-goodies, and intriguing to dull. The weekly quiz is always a fun challenge. A regular feature is an interview with John Rennie, editor in chief, to discuss the current issue. The podcast existed early on without advertising, but as with many podcasts, has started including advertising in recent podcasts. It is not over-bearing, though. Politics are included in the podcast because SciAm is a magazine that believes science needs to be in politics. It is also important to keep in mind that SciAm is a magazine and not a scientific journal. Overall, I highly recommend this podcast for people interested in science.
... make no mistake that there is a clear editorial and political (not merely scientific) bias in the presentation of materials. Occasionally the disposition borders on snide, especially with a few of the guests.
love it
I love this podcast, every episode has something interesting for those of us who have studied a lot of science but don't work in a scientific field. I specially like the "totally bogus" segment.
Content over the past year has ranged from excelent to underwhelming, with a trend toward the latter. Host Mirsky has a some tendency to say things that I wish he hadn't. A recent comment in favor of mandatory population control speaks to a set of intellectual commitments that I do not share.
Science Talk is a great podcast to become informed and enlightened in all areas of science. The host is professional, well informed and well connected with interviews with scientists in all fields of study. Each episode is about 30 minutes long and it gives you a little bit of everything. Anyone interested in any aspect of science can take a lot away from listening. Just listen to one episode, and you be the judge.
Its surprisingly hard to find a consitently interesting science podcast, Science Talk is one of the best.

By i23m
It makes my 45 minute commute a pleasure.
Personally, I do not read the magazine, however, I enjoy the podcast very much. Steven Mirsky's presentation is fantastic, he asks the right questions to help those with little knowledge of the material (myself) to understand what is going on. It's not the most heady, or technical thing I've heard, but it defiantly is one of the most entertaining. Steve also has a great voice and sense of humor. I look forward to it every week.
Steve Mirsky does a good job of hosting this podcast which is very informative as well as entertaining. It may, at times, come off as a bit dry to some people but the content is solid. If you enjoy science you should enjoy this podcast.
I used to read Scientific American magazine. I stop when it became too political. I had hoped the podcast would be different, but it wasn't. I guess when 99% of faculty at our colleges and universities are far left of center it can't helped.