In a world crowded with podcasts, these 10 podcasts from UT Austin stand out as great resources for life-long learners. From science trends to pop culture, these podcasts bring the best of UT’s expert commentary about the world into your headphones.
There is something for everyone. We pulled some of our favorite clips from each podcast to help you choose what to add into your summer audio mix.
If you want to follow natural science discoveries in the making …
Point of Discovery
Sample Clip: Quite the road trip: “Point of Discovery” shares the story of how 100,000 endangered bees traveled from the East Coast to Austin, Texas.
Produced in the College of Natural Sciences, Point of Discovery takes you to the front lines of science. Meet the brilliant, quirky scientists and go behind the scenes of their research and curiosity.
How much of our DNA do we share with yeast? How do our brains block noise at a party so that we can focus on just one person speaking? How do you study a terrible disease-causing bacteria that acts like a saint when you grow it in a petri dish? Come discover the answers.
If you consider yourself a history buff …
15 Minute History
Sample Clip: Would anything stop you from being in the bridal party of your best friend’s wedding? This episode of “15 Minute History” shares a story about how the arrival of a human fossil ruined a wedding.
The podcast 15 Minute History is designed for historians, history enthusiasts and newbies alike. The series is devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in world, U.S. and Texas history with the award-winning faculty members and graduate students at UT Austin and distinguished visitors to campus.
Though anyone with an interest in history will enjoy these podcasts, they’re also intended to be a resource for both teachers and students.
It is a joint project of two UT Austin programs: Hemispheres, the university’s international outreach consortium; and Not Even Past, a website with articles on a wide variety of historical issues, produced by the History Department.
If you want to bring fresh conversation to your next dinner party …
Two Guys on Your Head
Sample Clip: Is creativity a good or a bad thing? UT experts from “Two Guys on Your Head” discuss the conflicting views people hold about creativity.
In conversations hosted by producer Rebecca McInroy, the two renowned psychologists cover topics as diverse as the effects of sugar on the brain and what’s happening in our minds while we sleep.
If you are looking for book club suggestions …
UT Press Podcast
Sample Clip: What is your connection to tacos? UT Press interviews the authors of “The Tacos of Texas” and inquire about their personal admiration for a piece of Texas culture.
Established in 1950, The University of Texas Press has published more than 3,000 books over six decades, helping it become a publisher of international scope.
UT Press publishes 100 new books every year, and this podcast connects listeners with the authors, from leading researchers and award-winning celebrities to taco experts. In a conversational interview format, authors discuss recently published books, creative processes and more.
If you always wanted to learn how the brain works …
Sample Clip: Virtual reality has become popular, but how will it affect our brains? This clip explains how researchers are experimenting with a technological trend on the rise.
Brain Matters is an exciting way for anyone to learn about the fascinating world of neuroscience directly from the researchers who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the mysteries of the brain.
The hosts and producers of Brain Matters are graduate students in the Institute of Neuroscience at UT Austin. These students are using the podcast to make neuroscience accessible, relatable and intriguing while still respecting the integrity of the science they love.
If you want the latest news in computer science …
Sample Clip: No matter your profession, understanding big data is important. Listen to UT System Chancellor William McRaven and his take on why supercomputers are relevant to all.
Listening to the TACC supercomputing podcast will keep you in the know about current trends and breakthroughs in big data science. Host Jorge Salazar interviews computing experts about their research using the world’s most powerful advanced computing technologies at UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center.
Episodes explain how supercomputers are answering life-changing questions such as:
Where should we store vaccines in case of an epidemic outbreak? What is the likelihood of a hurricane forming? How do we create more viable, cost-efficient energy sources? And many more.
If you like humor mixed with the latest national security news…
The National Security Law Podcast
The National Security Law Podcast is the brainchild of two faculty members from the School of Law. In their weekly review of the latest legal controversies associated with U.S. national security activities, professors Steve Vladeck and Bobby Chesney unpack the legal issues behind the headlines through friendly discussion.
Discussion topics range from litigation of President Someone With Tiny Hands’s travel-ban order to Supreme Court decisions to the next season of Game of Thrones. The podcast is sponsored by the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.
If you want to get into star gazing …
StarDate debuted in 1978, making it the longest-running national radio science feature in the country. It airs on more than 300 radio stations.
StarDate tells listeners what to look for in the night sky and explains the science, history and lore behind these objects. It also keeps listeners up to date on the latest research findings and space missions. And it offers tidbits on astronomy in the arts and popular culture, providing ways for people with diverse interests to keep up with the universe.
StarDate is a production of The University of Texas McDonald Observatory.
If you are curious about earth science …
Sample Clip: Did you know the material that is in your pencil when sliced super thin is harder than diamonds and 200 times as strong as the strongest steel? “EarthDate” explains the different characteristics of graphene and how the material will affect the future.
EarthDate is a radio production of the Bureau of Economic Geology. Started this year, it is already on more than 100 stations in 35 states.
It is a great education resource. Each short episode, under two minutes, explains key terms and methodologies in geological science. Episodes can be downloaded online at earthdate.org.
If you want context on trending culture topics …
Humanities Media Project
Sample Clip: In this “Life of the Mind” clip, Eric Tang talks about why academics shouldn’t just work in a vacuum. He shares how his American studies research deals with both abstract and real-life problems.
The Humanities Media Project (HMP) in the College of Liberal Arts at UT Austin promotes the importance of the humanities not only at the university but also throughout the state and the nation.
The project has two podcasts that tell human stories related to humanities research and invite critical conversations about topics ranging from gentrification to presidential pet choices.
Life of the Mind: In this podcast developed by Duncan Moench, UT Austin professors discuss their research and the state of higher education today.
Listen on iTunes.
Listen on the Humanities Media Project website.
Humanities Media Minute: This collection of short audio pieces covers topics in philosophy, history, literature and popular culture. They are written by liberal arts graduate students.
Listen on iTunes.
Listen on Soundcloud.
Listen on Humanities Media Project website.