Big Picture Science

Big Picture Science

SETI Institute

The surprising connections in science and technology that give you the Big Picture. Astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley are joined each week by leading researchers, techies, and journalists to provide a smart and humorous take on science. Our regular "Skeptic Check" episodes cast a critical eye on pseudoscience.

Categories: Science & Medicine

Listen to the last episode:

Above the Arctic Circle, much of the land is underlaid by permafrost. But climate change is causing it to thaw. This is not good news for the planet.  As the carbon rich ground warms, microbes start to feast… releasing greenhouse gases that will warm the Earth even more. Another possible downside was envisioned by a science-fiction author. Could ancient pathogens–released from the permafrost’s icy grip–cause new pandemics? We investigate what happens when the far north defrosts. Guests: Jacquelyn Gill – Associate professor of paleoecology at the University of Maine. Jim Shepard – Novelist and short story writer, and teacher of English at Williams College, and author of “Phase Six.” Scott Saleska – Global change ecologist, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, and co-founder of IsoGenie. Originally aired September 6, 2021 Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake You can get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support! Big Picture Science is part of the Airwave Media podcast network. Please contact to inquire about advertising on Big Picture Science. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Previous episodes

  • 564 - De-Permafrosting* 
    Mon, 22 Apr 2024
  • 563 - For the Birds* 
    Mon, 15 Apr 2024
  • 562 - Fungi Fear* 
    Mon, 08 Apr 2024
  • 561 - Coffee of the Future 
    Mon, 01 Apr 2024
  • 560 - When the Moon Hits Your Eye 
    Mon, 25 Mar 2024
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