Science Vs

86 EpisodesProduced by GimletWebsite

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to. This season we tackle alcohol, … read more

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86 Episodes | 2016 - 2019


September 12th, 2019


Science Vs is back September 19th. Fact you next week.

The Dinosaur Explosion

August 8th, 2019

Why are there so many new, weird dinosaurs? Friend of the show Joel Werner goes down the rabbit hole, and finds a surprising answer. He speaks to …


June 14th, 2019

Are sharks the super-predators we think they are? Or have we been baited with great white lies? To find out, we interviewed shark researchers Dr. Taylor Chapple, Dr. Tricia Meredith and Dr. Chris Pepin-Neff, along with …

How Bad Science Killed A President

June 6th, 2019

When President Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881, the best and brightest in medicine and science did everything they could to save him - and …

Peanuts: Public Enemy No. 1?

May 30th, 2019

Peanut allergy in children has been on the rise since the 1990s. What’s to blame? We find a clue in a very unexpected place, and talk to pediatric …

The Abortion Underground

May 23rd, 2019

Before Roe v. Wade, there were thousands of illegal abortions in the U.S. every year. Some of these were incredibly dangerous; women would use …

Placebo: Can the Mind Cure You?

May 9th, 2019

Could fake medicine actually take away your pain or treat a disease? We dig into the science of placebos to find out more about the power of the mind …

Vaccines: Time for a Booster Shot [Rebroadcast]

May 2nd, 2019

Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems - could these really be side effects of vaccines? From the archives, we bring back our dive into the …

Fertility Cliff: Is It Real?

April 25th, 2019

We’re often told to have kids quickly, before our biological clock strikes and we fall off the fertility cliff. This week we find out it’s that’s …

Race: Can We See It In Our DNA?

April 19th, 2019

For decades, we've heard that race is a social and cultural idea — not scientific. But with the changing world of genetics, is race science back? We …

DNA Kits: Can You Trust Them?

April 12th, 2019

Millions of people are sending off their DNA to companies like and 23andme to find out where they come from, and what diseases they might get. But how much can you trust these DNA kits? To find out, we …

Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?

April 4th, 2019

Can petting Fluffy or Fido help with anxiety on planes? Or are emotional support animals a load of croc? We talk to psychologist Prof. Hal Herzog to …

Fasting Diets: What's the Skinny?

March 29th, 2019

Fasting diets are all the rage right now and health-fluencers claim it can help you lose weight, live longer and even fight cancer. So what does the science say? We speak to nutrition researchers Dr Krista Varady and Dr …

Science's Rotten Underbelly

March 22nd, 2019

During a golden age for scientific progress, a group of scientists were given free rein to do whatever they wanted to their human lab rats. We got …

Alcohol: A Pour Decision?

March 15th, 2019

For decades we’ve been told that having a glass or two of wine is good for you. But recently there’ve been reports that even a little bit of booze is …

We're back next week!

March 7th, 2019


Season 6 is on it's way, fellow nerds!

The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice

December 20th, 2018

A dead body turns up with a stolen identity. This week, we tell the story of how a grandmother tracked down the truth — and helped create a whole new …

The Science Of Being Transgender

December 13th, 2018

Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about transgender identity. That made us wonder… what makes us the gender that we are? And what should you do if …

The Wank Worm: How NASA Got Hacked

December 6th, 2018

Before WikiLeaks, there was the Wank Worm. In this week’s episode, we tell you the story of how Australian hackers infiltrated NASA, just months after the country was hooked up to the internet in 1989. Joel Werner, host …

Ancient Aliens: Who Really Built the Pyramids?

November 29th, 2018

Is it possible that the pyramids were built with a helping hand... from aliens? If not, how on Earth did the Egyptians built them without modern …

7 Minute Workout: Fit or Fad?

November 21st, 2018

The 7 Minute Workout is all the rage, but can working out for just 7 minutes really do anything? To figure out whether this fitness trend is a load of crock, we speak to exercise scientist Prof. Jeff Coombes. Plus, …

CBD: Weed Wonder Drug?

November 15th, 2018

CBD mania is in full swing and people are using it for just about anything, but what is this chemical in cannabis? In this week’s episode, we tell …

Election Special: Immigration

November 2nd, 2018

In the final installment of our election series, we tackle immigration: the #1 concern of Americans as they head to the polls.

It's been a huge focus …

Election Special: Climate Change

November 1st, 2018

Recently we've been warned that climate change is scarier than ever -- and that we are to blame. Yet surveys find around half of Americans don't think climate change is caused by humans. So how does science know that? …

Election Special: Abortion

October 31st, 2018

The battle over abortion is fast becoming one of the key issues of the midterm election. And in this battle you’ll hear many things about abortion: …

Election Special: Gun Violence

October 30th, 2018

After 11 people were shot and killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend, mass shootings are back in the news. With the midterm elections happening next week, we've updated our episode on guns and are …

Online Dating: Can Science Find You Love?

October 26th, 2018

Online dating can feel like drudgery… can science help you game the system? And do those matching algorithms actually work? To find out, we talked to …

Murder Mystery: An 1850s Whodunnit

October 18th, 2018

It’s 1849, and a gruesome murder has just happened at Harvard. As body parts turn up, the science of the day is put to the ultimate test… to find …

Gentrification: What's Really Happening?

October 11th, 2018

You’ve probably heard that gentrification changes neighborhoods for the worse: first come the hipsters and then the bankers. Soon, the neighborhood is overrun with dog spas and wine bars, and the original residents are …

Soy, Almond, Oat Milks: Are They Udder Bull?

October 4th, 2018

Moooove over, dairy milk: the alternative milk craze is here. But are they more than just a frothy fad? To find out which is best for the planet, we speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore.

Check out the …

Vegans: Are They Right?

September 27th, 2018

Do vegans have a right to be so smug? This week we find out whether it really is better for the environment, and our bodies, to go vegan. We speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore, historian Prof. Connie …

Essential Oils: Science or Snake Oil?

September 20th, 2018

Essential Oils - and their claims - are huge right now. But is it all hype, or is there something special about these little brown bottles? To get to the bottom of it, we dig through the studies and speak to cognitive …

Plastics: The Final Straw?

September 13th, 2018

We’re back! This week we tackle the War on Straws and how worried we should be about all the plastic filling our oceans. We speak to marine biologist …

We Return... With A Twist.

September 6th, 2018


Season Five of Science Vs will be in your ears next Thursday. This season we're covering plastic straws, essential oils, veganism, ancient aliens and a lot of other topics that have got the internet hot and bothered. 

Welcome, New Listeners!

July 17th, 2018


We'll be back in your ears with season 5 of Science Vs in the Fall... but in the meantime, new listeners, here's some episode recommendations to get you started. 

Serial Killers: Science of the Lambs

June 28th, 2018

What makes a serial killer? What drives them to kill again and again? To find out the truth about this ghastly lot, we talked to forensic …

UFOs: What the Government Covered Up

June 21st, 2018

Could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? What really happened at Roswell? The truth... is right here. We …

Lyme Disease: How Scary Is It?

June 15th, 2018

This week, we’re entering the Lyme Wars. We’re asking: what is Lyme disease? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? And if you get infected, …

Circumcision: Why Are We Doing This?

May 31st, 2018

This week, we’re entering the foreskin firestorm. We’re asking: what are the risks of circumcision? And are there any medical benefits? To find out …

How Science Created Morons

May 25th, 2018

This week, how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to …

Polar Bears: A Surprising Tail

May 17th, 2018

We have this idea that polar bears are teetering on the brink of extinction. But the story isn’t that simple. To find out why, we talk to …

Scott Kelly: How A Year in Space Changes You

May 3rd, 2018

This week, something different. We speak to astronaut Scott Kelly, who went up to space a man and came back a Rhesus monkey. Just kidding, that didn’t happen at all. Listen to find out the real story. PLUS: We talk to …

Ketogenic Diet... Is Fat Good For You?

April 26th, 2018

People who love the ketogenic diet swear it boosts their brainpower, melts their fat, and makes them better athletes. Is it true? To find out, we go keto. And, we talk to some scientists: neuroscientist Dom D’Agostino, …

Nuclear War... Total Annihilation?

April 19th, 2018

Nine countries, including North Korea, have nuclear weapons. What would happen if a nuclear bomb was dropped-- say, in New York City? We talk to …

Sex Addiction: Are They Faking It?

April 5th, 2018

Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are said to have it. You probably have a friend who says they have it too. But is sex addiction the refuge of …

Opioids: Kicking America's Addiction

March 29th, 2018

America’s got an opioid problem. So where do we go from here? What  can actually help people struggling with opioid addiction? We speak to Dr. Anna Lembke, Dr. Marvin Seppala, and a patient we call Mischa.

UPDATE 04/17:

Opioids: How America Got Hooked

March 23rd, 2018

More people in the U.S. died from opioids in 2016 than the peak year of the AIDS epidemic. So how did we get here? We speak to Prof. June Dahl, pain specialist Dr. David Tauben, and emergency physician Dr. Jeanmarie …

Brand New Science Vs!

March 16th, 2018


We'll be in your ears with new episodes next week - Thursday March 22nd.

Obesity - Is It Your Fault?

December 14th, 2017

We’ve always been told to get off the couch and stop eating junk food if you want to lose weight - but is the obesity epidemic that simple? (Spoiler …


December 7th, 2017

Can they help with back pain or anything else? We talk to chiropractor Carl Cleveland III, physical therapist Anita Gross, neurophysiologist Dr. …

Birth Control - The Biggest Myths

November 30th, 2017

Everyone’s got a myth or two about birth control they want cleared up. Like... is 'pulling out' AKA withdrawal really such a bad idea? Does the pill …

Molly - Scary Drug or Promising Therapy?

November 16th, 2017

Molly, Ecstasy, MDMA... whatever you want to call it, it's all the same thing. This week, we’re turning up the bass and checking out what does it do …

Balding - What Actually Works?

November 9th, 2017

So... you’re losing your hair. Is there anything that can be done about it? And are the treatments dangerous -- for your or your penis? We talk to …

The Bee-pocalypse

November 2nd, 2017

What is killing the bees? And will we have enough food to eat if the bee-pocalypse becomes worse? We speak to Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology and …

Vitamins & Supplements - Are They Worth It?

October 19th, 2017

Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamins and supplements, but are they worth it? We look at the science behind some of the most popular …


October 12th, 2017

All over the world people report sightings of big, hairy, human-like beasts, so could Bigfoot really be out there... somewhere? We ask Dr. Jeff …

100% Renewable Energy - Can We Do It?

October 5th, 2017

We need to ditch fossil fuels. Can America go 100% renewable by 2050? Does the technology already exist? We speak to Prof. Mark Delucchi, Prof. …

The Rise of Anti-Vaxxers

September 21st, 2017

Last week we explored the science behind vaccine safety. This week we try to understand where these fears came from, and why they persist. We speak to three historians: Prof. Nadja Durbach, Prof. Elena Conis, and Prof. …

Vaccines - Are They Safe?

September 14th, 2017

Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems. Could these really be side effects of vaccines? This week, we dive  into the science to find out how …

Detoxing & Cleanses - Do They Work?

September 7th, 2017

Juice cleanses, fancy foods, sweat, charcoal, and colonics-- is there a scientifically proven way to ‘clean out’ your system? This week, we dig in …

New Season... Coming Soon!

August 31st, 2017

Science Vs is back in your ears next week! This season we're going to dissect the science behind detox diets, the safety of vaccines and whether America can run on 100% renewable energy. We also figure out whether …

Artificial Sweeteners - not so sweet?

June 8th, 2017

Low calorie, no calorie and so sweet. Artificial sweeteners just seem too good to be true. Is there a catch? We dig into two big questions: Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer, and are they making us fat? We talk to …

Nuclear Power - what are the Risks?

June 1st, 2017

Fukushima. Chernobyl. Three Mile Island. There’s been some big nuclear accidents over the past few decades, but how dangerous is nuclear power really? We take you inside the core of America’s biggest nuclear power plant …


May 25th, 2017

Silicon Valley CEOs, Tibetan monks, and crunchy hippies alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can …

True Love

May 11th, 2017

What is love? With half of first time American marriages ending in divorce by the 20th anniversary, and infidelity being widespread, Science Vs asks: have we been lied to by our love songs?
On today’s episode we explore: …


May 4th, 2017

Are chocolate, coffee and red wine actually good for us? Reading the news it seems that one day they are helping us live longer, and the next day …

Abortion: What You Need To Know

April 27th, 2017

Abortion is so taboo. People don’t talk about abortions they’ve had. Doctors don’t talk about abortions they’ve given. But it's happening a lot. …


April 17th, 2017

Science Vs peels back the label on GM foods to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Both sides of the debate have written impassioned songs, but what does the science …


April 6th, 2017

Why do four out of five dentists recommend Colgate? How many Americans really approve of Trump? This special episode is a two-parter: First, we talk …


March 30th, 2017

One third of Americans believe in ghosts, and one fifth have had a personal encounter. We go to a haunted house with some paranormal investigators and things get spooky. But, scientists aren’t scared - they have a range …

Climate Change... the Apocalypse?

March 16th, 2017

Less than half of Americans think climate change is caused by humans, but scientists are sure about it. So, how do they know that humans are to blame? We also look into the climate change crystal ball to figure out are …


March 9th, 2017

Trying to get rid of acne can feel like a science experiment with your face -- so we get to the bottom of what works and what doesn’t. We investigate …


March 9th, 2017

We head to a farm in Alabama to find out what happened after thousands of immigrants left the state. Did it create more jobs for Americans and what happened to the crime rate? We speak to economists Prof. Samuel Addy, …

New season... coming soon!

February 28th, 2017

We’ve read the studies. We’ve spoken to the experts. And now it’s time for facts. There is no alternative. 

The new season of Science Vs will be out March 9th.


October 28th, 2016

There’s an intriguing body of research that suggests the power of antidepressants doesn’t come from chemicals in the drugs, but from the power of placebo. Not everyone agrees, though. We speak to researchers and medical …

DNA and the Smell of Death

October 21st, 2016

In these cases, emerging DNA evidence and the smell of death (yes, really) pushed the boundaries of what was technologically possible. But how …

Forensic Science

October 7th, 2016

There are a slew of scientific techniques that forensic experts use to solve crimes. But how reliable are they? We’re putting forensic evidence under …


September 30th, 2016

Since 2015 there have been Zika outbreaks reported in sixty countries. So, where did Zika come from? What happens when you get infected? How worried …


September 23rd, 2016

This week, we explore the science of hypnosis, and take Science Vs to the edge of consciousness. In the service of journalism, Wendy tries to get hypnotized at a comedy club  and in a doctor’s office. We talk to …

The G-spot

September 2nd, 2016

Join us on a hunt for the elusive G-spot. Our guides: Prof. Beverly Whipple, who introduced America to the G-spot in the 1980s, and Prof. Helen …

Organic Food

August 26th, 2016

People are going bonkers for organic, but what are you really getting when you buy them? Better taste? Fewer toxic chemicals? A cleaner environment? …

Gun Control (Pt 2)

August 12th, 2016

In last week’s episode, we learned that around 30,000 Americans die each year from guns. This week, we examine possible solutions. Do better …


August 4th, 2016

We find out how many times a year guns are used in self-defense, how many times they’re used to murder someone, and what impact guns have on the crime rate. In this episode we speak with Prof. David Hemenway, Prof. …

Attachment Parenting

July 28th, 2016

Judy, a mother of two young kids, practices a demanding style of child-rearing. It’s called attachment parenting, and it says you should keep your …


July 27th, 2016

We often hear stories about fracking that go like this: a gas company comes to a small town, starts drilling wells, and then terrible things start to happen. People get sick. Water burns from taps. Earthquakes ruin …

Sneak Peek

June 28th, 2016


There are a lot of fads, a lot of strong opinions and a lot of blogs, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the new show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do …

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