22 EpisodesProduced by Science Friday and WNYC Studios

A podcast about the left turns, missteps, and lucky breaks that make science happen.

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Mini: The Undercover Botanist

March 28th, 2019


In 1767, a young French servant sailed around the world, collecting plants previously unknown to Western science. The ship’s crew knew the servant as …

Mini: Cats, Villains At Heart

December 17th, 2018


Undiscovered is back between seasons with a listener question: What saved the cats? If you rewind to the Middle Ages, cats and humans were on bad terms. Cat roundups, cat torture, and even cat murder were common …

This Headline Might Kill You

November 6th, 2018


In this Undiscovered Cares Report, Annie and Elah dig into a scary science headline to help Elah’s friend, David, figure out how scared he should be …

Party Lines

October 30th, 2018


In 2016, a North Carolina legislator announced that his party would be redrawing the state’s congressional district map with a particular goal in …

The Long Loneliness

October 23rd, 2018


Americans haven’t always loved whales and dolphins. In the 1950s, the average American thought of whales as the floating raw materials for margarine, …

Turtle v. Snake

October 16th, 2018


Travis Thomas is a rookie turtle researcher in Florida. He was on the verge of publishing his first big paper and naming two new species of turtle when he found out he’d been scooped by a stranger in Australia: Raymond …

Guest Episode: The Infinite God

October 9th, 2018


This week, Annie and Elah share an episode from one of their favorite podcasts, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Sum of All Parts.

For years, Robert Schneider lived the indie rocker’s dream, producing landmark …

Plants And Prejudice

October 2nd, 2018


Are non-native species all that bad, or are we just prejudiced against “the Other”? In the San Francisco Bay Area, one particular foreign species has …

The Magic Machine

September 25th, 2018


As a critical care doctor, Jessica Zitter has seen plenty of “Hail Mary” attempts to save dying patients go bad—attempts where doctors try interventions that don’t change the outcome, but do lead to more patient …

The Holdout

September 18th, 2018


Since the 1980s, Gerta Keller, professor of paleontology and geology at Princeton, has been speaking out against an idea most of us take as …

I, Robovie

September 11th, 2018


A decade ago, psychologists introduced a group of kids to Robovie, a wide-eyed robot who could talk, play, and hug like a pro. And then, the …

Undiscovered Is Back For Season 2

September 4th, 2018


Annie and Elah are back with tales of dinosaurs, robots, and more!

Mouse’s Vineyard: Update!

August 23rd, 2018


It’s been two years since we followed MIT scientist Kevin Esvelt to Martha’s Vineyard. Has he created his Lyme-fighting super-mouse? We follow up.

Mouse’s Vineyard

June 27th, 2017


Martha’s Vineyard has a Lyme disease problem. Now a scientist is coming to town with a possible fix: genetically engineered mice.

An island associated with summer rest and relaxation is gaining a reputation for …

Kurt Vonnegut and the Rainmakers

June 20th, 2017


In the mid 1940s, no one would publish Kurt Vonnegut’s stories. But when he gets hired as a press writer at General Electric, the company’s …

The Wastebook

June 13th, 2017


After a senator calls her research a waste of taxpayer dollars, biologist Sheila Patek heads to Capitol Hill to prove what her science is worth.

In …

Six Degrees

June 6th, 2017


Are you just six handshakes away from every other person on Earth? Two mathematicians set out to prove we’re all connected.

You have probably heard the phrase “six degrees of separation,” the idea that you’re connected …

Sick and Tired

May 30th, 2017


When researchers publish a new study on chronic fatigue syndrome, a group of patients cry foul—and decide to investigate for themselves.

A landmark …

Born This Gay

May 23rd, 2017


At the turn of the 20th century, a German doctor sets out to prove that homosexuality is rooted in biology—but his research has consequences he never …

The Meteorite Hunter

May 15th, 2017


Deep in Antarctica, a rookie meteorite hunter helps collect a mystery rock. Could it be a little piece of Mars?

In Antarctica, the wind can tear a …

Boss Hua and the Black Box

May 9th, 2017


A team of social scientists stumbles onto a cache of censored Chinese social media posts—and decides to find out what the Chinese government wants wiped from the internet.

On China’s most influential microblogging …

Hi! We are Undiscovered.

May 2nd, 2017


We're a podcast about the left turns, false starts, and lucky breaks that move science forward.

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