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Probably Science

Professional comedians with so-so STEM pedigrees take you through this week in science. Incompetently. Featuring hosts Matt Kirshen, Andy Wood (and sometimes Jesse Case or Brooks Wheelan) along with a rotating cast of special guests from the worlds of comedy and science.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 249 - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson), astrophysicist, science communicator and author of the fantastic new book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, joins Matt and Andy for a Definitely Science episode, discussing, well, the entire universe: Its origins, the forces that govern it, general relativity, the multiverse, dark matter, dark energy, the fact that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you, and the questions that Neil would ask a physicist in the year 2317. This episode is brought to you by Parachute; visit parachutehome.com/science for free shipping and returns and a no-risk 60-night trial.

1hr 6mins

17 May 2017

Rank #1

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Episode 069 - John Roy

You've seen the very funny John Roy on Conan, Leno and Ferguson, and he joins Matt, Andy and Jesse this week to discuss: Daft Punk's new album! Edmonton's giant mall! Waterslides and skydiving! Tweets from space! Guided By Voices on Mars! Height inflation in professional wrestling! Youtube and Wikipedia holes! 480,000,000 needles in space! An explanation of orbits! Space insanity! The military efforts of Archimedes! Our favorite listener's penis! A working cocaine vaccine! The mystery of the Stevie Nicks coke urban legend! Polio vaccines that create more polio! Chicken pox parties: Bad idea! Human ancestors who couldn't hear well! Juggalo scientists! Soup-conducting hos! An affordable 3D printer! Maron in Space!

1hr 17mins

14 May 2013

Rank #2

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Episode 180 - Patton Oswalt, Sean Carroll and Brooks Wheelan Live from LA PodFest

This week's episode was recorded live from the Audible Los Angeles Podcast Festival, with Andy Wood (@andytwood) and Matt Kirshen (@mattkirshen) welcoming original third host Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan), along with comedy legend Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) and Caltech theoretical physicist/cosmologist Dr. Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll). To support Probably Science and LA PodFest while getting a free 30-day trial and a free audiobook download, visit audible.com/lapodfest.

1hr 25mins

23 Sep 2015

Rank #3

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Episode 269 - Chris Turner

Comedian/freestyle rapper Chris Turner (@ChrisPJTurner) joins Andy and Matt to talk about archeology, volcano-based Roman shit, old wine, old Amish people, gay evolution, monkeys playing chicken and the theory of mind. This episode is sponsored by Hello Fresh. For $30 off your first week of HelloFresh, visit hellofresh.com and enter "probably30" at checkout.


17 Nov 2017

Rank #4

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Episode 086 - Karen Gillan

Star of Doctor Who and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Karen Gillan (twitter.com/KarenGillan2) joins Matt, Andy and Jesse this week to talk about: Being on the cusp of superstardom! Andy and Jesse's rat problem! Growing up as a Scottish serf! The parade of bad accents! Kaisers of the Cosmos! Dealing with nerdy fans! Criticizing the physics of the movie Gravity! Closed captioning for grandparents! Alfred Nobel's personal ad! Karen's Carmina Burana funeral plans! This year's Nobel Prize winners! What's your go-to charity? Karen's freshly shaven head! Fruit bat fellatio! Androgen-insensitive supermodels! Parents tracking your career via Google! Metallic 3D printing! Karen's Twitter nemesis!

1hr 22mins

16 Oct 2013

Rank #5

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Episode 268 - Raj Desai

Comedian Raj Desai (@_rajdesai) almost makes himself late to his job writing for Sarah Silverman's I Love You, America to do a morning recording with Andy and Matt about his chromatography history, looking more closely at the placebo effect, and how the extinction of dinosaurs made way for mammals to come out during the day.


9 Nov 2017

Rank #6

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Episode 147 - Gareth Reynolds

Comedian and co-host of The Dollop Gareth Reynolds joins Jesse, Andy and Matt this week to talk about Hollywood tourists, Gareth's important moss experiments, airborne farts, the point of the narwhal's point, an antibiotic breakthrough, what self-tickling tells us about brains, materiAl vs. materiEl, why lady jizz ain't jizz, why lady jizz may in fact be jizz, HIV getting milder and Native American art.

1hr 33mins

13 Jan 2015

Rank #7

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Episode 158 - Caitlin Doughty

Mortician, author, blogger, YouTube personality and death advocate Caitlin Doughty (@TheGoodDeath) invites Matt, Jesse and Andy into her home to talk about all things death, including her book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, The Order of the Good Death, death rituals around the world, the history of embalming in the US, what goes down in a crematory, why dead bodies aren't dangerous to be around, our society's disconnect with its dead, the Disneyland of Death and how to prepare yourself and your loved ones for that eternal dirt nap that's headed our way.

1hr 23mins

31 Mar 2015

Rank #8

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Episode 209 - Mary Roach

Popular science author Mary Roach's (@mary_roach) books have tackled a wide variety of topics including sex, the afterlife, digestion and space travel. In her soon-to-be-released book Grunt, she takes on the curious science of humans at war, delving into combat medic training, stink bombs, genital transplant surgery, the war on heat, shark repellant and diarrhea as a threat to national security. Pre-order your copy of Grunt now!


25 May 2016

Rank #9

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Episode 042 - Emery Emery

Emery Emery, host of the podcasts The Ardent Atheist (ardentatheist.com) and Skeptically Yours (skepticallyyours.net), makes his first Probably Science appearance with a full cast of Matt, Andy, and Brooks to talk about: The origin of Probably Science! Andy putting his foot in his mouth on Emery's podcast! Neil Young burying the Skynyrd hatchet! Blowing up a rat with 8 M-80s! The Bogdanov Affair! Trusting expertise! Brooks giving himself nicknames! Pegged jeans! Andy's ukulele project! Cheating yo-yos with mechanical clutches! Robot bee brains! Emery gets revenge on Andy via Shane Battier!


14 Oct 2012

Rank #10

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Episode 319 - Steve Brett Young

Writer/comedian Steve Brett Young (@stevebrettyoung) joins Andy and Matt to talk about his friend the Studio City Life Coach, Mary Mary quite contrary, unicorns, El Niño, salmon-tossing for plants, Robert De Niro surprises and birth canals around the world. This week's episode is brought to you by the new educational comedy podcast Creature Feature.

1hr 5mins

11 Dec 2018

Rank #11

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Episode 275 - TJ Chambers and Auggie Smith

Friends of the show TJ Chambers (@TJChambersLA) and Auggie Smith (@AuggieSmith) return to kick off 2018 with TJ and Andy's new podcast Twinsies (@twinsiespod), space beer, monkeys bonin’ deer, the recent SpaceX launch, traveling salesbees, sleeping jellyfish, Matt Walker on sleep (and on Probably Science), how to keep your exercise resolution, and Tommy Wiseau’s surprise tenant.

1hr 18mins

3 Jan 2018

Rank #12

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Episode 205 - April Richardson

April Richardson (@apey) of Almost Genius, Go Bayside and @midnight joins Matt and Andy to talk about living next door to The Flash, Johnny Depp's Aussie apology, Orson Welles' Paul Masson ad, Dyson face, Andy’s possible bidet purchase, a dung-based clue to Hannibal’s crossing route, a paralyzed man (sort of) playing guitar, dinosaurs and their eggs and a real-time re-creation of the sinking of the Titanic.

1hr 14mins

19 Apr 2016

Rank #13

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Episode 274 - Environmental Science and Sustainable Food with Dr. Pete Newton

Matt’s on the road in Colorado and meets up with his old university friend Dr. Pete Newton (@newton_pete) who's now an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder to talk about his TEDx Talk on why "food miles" are aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, his journey away from and back to academia, safari tours in Botswana, hunting pangolins, anaconda attacks in the field, the perils of ruminants, changing our behavior, changing a whole country’s behavior, and whether you’d eat lab-grown meat.

1hr 3mins

26 Dec 2017

Rank #14

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Episode 157 - Robin Ince and Brian Cox

Comedian/actor/writer Robin Ince (@robinince) and physicist/host/musician Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox), both of BBC Radio's The Infinite Monkey Cage, were kind enough to sit down with Matt and Jesse while they were stateside for a recent live performance, discussing David Lynch's America, why the queen is common, Alzheimer's being treated by ultrasound, Brian's pop group D:Ream, the silliness of What The Bleep Do We Know!?, NPR's survey of great podcast episodes, The EPR Paradox, manifest causality in quantum field theory, the Large Hadron Collider reboot, Brian's upcoming BBC television show Forces of Nature, being wrongfully accused of arson, Andy's obsession with The Jinx and The Staircase, getting to perform with Eric Idle and ELO's Jeff Lynne and Andy's anger about the success of the Matt and Jesse episode.

1hr 15mins

25 Mar 2015

Rank #15

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Episode 200 - Jesse Case and Brooks Wheelan

Original Probably Science co-hosts Jesse Case (@jessecase) and Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) return to the show to celebrate Episode 200!

1hr 24mins

17 Mar 2016

Rank #16

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Episode 182 - Dave Anthony

Dave Anthony (@daveanthony) of The Dollop, Walking The Room and Maron fame joins Matt and Andy to talk about navigating LA by satellite dishes, penis-at-twelve children in the Dominican Republic, mothers of boys gaining Y chromosomes, why we want to squeeze cute stuff, Rodney Stanger, the apparently kid, look at that horse, the mountain lion on a pole, the epidemic of Netflix documentaries like Cowspiracy, anti-burp compounds, fixing brain cancer with antidepressants and blood thinners, cannabis not causing schizophrenia, the hotel of the future, a double comet situation, 3D-printed hearts and dicks.

1hr 23mins

8 Oct 2015

Rank #17

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Episode 306 - Jordan Morris

Creator of the hit podcast Bubble Jordan Morris (@Jordan_Morris) returns to the show to talk with Andy and Matt about bad accents, why the earliest galaxies are local, Andy's tail, the big toe evolving last, The Lottery, the recipe for mummies revealed, The Core, dolphin hybrids, Patton Oswalt and David Byrne on the Wholphin DVD and the Bermuda Triangle mystery possibly being solved.

1hr 21mins

20 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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Episode 033 - Kira Soltanovich

As seen on Last Comic Standing and Girls Behaving Badly, comedian Kira Soltanovich (kiracomedy.com) joins Matt, Andy, and guest host Auggie Smith to talk about: Shift workers are at risk for heart attacks! Heckles worse than "Too soon!" Siphoning out the contents of Rod Stewart's stomach! Auto-erotic self-asphyxiation! Fixing the hellmouth hot tub! The mysteries of Branson, Missouri! What does Perestroika mean? Pussy Riot! Tracking people's eye movements to predict what they'll say! Bodily changes brought on by pregnancy! Why do dogs wear bandanas? Would you give up your arms and legs to be able to unhinge your jaw? Chewbacca's Russian etymological origins! Going as a low-rent mummy for Halloween! Matt's wizard onesie! Strobe goggles can improve your memory! Auggie can summon death upon unruly audience members!

1hr 1min

13 Aug 2012

Rank #19

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Episode 074 - David Angelo

Comedian and Emmy-nominated writer David Angelo (twitter.com/dwangelo) made a name for himself on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon before moving out west in 2012, and he joins Matt, Andy and Jesse Case this week to discuss: Fiscal responsibility! eEconomics! Apprenticing as a sandwich artist! Martial arts legend Benny The Jet Urquidez! Yngwie Malmsteen! The effects of light and darkness on cabbage! Curing cancer! A listener microwaves grapes! Science advances courtesy of Denny's! Traveling to Mars via nuclear propulsion! The social contagion of applause! Playing remedial viola! Dick Bright's SRO! Andy and Jesse's roommate writes a screenplay! Andy's jury duty! Advencements in wooden batteries! David gets out of a ticket using a photo of his doppelganger!

1hr 25mins

26 Jun 2013

Rank #20