One of the most consistently interesting podcasts ever conceived, Ologies with Alie Ward is a feast for the mind. Every episode focuses on one specific “ology”, from mineralogy to chronobiology, scatology to virology and anything in-between. Released almost weekly, Alie Ward is over 130 episodes in and there seems to be no shortage of potential ologies to be featured.
The Host: Alie Ward has an impressive resume when it comes to science communications: She hosts the CW’s “Did I Mention Invention?”, is a correspondent for CBS’s “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,” and has appeared on Netflix, Science Channel, and even the Cooking Channel. She even helped found the sci-comm collective Nerd Brigade. Alie’s energy infuses every episode with a forward momentum unmatched in most podcasts, and her wit when interviewing a wide variety of hosts from every imaginable field comes through brilliantly.
The Guests: Though each episode might be compelling enough if Alie merely info-dumped on any given ology, she interviews an expert guest–and sometimes multiple guests–for each. In the futurology episode, this is the optimistic and creative Rose Eveleth (who has her own stunning podcast called Flash Forward). Alie chats with Dr. Alyssa Beall about demonology, Dr. Rebecca Lai about the science of wizarding (Potterology), and even world-famous architect Dale Muffinger about cabinology.
Highlight: In the Eschatology episode, Alie talks with apocalypse expert Phil Torres. Contrary to the actual thematic material, Phil and Alie’s personalities manage to inject a level of comedic absurdity into discussions about humanity-hating AI, extinction-level-event asteroid collisions, and more. Amazingly, listeners come away feeling somehow relieved: If nothing else, we have smart people thinking about these risks.
Rating: All Ages
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