Futurism podcasts aren’t for everyone. With work, family, friends and finances vying for attention, it’s difficult to justify carving out time to listen to what may be in store for the distant future. But Isaac Arthur makes it easier.
Arthur’s YouTube channel, once used simply for storing home videos, now features a little over 200 episodes of Science & Futurism with Isaac Arthur, a show also available in podcast form on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher. And since its debut episode in 2014, the channel has amassed over 415,000 subscribers and nearly 50 million total views.
Each weekly episode of Science and Futurism runs roughly half an hour and takes a close look at one topic. With subjects ranging from “space sports” and jobs of the future to the technological singularity and colonizing Pluto, the show offers something for everyone, even the most passive consumers of science fiction or futurism media.
Despite exploring sometimes strange subjects, the show makes a point of containing discussion within the realm of known science. As Arthur put it in his 200th episode, Things Which Will Never Exist, “The difference between science fiction, science fantasy and science futurism is that focus on scientific realism.”
That said, most people likely won’t find themselves binge-listening to the entire library of episodes. Instead, it makes more sense to pick episodes that pique one’s individual interest, as if picking a TED talk. But unlike some TED talks, each episode of Science and Futurism carries a title that tells exactly what the viewer is getting into before hitting play—no clickbait, no confusion.
Listeners don’t need to be physicists to understand or enjoy Science and Futurism—although it wouldn’t hurt. Arthur masterfully manages the balancing act of presenting more complex concepts in a way that’s approachable to average folk without hand-holding, dumbing down or being insultingly simple.