I listened to the first couple of episodes of the Big Biology podcast this weekend, and it’s quite good. Marty Martin from the University of South Florida and Art Woods from the University of Montana interview scientists about cool topics. In the first two episodes, they talk to Robert Dudley about why primates like alcohol and Denis Noble about the role(s) of stochasticity in biology.
For the record, I didn’t agree with much of what either of them had to say. Robert Dudley seemed to be throwing out a lot of adaptive hypotheses without seriously considering any non-adaptive ones. With Denis Noble, it would be more accurate to say that I agreed with most everything he said, but I don’t think it implies what he thinks it does. For example, the existence, even prevalence, of cooperation doesn’t disprove Dawkins’ (Williams’) selfish gene theory; The Selfish Gene is largely ABOUT the evolution of cooperation. That’s okay; I don’t have to agree with all of their ideas to enjoy hearing them explained.
They produce two versions of each episode, one short and one longer. I like to get my money’s worth out of free podcasts, so I listened to the long version. Whichever you prefer, you can subscribe at bigbiology.org. The web page has links to subscribe via iTunes or Google Play; if you use PocketCasts (as I do), you can subscribe by searching for ‘Big Biology’ within the app.