Hi there and welcome to Sci_Burst – a podcast about science, popular culture and entertainment! We’re Isabel and Ella, two science communicators and Sci-fi nerds steering this spaceship into the multiverse of science fun! Our episodes cover everything from science in film and video games to comics, music, toys and beyond.
Sci_Burst can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, no matter your level of expertise. We’re here to make science accessible in a fun way, spark further discussions about all things STEM, and grow a community of people happy to be nerdy about science in pop culture.
Follow us @Sci_Burst on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. We are now also on LinkedIn! Here we post additional science in pop culture content, podcast updates, and a range of generalist and academic sources from each episode (for those super keen listeners).
Episode 1: Pokémon – Pop Goes the Sneasel
I wanna be the very best … at science communication! Welcome to the first episode of Sci_Burst, spend an hour with us as we talk all things popularity, ecology and the gamification of science – Pokémon style.
Episode 2: Multiverses Everywhere All at Once
The wait is over! Episode 2, on science and the multiverse trend in pop culture, is out now! Join us in exploring quantum theory, the sci-fi hit “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, and why we’re so obsessed with alternate realities.
Episode 3: STEM girls in 2000s Teens Media
If you love 2000s teen media then this episode is made just for you! Welcome to The Limit Does Not Exist.
Listen on Apple, Spotify or SoundCloud!
Episode 4: Cream of the Crop: Farming Simulating Games
This episode certainly is the cream of the crop! Join us on a journey into the wonderful world of STEM in Farming Sim Games. If you’re an Animal Crossing stan, a Stardew Valley farmer, a Minecraft participatory planner or a cosy gamer – this is the podcast episode for you.
Episode 5: Festive Wishes – Realities of Wishing and Believing
We’re wrapping up the year by talking about the psychology behind our hopes and dreams, with a little festive season twist! Explore the realities of wishing and believing with Isabel and Ella in this episode of Sci_Burst.
We’d love to know where else has wishing come up in pop culture for you? What are your new year’s resolutions? And will they change after this episode?
Thank you all for supporting the first 6 months of Sci_Burst with us, we can’t wait to dive into more science and popular culture next year with you.
Episode 6: Sounds of Science – Data Sonification and Music Parody
Kick off 2023 with us by jumping into the stunning world of science sounds! This rhythmic episode will have you looking at science in a whole new way after experiencing the electric beauty that is data sonification.
In a funky key change, we also explore music parodies and how these may just be some of the biggest ear-worms ever!
Put on your headphones and crank up the volume! Let’s start this year off with a boogie!!!!
Episode 7: Mysteries and Puzzles – The Art and/or Science of
Murder mysteries and detective fiction have long been prominent genres in pop culture, from Sherlock Holmes stories to Agatha Christie adaptations. Knives Out and Glass Onion were perhaps the biggest mystery films released in the last couple years. Join us in unravelling the parallels between murder mystery fiction and something we know, love, and hold very dear: science!
Episode 8: Cyberfeminism – Cyborg, Technology & Women
Happy International Women’s Day 2023! For our first ever IWD episode (and first technology-centred episode!) we explore cyberfeminism and the relationships between women and technology in pop culture – covering everything from Donna Harraway and cyborgs to cyberfeminist art collectives and Black Mirror episodes.
Episode 9: Magic Trees – How Trees Communicate & Fictional Depictions
Enter a forest wonderland with us and discover the magic of trees… in fiction and reality. Forest science is the star of this episode and, spotlighting Peter Wohlleben’s wholesome bestseller ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’, we discuss how the blissful beings that are trees communicate and feel, why we connect with them, and why they are such prominent symbols in fiction books. This episode is a big hug in the form of a podcast!
Episode 10: Xenotransplants – Human-Animal Organ Transplantation
Welcome to our 10th Episode of Sci_Burst, where we delve into the horror-coded topic that is Xenotransplantation. Yep, you heard us – we’re talking fiction and realities of human and animal organ transplants! Explore with us from classics like H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau to modern masterpieces such as Margret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. Though this is our 10th episode, it is our first one to touch properly on Medical Science, so get keen.
There is a content warning on this one for gore, graphic descriptions, and animal cruelty.
Episode 11: Queer Science – Depictions in Fiction & Beyond #HappyPride
Join us as we dive into depictions of queerness in science, both in sci-fi & beyond! We chat about what types of media have great LGBTQIA+ characters, what identities are depicted, and why this representation isn’t more prevalent in mainstream media.
We also chat about the blossoming movement to queer science, and particularly to queer science communication! The future is bright!
Episode 12: Street Art & Science Engagement
Our exciting Uncharted Territory episode on science and street art has officially dropped! Listen to explore the mathematical, technological and environmental (solarpunk may make an appearance 👀) genres found in science-themed street art. Using examples from Australia and around the globe, we discuss street art’s potential as a highly accessible avenue for science communication.
Episode 13: Mars, Space Colonisation & Board Games
Happy Science Week 2023! And happy episode 13! Bring your ears along for a discussion on humanity’s current Mars endeavours and space colonisation themes… in board games 🚀🪐🎲
Episode 14: Elemental Stories
The elements – a scientific concept that emerged from natural philosophy and alchemy – permeate pop culture to the nth degree. In this episode, we discuss chemistry’s roots, science and magic, and the colourful portrayals of the ‘classical’ elements in contemporary pop culture 💧🔥🌬️🪨 Join us in exploring the wonderful metaphors that come with these representations and what they say about our understanding of science – from Pixar’s “Elemental” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” to “Potion Permit” and Pokémon”!
Episode 15: What makes a Hero? Science in Comic Characters
Our penultimate episode of season 1 is now here! Listen to learn all about the (science and technology) formulas that make superheroes and supervillains in popular comic universes 🦸♀️🦹♀️ This episode is being released as part of the National Film and Sound Archives’ science and film night on the 1997 adaptation “Batman & Robin” — an event featuring yours truly!