Illustrations by John MacNeill
Are You Listening

For some, science podcasts are time-savers that open their minds to new fields. For others, they're just another fad. What's the future?

Seventy-three-year-old Franklin Leach, professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at Oklahoma State University, was nearing the last leg of his daily neighborhood walk when he first heard that private medical insurers could discriminate against women with the BRCA1 gene. He was listening to a podcast from the New England Journal of Medicine.

While on vacation with non-scientist friends in Mexico, Diana Tomchick, a biochemist at the University of Texas, Southwestern, found that an episode of Kirsten Sanford's "This Week in Science" podcast with a heated debate on global warming sparked one of their own.


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