Listen to the trailer for season 2 above.

What are the limits to what’s knowable — and how has our thinking about big questions in science and technology has evolved over time?

Knowable Magazine’s science history podcast returns on February 1, with brand new episodes exploring the science of dreams, the search for extrasolar planets, the quest to treat depression and more.

The podcast draws on over nine decades of academic knowledge contained within the 51 journals from our publisher, Annual Reviews, as well as interviews with leading scientists.

Through compelling, fact-checked storytelling, this series will take you on a journey through the complex and often surprising history behind big ideas.

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Catch up on season 1 of the Knowable Magazine Podcast 

How black holes morphed from theory to reality   EPISODE 1: Physicists were mostly skeptical back when the idea of them emerged a century ago from Einstein’s work. The evolution of the evidence, from circumstantial to conclusive, is the quintessential story of science. Listen now.

The heart of invention   EPISODE 2: Replacing or assisting the human heart with a machine would save countless lives. But the quest to build an artificial heart has had many gruesome missteps and caused researchers to reimagine how to keep our blood flowing. Listen now.

The dazzling history of solar power   EPISODE 3: Once fringe and futuristic, this renewable energy shines brightly today as a cheap and efficient source of energy. Still, it remains controversial ­— for much different reasons. Listen now.

Memory, the mystery   EPISODE 4: Just in the past half-century, our understanding of how exactly our brains remember has taken huge leaps. Amazingly, this is just the beginning. Listen now.

Trailer transcript

Adam Levy: Hi, I’m Adam.

Charlotte Stoddart: And I’m Charlotte.

Adam Levy: And for the last few months, we’ve been rooting around journal archives...

Charlotte Stoddart: ...and digging up some of the best stories from the history of science...

Adam Levy: ...to bring you season 2 of the Knowable Podcast.

Charlotte Stoddart: Did you know that the largest particle accelerators today are so big, they could surround a small city. But the first particle accelerators could fit on a tabletop, and some were even portable. 

Adam Levy: I found out that just a couple of decades ago, we didn’t know if our sun was the only star in the universe to have planets. 

Antti Revonsuo: This is kind of what I wanted to see that the field actually moves forward.

Sidney Hemming: It’s a most fun sleuthing project. 

Charlotte Stoddart: In episode 1, I try to understand why we dream by following the work of psychologists, psychoanalysts and neuroscientists.

Adam Levy: That’s out on February 1. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Charlotte Stoddart: And join us on the Knowable Podcast for a journey through the history of an idea.