In his visionary 1964 book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan claimed that “the medium is the message,” meaning that what is said is less consequential than how or where it is said (1). Accordingly, he argued, the study of human communication should give primacy to the communication medium itself.

If McLuhan is right, then podcasts are not only an atypical species in the media ecosystem but a potentially transformative one. The combination of message, messenger, and moment makes them an idiosyncratic medium for conceiving and communicating burgeoning ideas. This is therefore a timely moment to reflect on what this media form can offer to science and science communication writ large.