Joining Jason Hartman from Barrington, England, is Dr. Chris Smith, creator of the popular podcast, “The Naked Scientists.” Dr. Smith shares the fascinating tale of how he and his colleagues began their radio show in 2000, which then led to creating one of the world’s first podcasts. They were one of the first podcasts listed on iTunes when it first launched in 2005.
Adding their podcast to iTunes literally broke their server with the huge surge in their listening audience, which is known as the “iTunes Effect.” Dr. Smith relates that the first interview they did, which they thought would be around a 5-minute interview, turned into a two-hour interview. With the success the group achieved, Dr. Smith was able to raise money from grant-awarding bodies, such as The University of Cambridge, Research Councils of England, Rolls Royce, etc, which enabled them to put together a strong production team of scientists with skills in journalism. The podcast has grown by being repurposed to specialty shows around the world, five broadcasts per week. Dr. Smith explains the process he and his team employ to bring their show to a large listening audience from all around the globe.
What are “The Naked Scientists,” you may ask? The Naked Scientists are a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials, and promote it to the general public. Their award winning BBC weekly radio programme, The Naked Scientists, reaches a potential audience of 6 million listeners across the east of England, and also has an international following on the web. Each week, listeners of all ages and backgrounds tune in on a Sunday evening to hear creator Dr. Chris Smith, together with his entertaining sidekicks, interview renowned scientists and researchers from all over the world and take science questions on any subject live from the listening public. In addition to the radio show, the group has organised Naked Science at Borders, a public lecture series enabling the community to attend informative presentations given by some of the UK’s most celebrated scientists. They have also put together this website to allow the radio show, lectures, and much more to be accessible world-wide. According to Dr. Smith, the basic goal of the Naked Scientists “is to help people enjoy science as much as we do and, at the same time, to have fun.”