Listen Now

Mary Shelley and the science of Frankenstein

A statue of Frankenstein's monster in Geneva.( FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, we look at how Mary Shelley was inspired by science and how the lessons of the book still resonate with the scientific world today.

Super-size-asaurus: How did dinosaurs get so big?

A Brachiosaurus dinosaur herd pass through a dry desert area in the Jurassic Period of North America.

Ancient dinosaurs were some of the biggest creatures to ever stomp the Earth. But how and why did they get so giant?

Mysteries of the universe: Expansion and gravity (Encore)

This huge Hubble Space Telescope mosaic, spanning a width of 600 light-years, shows a star factory of more the 800,000 stars being born. The stars are embedded inside the Tarantula Nebula. (Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi/STScI)

In this episode we ponder some big questions from Brains On listeners about the vastness of space.

The nerve! Electricity in our bodies

Your body is making and using electricity all the time — but how do we do it? We’ll take a look at how bioelectricity helps our brain sends signals and our hearts pump blood. And we’ll learn about some amazing animals that use electricity in weird and wild ways.

Charged up! The science of batteries

Batteries are everywhere — they’re in our phones, our computers, our cars, our toys. But how do they work? To find out, we talk to a scientist who’s making really big batteries to store renewable energy, another who’s working on really small ones to power our phones, and we play in a park with a dog.

Shocking! The science of static

Static on the playground!

What makes your hair stand on end? Why does your skirt stick your tights? Why do you get zapped by electric shocks when you go to touch a doorknob?

Smash: When continents collide!

The Continental Divide at the Þingvellir National Park in Iceland.

How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!

What’s smaller than an electron?

3D Illustration of an atom.

The natural world can be broken down into atoms. And those atoms can be broken down even further. Will the discovery of smaller and smaller particles ever stop?