The Podcasters of CALS: Academics step outside their traditional roles to take listeners behind the scenes of science and higher education

In the car, at the gym, while folding laundry — people are tuning in to podcasts more than ever before. Since this portable form of entertainment first hit earbuds in 2004, listenership has climbed steadily. And it soared during the pandemic. An estimated 116 million people — 41% of Americans ages 12 and up — listen to podcasts monthly or more, according to a 2021 survey for the long-running digital media study, The Infinite Dial. Those who listen weekly fit in an average of eight episodes per week. Major companies, A-list celebrities, and advertisers are all clamoring for a piece of the growing podcast pie.

And the beauty of the platform: It’s open to anyone with an idea, a computer, and a microphone. Meet two new podcasters from CALS who are using streaming audio to connect with new audiences and boost the signal on important issues.

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