Welcome to “Unsung Science”

Seven-time Emmy winner “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent and author David Pogue tells the untold stories behind the most mind-blowing advances in science and tech. You’ll hear from the characters involved—from their first inspiration to the times they almost gave up. From CBS News and Simon & Schuster.More

Electric Planes Take Off

Season 2, episode 24 • Published 11/24/23 Description Planes contribute 9% of the world’s carbon pollution, but electrifying them has always seemed impossible; batteries have never been powerful or light enough to carry themselves. But in 2023, batteries reached a tipping point in power and weight. Beta Technologies, based in Vermont, is flying its six-passenger vertical-takeoff…More

Genetics, Votes, and Colin Firth

[Season 2, episode 23. Published Nov 10, 2023.] Description The U.S. has fallen into polarized, partisan, political bickering. Online, liberals and conservatives seem to despise each other. But nobody seems to stop to ask: How did we get our liberal and conservative views in the first place? We formed our opinions by carefully weighing the…More

How Does Google Maps Do It?

[Season 2 • Episode 22 • published 10/26/23] Every month, over a billion people open their phones and fire up Google Maps. Its original function—offering driving directions, with real-time traffic tracking—was disruptive enough in 2008, when most people had to pay $10 a month for traffic data. But since that time, it’s become a global business directory,…More

How Cool Tech Is Saving the Whales

[Season 2 • Episode 21 • Published 10/13/23.] For the most part, we don’t hunt whales anymore, but we’re still killing them—mostly by driving ships into them. One species, the North Atlantic right whale, is now extinct in most parts of the world; only 340 are left. But it may not be too late. An extraordinary…More

How the Webb Telescope Sees Back In Time

[Season 2 • Episode 20. Published 9/29/23.] On Christmas Day, 2021, NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope into orbit a million miles from Earth—a huge and insanely ambitious machine, billions of dollars over budget and 14 years past deadline. Now, as the telescope completes its first year of capturing astonishing images of the universe as…More

Inside Elon Musk’s Brain

[Season 2 • Episode 19. Published 9/15/23.] People use all kinds of words to describe Elon Musk, from “genius” to “megalomaniac,” from “visionary” to “erratic”—but now there’s less reason to call him “enigmatic,” thanks to Walter Isaacson’s new 688-page biography. Isaacson hung out with Musk for two years, attending meetings, witnessing meltdowns, taking Musk’s 3…More

Screaming Babies, Noise Canceling, And You

[Season 2 • Episode 18. Published 9/1/23.] In April 1978, MIT professor Amar Bose was flying home to Boston from Switzerland. But when he tried to listen to music through the airline’s headphones, he couldn’t hear a darned thing. He spent the rest of the flight doing acoustical math—and sketching out an idea for headphones that…More

The Pulse-Pounding Origin Story of USB-C

There’s a new kind of jack in town—well, new as of 2014—called USB-C. This single, tiny connector can carry power, video, audio, and data between electronic gadgets—simultaneously. It can replace a laptop’s power cord, USB jacks, video output jack, and headphone jack. The connector is symmetrical, so you can’t insert it upside-down. It’s identical end for end, too, so it doesn’t matter which end you grab first. USB-C has the potential to charge your gadget faster and transfer data faster than what’s come before, too. And the brand doesn’t matter. My Samsung USB-C cable can charge your Apple MacBook and his Surface tablet. The only question left: Where did it come from? Who invented it? And why?More