All Episodes

Crash Test Science! (Hacking Physics To Save Lives)

Crashing a car is usually a terrible accident. But sometimes, it’s a way to save lives.

The Strange Psychology of Superfans

A huge part of our identities, emotions, and our lives get tied up...Why is that?

How Did X Become the Unknown (and so much else)?

X is everywhere and it’s probably thanks to math. But why is x the symbol for the unknown?

What Is The Most Average Thing?

What’s the most average thing in the universe? We’re on a mission to find it.

The Biggest Myth About Innovation

New ideas come from chance events and unexpected connections involved in working together.

Why Some of the Rainbow is Missing

Our universe locked incredible secrets in a code written in rainbows.

The Truth About Butterfly Metamorphosis (It's Very Weird)

Butterfly metamorphosis is one of nature’s most magical transformations.

How Scorpions Became Earth’s Ultimate Survivors

Scorpions are an evolutionary marvel with venom that could save lives.

Lab-Grown Meat is Here… and I Taste-Tested It!

Join me on my visit to the most advanced cultivated meat production facility in the world.

The Deadly Chemistry That Made Life Interesting

Life on Earth may have stayed boring and small if it weren’t thanks to one deadly element.

How the CIA Secretly Spied On Climate Change

How the CIA used Cold War technology to study and combat climate change

Why Y Is a Vowel According to Physics (and so is W)

The secret physics at the core of every syllable, starting with the first words we speak.

How To Go Faster Than Light Speed

The glow from faster-than-light particles gives us a unique way to explore the universe.

The Mystery Behind Earth’s Most Epic Migration

A mysterious and highly impactful phenomenon that scientists are still learning about.

Why Does Every Animal Look Like This?

Countershading is everywhere, and it may be nature’s most successful form of camouflage.

What Makes Birds, Beetles, and Bubbles Shine So Beautifully?

How does iridescence work? From rainbow bubbles to beautiful birds, bugs, and gemstones.

The Dark Origins of the Scientific Method

Under house arrest in Egypt, one mathematician transformed how we examine the world.

Do All Animals Play?

Animals as simple as bees and as complex as you and me and have fun too!

About Be Smart

Be Smart is created and hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D. We give you deep answers to simple questions about science and the rest of the universe.

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