Ologies is a wonderfully quirky podcast that focuses on the world of science, as host Alie Ward discusses numerous topics with acclaimed scientists from different fields and “Ologies.”
This podcast is incredibly insightful and will help you gain tremendous knowledge of scientific topics you never knew about.
But it is also very humorous and light in tone, which makes it very easy to listen to.
Alie has welcomed many interesting guests onto the show, so no doubt you want to find the best of the best, right?
You’re lucky because I’ve found the best episodes of the Ologies series. Read on to find out which they are!
Table of Contents
Screamology (LOUD VOCALIZATIONS) With Harold Gouzoules
You’ve likely never heard of screamology before, but don’t worry, nor had I before I checked out this remarkable episode, and now I wish I had known much sooner.
In this episode, Alie is joined by Dr. Harold Gouzoules, who studies in the field.
Has a wealth of experience in studying exactly why we scream in specific contexts and explores some of the potential benefits that a good scream can have!
The two explore the world of screamology and note some of the many unique screams that can be found worldwide, from birds, caterpillars, foxes, to even baby humans.
Further, they also explore precisely why so many creatures scream and what screams can be used to communicate.
You’d be surprised; screams can communicate an awful lot!
One of the most interesting parts of the episode is when the two discuss why it is so common to scream at a concert and why we feel the need to do it.
And, of course, the highlight of this episode is the health benefits that can come from screaming.
The two discuss primal scream therapy and explore some cases in which regular screaming therapy has had a marked effect on certain subjects.
Procynology (RACCOONS) With Suzanne Macdonald + A Gaze Of Raccoonologists
Raccoons are commonly referred to as ‘Trash pandas’ during online discourse, and this affectionate term rather perfectly represents.
That complicated relationship we have with these admittedly adorable creatures.
Raccoons are simultaneously listed as pests due to their penchant for exploring your trash cans, but they are also highly adored thanks to their rounded bodies, small arms, and cute faces.
There is lots to explore about Raccoons, and that’s what Procynology is for!
In this episode, Alie is joined by procynologist Dr. Suzanne MacDonald, and the two explore the rich history of the creatures and our relationships with them.
Other topics covered include cartoon depictions of raccoons, whether or not raccoons should be kept as pets, and where the ethics lie within domesticating them.
If you’ve ever wanted to get to know these adorable creatures a little more, this is the perfect episode.
Phallology (PENISES) With Dr. Emily Willingham
No, you did not read that title incorrectly. This fascinating episode is all about the phallic organ, and it is incredibly interesting.
Due to the light-hearted nature of the podcast, there are a few jokes thrown in here and there, but for the most part, this episode is a very intriguing case study of a little-known scientific field.
To help her understand Phallology a little better, Alie Ward enlists the help of Dr. Emily Willingham as the two discuss the various penises across the animal kingdom.
They also discuss pressures of masculinity, how male pleasure works, and even how penises end up injured (ouch!).
This is a truly fascinating episode that is simultaneously very funny and illuminating.
Proptology (THEATER & FILM PROPS) With Jay Duckworth
At this point, you’re probably surprised at just how many highly specific “Ologies” there are out there! Among them is Proptology, which is the study of film and theater props!
This is a great episode if you want to get to know the film and theater industries better.
In this episode, Alie and Jay talk about some of the thousands of items you might find on an average set or stage play and how Jay can keep such a good track of it all.
Props are largely a hidden art of the film and theater worlds, so this episode serves as a perfect celebration of these unsung heroes.
Jay Duckworth has worked on many film sets across his career and was even involved with some of the earliest productions of the hugely popular Broadway show Hamilton.
There is also plenty of sage advice shared throughout the episode that can be applied to just about any career path, which helps to make this episode very easy for me to recommend to absolutely everyone.
Gluteology (BUTTS) With Natalia Reagan
Yet again! Another highly specific scientific field! This time focused on those gluteal cheeks!
You wouldn’t think that there would be that much to study within the world of butts, but you’d probably be shocked at what you might learn.
As part of this episode, gluteologist Natalia Reagan and Alie discuss what we like so much about butts and why we have them in the first place.
She can also help you appreciate yours a little more, no matter what shape it is!
This episode has a perfect sense of humor full of butt-related puns that will have you giggling with every single one.
And don’t worry, there is still plenty of scientific knowledge that you have come to expect from the show, such as the science of wiping and how we can improve our wiping techniques.
Pedagogology (SCIENCE COMMUNICATION) With Bill Nye
There is no better possible episode for me to end this list than one that stars the one and only Bill Nye. You cannot get more fabulous than Bill Nye when it comes to scientific guests.
Bill is perhaps best known as a crucial part of many American childhoods, as the face of the Disney educational show Bill Nye The Science Guy.
In this episode, Bill and Alie discuss how scientific facts are communicated and spread throughout the scientific community.
This helps make the often head-spinning world of science a little easier to understand.
We also learn some more about who Bill Nye is as a person and how he can continue to be such an optimistic force of positivity in an increasingly negative world.
Alie has described this as one of her most cherished podcast episodes, so you do not want to miss it!
Economic Sociology Pt. 2 (MONEY/FREAKONOMICS) with Steven Levitt and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman
Economic sociology studies the social cause and effect of various economic phenomena. The topic covers money, savings, spending, stocks, stonks, the Amazon, UBI, and much more.
Alie talks with Economist, professor, and “Freakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt. He discusses everything from being cheap and what decision-making costs our minds.
He shares why you should care about the stock market, even as a regular person.
Alie also has Harvard scholar Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman give her thoughts on the subreddit WallStreetBets, which includes Gamestop and other hedge funds that made the news.
Anna also shares how we can measure the health of the economy.
They both answer questions from Ologies patrons that give some good info about the science of money.