The Episodic Table of Elements is a science-history podcast exploring the culture and chemistry behind every element on the periodic table.
New episodes are posted every other Monday. We’re traveling the periodic table in order of increasing atomic number: Episode 1 is hydrogen, episode 2 is helium, and so on.
Each episode stands on its own, but the show does provide a basic chemistry education that builds on itself over time. If you’re new to the show, start with Episode 0: Everything The Light Touches. It’s a very short episode that outlines the show’s format, and introduces you to the wild-eyed belligerent scientist who first saw a vision of the periodic table in a dream.
You could also visit the episode archive and start anywhere on the periodic table you like! Episodes are typically around 20-30 minutes long.
Content is generally appropriate for all audiences; however, sometimes the discussion touches on topics like war and suicide. I include these stories because I believe they’re historically significant, but I also provide a content warning if an episode ventures into darker territory than usual.
Comprehensive show notes provide additional context for anyone who’s curious — there’s always something left on the cutting room floor; often as much original material as is present in the actual show. Plus, complete transcripts of each episode are available, complete with citations.
About that: I work hard to cite my sources accurately and completely, not just so people can check my facts, but also to provide a jumping-off point for anyone who would like to do further research. However, my citation style is extremely informal and straightforward, since I’m not being published in scientific journals or anything. My apologies to any students, but there are several websites out there that can automate that work for you.
The Episodic Table of Elements is written, hosted, and produced by T. R. Appleton, with music by Kai Engel and occasional contributions from Josh Crowley. Research Librarian Derrick Burton provides support as Consulting Producer. If you have anything you’d like to say, please feel free to get in touch!