Listen To Science Friday’s New Arts Podcast, ‘Universe Of Art’

2:13 minutes

podcast album art that says universe of art, from science friday and wnyc studios. the background is an abstract ethereal painting that looks like a nebula or galaxy with swirling blue and purple clouds. a glowing abstract orb is at the center
Illustration by Abelle Hayford, for Science Friday

Listen to Universe of Art on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneIn or your favorite podcasting app. You can read the transcript for the trailer here.

How do we use art to process the world around us in ways that science can’t? How are illustrators using their skills to help us understand nature’s most unusual creatures?

On Universe of Art, a new podcast from Science Friday, hosted by SciFri producer and art nerd D. Peterschmidt, we bring you some of our favorite arts stories from the show, some new ones too, and conversations with the producers who made those segments. We’ll hear from astronomers who integrate space into their artwork, drag performers who bring science into their acts, and many others.

Join us for conversations with artists who use science to bring their creations to the next level.

Segment Guests

D. Peterschmidt

D. Peterschmidt is a producer, host of the podcast Universe of Art, and composes music for Science Friday’s podcasts. Their D&D character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

Segment Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY: And now I want to tell you about a new podcast from Science Friday that we think you’re going to love, especially if you’re a fan of some of our SciArts stories. It’s called Universe of Art, and I’m here with its host Science Friday producer D Peterschmidt. Hey, D.


JOHN DANKOSKY: So tell me about this podcast.

D PETERSCHMIDT: Yeah. So some of my favorite Science Friday stories are the ones where art intersects with science in some way. I’m a musician, so I’m a little biased here. But we wanted to make a podcast just for those stories. And we’re really interested in focusing on artists who use science to level up their creations, and also scientists who use art to reinterpret their discoveries in a new medium.

And the whole show is really emphasizing that we may think of art and science as these two totally separate things that have nothing to do with each other. But the longer I’ve worked here and worked on these kinds of stories, I’ve realized that these things are just so intertwined and influence each other and our reality in really concrete ways.

JOHN DANKOSKY: Yeah, I love this idea. Maybe we can hear a clip of the show.

D PETERSCHMIDT: Yeah. I’d love to play this bit from our episode about a group of illustrators and scientists who made comics about invertebrate butts.


JOHN DANKOSKY: Yeah, I remember this one. Let’s listen.

D PETERSCHMIDT: It turns out Maureen isn’t the only one fascinated with invertebrate butts on Twitter.

MAUREEN BERG: I thought, oh, my goodness. I have to do a comic about an animal with a zillion different butts.

D PETERSCHMIDT: She started a small document with some of her favorite butt facts, threw it into the chat, and the other members started adding to it.

MAUREEN BERG: I think at one point I said, oh, no, we’ve opened Pandora’s butt.


Because there were so many different pieces of information flying in this chat.

JOHN DANKOSKY: It’s worth listening to just for “Pandora’s butt” alone, D.


D PETERSCHMIDT: I agree. There are so many other quotes that have stuck in my mind from that segment. So basically, if you listen to Science Friday and you really connect with our art stories, I think you’re really going to like the show.

And we’ll actually be dropping the first episode in the Science Friday podcast feed tomorrow, on Saturday. But if any of this sounds appealing to you, check us out. Subscribe to Universe of Art wherever you listen to your podcasts. We have a couple episodes already waiting for you there. And you can learn more about it at sciencefriday.com/art.

JOHN DANKOSKY: Yeah, Thanks so much, D. Congratulations on this podcast. I’m really excited to hear more.

D PETERSCHMIDT: Yeah. Thanks so much, John.

Copyright © 2023 Science Friday Initiative. All rights reserved. Science Friday transcripts are produced on a tight deadline by 3Play Media. Fidelity to the original aired/published audio or video file might vary, and text might be updated or amended in the future. For the authoritative record of Science Friday’s programming, please visit the original aired/published recording. For terms of use and more information, visit our policies pages at http://www.sciencefriday.com/about/policies/.

Meet the Producer

About John Dankosky

John Dankosky works with the radio team to create our weekly show, and is helping to build our State of Science Reporting Network. He’s also been a long-time guest host on Science Friday. He and his wife have three cats, thousands of bees, and a yoga studio in the sleepy Northwest hills of Connecticut. 

Explore More

Illustrating The Anal Teeth And Deadly Farts Of Invertebrate Butts

In the latest episode of 'Universe of Art,' meet the illustrators and scientists spreading joy and knowledge about the backends of the backbone-less.

Read More

These Drag Artists Are Making Science More Accessible

On the latest episode of 'Universe of Art,' learn about drag performers who're using social media to bring science communication to a wider audience.

Read More