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Great content, shame about the voices (and the jokes)

Berkeley Groks Science Radio Show is a weekly thirty minute gathering of snippets from the world of science, presented by Charles Lee (PhD in Neurobiology) and Frank Ling (PhD in Chemistry). It is produced by KALX 97.0 FM in Berkeley, California and syndicated to four other stations around the country. There is also a podcast, which is a weekly staple of mine. The two presenters have obviously the right credentials for a science radio show, and it shows: the studies featured in the first half of the show are always both groundbreaking and newsworthy, though Lee’s and Ling’s introductory jokes mostly abysmal. The second half is dominated by an interview with a feature guest. The quality of those is mostly hit or miss, with excellent choices like this week’s Professor John Stachel who eloquently chatted about Einstein, and misses like Professor Yuen-Ron Shen who bored me senseless about particle physics. This chap truly could have read ‘Fanny Hill’ to me, and I would still be asleep within seconds.

So far so good, there is only one drawback: Ling’s voice. The poor guy sounds like a prepubescent 12 year old with a high pitched chuckle to match. When I first had their show on the car-stereo my partner just stared at me in disbelief when she heard Ling giggling away (before she fell asleep during the optical particle physics lecture).

So, what is it: thumbs up or down?

Well, for content and presentation a 4 out of 5 quarks, for jokes and voices 1 out of 5 quarks.

Still, fun in perverse sort of way.


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