ask science mike

Help Me Create Open, Honest Conversations

I'm a podcaster, not a videographer!

Hi friends,

It all started on Twitter. A few of my followers asked why I didn't have a podcast to answer science questions. With more than a little snark, I posted this tweet:


Just like that, a show was born. We hit 3,500 subscribers and cracked the top 20 on iTunes all before the first episode launched. Today, Ask Science Mike averages 6,500 downloads per day–and that figure will be obsolete by the time this is posted.

I didn't expect a podcast about science and faith to be so popular. My other show, The Liturgists Podcast is growing quickly as well, but it has famous guests and a famous co-host (Michael Gungor). Ask Science Mike is just me and you.

That's why it works. It's your show. You ask the questions, and you set the direction of the program. And you made the show popular because people are ready to have honest, authentic, shame-free conversations about God, faith, evolution, sex, and how to leave this world better than we found it. You want to talk about ecology and shalom, resurrection and entropy, and you're tired of a societal narrative that science and faith are at odds with each other.

Ask Science Mike is successful because it doesn't accept the dichotomy of science vs faith–and neither do you.

Now I need your help. The success of this program has shown me how many people are looking for conversations like these. It's also shown me how expensive it is to produce and distribute quality content. Each episode of Ask Science Mike takes a lot of man-hours from a small team, and racks up some sizable costs for web hosting and other infrastructure.

I've looked at advertising options, but I'd rather give that influence to the people that matter most to this program: the listeners.

I chose Patreon for my campaign because it makes it easy for you to particiapte at any level you're comfortable with, without any commitment. You can change or cancel your donation at any time. Every bit helps. Even $1 a month can make a serious difference with the number of listeners the show has now.

No matter what, the show will still be available to you at no cost. Please don't feel pressured or guilty if you can't participate, or don't want to. Rating the show on iTunes is another way you can help if money is tight.

Just visit my Patreon page to learn more or make a donation.

Thanks for leading me on this journey. If open, honest conversations about science and faith matter to you, I hope you'll consider donating to keep it going.

Grace, peace, and decreasing entropy,
Science Mike

Podcast Fever

I'm out a Sundance with the Windrider Forum this week, so I don't have much time write. Two quick things:

Episode 2 of Ask Science Mike came out on Monday. We talk about Pangea, prayer, and pretending God is real. I've gotten a lot of great feedback on this episode, and I think you'll enjoy it. I'd love to take your question via #asksciencemike on Twitter, Soundcloud, or YouTube.

Episode 12 of The Liturgists Podcast came out today. Kristen and Rob Bell joined us to talk about marriage and relationships. I really love how this episode came out, and I think there's something in this for everyone.

mike-mchargue-michael-gungor-rob-bell-kristen-bell-science-mike.jpg

Ask Science Mike and Unexpected Success

Dear Everyone,

Ask Science Mike will have launched by the time you read this. It's a new weekly podcast where I answer questions about how science and faith work together. The show wasn't even my idea–several of my followers on Twitter suggested it.

My vision was to do something quick and easy. I registered a domain and added a page to my existing website. I made a profile on Twitter. Simple stuff. It took a few hours this weekend to produce an episode that I'm pretty happy with. I expected to launch with a few dozen subscribers and see what happened over the next few months.

That's not what happened.

ask-science-mike-logo

Ask Science Mike broke the top 10 in Religion & Spirituality and the top 200 on all of iTunes before I even put an episode out. I've already got thousands of subscribers, and I've been looking at numbers like an addict.

Think about that: thousands of subscribers for a show that hasn't launched and started as a joke. How would you feel? Because I am elated, grateful, and terrified.

I'm elated because all the pain I've been through to get to this place with God strikes a chord in the hearts of other people.

I'm grateful because there are all these people out there who support me and appreciate my work.

I'm terrified because I don't want to let everyone down. I feel like I planned a backyard Karaoke party and 5,000 people showed up. What if the show comes out and no one likes it? What if no one asks questions for next week's show?

Here's the deal, the bottom line: I am having a blast on this journey with all of you. It's a remarkable sort of grace that I met God, but then I am the one who is blessed when I tell others there is hope.

I can't wait to see where we take this. You all are really running the show.

Love,
Science Mike

P.S. - You're going to love the theme song written by my BFF Jeb Bodiford.

New Podcast: Ask Science Mike

I love to answer questions. It's my favorite part of any event. It's my favorite part of my blog (even if the quantity is sometimes overwhelming). I love it.

My journey through life has offered me a novel perspective on the world–I'm fluent in both secularism and spiritualism. There are people like me who don't find their identity in both categories, but struggle to find a community that understands that. I can help someone in that predicament find the insight they need to keep growing because I've been there. I can help the unreligious understand the motivations and heart of spiritual people, and I have a knack for explaining scientific concepts to people who are unfamiliar with most modern scientific frameworks.

More than any of that I learn when people ask me questions. Anytime someone asks me a question I haven't heard before, I make connections in my own mind that wouldn't be made otherwise. Somehow, in this interaction between question and answer both parties benefit.

I love The Liturgists Podcast. We haven't been at it very long, but we're already more successful at it than I thought possible. It's a program with high aspirations and correspondingly high production values. We want to create deep, insightful conversations on topics that are important in our time.

But something in me longs for that staccato fire of Q&A that's not feasible in that format. And judging by all the questions that come in through my blog and Facebook page, a lot of you want something quicker and focused on answers. That's why I'm starting a new, quick-and-dirty podcast called "Ask Science Mike."

As its name implies, I'm only half of the program. The other half is you. I'm not going to plan the episodes, you are. Once a week (and more often if I get enough questions) I'll post an episode with my favorite questions. All you have to do is post a question to Twitter, Soundcloud, or YouTube using #asksciencemike.

You can also post questions via the Ask Science Mike web page–a boon for those without the technical expertise to record and post audio or video snippets, or those who have questions they want to ask anonymously. I've already received a lot of questions this way though, so a recorded question is the best way to be a part of the show.

I think the show will be more interesting if people share recordings though. Otherwise, it's just going to be my voice. Well, my voice and a really catchy theme song. I look forward to hearing your questions–I think we're going to make a great show together.