Little Atoms

From Podpedia

Little Atoms
"Podcast logo"
A Show about Ideas
GenreTalk & Culture
Running time30 or 60 minutes
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationResonance FM
Hosted byNeil Denny

Past presenters Padraig Reidy
Richard Sanderson
Becky Hogge Anthony Burn
Stuart Clark
Helen Keen
Christine Ottery
Adam Rutherford
Dan Schreiber
Rebecca Watson

Richard Wilson
Created byNeil Denny
Richard Sanderson
Produced byNeil Denny
Recording studioResonance FM Studios, Borough High Street, London Bridge
Original release2 September 2005 – present
Audio formatFM Radio and MP3 Podcast
PodcastLittle Atoms Podcast

Little Atoms is a website, podcast and magazine dedicated to ideas and culture. The radio show broadcast weekly from London on Resonance FM 104.4. It is hosted by Neil Denny. The website is edited by Padraig Reidy. The first edition of Little Atoms magazine launched in November 2015.

History[edit | edit source]

The radio show was conceived by Neil Denny and Richard Sanderson at a meeting in a pub beer garden in London Bridge on 7 July 2005. The first episode aired on 2 September 2005 and featured a panel of a scientist (Sid Rodrigues), physicist and ex-born again Christian (Norman Hansen) and a folklorist (Scott Wood), along with Neil Denny and Richard Sanderson as the show's hosts.[1][2] Richard Sanderson was also the producer of two previous incarnations radio shows on Resonance FM, "Sanderson's Alcove", which ran from February 2005 to July 2005 and "Baggage Reclaim" which ran from 2003 to 2005.[3] Little Atoms is regarded as the first "rationalist" radio show in the UK and one of the first podcasts; with only the JREF's "Internet Audio Show", Rick Wood's Audiomartini, Skepticality and The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe preceding it.

Little Atoms was the official podcast of The Skeptic magazine until 2011.[4][5]

Website[edit | edit source]

The website launched on 16 January 2015. It is updated daily with a mixture of news and features, as well as hosting the weekly podcast and the archive of over 400 episodes.

Magazine[edit | edit source]

Little Atoms's first print magazine launched in November 2015. It features a mixture of edited podcast interviews and original articles by writers including Jonathan Meades, Fergal Keane, Nick Cohen, Suzanne Moore, and more. It is designed by Wild Bill and Crazy Dave, and features illustrations by Jean Jullien.

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • Nominated by web awards in the Best podcast category 2010[6]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Little Atoms is frequently cited as one of the UK's top podcasts. In July 2015, Miranda Sawyer, presenter of BBC Radio 4's In Pod We Trust, praised Little Atoms, writing "[Neil] Denny’s modesty and well-informed interest enriches Little Atoms, and there are loads of shows to choose from (the As alone include Adam Curtis, Alex Cox and Aleks Krotoski). It has recently expanded into an online magazine, packed with quirky, funny, odd features."

Esquire magazine's Andrew Harrison described the podcast as "engaging, irreverent and unashamedly intellectual", making "Radio 4's Front Row sound like the E! Channel"

Fergal Keane described as "a thoughtful site" with "Lots to provoke intelligent discussion"

Notable guests[edit | edit source]

  • Marcus du Sautoy - Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford (3 February 2006, 14 March 2008)
  • Jonathan Meades - British writer on food, architecture, and culture, as well as an author and broadcaster (5 December 2010, 11 May 2007, 3 March 2006)
  • Stewart Lee - Comedian and broadcaster (15 September 2007)
  • Jon Ronson - Author and writer (Regular guest)
  • James Randi - Magician, author and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (13 April 2008)
  • Christopher Hitchens - Author and Journalist (8 June 2008)
  • James Delingpole - Journalist and novelist (4 July 2008)
  • Richard Holloway - Scottish writer and broadcaster, formerly The Bishop of Edinburgh (13 September 2008)
  • Ben Goldacre - Science writer and broadcaster (Regular guest)
  • Colin Blakemore - Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and University of Warwick (14 November 2008)
  • Adam Curtis - Documentary Film-maker (21 November 2008)
  • Tim Minchin - Musician, Composer and comedian (23 January 2009)
  • Noam Chomsky - Philosopher and author (24 April 2009)
  • Steve Jones - television presenter and a prize-winning author on the subject of biology, especially evolution (20 February 2009)
  • Seth Kalichman - Professor of social psychology at the University of Connecticut, who researches HIV/AIDS prevention and care. (29 May 2009)
  • Bruce Hood - experimental psychologist and Royal Institution Christmas Lectures presenter (31 July 2009)
  • Ariane Sherine - British comedy writer and journalist. She created the UK version of the Atheist Bus Campaign, which ran in January 2009 (25 September 2009)
  • Raymond Tallis - British philosopher, humanist, poet, novelist, cultural critic and retired physician (20 November 2009)
  • Brian Cox - British particle physicist and broadcaster (8 January 2010)
  • Ian McEwan - British novelist and screenwriter (19 March 2010)
  • Cory Doctorow - Founder of BoingBoing (2 April 2010)
  • Robin Ince - English stand-up comedian, actor and writer. He is best known for presenting the BBC radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage. (20 July 2010 - also regular guest)
  • John Mitchinson - Head of research for the British television panel game QI (25 December 2010)
  • Johann Hari - Journalist and writer (Regular guest)
  • David Eagleman - Neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author (8 April 2011)
  • Sir Martin Rees - Baron Rees of Ludlow and Astronomer Royal (3 June 2011 - 200th Show Special)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wood, Scott. "South East London Folklore Society".  Retrieved 25 October 2009
  2. Sherine, Ariane (2009). The Atheist's Guide to Christmas. London: The Friday Project. pp. 293–299. ISBN 978-0-00-732261-9. 
  3. "Sanderson's Alcove Website". 
  4. Redmond, Camilla (15 October 2009). "Radio catch-up: A Good Read, Resonance FM and Cerys Matthews". The Guardian. 
  5. Marshall, Ben (27 February 2007). "Weekly web trawl: ephemera, anger and smut". The Guardian. 
  6. "Web awards shortlist - Best podcast". Institute of Physics. 

External links[edit | edit source]