The Studies Show Podcast
The Studies Show
Episode 21: Falling sperm counts

Episode 21: Falling sperm counts

A dramatic decline in sperm count could spell the end for humanity. If it's real, that is

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Every so often there’s a panic in the media: sperm count is declining! The human race is on the way out! New studies regularly appear that seem to support this idea. The recent book Count Down by epidemiologist Shanna Swan argued vociferously that the culprit is plastic pollution, which apparently releases endocrine-disrupting chemicals that ruin our fertility.

Is any of that true? What do the meta-analyses, which try to gather together all the evidence on sperm counts over time, really say on this question? In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart ask whether there’s convincing evidence of a great drop-off in fecundity - and if so, what could possibly be causing it.

The Studies Show is proud to be sponsored by Works in Progress magazine - the best place online to find brilliantly-written, idea-filled articles about science, technology, and human progress. If you’re into those topics (and let’s face it, if you’re listening to this podcast you are), take a look at their main site, as well as their Substack, to find tons of reading material for your festive season.

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The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.

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The Studies Show Podcast
The Studies Show
A weekly podcast about the latest scientific controversies, with Tom Chivers and Stuart Ritchie
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Tom Chivers
Stuart Ritchie