Little Atoms

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Little Atoms
"Podcast logo"
A Show about Ideas
Genre Talk & Culture
Running time 30 or 60 minutes
Country  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station Resonance FM

Neil Denny
Padraig Reidy
Richard Sanderson
Becky Hogge

Past presenters Anthony Burn
Stuart Clark
Helen Keen
Christine Ottery
Adam Rutherford
Dan Schreiber
Rebecca Watson

Richard Wilson
Creator(s) Neil Denny
Richard Sanderson
Producer(s) Neil Denny
Recording studio Resonance FM Studios, Borough High Street, London Bridge
Air dates since 2 September 2005
Audio format FM Radio and MP3 Podcast
Opening theme Little Atoms by Richard Sanderson
Other themes The Arethusa by The Kittiwakes (Taken from the album Lofoten Calling)
Podcast Little Atoms Podcast

Little Atoms is a radio chat show broadcast weekly from London on Resonance FM 104.4. It is hosted by Neil Denny, Richard Sanderson, Padraig Reidy, Becky Hogge and special guest presenters. It actively promotes ideas of science, rationalism, atheism and enlightenment and consists of interviews with cultural icons, intellectuals, writers and academics.


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 and 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 of rationalist 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] It 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.

It is featured on iTunes under the category of social sciences and is generally listed in the top 100 featured podcasts for Science and Medicine in the UK iTunes podcast category.[4] It was the official podcast of The Skeptic magazine until 2011.[5][6]


  • Nominated by web awards in the Best podcast category 2010[7]

Notable guests[edit]

  • 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)


  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. ^ "iTunes Preview - Science & Medicine". Apple. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Redmond, Camilla (15 October 2009). "Radio catch-up: A Good Read, Resonance FM and Cerys Matthews". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ Marshall, Ben (27 February 2007). "Weekly web trawl: ephemera, anger and smut". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ "Web awards shortlist - Best podcast". Institute of Physics. 

External links[edit]