I often seem to get asked to recommend podcasts. Probably because my half-remembered anecdotes often start, ‘I heard on a podcast that..’. Here’s what I listen to regularly (in no particular order), which I’ll try to update if anything changes:
- Radiolab: science… sort of. Interesting stories told with heavy production value, suspense, often a twist at the end, and perhaps a little too much sincerity. Can stay with you for days, can be dull to distraction.
- More Perfect: about the Supreme Court of the USA. Listen from the start, it’s fascinating. Same production as above, but more consistent, so long as you like law and the contradictions that come with it.
- Science V.S.: about science, mostly, and enthusiastically presented by Aussie Wendy Zukerman. Fun, and funny, it’s very serious about getting to the bottom of the issues, and isn’t afraid to talk about systematic reviews.
- Planet Money: short episodes about the economics of daily life. Bit of NPR fluff sometimes, but light and entertaining.
- Reply All: swings between irreverent and deadly serious; nominally about the internet but these days that makes it basically about everything. Presented by two very likeable nice-white-boys living in Brooklyn. One of them has a laugh you’ll hate and then love.
- New Yorker Radio Hour: smoothly presented by New Yorker editor David Remnick, covers a lot of ground. Mostly interview-style.
- Kermode and Mayo’s film review: takes dedication, and almost always worth it. You eventually get used to the in-jokes, and feel comfortable with the muttering of two slightly cranky old friends ostensibly discussing films.