Podcasts have made it super easy for anyone to learn anything anytime they want. As I explained in the educational podcasting guide, podcasts are extremely convenient. You can listen to them while you work out, while commuting, walking in the garden, you name it. And because not all of us learn the same way, people with auditory learning styles will especially enjoy this medium.
There are tons of podcasts out there, some are funny and entertaining and some are informative and educational. In this post, I share with you a list of some of the best educational podcasts to help you expand your knowledge and learn new stuff. An educational podcast, by definition, is an audio recording created with the purpose of imparting a piece of knowledge to listeners.
Whether you need an easy way to brush up on your basics or want to get more involved in the world of science, these podcasts cover a variety of topics and are designed for everyone from beginning learners to experts.
1. Ted Talks Daily
Ted Talks Daily podcast features discussions of key topics and thought-provoking ideas by some of today’s leading thinkers and scientists.Ted Talks Daily, which is hosted by journalist Elise Hu, covers a wide range of topics from artificial intelligence to Zoology and everything in between.
StarTalk Radio is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s about science and space, interviews with celebrities, fun and informative. Episodes covered include: Pat, Present, Future:Time with Brian Greene; Cosmic Queries; Thing You Thought You Knew; Slippery Science; Counting Cards and Quantitative Thinking; and more.
3. TED Radio Hour
TED Radio Hour, hosted by Manoush Zomorodi, is a co-production of NPR and TED. TED Radio Hour explores complex topics and investigates challenging questions through a series of TED Talks and original interviews with leading thinkers. Questions discussed include: can we preserve our humanity in the digital age? Where does creativity come from? What’s the secret to living longer?
Radiolab is a podcast that covers a wide variety of topics in science, medicine, legal history, and other fields. The podcast is hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser. Some of its latest episodes include Games (explores the meaning of a good game), Universe in Verse (explores the history of the universe with the help of poets), New Normal (investigates what is normal), and many more.
5. How I Built This
How I Built This is an educational podcast hosted by Guy Raz in which he interviews famous entrepreneurs in order to how they built their successful brands.”In each episode, founders share intimate moments of doubt and failure, and insights on their eventual success. How I Built This is a master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership and how to navigate challenges of all kinds. “
6. Lexicon Valley
Lexicon Valley is a podcast by the well-known linguist and New York Times columnist John McWhorter. In it John discusses questions and ideas related to language and the way we speak, read, and write. Lexicon Valley is a show about language from pet peeves to syntax. Latest episodes include: Languages of Northern America, The Languages of Southeast Asia, Nine Nasty Words, The Invisible Complexities of Translation, English in Plain Weird, Wallowing in Negativity, Why Do Languages Have Gender, and many more.
7. The Grammar Girl
The Grammar Girl is another great educational podcast that focuses on language and language learning. It features short practical tips to help improve writing and grammatical skills. Past episodes covered include: A Strange Use of Said, Why Today’s Thank You is Different from an Ancient Thank You, The Wonderful Words of Christmas, and many more.
8. Waking Up with Sam Harris
Waking Up is a podcast featuring talks about philosophy, psychology and spirituality by Sam Harris, author of Spirituality without Religion. Some of the previous episodes include: Steps in the Right Direction: A Conversation with Russ Roberts; The Long Game: A Conversation with Robert Waldinger; Psychedelics and Mortality: A Conversation with Roland Griffiths; Where is Happiness: A Conversation with Arthur C. Brooks; Freedom from the Known: A Conversation with Michael Pollan, and many more.
9. 99 Invisible
99 Invisible is a podcast about the invisible forces that control, design, and shape our human behavior. It’s hosted by Roman Mars and has over 400 episodes that include The Divided Dial, Cougar Town, Super Citizens, The Safety Bicycle, Walk of Fame, Wickedest Sound, and more. “99% Invisible “was started by Roman Mars as a project of KALW public radio and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco. It has grown from a four-minute spot on broadcast radio to an enormously popular podcast with listeners all over the world.”
10. The Naked Scientists
The Naked Scientists is a science podcast launched by Christ Smith in 2001. The Naked Scientists are a team of dedicated scientists on a mission to help the public audience engage with science, technology, and medicine. The show is supported by the BBC, ABC (Australia), Primedia (South Africa), Talk Radio Europe, and Radio New Zealand. The Naked Scientists team has won several awards including recognition in the Science Council’s 100 leading UK practicing scientists, and the award of the Royal Society’s 2008 Kohn Medal.
11. Science Vs
Science Vs is a science podcast that debunks fads and replaces them with scientific facts. The show’s team consists of numerous scientists, engineers, and journalists. A sample of its episodes include:When Science and Superstitions Collide, Hypnosis: Does it Really Work?; Deodorant: Is It Dangerous; The Male Pill: When Is It Coming; The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice; Should We Compost Human Bodies; and more.
12. Code Switch
Code Switch podcast discusses race with a mixed dose of empathy and humor. Hosted by journalists of color, Code Switch explores how race affects every facet of our society from politics and pop culture to food and everything in between.
13. Stuff You Missed in History Class
Stuff You Missed in History Class is a podcast hosted by Holly and Tracy and covers stories that you might have missed in school. Past episodes include Bicycles and Miracles, The Darien Disaster, the Hume and Hovell Expedition of 1824, The Story of Happy Birthday to You, and many more.
14. Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio is brought to you by Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. “Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything, plus the true stories of minimum wage, rent control, and the gender pay gap. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers.”
StoryCorps launched in 2003 with the mission of preserving and sharing humanity’s stories. The goal is to create intercultural bridges and create a compassionate world. The show is a continuation of this effort. It features conversations about candid stories. Past episodes include A Dangerous Word, The Last Patients, Ghetto Life 101, The Voice for My Song, Seeing the Future in You, One Who is Understanding, You’re My Memory, and many more.
16. The Happiness Lab
The Happiness Lab is an educational podcast in which Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos helps you learn what happiness is all about and what makes us happy. “Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale — the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history — Laurie will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness.”
17. You’re Wrong About
You’re Wrong About is a podcast by journalist Sarah in which she discusses people or events that have been miscast in the public imagination. Past episodes include Baby Jessica with Blair Braverman, Beanie Babies with Jamie Loftus, Flight 571, Spiritualism with Chelsey Weber-Smoth, Your Abortion Stories, and many more.
18. Curiosity Daily
Curiosity Daily is a podcast hosted by Calli Gade and Nate Bonham covering a wide range of topics on mind, body, and the world around us. “In less than 10 minutes, you’ll get a unique mix of research-based life hacks, the latest science and technology news, and more. Nate Bonham and Calli Gade will help you learn about your mind and body, outer space and the depths of the sea, and how history shaped the world into what it is today.”
In Ologies, “humorist and science correspondent Alie Ward asks smart people stupid questions and the answers might change your life…Volcanoes. Trees. Drunk butterflies. Mars missions. Slug sex. Death. Beauty standards. Anxiety busters. Beer science. Bee drama. Take away a pocket full of science knowledge and charming, bizarre stories about what fuels these professional -ologists’ obsessions.”
Wommanica is all about stories of incredible women who have shaped our history. Listen to learn the amazing stories of women such as Mother Jones, Louise Little, Lorena Borjas, Kate Sessions, Norma Gabler, Jahanara Imam, and many more.
21. You Are Not Smart
Your Are Not Smart is an educational podcast that celebrates science and self delusion. It covers topics related to decision making, biases, judgements, reasoning, and more. Past episodes include: The Power of Surprise, Narcissism, Ideaflow, Survival of the Richest, Chess Queens, How Minds Change, and more.
Unexplainable is another interesting educational podcast that “takes listeners right up to the edge of what we know … and then keeps right on going. This Vox podcast explores scientific mysteries, unanswered questions, and all the things we learn by diving into the unknown. New episodes every Wednesday.”
23. ArtCurious Podcast
ArtCurious Podcast takes you on a historical journey to discover the intricacies and mysterious stories of art. It covers questions such as : Is the Mona Lisa fake? Did Van Gogh actually kill himself? And why were the Impressionists so great?.
24. Something You Should Know
Something You Should Know offers short nuggets of wisdom to change your life. “In each episode, host Mike Carruthers interviews top experts in their field to bring you fascinating information and advice to help you save time and money, advance in your career, become wealthy, improve your relationships and help you simply get more out of life. In addition, Mike uncovers and shares short, engaging pieces of “intel” you can use to make your life better – today. Right now.”
25. Revisionist History
If you are a fan of Malcolm Gladwell work, you will definitely love this podcast. In Revisionist History, Mr Gladwell discusses that part of history that is overlooked and misunderstood. “Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. From Pushkin Industries.”