Below are my top four podcasts and a brief explanation of what they are and why I like them:
I was first told about Radiolab by an old work colleague. I first thought that it’d be a typical science podcast that talks about new research etc but it is so much more. There are two main presenters (Jab and Robert) but a plethora of guest presenters and producers make it highly varied. Each episode is typically one or more detailed reports into a huge variety of topics, often taking unexpected looks at things you may think you know a lot about. The podcast isn’t just science, it looks at history and often blurs the lines of traditional divides between the sciences and the arts. Radiolab also has a great acoustic element to it, with lots of really good sound production that brings it to life. It’s awesome!
Stuff You Should Know
This is the first of two podcasts that I love from How Stuff Works. The best part about SYSK is that it is presented by Chuck and Josh. Initially it took me a while to warm up to them, as they have an amazing ability to go off on tangents but that is precisely why I think they’re great. Their personalities really bring the subjects they talk about to life. SYSK covers a huge range of subjects from ejector seats to Jack the Ripper. If you want to listen then go to their website rather than itunes, as it has all of their episodes not the last few hundred. I love this podcast but I would take some of what they say with a pinch of salt, having listened to a number of episodes that I am knowledgeable about I found a few holes or misconceptions in what Chuck and Josh said (but don’t let that put you off, it’s awesome).
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Missed in History is another How Stuff Works podcast but it is so different to SYSK. The current presenters, Holly and Tracey, religiously prepare and research each episode. Where SYSK is a fly by the seat of your pants affair, missed in history is well planned and is a brilliant ride through random bits of history you’ll never have heard of. History is something that I’ve always loved but fell by the academic wayside, so this is a guilty pleasure. The show has a penchant for exhumations, missing ships/people and serial killers/unsolved murders. They have also enlightened me about some amazing women from history like Ada Lovelace and Freya Stark. Binge listen to Missed in History while measuring skulls on the Isle of Rum!
Guardian Science Weekly
This is a fairly straightforward science news podcast. However, the presenters and reporters really bring things alive with their enthusiasm for the job they do. It fun and entertaining while at the same time keeping you up-to-date with the latest innovations in science. Because it’s made by the Guardian it’s of a high standard and you can trust what you hear.