Ep. 11: Educational Podcasts
So we both set out to find education podcasts, but in hopes of finding any that might appeal to folks other than teachers, we struck out. We did what anyone might do when they've promised something they cannot quite deliver: we squirmed and then improvised. Without further ado, we give you our picks for Educational Podcasts.
The Why Factor https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xtky9/episodes/downloads
One could say this is a worldly psychology podcast. Created by the BBC, most episodes tackle heavy questions like, Why Learn Be Happy? Why Should We Work Together? Why Are Funerals Important? Other episodes are a bit lighter, exploring queries like, Why Do We Still Wear Makeup? As we would expect from the BBC, the show is exceptionally produced, easy to listen to, and well crafted. Classic BBC structure: researchers, scientists, ordinary folks with applicable experiences. What I appreciate most from the BBC is their ability to gather perspectives from all over the world. It gives podcasts, such as this one, depth and that sense of connection most of us long for.
Every Little Thing https://gimletmedia.com/shows/every-little-thing
Brought to us by Gimlet and hosted by Flora Lichtman, this show feeds on ideas from their listeners. And this is how we end up with episodes about Flamingos, public toilet seats, confiscated items in the airport, and fruitflies. They cover the most random stuff and I can assure you - these are things you've wondered at least once. They get access to researchers, experts, previously employed folks from the field. It's a light, charming podcast that will entertain you with mostly useless information. But, hey, you got a question for them? Send it in!
Stroke of Genius https://www.ipoef.org/stroke-of-genius/
This podcast is all about inventors. You get to learn how they got the idea, the hoops they had to jump through to bring the idea to fruition, and (of course) the passion that fueled the creator. From sliced bread to immunotherapy, the show covers all kinds of territory. There's even an episode about the guy who created the Super Soaker...you know, the water gun. But let the auto play ride and next you'll hear from engineers working on advanced prosthetics. No sound issues here, the production value is great. Just a note: there is, in fact, another podcast called Stroke of Genius. It is about actual strokes. I am in no way discouraging you from listening, but the podcast by IPO is the one about inventors.
You Are Not So Smart https://youarenotsosmart.com/podcast/
This is a one man operation brought to us by journalist David McRaney. This can also be described as a psychology podcast, but I'm going to rip a quote from the website because I could not possible say it better. "You Are Not So Smart is a fun exploration of the ways you and everyone else tends to develop an undeserved confidence in human perception, motivation, and behavior. I hope by reading it and listening to the podcast you’ll rediscover a humility and reconnect with the stumbling, fumbling community of man trying to make sense of things the best we can." This show explores our biases, our bad habits, our silence, our immovable opinions. It challenges its listeners to self reflect but not in a soft, flowery kind of way. The mood is intellectual, maybe a bit flat. But the subject matter could not be more timely. And for those who might feel put off by the smug cover art - it's a joke. It's meant to represent the problem, not the creator of the show.