In October 2019, I got bronchitis and listened to a bunch of podcasts while I recovered, at the recommendation of my old labmate Brent Komer. Later during COVID, I started listening to podcasts more often to feel less lonely.
These are the podcasts I enjoy the most, ordered according to educational value.
Dr. Sarah Taber is a crop scientist with a spicy Twitter account. Her podcast is less spicy, but it still fights preconceptions around agriculture and the incentives driving its current manifestation in America. I desperately want her to finish her book.
The Anthropocene Reviewed is where John Green to publishes his personal essays while unifying them under the theme of five-star reviews. I’m a bit biased about this podcast, given I’m a longtime John Green fan. I’ve read all of his books and have watched his Vlogbrothers videos for years. However, I provide the following evidence for consideration:
This is the only podcast that has ever made me cry.
All my coworkers loved it and it became one of their favourite podcasts, despite having no familiarity with John Green and having a repertoire of other podcasts.
I gave the book-version of these podcasts to my family and it was beloved by my sister, mother and cousin.
If I was a true intellectual paragon, I would watch Chemical Safety Board videos. However, I need to be tricked into learning, so I listen to this podcast hosted by two communists and an anarchist wherein they discuss failures of engineering and architecture.
I enjoy John Green and Vlogbrothers so much, I decided I wanted to hear them have a conversation on a weekly basis. Also includes fun science questions as a nice bonus. No recommended episodes, since it’s best to start with the most recent.
Jonathan Goldstein, who’s been doing radio for decades, revisits and resolves regrets of a guest or from his own history. Recommended by John Green for its ability to make him cry. I may not have cried yet, but I have been deeply moved on multiple occasions.
The YouTube video-essay titan, Lindsey Ellis, drags her musical-hating friend to musicals. I also hate musicals and this podcast helps me understand why I hate this specific art form so much.
I really like Tim Rogers. Thirsty for more Tim, I started listening to this podcast. Tim eventually left the podcast due to professional obligations, but it was too late. I had already found my favourite video game podcast. The participants have years of experience and unique perspectives. They have a delightful guests. The host, Alex Jaffe may be the most affable person I’ve ever heard.
When I was most excited about Human Computer Interaction, this podcast quickly exposed me to the community. My interests have since waned, so I don’t know if the newer episodes are good. You can read the transcripts instead of listening.