The more you know: 11 educational podcasts for adults missing the classroom life
If you’re wishing you were hitting the books again, check out these educational podcasts. We’ve rounded up science podcasts answering fascinating questions, a daily history podcast, and 2 podcasts about books. There’s a series diving into the history of sounds ranging from Netflix’s “ta-dum” to pirate radio history and McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It.”
For classic podcasts, you can’t go wrong with “Hidden Brain” or “Freakonomics Radio.” There’s a hilarious fact-based podcast hosted by comedians where they present their topic-specific findings to the “class.” To learn more about the economy, check out “Planet Money.”
Astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts “StarTalk Radio” and deftly combines science, pop culture, and comedy with guests in episodes. They’ll unpack physics, astronomy, and more topics such as extending life, simulation theory, the James Webb Space Telescope, and more. Neil and guests also break open the show’s mailbag to answer listeners’ questions.
From The Podglomerate comes “Missing Pages,” an investigative podcast hosted by literary critic and publishing insider Bethanne Patrick. In 8 episodes, you’ll hear about bad behavior in the publishing world from authors, experts, NYC media mavens, and more special guests.
Reflections of History
Shining City Audio and Audacy’s Cadence13 presents “Reflections of History,” a history podcast hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham. In daily episodes, Meacham shares pivotal moments that occurred on that date in history and how they continue to shape the world.
NPR’s Book of the Day
Get up to speed on new releases with bite-sized episodes of “NPR’s Book of the Day.” Episodes feature authors from all genres, writing styles, and moods chatting about their work. Guests like Julia Whelan, Sen. Tim Scott, Devon Price, and Lindsey Vonn joined recent episodes.
Ologies with Alie Ward
“Ologies with Alie Ward” dives into science topics and chats with experts about their professional obsessions. Tune in for episodes averaging an hour long on subjects like thanatology (death & dying), cats, forensic ecology, UFOlogy, and more in over 250 episodes since 2017.
Twenty Thousand Hertz
“Twenty Thousand Hertz” traces the history behind well-known, interesting, and recognizable sounds ranging from Netflix’s “ta-dum” to the Wilhelm Scream and McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It.” Host Dallas Taylor is joined by guests like Laurie R. Santos, auditory psychologist David Poeppel, and many more for over 150 episodes.
On “Unexplainable,” host Noam Hassenfeld, experts, and Vox reporters explore science, the unknown, and answer interesting questions. Recent episodes covered gastropods, the James Webb telescope, ovaries, Mars, Venus, and telepathy. Tune in Wednesdays for new episodes.
“Hidden Brain” identifies and shares behavioral patterns in weekly episodes with host Shankar Vedantam. Tune in for episodes diving into science, research, stories, and conversations to show connections between the science of humans’ inner workings, behavior, and the outer world.
Shankar speaks with an assortment of interesting guests ranging from scientists to magicians. In this August’s “You 2.0” series, you’ll hear personal development tools to befriend your inner negative voice and more.
Stephen J. Dubner co-authored the Freakonomics books and hosts “Freakonomics Radio.” He’s chatting with intellects, entrepreneurs, Nobel laureates, game-changers and “various other underachievers” in weekly episodes. Check out over 640 episodes covering “the hidden side of everything.”
Do Go On
“Do Go On” is a fact-driven podcast hosted by Melbourne comedians Matt Stewart, Jess Perkins, and Dave Warneke. Each episode, 1 co-host researches a topic and shares what they learned with the other 2. You’ll learn all kinds of random facts about Monopoly, “Portrait of a Lady,” Eurovision, historical events, true crimes, animals, and more topics.
NPR’s “Planet Money” reports on the economy and business news. The podcast’s “Summer School” mini-series is in full swing this August with episodes on inflation, trade, stories of recession, and the GDP. Tune in for semiweekly episodes.