Steve Levitt is an economist at the University of Chicago and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, which he wrote alongside “Freakonomics” podcast host Stephen J. Dubner. Now he has his own podcast where he sits down with people who have achieved greatness to ask them questions only he could think of. This is “People I (Mostly) Admire.”
This Freakonomics Radio Network and Stitcher podcast is nearing the 70-episode mark, featuring interviews with people like Sue Bird, Ken Jennings, Maya Shankar, and Mayim Bialik. Select any episode to start with – the order of the episodes doesn’t matter here! Episodes are typically 45 minutes long.
There is a wide variety of guests and their respective industries to choose from. Levitt recently spoke with organic chemist and Stanford professor Carolyn Bertozzi about the many imaginative, outside-of-the-box ways she’s treating disease. She talks about her 10 startups that have sprouted from these ideas, the next generation of immune therapy she has been working toward, her approach to leadership in her lab, getting more women into male-dominated fields, and why she might rather be a musician than a chemist.
He’s spoken with people who know how to win, from the most all-time winningest Jeopardy! champion Jennings to four-time WNBA Champion and five-time Olympic gold medalist Bird. He has spoken to former C.I.A operatives who have gone on to host Netflix shows like Amaryllis Fox. She speaks about her decade working undercover to prevent terrorism, the sorts of terrorism societies face, and the empathy required in intelligence work.
Hear from Larry Miller, a top business executive at Nike and former team president of the Portland Trail Blazers who kept his teenage murder conviction a secret up until 2021. He talks about living in fear and hiding the conviction as he worked his way up the corporate ladder, accepting forgiveness, and how he earned his accounting degree while in prison throughout his teens and 20s.
Steve is an incredible interviewer who can make any subject engaging, whether it’s conversations with cultural icons or his own daughters (which, fair warning, has made many listeners cry). You’ll feel your mind growing and creativity blooming with every passing episode of “People I (Mostly) Admire.” Steve asks thought-provoking questions that you won’t hear in other interview podcasts like this, proving that the success of the Freakonomics Network was no freak accident.