VOTE The Best Podcasts for Smart People  

Jacob Shelton
895 votes 397 voters 4.6k views 38 items Embed

Thank goodness for whoever invented podcasts. Not only do they help people pass the time at work, but the best ones help us learn something. This list covers the best podcasts for smart people, no matter what subject you might be interested in. Thanks to the democratization of recording equipment, all someone needs to do to make a podcast is buy a microphone and start talking. While it's great to get all those different perspectives out in the world, if you want to learn something, you've got to choose the listen to the right voices. Whether you want to learn Chinese or bone up on economic policy, there’s a podcast for you.

Whether it's linguistics to philosophy, just about everyone has their favorite field of study. On this list of smart podcasts, you'll find plenty of ways to get through your next morning in traffic or boring road trip. From politics and science to book reviews and intellectual takes on pop culture, this list has you covered for whatever you want to listen to. Get your earbuds ready and check out this list of podcasts that smart people listen to.

Vote up your favorite podcasts that feed your brain, and if your favorite smart podcasts aren't on the list, then add them yourself, you smarty-pants.

list ordered by

1
141 10
Stuff You Should Know is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

2
77 21
This American Life is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
This American Life

3
61 20
RadioLab is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

4
58 22
Hardcore History is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Hardcore History

5
44 15
Freakonomics is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Freakonomics

6
37 11
Ted Radio Hour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ted Radio Hour

7
22 4
Invisibilia is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ninjaneer added Invisibilia Invisibilia (from NPR) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. 

8
17 4
Revisionist History is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ninjaneer added Revisionist History A podcast from Malcolm Gladwell and Panoply Media. Revisionist History goes back and reinterprets something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.

9
20 9
Planet Money: NPR is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Planet Money: NPR

10
14 4
More Perfect is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ninjaneer added More Perfect More Perfect, dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.

11
17 7
Fresh Air is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Fresh Air

12
15 7
Quirks and Quarks is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Quirks and Quarks

13
15 8
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

14
9 6
Note to Self is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
MeganJoy added Note to Self

The 13 Sexiest Psycho Girlfriends in Internet History

15
5 2
Good Job, Brain! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Good Job, Brain!

16
5 3
Science Vs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ninjaneer added Science Vs The show that pits facts against everything else, hosted by Wendy Zukerman.

17
5 3
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat

18
3 1
No Such Thing as a Fish is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
UnrightKhan added No Such Thing as a Fish

19
11 10
The Dork Forest is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dork Forest

20
9 8
The Dinner Party Download is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dinner Party Download

21
5 4
The Writer's Almanac is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Writer's Almanac

The Best Howard Stern News Pranks Performed by Captain Janks

22
8 8
NYTimes Book Review is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
NYTimes Book Review

23
6 6
Between The Covers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Between The Covers

24
3 3
Important Chinese Things with ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Important Chinese Things with Jenny Zhu

25
7 8
Meditate This is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Meditate This

26
5 6
Coffee Break French is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Coffee Break French

27
5 6
Caustic Soda is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Caustic Soda

28
2 3
The Road Podcast With Jt Haber... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Marc Premselaar added The Road Podcast With Jt Habersaat

The 11 Craziest Pregnant Women in News Report History

29
1 2
Science... Sort Of is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Science... Sort Of

30
3 5
The Ranker Podcast is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Ranker Podcast

31
2 4
Books on the Nightstand is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Books on the Nightstand

32
1 3
The Majority Report is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Majority Report

33
0 2
KCRW's The Treatment is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
KCRW's The Treatment

34
0 2
Radiotonic is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Radiotonic

35
3 6
Curious City is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Curious City

36
1 4
More Or Less: Behind the Stats is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
More Or Less: Behind the Stats

37
1 6
Slate's Audio Book Club is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Slate's Audio Book Club

38
0 4
Slacking Ambition is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Slacking Ambition