poll

The Best Podcasts for Smart People 

Jacob Shelton
Updated February 29, 2020 2k votes 749 voters 17.8k views 45 items

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
Stuff You Should Know is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
2
Hardcore History is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Hardcore History
3
This American Life is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
This American Life
4
Freakonomics is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Freakonomics
5
RadioLab is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
6
Ted Radio Hour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ted Radio Hour
7
Revisionist History is listed (or ranked) 7 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.

8
Invisibilia is listed (or ranked) 8 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. 

9
Planet Money: NPR is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Planet Money: NPR
10
Fresh Air is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Fresh Air
11
Science Vs is listed (or ranked) 11 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.

12
Grammar Girl: Quick and ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips
13
More Perfect is listed (or ranked) 13 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.

14
Quirks and Quarks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Quirks and Quarks
15
The Waking Up Podcast - ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
jimmiles added The Waking Up Podcast - Sam Harris
16
The Dork Forest is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dork Forest
17
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
Show Me The Meaning! is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added Show Me The Meaning!
19
The Writer's Almanac is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Writer's Almanac
20
The Dinner Party Downloa... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dinner Party Download
21
Between The Covers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Between The Covers
22
The Tom Woods Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Neel2000 added The Tom Woods Show
23
Coffee Break French is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Coffee Break French
24
Curiosity Daily is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
fitzrhapsody added Curiosity Daily
25
The Writer's Panel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added The Writer's Panel