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768 voters

The Best Podcasts for Smart People

Updated February 29, 2020 2.4k votes 768 voters 18.4k views45 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.

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  • Stuff You Should Know1
    212
    54
  • Hardcore History2
    138
    38

    Hardcore History

  • Freakonomics3
    110
    34

    Freakonomics

  • This American Life4
    132
    50

    This American Life

  • RadioLab5
    107
    39
  • Revisionist History6
    67
    22

    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.

  • Ted Radio Hour7
    76
    38

    Ted Radio Hour

  • Invisibilia8
    52
    20

    Invisibilia

    Invisibilia (from NPR) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. 

  • Planet Money: NPR9
    51
    25

    Planet Money: NPR

  • The Dinner Party Download10
    37
    19

    The Dinner Party Download

  • Science Vs11
    29
    12

    Science Vs

    The show that pits facts against everything else, hosted by Wendy Zukerman.

  • Abe Lincoln's Top Hat12
    32
    16

    Abe Lincoln's Top Hat

  • Fresh Air13
    40
    26

    Fresh Air

  • Note to Self14
    31
    19

    Note to Self

  • Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips15
    31
    23

    Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

  • Good Job, Brain!16
    23
    16

    Good Job, Brain!

  • More Perfect17
    25
    19

    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.

  • 18
    17
    13

    The Waking Up Podcast - Sam Harris

  • Quirks and Quarks19
    20
    18

    Quirks and Quarks

  • The Dork Forest20
    20
    20

    The Dork Forest

  • Curious City21
    16
    15

    Curious City

  • 22
    1
    4

    The Jordan Harbinger Show

  • 23
    11
    10

    Show Me The Meaning!

  • The Tom Woods Show24
    4
    2

    The Tom Woods Show

  • The Majority Report25
    14
    18

    The Majority Report