podcasts The Best Podcasts for Smart People  

Jacob Shelton
1.6k votes 591 voters 11.8k views 42 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
188 30
Stuff You Should Know is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

2
115 29
Hardcore History is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Hardcore History

3
110 33
This American Life is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
This American Life

4
87 23
Freakonomics is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Freakonomics

5
94 31
RadioLab is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

6
61 24
Ted Radio Hour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ted Radio Hour

7
37 12
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
36 14
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
39 17
Planet Money: NPR is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Planet Money: NPR

10
34 15
Fresh Air is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Fresh Air

11
24 13
More Perfect is listed (or ranked) 11 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.

12
15 7
Science Vs is listed (or ranked) 12 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.

13
23 18
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
18 14
Quirks and Quarks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Quirks and Quarks

15
13 9
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat

16
7 5
Show Me The Meaning! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added Show Me The Meaning!

17
5 4
The Writer's Panel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added The Writer's Panel

18
3 2
The Waking Up Podcast - Sam Ha... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
jimmiles added The Waking Up Podcast - Sam Harris

19
10 10
Good Job, Brain! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Good Job, Brain!

20
13 14
The Dinner Party Download is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dinner Party Download

21
10 11
Between The Covers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Between The Covers

22
15 17
The Dork Forest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dork Forest

23
7 8
Books on the Nightstand is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Books on the Nightstand

24
11 13
Note to Self is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
MeganJoy added Note to Self

25
10 12
The Writer's Almanac is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Writer's Almanac