podcasts The Best Podcasts for Smart People  

Jacob Shelton
1.1k votes 463 voters 6.4k views 41 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.

1
155 18
Stuff You Should Know is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

2
91 24
This American Life is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
This American Life

3
79 24
Hardcore History is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Hardcore History

4
74 24
RadioLab is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People

5
53 18
Freakonomics is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Freakonomics

6
42 14
Ted Radio Hour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Ted Radio Hour

7
26 5
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. 

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23 6
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.

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23 8
Fresh Air is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Fresh Air

10
24 12
Planet Money: NPR is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Planet Money: NPR

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17 8
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.

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19 11
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

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17 10
Quirks and Quarks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Quirks and Quarks

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9 5
Science Vs is listed (or ranked) 14 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.

27 Illuminati Eye Sightings in Pop Culture

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7 5
Good Job, Brain! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Good Job, Brain!

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7 5
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Abe Lincoln's Top Hat

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9 8
Note to Self is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
MeganJoy added Note to Self

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4 3
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

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2 1
Show Me The Meaning! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added Show Me The Meaning!

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11 11
The Dinner Party Download is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Dinner Party Download

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6 6
The Writer's Almanac is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Writer's Almanac

Black Panther Movie Quotes

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

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1 1
The Big Ones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added The Big Ones

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1 1
The Writer's Panel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Daniel Carin added The Writer's Panel

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

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7 8
Coffee Break French is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Coffee Break French

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2 3
Science... Sort Of is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Science... Sort Of

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8 10
NYTimes Book Review is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
NYTimes Book Review

Britney Spears Tattoos

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8 10
Meditate This is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Meditate This

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6 8
Caustic Soda is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Caustic Soda

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4 6
The Ranker Podcast is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Ranker Podcast

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4 6
Books on the Nightstand is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Books on the Nightstand

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3 5
The Road Podcast With Jt Haber... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Marc Premselaar added The Road Podcast With Jt Habersaat

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3 6
Important Chinese Things with ... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Important Chinese Things with Jenny Zhu

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0 3
KCRW's The Treatment is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
KCRW's The Treatment

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0 3
Radiotonic is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Radiotonic

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3 7
Curious City is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Curious City

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2 6
The Majority Report is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
The Majority Report

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1 5
More Or Less: Behind the Stats is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
More Or Less: Behind the Stats

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1 7
Slate's Audio Book Club is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Slate's Audio Book Club

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0 6
Slacking Ambition is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Podcasts for Smart People
Slacking Ambition