poll
758 voters

The Best Podcasts for Smart People

Updated February 29, 2020 2.3k votes 758 voters 18.2k 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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  • 1
    Stuff You Should Know
    221
    56
  • 2
    Hardcore History
    148
    38

    Hardcore History

  • 3
    This American Life
    141
    46

    This American Life

  • 4
    Freakonomics
    119
    33

    Freakonomics

  • 5
    RadioLab
    113
    39
  • 6
    Revisionist History
    68
    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.

  • 7
    Ted Radio Hour
    81
    41

    Ted Radio Hour

  • 8
    Invisibilia
    55
    20

    Invisibilia

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

  • 9
    Planet Money: NPR
    56
    26

    Planet Money: NPR

  • 10
    Science Vs
    31
    10

    Science Vs

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

  • 11
    Fresh Air
    43
    28

    Fresh Air

  • 12
    Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips
    31
    22

    Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips

  • 13
    More Perfect
    27
    18

    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
    Good Job, Brain!
    24
    15

    Good Job, Brain!

  • 15
    17
    11

    The Waking Up Podcast - Sam Harris

  • 16
    Curious City
    17
    13

    Curious City

  • 17
    The Dork Forest
    21
    19

    The Dork Forest

  • 18
    Quirks and Quarks
    19
    17

    Quirks and Quarks

  • 19
    Abe Lincoln's Top Hat
    16
    15

    Abe Lincoln's Top Hat

  • 20
    12
    10

    Show Me The Meaning!

  • 21
    The Writer's Almanac
    16
    15

    The Writer's Almanac

  • 22
    The Tom Woods Show
    4
    1

    The Tom Woods Show

  • 23
    Curiosity Daily
    2
    2

    Curiosity Daily

  • 24
    The Dinner Party Download
    16
    18

    The Dinner Party Download

  • 25
    Between The Covers
    11
    13

    Between The Covers