I've been an avid podcast listener since the early days - 2005 or thereabouts. Back then, I used to download my podcasts in iTunes and then burn them onto re-writable CD-ROMs to play in my car. It was a chore and a labour of love.
Nowadays, that stack of CDs on a spindle are collecting dust on my bookshelf, and I've got more podcasts than any human can possibly listen to. Here's a selection of the best I've found, grouped loosely by themes.
If you want to learn about.... science
13 Minutes to the Moon. If you love the movies Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, and anything space-related, then get stuck into this BBC-produced story about the epic Apollo 11 mission. Listen at: Apple | BBC
Hidden Brain. From National Public Radio in the US, this is for anyone puzzled about human behaviour and why we do the weird things we do. Listen at: Apple | Spotify
More or Less: Behind the Statistics. It's hard to believe an economist can be this good at talking about numbers. Listen at: Apple | BBC
Radio Lab. A classic, and the older episodes are some of the best. Timeless, evergreen content. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher
Science Vs. Do you want to win arguments with your friends? A great show that debunks a lot of common misbeliefs. Listen at: Apple | ABC
Pictured: Jack Goodman, Founder and Chair of Studiosity, lifelong learner, podcast aficionado (with Studiosity's "ah ha!" lightbulb moment.)
If you want to learn about... politics and history
1619. From the NY Times, a deep dive into America's foundational sin: Slavery. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher BONUS: if you like this, then try: Uncivil. It pulls apart myths about racial history in America, including the Civil War. Great listening. Listen at: Apple
Keen on Democracy. Andrew Keen, one of the most trenchant critics of technology, interviews deep thinkers about the connections between our digital age and the political crises that democracies around the world are facing. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher
Ken Rudin's Political Junkie. If, and only if, you are really interested in US federal politics, then give this a go. No one knows more trivia (and history) than Ken. Listen at: Apple
On the Media. From NY public radio, a great weekly news program about all things (US) politics and media related. Listen at: Apple | NPR
Revisionist History: Armchair history and great listening by master storyteller Malcolm Gladwell. Delicious junkfood. Listen at: Apple | Spotify
Stuff You Missed in History Class. Browsable and fun. Listen at: Apple
The Hurricane Tapes. A deep dive into a fascinating story of racism and politics in the US starting in 1966. Did you see the movie 'Hurricane' with Denzel Washington? This is the story behind the movie. Epic. Listen at: Apple | BBC
Throughline. Similar to Stuff you Missed in History Class, but with a bit more production. Listen at: Apple
Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson. Some great topics in popular history and current events, and Isaacson is a great story-teller. Listen at: Apple | Spotify
Jack, what's a CD?? "Nowadays, that stack of CDs on a spindle are collecting dust on my bookshelf, and I've got more podcasts than any human can possibly listen to."
If you want... entertainment
99% Invisible. A podcast about good design in all corners of life, and host Roman Mars could be the best there is in the business. Listen at: Apple | Spotify
Dirty John. True story of a grifter in LA and the havoc he wreaked on one family. An incredible twist at the end. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher
Every Little Thing. Deep dives down the rabbit hole of weird topics submitted by listeners. Oddly fascinating. Listen at: Apple | Spotify | Stitcher
Gangster Capitalism. Are you fascinated by those rich people that cheated to get their kids into fancy colleges in the US? Then listen to this. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher
Everything is Alive. One of the most creative podcasts you will ever hear. Interviews with inanimate objects. Also, it's hilarious. Listen at: Apple
The Drop Out. The true story of the entrepreneur behind one Silicon Valley's biggest scams. Great listening. Listen at: Apple | Stitcher
Jack Goodman is Founder and Chair - and official podcast adviser - at Studiosity.