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July 22, 2009 11:57 PM   Subscribe

What are some educational (yet interesting) podcasts?

I'm looking for some "educational" podcasts. Specifically, I'm interested in subjects like history, astronomy (preferably geared more towards laymen), mythology, and just random trivia in general.

I'm interested in hearing any favorites you might have.

Previously, of course, but that's a couple of years old.
posted by Dreamcast to Education (21 answers total) 84 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to mention: I really enjoy the kind of "banter" format (Tank Riot, for example), so they don't need to be "professional" or anything like that. You know, just whatever.
posted by Dreamcast at 12:02 AM on July 23, 2009

I like Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. It's not particularly frequent, unfortunately.
posted by jjb at 12:19 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

In Our Time!

It's a BBC Radio 4 program (& podcast) that has academics discussing a very specific subject in a way that is extremely interesting both to those with previous knowledge and absolute laymen. Each week, they focus on a subject from history, lit, philosophy, science, or religion (usually religious history, not theology).

There's an episode list on the wikipedia page.

Subscribe at their BBC website. They're on their yearly six week break right now, but will be back in September.

I'm completely addicted. Even when I'm not initially interested in the week's subject, it ends up being totally fascinating.
posted by rhinny at 12:27 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Radiolab might have some episodes that cover topics you'd be interested in, as well as a format you'd find enjoyable.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 12:30 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

The University of Oxford's podcasts have lots of history and science.
posted by Abiezer at 12:31 AM on July 23, 2009

If you have any interest at all in classical music, the podcast from the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa Canada, is good. Skip the ones where they intro upcoming concerts, and try the ones with more in depth content: ... and many more

(Disclosure: the host and I were up-and-coming young musicians in a youth orchestra together just about 40 years ago ...)
posted by woodblock100 at 1:03 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Freedomain Radio
posted by querty at 1:09 AM on July 23, 2009

I've fallen in love with the memory palace.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:41 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

ABC Radio National has great programmes

A few of my favourites

rear vision


the philosophers zone

Late Night Live is usually pretty interesting- but all good quality listening
posted by mattoxic at 3:51 AM on July 23, 2009

The History of Rome is awesome. Quirks and Quarks is a great science podcast.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 5:02 AM on July 23, 2009

Seconding Radio Lab.
posted by murtagh at 5:34 AM on July 23, 2009

Thirding Radiolab. It's by far the most engaging and interesting educational podcast I've heard. The subject matters are more towards the science side, but they cover a lot of ground. Some great introductory episodes:

Musical Language

Where Am I?

Yellow Fluff and other Curious Encounters

But they're all great.
posted by farishta at 6:03 AM on July 23, 2009

Tech Talk with Adam and Tim.

Full disclosure: I'm the Adam. :) It's still good though. Introductory computer topics.
posted by unixrat at 6:36 AM on July 23, 2009

Astronomy Cast rocks!
posted by at 8:01 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you would enjoy 'Stuff You Should Know' from HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks has a number of other good podcasts too, check out their full listing , which includes Stuff You Missed in History Class and BrainStuff.
posted by sdinan at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

CBC's Ideas sounds right up your alley:

Ideas is a program about contemporary thought. It explores social issues, culture and the arts, geopolitics, history, biography, science and technology, and the humanities.

Podcasts here. They are only archived for four weeks so get them while they're hot.
posted by Cuke at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2009

Seconding "History of Rome". For etymology, podictionary is good, although I don't really like the bite-size format (i like to put something on and leave it on when I walk the dogs / make dinner / etc.)

The Age of Persuasion delves into advertising history each episode. But it's written by an ad man so it has a celebratory / apologetic tone.
posted by condour75 at 5:35 AM on July 24, 2009

The TEDTalks podcast is amazing. There's also a vodcast.
posted by mjao at 8:26 PM on July 25, 2009

Seconding TEDtalks. Also, although it's mostly stories, I LOVE This American Life. They get a lot of good info from the Planet Money team, too. Also great - Spark. It's from Canada.
posted by hardsilver at 10:30 PM on May 26, 2010

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