We recently gave you a list of 7 educational podcasts that aren’t mind-numbingly dull. We showed you the mine of useless (yet amazing) facts that is the QI Podcast; we introduced you to those potty-mouthed guys over at Cracked; and we let the orators fight it out (with words) on Intelligence Squared. But that, kind friends, was only an appetiser…
Sadly, the podcast universe is lousy with poorly produced, rambling boredom factories, but there are still a few pockets of hope. As always, you can count on your friends here at Growth Engineering to sort through the rubbish and find the hidden gems. So here we go with another TEN morsels of mind-expanding earfood for your enjoyment.
1. TED Talks
The home of Ideas Worth Spreading is your best source of enlightenment for pretty much any topic you can think of. Here, you’ll find industry experts going into depth about their topic and letting you know why it matters.
You can always count on BBC Radio to teach you something you hadn’t expected to learn. The Forum poses a topic and lets a board of three lead thinkers discuss the topic in depth.
Again, the BBC comes to the rescue, hoovering up ignorance as it goes! This series is hosted by Neil McGregor, the director of the British Museum, and his own awe of the subject comes through perfectly. In each episode, a seemingly mundane historical artifact is examined, as well as its impact on history.
On the Radiolab podcast, science and philosophy collide head-on, but it’s not the senseless wreck you might expect. Instead, each episode takes one big idea and weaves a tapestry of people and stories around it.
What? Another excellent reason to listen to BBC Radio 4? Featuring Robin Ince and everyone’s favourite keyboard player/astrophysicist, Brian Cox, you can enjoy the full sciencey wonder of the podcast without any risk of accidentally catching the Archers.
This is a great podcast for anyone with even a marginal interest in design or architecture. The premise is that 99% of great design cannot be seen and exists in the background and the history of its creation. The episodes rarely exceed 25 minutes and some of them are as short as 4 minutes, so you’ve no excuse not to squeeze one into your day.
If you’re one of those people who assumed that economics was a boring topic, then this podcast will change your mind. No, really! Following in the footsteps of the Steven Levitt’s book of the same title, Freakonomics Radio exposes the stranger side of economics whilst encouraging creative thinking.
8. Back to Work
If you’re always looking to improve your productivity, Back to Work features interviews and discussions centred around professional development, communication and anything else you can think of that might make you work more effectively.
If you’re a fan of a good pub quiz, but you’re sick of the same old Premier League questions that you never know the answer to, you should check this podcast out. Good Job, Brain! is part quiz show and part trivia-mill and after only a couple of episodes, you’ll have enough quirky facts to earn yourself a reputation as Quirky-Fact-Guy.
This podcast does exactly what it says on the tin – if you want to know how to clean your tyrannosaurus rex, or how to make the best use of your pet dolphin, then you’ll find a few pointers here. It also includes practical information that people might actually find useful.
So there you have it – 17 of the best podcasts for teaching you things you never thought you’d learn. The next time you’ve got a mountain of clothes to iron, pop one of these on and take a step closer to the genius you always knew you could be.
We don’t like to toot our own trumpet too much, but we like to think we’re experts when it comes to making learning fun. Enjoyment is just one of the essential pieces of the engagement puzzle. To find out how to use the power of engagement to satisfy your every whim, download the Art of Engagement white paper by clicking this link.