I eat a lot. Therefore I need to spend a lot of time in the gym. Turns out it is a good place to learn about science and to improve your research skills. Take New Books in Political Science, for example. Books have many pages and need much time to read. Why not letting the author herself explain to you in 15 minutes what the book is about while you are grocery shopping?
Being serious, podcast obviously cannot substitute reading a book or an article in its entirety. But just like skimming an abstract, it provides an overview of what is out there and provides you with the information to decide on whether you want to dig deeper.
There are many excellent science-related podcast out there. Some of them are about researching itself, some about specific subfields. Here’s my selection:
New Books in Political Science – Political Science
The podcast features short interviews about recently published books with political scientists from all subfields of the disciplines. New Books in Political Science is part of the New-Books-Network which also has fascinating podcasts on psychology, philosophy, history…
WZBDemocracy – German, political science
Scientists from the Berlin-based WZB talk about their research. Previous episodes on electoral system, populism, political parties…
Today, I read on Christiane Grünloh’s blog about You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. I haven’t listened to it myself yet, but it appears to be a promising podcast on persuasion and social psychology in general.
Vox: The Weed – Journalism, Policies
Four journalists talk about US-american policies, often drawing on insights from political science. Features Ezra Klein, one of the most innovative journalists of his generation.
Everything hertz – Methods, Open Science
Two crazy guys talk about the newest gossip and developments in the academic twittersphere. A good example of how we can learn across disciplines because one is a psychologist and the other a Bio…something. One big topic: Methods and promoting open science and research transparency.
The Startup Scientist – Doing research
Dan Quintana (Everything hertz) gives advice on how to develop your career as a scientist using a start-up framework. Excellent tips that really changed how I do my work.
Conversations with Tyler – Smart conversations
Economist Tyler Cowen discusses the world’s big questions with invited guests and often even the question is already smarter than any answer could possibly be.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – History
This is not my field and I have no idea how historians judge the scientific accuracy of Dan Carlin’s explanation of why the world came about the way it is. In any case, he can make you feel like you are reliving historic moments.
In our Time BBC – Diverse
30-minute discussions of a selected topic (truth, Picasso’s Guernica, Feathered Dinosaurs, Plato’s Republic…) with four academic export.
Freakonomics – Economics, long-read
Using insights from economics, this podcast explains at depth every-day-phenomena.
This is not enough? Here’s an even longer lister of science podcasts.
I am grateful for further suggestions on good podcasts in the comments!