by Brian Tomasik
First written: 15 Feb. 2015; last update: 28 Sep. 2017

I listen to podcasts a lot -- when preparing food, walking to work and stores, helping injured insects, using the restroom, and doing other chores. Following are some of my favorite podcasts, organized by category. You can search for them by name in iTunes Store or online. Obviously some of the topics may not be of interest to you, so when I "recommend" these podcasts, I mean that I recommend them if you're looking for podcasts on that topic.

You can also convert text into podcasts using a text-to-speech program.

See also Pablo Stafforini's recommended podcasts.


  • ARZone (Animal Rights Zone) Podcasts: interviews with animal-rights activists


  • Coding Blocks Podcast
  • Conversations about Digital Preservation
  • CS 162 - Spring 2008: Operating Systems and System Programming: Berkeley lectures
  • The Future of the Internet By Stanford Continuing Studies Program
  • Harvard Extension School's Computer Science E-1 - Understanding Computers and the Internet: excellent intro to computer hardware, the Internet, and security
  • IBM Computer Science Spotlight: short discussions with IBM developers about their projects
  • Learning Rails by Michael Slater and Christopher Haupt
  • Programming Throwdown: introductions to many programming languages and other computer-science concepts, along with software news
  • Security Now: This is one of my favorite podcasts because it teaches about both computer security and computers in general, and host Steve Gibson is very good at explaining things.
  • Software Engineering Radio - the podcast for professional software developers: interviews about software principles and case studies
  • Talking Robots - The Podcast on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: interviews with leading robotics researchers
  • TechStuff: layperson-accessible discussions of various computer, software, and non-computer technologies, including histories of tech companies

Effective altruism

  • The 80,000 Hours Podcast with Robert Wiblin
  • Doing Good Better Podcast
  • The Turing Test: Harvard students effective-altruism podcast


  • The Foundation Center - Philanthropy Chat: philanthropy/fundraising interviews
  • The Fundraising Authority: interviews with fundraising advice
  • Philanthropy This Week: interviews about philanthropy/fundraising


  • Science, Ethics, and the Future: podcast of my organization, Foundational Research Institute
  • Singularity 1 on 1: interviews with well known futurists
  • Singularity Bros
  • The World Transformed


  • Stuff You Should Know: light-hearted introductions to a wide range of topics; I often listen to these podcasts when I'm not focused enough for something more dense, because the hosts of this show make the material very easy to digest
  • Nature Podcast: science news
  • New Scientist podcast: (sadly no longer available)
  • TEDTalks (audio)
  • The Young Turks: entertaining presentation of the news from a progressive standpoint


  • Abnormal Psychology Lectures
  • All in the Mind: radio program featuring stories and interviews about psychology and neuroscience
  • Brain Matters: interviews with neuroscientists
  • Brain Science Podcast: more interviews with neuroscientists
  • Neurobiology By Dr. Earl Beyer, Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Neuroscientists Talk Shop: neuroscience professors discuss technical topics with guest speakers; the material is sometimes advanced but very rewarding
  • Social Psychology Lectures
  • The Society of Mind (2007) By Marvin Minsky

Personal finance

  • Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life


  • Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot: interviews on atheism, ethics, and philosophy
  • Philosophy Bites: fifteen-minute interviews with famous philosophers
  • Rationally Speaking: discussions and interviews on philosophy of science and rationality
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris


  • Astronomy 141 - Life in the Universe - Autumn Quarter 2009: course lectures on planets, stars, and cosmology
  • FQXi Podcast: physics/cosmology news and interviews
  • Strongly Connected Components: interviews with mathematicians

Social sciences

  • The Audible Anthropologist: ten-minute discussions of culture, rituals, beliefs, etc. of various societies
  • Brookings - @ Brookings Event Audio: discussions of US public policy
  • New Books In History: interviews with authors of new history books (this is one of many good "New Books" podcasts)