Saturday, 30 November 2019
nerd central - my podcast list
It is almost December and the general election and Christmas are in touching distance. I am not sure which is worse actually in terms of stress created.... One way to keep the adrenaline levels at a relatively healthy level is distraction and for me, listening to podcasts and radio programmes is an excellent distraction. I have been a podcast aficionado for years and I thought I should maybe share some of my favourite listens. This will of course reveal just how nerdy I am but you really know that already.
So here we go in no particular order
The curious cases of Rutherford and Fry (BBC Radio 4). This is a science podcast for anyone interested in important questions of life, for example why scratching an itch feels so good or how big the universe is. It is humorous, accessible and entertaining and you'll beat all your pals at the next pub quiz, I am certain of that. I am going through the back catalogue at the moment, one episode is just the right length for my commute to and from work.
Woman's Hour (BBC Radio 4). What can I say? I love the mix of current affairs, literature and feminist issues. This is a daily programme but I listen to the podcasts. I actually save them up for the weekend.
This week in Parasitism. Loving that one, of course. Parasitology (not to be confused with parapsychology) is my bread and butter. What a particularly like is the clinical puzzles that us readers can solve. It is very accessible even for those of you not lucky to be a parasitologist. The first two dozen episodes or so are each dedicated to a particular parasitic disease and if you want to learn about the a-z about malaria, or sleeping sickness, this is where you should start.
The Inquiry (BBC World Service). This is a mixed bag of subjects, the programmes own description says it all: The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world. Recent episodes I enjoyed were "How soon can be go carbon zero?" and "Is rock music doomed"
Fortunately with Fi and JaneThe (BBC Radio 4). Not an easy one to describe but it often makes me laugh. It is described like this: A frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters Jane Garvey and Fi Glover as guests from Radio, TV and podcasting share stories they probably shouldn’t.
The Naked Scientists. You guessed right, another science podcast. This is a one hour programme that starts with science news of the week and then focuses on a specific topic. The current episode is named "Print me a new liver" and investigates how far away we are from growing transplantable organs in the lab. There are also satellite podcasts, for example Naked Neuroscience or the Naked Astronomy (if that's your cup of tea, it is not mine)
The Guardian Long Read. This covers a broad selection of topics and I enjoy this very much. You can of course also read these pieces but I prefer listening. There was one about David Attenborough that I really enjoyed just a few weeks ago.
More or less. (BBC Radio 4). This has to be one of my all time favourites, I have been listening to this for many years. In this podcast, the presenters look at numbers and statistics used in political debate and in every day life. Although of course not unexpected, it is quite worrying just how wrong those statistics are, or where the eye catching data come from...
The Life Scientific (BBC World Service). This is an interview based podcast in which Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists. The subject areas are very broad and it is interesting to hear about the life of fellow scientists. Of course I am not going to be interviewed any time soon because I have left research behind and now focus on teaching.
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day. A podcast that celebrates what didn't go well. Elizabeth Day talks to broadcasters and other interesting people. I particularly liked the interview with Nigel Slater but also the one with George Alagiah.
You'll notice there are no crafty podcasts on my list. I tried a few but generally don't find myself engaged enough. I do sometimes listen to literary podcasts, too but this feels a bit like being back at school. I didn't enjoy literature at school. If you have any recommendations, I'd be keen to broaden my listening.
Thanks for visiting xx
friends listen to podcasts as a replacement for