If you were to judge by the number of times I’ve cited a podcast on this blog, Radiolab would be my favorite. If you were to ask which podcast ‘s episodes I wait for anxiously and listen to as soon as they’re downloaded, that would be Undisclosed, which my daughters Justine and Gael recommended to me.
One of the most popular podcasts of 2014 was Serial, which investigated the case of Adnan Syed who was convicted of the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. At the age of 19 Syed was sentenced to life plus 30 years. Although the Serial investigation raised many questions, the series ended without clearly establishing whether or not Syed was really guilty of this murder. Undisclosed picks up from where Serial left off, goes back over the case in great detail, and quite explicitly argues that Adnan is innocent. Each episode raises doubts about the case against Adnan. Many episodes present evidence of bias, misconduct, and potentially criminal behavior by police and prosecutors. Even if half of what Undisclosed says is true, I am optimistic that Adnan’s appeal will gain his freedom.
If you have not heard Serial, I recommend it highly. Then listen to Undisclosed and wait as I do for each new episode. You will not be able to follow Undisclosed if you have not listened to Serial.
I do listen to a number of other podcasts. Usually I listen to them as I’m driving around, particularly on long drives. That’s how I caught up on previous episodes of Serial and Undisclosed.
The first podcast I subscribed to was The Partially Examined Life. Their older episodes give a good overview of the great philosophers over the centuries. The format is a discussion among three or four regulars who have read selections from a philosopher and then discuss the reading. I’m losing interest in this podcast.
Other podcasts which I would recommend without qualification are: To the Best of Our Knowledge (from Wisconsin Public Radio), Things You Should Know, Note to Self (formerly New Tech City), On the Media, This American Life (the parent of Serial), Science Friday, and Death Sex & Money.
My daughter Gael recommends: Judge John Hodgman, The Sporkful, Moth, TED, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.
It would be interesting to hear from you which podcasts you follow, why, and when you listen to them. Since people read these posts on different platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it would be helpful if you posted your comments on this website instead of those platforms so they’ll all be in one place for everyone to share. Thanks.