The NYU News team asked 13 professors for their 'desert island' podcast picks.

Don't get us wrong: we love summer reading. But there are times in this gentler, more freewheeling season when carrying a book (or even an e-reader!) around isn't practical, or the eyes just need a rest. So this year, inspired in part by President Andy Hamilton, who launched his podcast, Conversations, in February, the NYU News team asked faculty from all different disciplines to tell us what they're listening to related to their fields of study—and to share what they tune in to purely for fun. Their favorite podcasts, described in their own words, appear in the travel-, workout-, and meandering stroll-friendly list below, and we hope there's something here to suit every summer adventure. 

And for those moods when nothing but a good book will do? Don't forget to tackle Tara Westover's Educated, which the whole NYU community is invited to read together ahead of the Fall 2019 semester. Book club, anyone?


Moira Dillon, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Science

Science & Medicine

“You Are Not So Smart host David McRaney is as curious as he is organized. He asks thoughtful and informed questions of experts (mostly of decision making, political psychology, cognitive heuristics, and social psychology) for his general public audience to enjoy.”

“How many mathematicians do you know? Listen to the interviews on Numberphile, and you’ll meet some incredible mathematicians and hear their stories. (Numberphile also has a great, general-audience YouTube channel on math, which is what led me to the podcast.)”

Society & Culture

“And for one not at all related to my field: Everything about anything, and in French! Concordance des temps can really touch on any theme, which keeps it exciting. It’s especially great for non-native French speaker in the US like me as a way to keep hearing French.”


LeConté J. Dill, Director of Public Health Practice and Clinical Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Global Public Health

Health

“Therapy for Black Girls is engaging, resourceful, and keeps my attention. It demystifies the narrative that Black people don't access mental health resources. It amplifies the personal agency ("selfcare") and collective resistance ("squadcare") among Black girls and women.”

Arts

“I have loved Sharon Bridgforth's work on the page and stage, and Who Yo People Is is also something to cherish. This podcast centers around Black artists, other artists of color, and queer artists whose work is rooted in social justice. In intimate conversations with Bridgforth, they share about their blood and chosen kin, their traditions and rituals, and their artistic practices and community activism.”


Lisa Davidson, Professor and Chair, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts and Science

Society & Culture

“For people interested in learning about the various areas that linguists study, I'd recommend Lingthusiasm. The hosts take on topics that can be a little technical with the goal of breaking them down to be easily accessible.”

Arts

“An engaging podcast about general language-related themes is The Allusionist. The episodes are about the role language plays in history, culture, law, personal stories, etc.”

Technology

“The podcast I'd choose if I could only bring one to a desert island is Reply All, which is about remarkable situations that all involve the internet. The show dives into truly fascinating online behavior, and the hosts' relationship is one of the most entertaining in the podcast world.”


Steven Dean, Professor of Tax Law and Faculty Director, Graduate Tax Program, School of Law

Society & Culture

“Without Fail host Alex Blumberg's capacity to reconcile the imperfections of his guests with their greatness makes for compelling listening.”

Sports & Recreation

“Bill Simmons's ability to effortlessly peel back layers of meaning with respect to the players, teams and sports he covers often makes listening to his podcast more interesting than watching the games.”

Science & Medicine

“Hearing about the infinite variety and amazing feats of our often-invisible avian neighbors with my bird-fanatic son provides a tiny dose of wonder whenever we listen to BirdNote.” 


Enrico Bertini, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Tandon, and host of the Data Stories podcast
 

Technology

“MIT's Artificial Intelligence podcast offers high-profile guests and the perfect balance between technical and more philosophical discussions.”

“Data Skeptic host Kyle Polich has a funny way of talking about data science. His more educational episodes are super accessible and always lead to learning something new.”

Business

“Jocko Willink of the Jocko Podcast is a retired US Navy SEAL who talks about leadership and discipline. It's infinitely eye-opening and useful. He has amazing personal stories about leadership and war, but you can find him reading Shakespeare or Machiavelli on his show.”


Larry S. Miller, Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Music Business Program, Steinhardt, and host of the podcast Musonomics

Music

“I love Vox's Switched on Pop, which offers fun, often brilliant deep dives on current pop songs and the artists who record them. This episode "Lizzo and the End of Genre" is a recent fave.”

“The Future of What is hosted by Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin and runs the gamut on topics from the coolest indie labels and artists to deconstruction of music copyright issues.”

“My favorite guilty pleasures are the limited edition series Stay Free: The Story of the Clash, from the BBC and Spotify, and Mogul, from Gimlet.” 


Sanford Clark Gordon, Professor, Wilf Family Department of Politics, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Associated Professor (by courtesy), School of Law

News & Politics 

“For news and politics, The Weeds is suitably wonkish, and the hosts and guests (from Vox) take evidence seriously.”

“I like Left, Right & Center because the commentators are smart and not ideologically lockstep (that's by design).” 

Society & Culture

“Ken Jennings is the famed Jeopardy! champion and John Roderick is an amazing raconteur and former guitarist and singer for the Long Winters (an indy rock band). The joke premise of Omnibus! is that the two of them are compiling an encyclopedia of bizarre and esoteric knowledge to survive the impending apocalypse for future civilizations.”


Patrick J. Egan, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Wilf Family Department of Politics, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Associated Associate Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner

cover image for "Still Processing" podcast

“I'm not a huge podcast person, but the one I love the most is Still Processing, with New York Times writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham. It features sophisticated and at times deeply personal insights on topics at the intersections of culture and politics, often reflected through the hosts' experiences as queer writers of color. I loved Morris and Wortham's drawing comparisons between Jordan Peele's Us and Toni Morrison's Beloved, soul-searching how Michael Jackson fans should respond to the credible allegations of sexual assault against him documented in Leaving Neverland, and exploring how one actually applies the principles of Marie Kondo's Tidying Up in real life. Still Processing is on hiatus this summer, which provides a good opportunity to get caught up on all the great episodes Morris and Wortham have put together so far.”
 


Brandon Brown, Clinical Assistant Professor, Tisch Institute for Global Sport, School of Professional Studies

Business

“Sports Business Radio keeps me up to date on the latest industry news.”

“It's fun to hear The Sports Marketing Huddle hosts engage in modern banter, usually with guests.”

“On How I Built This, host Guy Raz goes into deep interviews with business owners and entrepreneurs on the journey of starting their respective companies.”

Science & Medicine

“For something not in my field, I like Skeptoid, a science podcast that reveals the facts behind various mysterious phenomena.” 


Lisa Stulberg, Associate Professor and Director, Sociology of Education, Steinhardt

Kids & Family

“Mom and Dad are Fighting was actually recommended to me by a student who was a fan of the podcast even though she didn't yet have kids. It is a weekly show featuring a few regular hosts and some special guests. The hosts and contributors have kids of various ages. They share stories about their own kids and about what they call their parenting "triumphs" and "fails" each week. They also take listener questions. The back-and-forth is really enjoyable and informative, and always gives me a lot to think about as a parent.”


Lauren Feldman, Predoctoral Director and Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry

Health

“Anecdotal Evidence offers students an excellent overview of topics from the American Institute of Dental Public Health.”

Business

“Radical Candor by Kim Scott and Russ Laraway provides engaging stories on management and leadership that are applicable to any profession.”


Tatiana Homonoff, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Wagner

News & Politics

“Left, Right & Center is a great podcast for getting a diverse set of ideological views on current policy topics. It occasionally changes my mind on a policy issue, but more often helps me understand the arguments I need to have a fruitful discussion with those who may have differing views.”


Enid Zentelis, Assistant Arts Professor, Tisch

Society & Culture

“S-Town is such a brilliant series because the characters drive the story/are the story, and the host/creator makes his relationship and storytelling part of our journey. The mystery in this podcast becomes more and more reliant on character motivations. I really relate to how this series unfolds with respect to my own forthcoming podcast,  She was a Spy, about my grandmother’s clandestine work with Allies before and after surviving the holocaust.”

News & Politics

“I love podcasts that investigate, re-examine, and challenge the status quo. One that does this and also has a unique, eloquent, and empathic host is season two of In the Dark, which re-examines the murder case against curtis Flower in Winonoa, Mississippi.”
 

“Another is the third season of Serial, which examines the criminal justice system in Cleveland, Ohio.”