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Podcast Recommendations Part 10

Tags: podcasts

I haven't done a podcasts post since February. I'm trying to find a podcast where I can learn more about synthetic biology, but for now I haven't committed.


Long narrative episodes about large companies such as Costco and NVIDIA. Running since 2015 and ongoing. Apparently everyone already subscribes to this.

Dynamite Doug

From the PRX network that did the Fat Leonard podcast, this ran for 6 episodes in early 2023. Covers the art dealer network around Douglas Latchford, who exploited the situation in Cambodia to sell off statues and pieces of temples to museums and private collectors.

Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University

True crime podcast from Wondery network; ran 6 episodes in September 2023. Follows the scandal of Dr. Robert Hadden being allowed to practice despite being reported several times by patients. Columbia doing legal gymnastics to avoid being found responsible.

The Negotiators

Doha Debates, part of the Qatar Foundation, is hosting this podcast series with interviews about newsworthy negotiations. Ongoing since 2021. Topics include everything from equal pay for women's soccer, to a hostage situation, to the Good Friday agreement.

The Plot Thickens S2: The Devil's Candy

8 episodes released in 2021 by Turner Classic Movies channel.

Julie Salamon goes behind the scenes in the movie industry by revisiting her book, The Devil's Candy. This famously followed the adaptation of Bonfire of the Vanities, warts and all. Interesting to have a podcast revisiting a 1991 book about a 1990 movie based on a 1987 book?

The Reason We're All Still Here

The team from Middlebury College's podcast on the Iran deal ("The Deal") have launched a new podcast or rebranded / rebooted with a new season starting this fall. Interviews scientists, researchers, and policy people who go behind the scenes before the politicians shake hands on the deal.

The Retrievals

The New York Times and Serial ran a 5-episode podcast this summer about a scandal at Yale University where patients had their eggs retrieved without anesthesia, because a nurse was stealing the pain medication. A lot of uncomfortable parallels with the Exposed podcast, with Yale doing everything they can to avoid held responsible for it.

Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

Six-episode series released in fall 2022 by American Public Media and Emily Hanford. This is essentially the podcast-ification of Hanford's longtime reporting on reading education failures since 2017. The thesis is that phonics are based on evidence of good readers, and fuzzy feel-good or 'clues'/'cues'-based reading programs are just marketing. Teachers' investment in other programs can be attributed to older theories, well-marketed workshops, being more friendly or 'fun' than phonics, and pushback to the Bush [43] administration's reading program for lower-income schools.

At points the takes seem too one-sided - students' futures are damaged by promoting the methods used by poor readers, parents are confused by teachers' strange new materials and angry when they saw Zoom school during 2020, plans to add phonics to programs are doomed when they should be phonics-only, etc.

The interviews were conducted in 2021, so there's a lot of talking about school boards and Zoom school.

Who shat on the floor at my wedding?

A 13-episode investigation which ran from late 2020 to early 2021. Extremely silly and extremely Kiwi podcast about a rogue poop pile. Sadly I do think this needs a spoiler, accusations are thrown, but the end is not tied up in a neat knot.