Podcast Recommendations: TED Radio Hour

Last week, Geoffrey recommended a podcast for the readers out there. Today’s recommendation is for the thinkers.

I propose the TED Radio Hour from NPR, hosted by Guy Raz.

Each episode of the TED Radio Hour is organized around a central theme, and themes range from uncovering the mysteries of the brain, to rethinking the educational system, to uncovering happiness.

Packed into each episode are four to six talks as recorded from the TED stage. Seemingly unrelated talks are brought together skillfully under one umbrella. An episode centered around the theme of manipulation features a talk on how memories can be manipulated, a discussion of moving forward in an age of “alternative facts,” and the power our devices hold over us.

In addition to featuring a collection of selected TED talks, Guy invites the speakers for conversations in-studio. Despite being a seasoned journalist, Guy is unafraid to ask simple questions, embracing his ignorance, which is often shared by the listener.

Guy is also unafraid of (tactfully) challenging a speaker’s position, facilitating an engaging discourse.

Each episode of the TED Radio Hour is masterfully produced. If sloppy transitions, inconsistency in audio levels, or tacky music, irk you—rejoice, this podcast will reward you with crisp, clear, audio.

Standout episodes include, “What is Beauty?” featuring speaker Bill Strickland, founder of Manchester Bradwell, a non-profit corporation which introduces disadvantaged and at-risk youth to the arts and provides skill and job training for adults.

Strickland talks about the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, located in inner-city Pittsburgh, which offers programs in the digital arts, ceramics, photography, and painting. Fresh-cut flowers greet students as they enter the building, and Jazz echoes throughout the halls.

For students at the guild, beauty is an essential aspect of their learning experience, and Strickland attributes much of the success of his non-profit to commitment to aesthetics.

The TED Radio Hour will appeal to a variety of interests, from leadership development, to medicine, to outer space. If you are fascinated by ideas, inventions, possibilities, and fresh approaches to problems, this is the podcast for you.

Find the TED Radio Hour archive here or listen on your podcast app of choice.

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