EconTalk with Russ Roberts is the best interview podcast I’ve listened to, period. Unlike Tyler Cowen Roberts focuses on an issue or two, not the personality being interviewed. He gives fewer if any passes. The effect is that I feel like I’m actually learning about the thing in question, not just getting acquainted with Cowen’s personality du jour. Whether any learning actually takes place at my advanced age is another matter.
My top 5 episodes:
- Keith Smith on free market health care
- Venkatesh Rao on Waldenponding
- Adam Cifu on the case for being a medical conservative
- Patrick Collison on innovation and scientific progress
- Andrew McAfee on more from less
Honorable mentions: Cowen, Holiday, Hossenfelder, Bertaud
Conversations with Tyler are as good as ever. This year’s favorites:
(Note that the majority are episodes with women - Cowen has Roberts easily beaten here)
Breaking Smart with Venkatesh Rao I would recommend to anyone who’s enjoyed the above-linked interview Russ Roberts did with Rao on one of the better Breaking Smart essays. It’s 15-20 minutes of Rao performing mental stretching excercises, solo.
Plenary Session with Vinay Prasad is another podcast that shines with the solo performances, but the interviews aren’t half-bad either. That isn’t a surprise, since this year Prasad has talked to David Steensma, Frank Harrell, Adam Cifu, H. Gilbert Welch, and Clifford Hudis, among others. Sadly, the podcast still doesn’t have a proper website, so I can’t link to any of these episodes directly.