Podcast logoGetting ready for an end of summer road trip?  Possibly one to an abandoned place?  Need something entertaining for that long drive? Not to worry!  I’ve got you covered with some podcast selections that not only have been on my heavy rotation, but that also touch on ethics through a wide variety of lenses.  While not every episode of these podcasts covers these topics, I’ve listed a few episode suggestions that will give you the flavor of the podcast as a whole.

99% Invisible
Without a doubt, 99% Invisible has been my favorite podcast over the last year.  This podcast, in their words, is “a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.”  Host Roman Mars and the writers/producers/staff who work with him have crafted an amazing set of stories that are deep enough to give you a flavor of a topic, but short enough told hold your interest.  Personally, I like to save up new episodes for a 99% Invisible marathon while I’m cleaning or traveling.  Mars also excels at engaging with fans (including this one) on Twitter.  For an introduction to 99% Invisible, I suggest  “An Architect’s Code,” which looks at ethical codes for architects, and “No Armed Bandit,” a discussion on the history and design of video slot machines with Natasha Dow Schüll, associate professor at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society.  While the first touches on ethical codes (a topic covered on this blog recently), the second will leave you wondering about the morals and ethics of casino owners and game designers.

On Being
On Being, hosted by Krista Tippett, is the longest running podcast of the three listed here.  From the about section, “On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?” and touches on ethical quandaries and moral imagination.  Religion, faith, philosophy, and science come together as Tippett interviews a wide variety of famous guests, from Thich Nhat Hanh to Brian Greene to Desmond Tutu.  Pro-tip: if you take a listen to the uncut versions of the podcast, you can often hear what the guests have had for breakfast.  There are so many back episodes of On Being that it’s hard to choose just two.  Research-wise these days, I’ve been interested in the intersection of fiction and science and the impacts that dialogues between professionals in these disciplines can have on the disciplines themselves.  “Marilynne Robinson and Marcelo Gleiser –The Mystery We Are” is a discussion between a fiction writer (the former) and an astrophysicist (the latter).  For those of you interested in Food Ethics, I would also suggest “Barbara Kingsolver – The Ethics of Eating.”

Stuff Mom Never Told You
Stuff Mom Never Told You has provided me with company, knowledge, and amusement while running around Lake Union in Seattle and while driving to and from conferences as a postdoc here at Penn State. In the time that I’ve been listening to this podcast, it has undergone some hosting changes; however, this has not impacted the quality of discussions and breadth of topics offered by this women-centric podcast put out by Howstuffworks.com.  Two podcasts I would suggest checking out from Stuff Mom Never Told You include “Hey, Ladies!” on the etymology and use of the word “lady” and “Craft Beer Brewsters” which covers women’s involvement with and treatment in the craft beer industry.  While these topics may not seem “ethics”-based at first blush, one could view these topics as offshoots of the respectfulness portion of professional ethics.


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