These are the highest-quality academic, educational and informative podcasts, all listenable for free. Their catalogues are goldmines, and if you follow all their new sessions, they'll provide you with a few hours' listening per week.
"It's Only Science" - Discover Magazine
"Every week, we get the band of nerds together to talk about science. We might discuss the news, play some games or just share something that blew our minds on a given week. It's basically show-and-tell with a science hook. We don't take ourselves too seriously, so join us and have some fun".
Doubtful News' Podcast 15 Credibility Street. Skeptical and critical analysis of current news items.
The Economist was founded in 1843 "to throw white light on the subjects within its range". It posts very frequently with news updates on a wide range of topics, plus occasional deep dives. If you only follow one podcast, follow this one.
European Skeptics Podcast
Skeptical and evidence-based commentary.
The Guardian Science Weekly podcast
"The award winning Science Weekly is the best place to learn about the big discoveries and debates in biology, chemistry, physics, and sometimes even maths. From the Guardian science desk Ian Sample, Hannah Devlin & Nicola Davis meet the great thinkers and doers in science and technology. Science has never sounded so good! We'd love to hear what you think, so get in touch".
Intelligence Squared podcast
"Intelligence Squared is the world´s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world´s sharpest minds and most exciting orators".
London School of Economics and Political Science
"LSE is a specialist university with an international intake and a global reach. Its research and teaching span the full breadth of the social sciences, from economics, politics and law to sociology, anthropology, accounting and finance. [...] Set up to improve society and to "understand the causes of things", LSE has always put engagement with the wider world at the heart of its mission. From its location in the heart of London, the School links communities across the world, from formal academic partnerships to advisory work with governments and international organisations".
A school of philosophers from Stanford University produce an occasional podcast, discussing topics of interest in an enlightened and inquisitive manner.
It's worth delving into these old podcast outlets, which sadly are no longer being updated:
BBC Radio 4 : More or Less, Behind the Stats
... haven't posted anything new since 2017, but there's a lot of good stuff to listen to.