HUBweek Recommends: Podcasts

Our 8 favorite art, science, and tech podcasts for your morning commute. Happy listening!


1. Radiolab

Our favorite episode: “More or Less Human”

A perennial fan favorite, Radiolab is “devoted to investigating a strange world.” Bringing us stories at the intersection of science, philosophy, and human interest, the podcast takes a unique look at topics ranging from neuroscience and time to morality and economics. One of our fave episodes, “More or Less Human,” explores the increasingly blurred line between humans and ’bots — and we’re obsessed with robots, so how could we resist?

2. POLITICO: Women Rule

Our favorite episode: “Bank of America’s Anne Finucane Performs Best in a Crisis”

POLITICO’s Women Rule gives us a front row seat to conversations with female bosses about their path to success, and their advice to other women still on their way. We’re especially inspired by the episode featuring Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman at Bank of America, HUBweek 2017 speaker, and all-around finance rockstar. Get the scoop on how she went from hippie to banking executive, why she’s hopeful about female leadership in her industry, and more.

3. Last Seen

WBUR and The Boston Globe are teaming up to reexamine one of the most infamous and mysterious art heists of all time — the theft of 13 precious artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. This podcast takes listeners behind-the-scenes of the continuing efforts to recover the artworks, and gives us a fresh look at the crime that captivated the world. A preview episode is out now, with more to come on September 17. We love ourselves a good mystery, so we couldn’t help but include it in our list of favorites.

4. The Lonely Palette

Our favorite episode: “John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882)”

Ever wish you had an articulate, funny, and insanely knowledgeable friend by your side while looking at famous works of art? We do, and that’s why we’re so glad we found Tamar Avishai, host of The Lonely Palette and our new museum BFF. Somerville-based Avishai makes art history accessible, guiding listeners through the ins and outs of some of the world’s most famous paintings. Our recommendation: Take The Lonely Palette with you to the MFA, grab a seat in front of John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, and enjoy.

5. How I Built This with Guy Raz

Our favorite episode: “Wayfair: Niraj Shah & Steve Conine”

Did you know that Niraj Shah and Steve Conine, former college roommates and founders of the now multi-billion-dollar company Wayfair, got their start selling grandfather clocks and birdhouses? Neither did we. Get the scoop on how these serial entrepreneurs got into e-commerce, why they moved to Boston to start their business, and more in this podcast that follows the stories of how famous companies got their start.

6. Revisionist History

Our favorite episode: “Hallelujah”

Revisionist History, now in its third season, takes a closer look at “overlooked and misunderstood ” moments in history, with host Malcolm Gladwell “re-examin[ing] something from the past — an event, a person, an idea, even a song — and ask[ing] whether we got it right the first time.” The show often begins with something seemingly unknown and esoteric, but by the end of the episode we can’t believe we’d never heard of it before. Just as he did during HUBweek ’17, Gladwell draws out multitudes from the minute, and “Hallelujah” is no exception.

7. StartUp

Our favorite episodes: “The Grand Challenge” and “The Race for a Self-Driving Future”

We ❤ startups at HUBweek, so obviously we’re into this podcast about all things entrepreneurship. Add in stories about autonomous vehicles, and we’re hooked: Our favorite set of episodes is about the past and future of self-driving cars, beginning with a seminal moment at the beginning of the AV craze — the 2004 U.S. government-funded Grand Challenge, which offered a $1 million award for developing a vehicle. That could drive 150 miles. By itself. Across the Mojave Desert. Easy, right?

8. Soonish

Our favorite episodes: “A Tale of Two Bridges” and “Looking Virtual Reality in the Eye”

Another Boston-area podcast, Soonish takes its listeners “places where the future is crossing into the present,” investigating how emerging technologies and trends are impacting our lives today — very up our alley. Our two fave episodes show the diversity of topics that the host, tech writer Wade Roush, covers. The first tackles the tensions between the past and present by way of two major Boston landmarks — the Longfellow and Zakim bridges. The second takes a hard look at the future of virtual reality, from its use as an “empathy machine” to a potential tool of propaganda.

Want more great HUBweek content? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign up for our weekly newsletter.