Before unveiling our favorite podcasts of 2017, it is a good time to reflect on the act of listening. When we are mindfully aware of our senses, we are rarely speaking. We are present in time and space and listening. These are moments when we hear the sound in the background, find meaning in a song or learn to distinguish bird song in the back yard.
Personally, I like podcasts because they build a visionary world with what is in front of the listener. The best programs bring the listener in via comments or Twitter or old-fashioned, landline phone calls. The podcast is not an end to itself but part of a larger conversation.
That said, here are our favorite podcasts of 2017:
Staying Classy in 2017
What we know about Australia is mostly due to the audio wizards down under.
Antony J Funnell presents this weekly deep dive. What’s coming next is already here if you know where to look (or listen). Among the highlights: Agnotology: understanding our ignorance
Ann Jones hosts a weekly trek into outdoor Australia.
Monday-Thursday evening (10pm Australia, 3am Las Vegas) conversations spanning the globe with Phillip Adams.
Stuart Gary presents a twice-weekly wrap-up of astronomy and exploring space news
Official Australian Baseball podcast from the ABL and hosted by Chris Coleman
The future of Soundcloud is murky, but what a terrific outlet for professional and amateur podcasts alike.
Edge of Sports
Larry Wilmore, Black on the Air