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Podcast review: Thinking allowed April 14, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : Reviews , 2comments

podcastIn my series of reviews of political science podcasts, I’ve arrived at the BBC Channel 4 program “Thinking Allowed”, that is podcasted through the BBC web pages.

This radio program about research in social science really interested me. It features interesting topics and interviews with leading social scientists and thinkers. Political science seems to have a pretty good presence among them. I’ve listened to the broadcasts for the past three weeks – of particular interest in those were a discussion with Michail Rykin on Russian democracy and the rehabilitation of Stalin, with Anthony Giddens on the politics of climate change and with Kevin Doogan on “New Capitalism”. A pretty impressive lineup.

As a program from perhaps the most established public broacasting institution in the world, we expect the technical quality and the host to be of top notch quality, and they are. There isn’t anything to put my finger on there. The host, Laurie Taylor, isn’t a scientist himself, but he seems to have enough insight paired with being a good radio host. It all makes for interesting radio. (more…)

Podcast review: Econtalk February 22, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : Political economy, Reviews , add a comment

podcastIn my quest to find good political science podcasts out there, I’ve now arrvied at the Library of Liberty and Economicspodcast series “Econtalk“. Like the previously reviewed LSE lectures, it’s a well established line with a lot of material from interesting speakers. There’s a lot of good material in there, although the style differs much from the lecture style of the LSE cast.

Econtalk is, like its name implies, talking on economics and related spheres – mostly political economy. If you regard the more policy-related parts of economics as being within the interest sphere of political science, there is an abundance of good material here. (more…)

Podcast Review: LSE Public Lectures February 11, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : Reviews , 5comments

podcastAs promised, I’ll be reviewing some of the political science relevant podcasts out there, starting with the London School of Economics’ Public Lectures and Events stream.

Let me start with loudly acclaiming the very thought of recording lectures and making them available to everyone over the internet. It’s part of the whole idea of open access to scientific material and knowledge that I happily notice seems to be gaining more ground. The LSE is a prestigious institution in an international metropolis, allowing it to attract names for guest lectures that I could only dream of here in my small Norwegian city. That’s why it’s so fantastic that I can still gain access to these lectures from some of the most brilliant minds of the world through the internet.

So, one point already to the LSE just for the effort. But what have they actually put out there? All lectures generally follow the same format. First there are one or more speeches by prominent scientists or society persons followed by a Q&A session with the members of the audience. They are conducted in an orderly manner with one of the LSE academic staff as moderator. (more…)

Political science podcasting February 5, 2009

Posted by Sverre in : meta, Reviews , add a comment

I’ve just used some of my research scholarship money to invest in a media player that I will use for recording purposes. But more than just record stuff like a dictaphone, I can also use it to play other media. Like podcasts.

I’ve never really had a player well suited to listening to podcasts before, but over the last two days I’ve been trying it out. And I was excited to find out how wonderful a tool this can be for those of us that have a somewhat more than average interest in political science. Now I can have political science lectures in debates in my ears all the time rather than just getting it in snippets on BBC or Norwegian broadcasting whenever they send something interesting. Now I can really cater to my nerdiness and be a political scientist even when out walking or skiing!

Henceforth, I will try to spread the gospel of political science podcasts through reviewing and recommending good podcast sources for political scientists from time to time. I’m currently trying out the podcasts from LSE, which show some real promise. A review will follow after I’ve listened through a couple of broadcasts and made up an opinion.