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LIDC Director Shares Her Summer Podcast Picks

August 4, 2023

We’re well into the summer season –  a great time to gain enlightenment and inspiration. We think this is the perfect time to embark on a journey of knowledge and understanding. Join our Director, Professor Claire Heffernan, shown here, as she shares a handpicked selection of captivating podcasts that delve into the realm of global development. From the frontiers of sustainable progress to the complexities of social change, these podcasts will offer a diverse tapestry of insights and perspectives. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate for international development or a curious soul seeking to broaden your horizons, these summer podcasts are sure to spark curiosity, empathy, and a renewed commitment to creating a better world. We are sure you’ll enjoy them.    



This podcast from William Dalrymple and Anita Anand explores “the stories, personalities and events of empire over the course of history.” I particularly enjoy the interaction between the presenters and the passion they bring to discussing the Machiavellian methods deployed by the British government in pursuit of its ideal of Empire. Rather than ending the conversations as a stories of the past, they somehow manage to deploy more than a little wit in relating often tragic stories of the past and relate them to present-day politics.Each episode lasts between 40 minutes and an hour.

Listen here:


Translash Podcast with Imara Jones: The Anti-Trans Hate Machine, A Plot Against Equality:

This podcast series was launched in 2021 with the aim of pulling  back’ the curtain on the people and institutions creating and funding anti- trans legislation in the United States.’ Since its launch, we have witnessed the unfortunate trajectory of debates around ‘trans’ issues, making Jones’, analyses of the spread of misinformation on trans issues even more current. Sadly, this means that  political, social and physical violence against the community has continued to increase. The stories Jones uses this platform to share are heart-breaking. I hope this series will help to counter some of the divisions around trans issues.Each episode lasts between 30 minutes and an hour.

Listen here:



This podcast series from UCL’s IOE helps graduates to figure out life in academia. Through “honest conversations about figuring out life in modern academia” the host Kerri Wong and guests including DrAlina Pelikh (who also spoke at LIDC’s careers event on 2 August) draw out conversations and experiences on challenges of working in academia, untangling many difficult issues along the way. Each episode lasts between 40 mins and an hour. Find it here:


Africa Science Focus:

From SciDev.Net comes this award-winning weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into ‘the impacts that science has on everything from health, to technology, agriculture and life.’ The interviewers use science to contextualise contemporary issues we face, particularly as experienced in the majority world, from underrepresentation of women in STEM to climate-friendly transport. Each episode lasts between 15 and 30 mins. Find it here:



 SOAS DevTraC:

The SOAS DevTraC Podcast Series offers critical conversations in international development with academics, researchers and practitioners. They discuss issues such as the role of corporates in endangering the planet by prioritising their profits. Other conversations include the harsh realities of Afghan migration through to using Afghanistan Archives to “humanise local discourses surrounding the state”. I found this to be a particularly thought-provoking and enlightening podcast. Each episode lasts between 40 mins and an hour. Listen here:


Thinking Cities: Debating Just Development in the Global South

It was great to find this illuminating podcast series from UCL’s Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU). It “draws on the thematic areas as a lens to explore themes around sustainable development in the Global South”.  It explores key debates while providing insights on the DPU’s contributions to these issues. They also provide helpful references to articles and scholarly works that can be used to further engage with the podcast topics.Each episode lasts between 30 and 40 mins.  Find it here:


With special thanks to LIDC intern, Anne Mary Shaju of SOAS for her assistance with this piece.

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