PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In 2017, as podcasts continued their march toward widespread adoption, Brown professor Mark Blyth saw the potential to harness the format to share perspectives on political news in an accessible way — and even with a dose of humor.
With that in mind, Blyth, a political economist and professor at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, teamed up with colleague Carrie Nordlund, an adjunct lecturer in international and public affairs, to launch “Mark and Carrie.”
Six years and many dozens of episodes later, they have offered their insights and analysis on a wide range of topics, from TikTok bans and the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News, to the war in Ukraine and the U.S. debt ceiling.
“Since Providence is a little off-the-path of bigger cities like New York and Boston, we looked for a way to draw people to the great work being done here at Brown,” Blyth said. “We want listeners to feel like they’re in the conversation with us.”
Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, “podcast mania” really took off as people spent less time with other people and sought out content and connection, Blyth said. To this day, listeners continue to engage with episodes both new and old, he said.
“Podcasting is the sensible part of the internet in that it allows people to produce content on niche topics without being too overbearing,” said Blyth, who also hosts the “Rhodes Center Podcast” as director of the William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance at Brown.
These two podcasts are among more than two dozen podcasts generated by members of the Brown community.
“Possibly:” Exploring the science behind environmental solutions
What’s the most efficient way to boil a cup of water? What’s more sustainable: buying seltzer at the store or making soda water at home?
These are the types of questions — both large and small — explored by the creators of “Possibly,” a four-minute weekly podcast that airs on The Public’s Radio and was launched in 2017 by Associate Provost for Sustainability Stephen Porder and producer and host Megan Hall, an adjunct lecturer in environment and society at Brown.