By James Browning
Johannesburg - The Huberman Lab Podcast has 32 million views on YouTube, and releases a video weekly.
Andrew Huberman’s mission in starting the podcast in December 2020, was to bring the latest in health science to the average person.
His podcasts are one to two hours long, and cover a wide range of topics from aging to anxiety, stress to sleep.
Huberman is a tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford School of Medicine.
His research has made contributions to the fields of vision and neural plasticity, and work from the lab which he runs, has been published across top academic journals such as Nature and Science.
It is not Huberman’s qualifications that truly set the podcast apart, but his approach to knowledge.
The last several years have seen a rising trend of health-related content on the web, from YouTube physiotherapists to Twitch psychologists to TikTok fitness supplement peddlers.
However, most of this content is clearly produced and aimed at getting advertising revenue and sponsor click-throughs, which is simply the way the game is played in our current ad-driven and user-generated world.
These creators want to be the source of knowledge, so that you need to click on their next video to receive their e-celeb wisdom.
When industry pressures push content makers into being ‘for-profit prophets’, it is refreshing to see someone fully embraces the concept of teaching as empowerment.
A typical Huberman Lab Podcast will first go through a broad overview of the relevant biology.
Focus is placed firmly on cutting through dense science to distil actionable science-based tools for everyday life, while also giving an understanding of the underlying biology.
The audience is given not just the what but the essential how and why, so that they can use the tools effectively.
The podcast does have a section which mentions sponsors, but these are clearly marked and easily skipped. Huberman always puts the spotlight on generally applicable advice and non-proprietary tools.
As a visit to one of the podcast’s comment sections will attest, it is hard to overstate the positive impact of this kind of health education can make.
Valuable, expert, zero-cost-to-consumer education is the kind of impactful social good that is made possible by the internet, but which is often forgotten in the online swamp of rage, politics and distraction. One can only hope that the Huberman Lab Podcast shows experts in other fields that high-quality, science-based educational content is both financially viable and greatly wanted.