P.Z. Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris and the author of Pharyngula, the most heavily-trafficked science blog online.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, P.Z. Myers details his expulsion from a screening of Expelled, Ben Stein’s documentary which claims that the scientific community is limiting academic freedom by not allowing Intelligent Design to be taught or discussed in the schools. He explains the background of how he and other scientists were invited to appear in the film under false pretenses, and what his response has been. He addresses “focus groups” and other marketing methods for finding the best way to communicate science to the public. Calling himself part of the “radical fringe,” he elaborates on his view that leading science organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement for Science and the National Academies of Science are “playing a shell game” on the public when it comes to teaching the compatibility of science with religion, arguing instead that there is a direct link between science education and religious skepticism. And he also shares his thoughts about the future of the atheist and rationalist movement in the United States.