Episodes


Clearing Up the Concept of Risk Assessment
August 8, 2019

How well do you think you can assess risk? The evidence is clear that humans are innately poor at assessing risk in our personal lives, in part due to how our brains are wired, and that can make it challenging to make informed decisions about everything from vaccines and medicines to diet and children’s safety. …

Julia Sweeney on Atheism, Saturday Night Live, and Me Too
July 25, 2019

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes comedian, monologist, and atheist, Julia Sweeney. Many may know Sweeney from her time on Saturday Night Live, her appearances on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and from her current roles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Hulu’s Shrill. Jim Underdown sat down with Sweeney at CFI West to discuss her time …

Why Do People Love Umami but Fear MSG?
July 11, 2019

Why do people love the taste of Umami but avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is the purest form of Umami on Earth? In this episode of Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy speaks with experts on MSG— which was first isolated by Japanese chemist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda— to explore this culinary and scientific disconnect. Tia Rains, …

Diving into the Lawsuit Against Walmart and Fraudulent Homeopathic Medicines
June 27, 2019

The Center for Inquiry has filed a lawsuit against Walmart for deceiving its customers with marketing, labeling, and product placement that present homeopathic medicines as equivalent and effective alternatives to science-based medicines with tested active ingredients. The lawsuit argues that this is not only consumer fraud, but also endangers the health of the people who …

Meet Science for the People
June 13, 2019

Science for the People began as a group in 1969 that grew out of the anti-war movement and lasted until 1989. SftP has been rebirthed for a new generation of SftP members to explore the history of radical science and to rebuild the movement for today. In this week’s episode of Point of Inquiry, Kavin …

Matt Walsh on The Road to Hollywood, His secular wedding, And More
May 30, 2019

On this week’s episode of Point of Inquiry, Jim Underdown speaks with longtime friend, actor, writer, and comedian, Matt Walsh. This episode may be different from what you’re used to as we take a break from examining science, culture, and religion and instead give you the chance to get to know one of Point of …

Dr. Jenny Yip on OCD, Anxiety, and Mental Health
May 16, 2019

On this week’s episode of Point of Inquiry, Dr. Jenny Yip discusses OCD and anxiety and the widespread impact these can have on our lives as well as how they’re exhibited in different people. Kavin Senapathy and Dr. Yip share their own experiences with OCD and anxiety disorders and Dr. Yip shares her insight into …

Carol Tavris and Avrum Bluming on The Myth That Estrogen Causes Breast Cancer
May 2, 2019

This week’s episode of Point of Inquiry Jim Underdown speaks with Avrum Bluming, hematologist, medical oncologist, and emeritus clinical professor at USC, and Carol Tavris, social psychologist and co-author of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) about the common myth in the medical field surrounding the link between breast cancer and estrogen. The talk centers around …

Massimo Pigliucci and Susan Blackmore on Scientism and Subjectivity
April 18, 2019

This week’s episode of Point of Inquiry is our final episode recorded from CSICon 2018. We’re closing this series of interviews with Professor Massimo Pigliucci who discusses his ideas on scientism and how it’s used by people like Sam Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Richard Dawkins with host Kavin Senapathy. Also featured on this episode …

The Secret Sting Operation to Expose Celeb Psychics with Susan Gerbic
April 4, 2019

On this week’s episode of Point of Inquiry, we are thrilled to have friend of the Center for Inquiry, Susan Gerbic to talk about the recent New York Times featured story that detailed Gerbic and her team’s work exposing celebrity psychics. Kavin Senapathy and Gerbic also explore why exposing fake psychics and mediums is important, the …