All Episodes


September 02, 2014

Josh Zepps

It’s been ten years since the publication of Sam Harris’s book The End of Faith kicked off the cultural phenomenon of “new atheism,” bringing frank criticism of religion into mainstream conversation. In the decade since, Harris has emerged as something of a maverick among nonbelievers and progressives, frequently at the center of controversy with his opinions on …

August 25, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week Point Of Inquiry welcomes Dr. Adia Benton, a professor of medical anthropology at Brown University. She joins host Lindsay Beyerstein to talk about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Medical anthropologists bring a unique expertise to epidemics because they study both the physiology of illness and the cultural factors that influence its transmission. That’s why …

August 11, 2014

Josh Zepps

One hundred years ago, Great Britain declared war on Germany, joining in what we now refer to as World War I, a conflict which cost more than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians their lives, and shaped the the world we know today. How did reasonable people let “The Great War” begin, and what …

August 04, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Laurel Braitman, a TED fellow with a PhD in History and Anthropology of Science from MIT, and the author of Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. It might sound strange to say that animals suffer from mental illness, but the brain …

July 29, 2014

Josh Zepps

How do we rationally assess risk? Following a terrible series of horrifying air travel disasters, reasonable people begin to question what we consider to be “safe.” But should we? To answer this question, our host Josh Zepps is joined by David Ropeik, an international consultant and expert on the subject of risk perception and communication, …

July 21, 2014

Lindsay Beyerstein

On March 15, 2000, over a dozen whales beached themselves in the Bahamas in one of the largest multi-species strandings in history. Suspicion turned to U.S. Navy sonar, but at first there was no proof. This revelation brings us into the detective story told in War of the Whales: A True Story. Point of Inquiry welcomes the author, Joshua Horwitz. We discuss …

July 14, 2014

DJ Grothe

Point of Inquiry is taking a week off and filling in with a classic episode from March 27, 2009. After Saudi Arabia recently tried to silence the Center For Inquiry’s UN representative, Josephine Macintosh, as she delivered a statement critical of their repeated assaults on freedom of religion, belief and expression, we felt that our Austin Dacey episode was …