All Episodes


August 05, 2013

DJ Grothe

Point of Inquiry is on a short hiatus right now as we transition to a new podcast team. In the meantime, enjoy these classic episodes from the POI archives, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Susan Jacoby, and other luminaries in the science and secularism movement. Susan Jacoby is the author of Freethinkers: A History …

July 29, 2013

DJ Grothe

Point of Inquiry is on a short hiatus right now as we transition to a new podcast team. In the meantime, enjoy these classic episodes from the POI archives, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Susan Jacoby, and other luminaries in the science and secularism movement. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of America’s leading spokespersons …

June 24, 2013

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is an inspiring thinker whom we’ve wanted to get on the show for a long, long time: Ethan Zuckerman. He’s the director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and works at MIT’s Media Lab. He’s also the co-founder of Global Voices, a community of global bloggers—and has worked in the …

June 17, 2013

Chris Mooney

One thing we often forget about great scientists, especially as they are lionized and mythologized: they made mistakes. Sometimes big ones. Sometimes, even, brilliant ones. Charles Darwin, for instance, didn’t understand genetics. He and Gregor Mendel were as ships passing in the night. Granted, Darwin eventually realized that he needed a better theory of heredity …

June 10, 2013

Indre Viskontas

Having spent 50 years as an influential thinker, Daniel Dennett has earned the right to tell us how to think. His latest book is a collection of 77 tools for thinking, which every self-respecting critical thinker should consider, if not actively use. American philosopher and author Daniel C. Dennett is perhaps best known in cognitive …

June 03, 2013

Chris Mooney

From 9-11, to the death of Osama bin Laden, to the Boston Bombings, there’s been a consistently bizarre and troubling reaction by some members of the public. We’re referring to the people—a minority, to be sure, but a surprisingly large one—who always seem to think there’s some kind of cover up. The U.S. government, they …

May 20, 2013

Chris Mooney

Over the weekend, the Center for Inquiry’s Women in Secularism II conference unfolded in Washington, D.C.—and we caught up with one of the event’s most distinguished speakers, the feminist poet and author Katha Pollitt. You probably know her “Subject to Debate” column in the Nation—always both insightful and also hilarious to read. It has been called, by …

May 13, 2013

Chris Mooney

A few months back on this show, we heard from Bill McKibben, the celebrated environmental writer and, more recently, leader of a mass movement around preventing climate change that has focused on blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. McKibben makes a compelling case that our climate system is at dire risk. But many thinkers who fully accept …

May 06, 2013

Chris MooneyIndre Viskontas

Note: You can watch this episode on Youtube. In this special episode of Point of Inquiry, Chris and Indre speak with the Pulitzer Prize winning Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel. Dr. Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles and has traveled extensively to New Guinea for his research. …

April 29, 2013

Indre Viskontas

In the science section at your local bookstore, you’ll find plenty of books on everything from the brain, to the climate, to the cosmos. But how many books will you find that take you on a tour of the digestive tract—from our mouths, to our stomachs, to our intestines? Popular science writer Mary Roach’s new …