All Episodes


May 21, 2012

Chris Mooney

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2012 World Skeptics Conference in Berlin. It’s important to keep tabs on our skeptical and freethinking colleagues around the world, and the challenges they’re facing. And in this case, perhaps the most disturbing story out of the conference involved the spread of a new form …

May 14, 2012

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is Greta Christina, a leading atheist blogger, speaker, and commentator, and a regular contributor to AlterNet.org. Christina is author of the new ebook Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless, which grows out of a 2007 blog post on the same topic. The book will also be out …

April 30, 2012

Indre Viskontas

In developed countries at least, the status of women has improved considerably in the last century. But in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), they remain underrepresented in all but one field, according to a recent study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Often, femininity can seem incompatible with STEM and other male-dominated …

April 23, 2012

Chris Mooney

This week at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a conference convened entitled “Science Writing in the Age of Denial.” The keynote speaker was a former Point of Inquiry guest and a very popular one—Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the influential book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke …

April 16, 2012

Chris Mooney

This week, our guest is a return one: Austin Dacey. He’s a philosopher, a writer, a human rights activist, and the creator of the Impossible Music Sessions, which we featured in a past show. Austin’s books include The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life and, just out, The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred …

April 09, 2012

Chris Mooney

Guest Host: John Shook In this special episode of Point of Inquiry, we interview our host himself—about his new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality. From climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing, as is the denial of expert consensus on the …

April 02, 2012

Chris Mooney

This week, Point of Inquiry is thrilled to welcome back one of our most popular guests: Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Last time we had him on, Dr. Tyson engaged in a wide ranging discussion about science communication and the place of …

March 26, 2012

Indre Viskontas

The end is nigh. 2012 is a banner year for doomsday prophecies, though there still seems to be debate concerning precisely how life as we know it will be snuffed out. Hollywood seems to prefer the ‘death from the skies’ scenario, with Lars von Trier’s latest film Melancholia exploring the psychological consequences of believing that …

March 19, 2012

Chris Mooney

Why is it that some of us are religious, some of us not… some of us liberal, some of us not? If you’ve been paying attention, then by now you might have noticed that this doesn’t really have a lot to do with the intellectual validity of religious, or irreligious, or liberal, or conservative ideas. …

March 12, 2012

Chris Mooney

If there’s one thing Point of Inquiry is concerned about, it’s ensuring a rational, sensible conversation in politics, in public life. And you simply can’t have such a conversation if the culture is awash in political, and politicized, misinformation. What do we mean by “misinformation”? The denial of global warming. Claims about “death panels.” Assertions …