All Episodes


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 …

March 05, 2012

Chris Mooney

A common goal of freethinkers, humanists, skeptics, and atheists is to preserve Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” between church and state. But we haven’t always been successful in this area—help from the courts notwithstanding—or at beating back the steady advances of the religious right. How can we do better? Our guest this week has a …

February 20, 2012

Chris Mooney

Our guest this week is Michael Mann, the prominent climatologist and, above all, leading defender of his field—and himself—against political attacks. Mann is out with a new book this month, which details his ten year battle against political attacks and misrepresentations. It’s called The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines. …