Hosted by Chris Mooney



Maria Konnikova – How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
January 14, 2013

Our guest this week is Maria Konnikova, who is the author of a simply fascinating new book about training your mind so you’re as sharp as the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. It’s entitled Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. In addition to her new book, Konnikova writes the “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American, …

Phil Plait – #Notpocalypse!
January 7, 2013

This is our first show of 2013, and notably, we’re still here. A lot of people actually thought the world was going to end at the end of last year, which, presumably, means that now it’s rejoicing time. And also reflection time. Time for reflection on all the things that people are capable of believing, …

Ronald A. Lindsay and Michael De Dora – Mr. Science Goes to Washington
December 24, 2012

We usually record Point of Inquiry at a distance. Over the phone. Skyping. But for this show, I packed up my gear and hailed a cab—to the Center for Inquiry’s brand new Office of Public Policy in downtown, Washington, D.C. The Center for Inquiry is here to literally make this country listen to reason… and …

David Brin – Uplifting Existence
December 17, 2012

It’s rare that I can say about a guest that, I read his books when I was a kid. But David Brin is just such a guest. He’s the celebrated science fiction author of the Uplift novels, The Postman, and many other books—most recently, Existence. I read the Uplift books when I was tearing through …

Bill McKibben – Do the Math
December 10, 2012

When we last had Bill McKibben on this show in 2010, I was mainly treating him as another bestselling science author—one who happens to focus on climate change. Well. Something kinda big happened in the intervening years, and McKibben has become, simply put, the country’s leading environmental spokesman and advocate through his organization 350.org. From protests against the …

Steven Novella – Exposing Medical Nonsense
November 26, 2012

One of the first people I ever got to know in skepticism was Steven Novella. He was a professor at Yale, just starting out as an organized skeptic—I was a student, just getting fired up about the same stuff. Since then, Steve has become hugely successful as a skeptic leader and as a communicator of …

Michael Gordin – The Pseudoscience Wars
November 19, 2012

Before the “complementary and alternative medicine” fad, and before UFO craze, lived a man whom you might call the first modern pseudoscientist. His name was Immanuel Velikovsky. He had a strange theory about a comet—that turned out to be Venus—shaping the course of human history. He tangled with Carl Sagan about it—and with the scientific …

Jacques Berlinerblau – How to Be Secular
November 12, 2012

On this show, we often debate the state of American secularism—covering topics like the rise of the so-called “nones,” or the unending battle to rescue the country from the pernicious influence of Christian right. Our guest this week, Jacques Berlinerblau, has a provocative thesis about all this. He says that American secularism has clearly and …

Special Double Episode: Jon Ronson and Richard Wiseman, with Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney
October 29, 2012

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At the 2012 CSICON conference in Nashville, Tennessee, your Point of Inquiry hosts Indre Viskontas and Chris Mooney finally actually found themselves in the same place. The result was a show that features both of them covering current events—the 2012 election, the passing of CFI founder Paul Kurtz—and each also conducting an interview! Our guests: …

Science and the 2012 Election – Shawn Otto and Matthew Chapman
October 15, 2012

In this show, we talk to two founders of ScienceDebate, a nonprofit organization that in the last two election cycles has pushed to get the presidential candidates to talk about and debate science policy. So far, there has been no actual presidential science debate. But this year, ScienceDebate got Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to answer …