Hosted by Indre Viskontas



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: …

Bruce Hood – Superstitions in Baseball
October 22, 2012

The month of October is associated with falling leaves, autumn winds and Halloween. But for sports fans in the US, it also signals a high point in America’s national pastime: baseball’s postseason. After a long run of 162 games, the last weeks of October are ripe with matchups in which legends are made and broken. Any skeptic worth …

Dan Ariely – The Honest Truth about Dishonesty
September 24, 2012

There is no doubt that our world is populated with cheats and liars. Most of us, slaves to the availability heuristic, think of major cheaters like Bernie Madoff, Tiger Woods, and Barry Bonds as inflicting the most damage onto society. But just how honest are we, with others and with ourselves? The surprising finding from …

Temple Grandin – The Science of Livestock Animal Welfare
August 27, 2012

According to the USDA, Americans produce and consume more beef, veal, and chicken than any other nation in the world. As a result, the status of animal welfare in the meat production industry should be of some concern to all Americans, regardless of dietary habits. One of the world’s leading experts in livestock handling practices …

Christopher diCarlo – How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass
July 30, 2012

In an election year, it is especially important that our critical thinking skills be sharply honed. We have to sift through facts, fiction, and hyperbole in order to decide who it is that should lead us for the next four years. To remind us what the right questions to ask are and how to ask …

Stuart Firestein – How Ignorance Drives Science
June 25, 2012

The idea that science moves forward by carefully peeling back layers of the onion of truth, one by one, in a deliberate fashion, is so prevalent that it borders on cliche. But the truth is that running scientific experiments often feels more akin to dipping a cup into a bottomless well of information: each new …

Christof Koch – Consciousness and Free Will
May 28, 2012

Recently, there has been a flurry of neuroscientists declaring that free will is an illusion in the popular press. But before we can assess the extent to which we are zombies, we need to first tackle the question of what, exactly, is consciousness. To get up to speed on the state of the art, we …

M.G. Lord – The Accidental Feminist
April 30, 2012

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 …

David Morrison – Cosmic Impact Hazard
March 26, 2012

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 …

Gerald Woerlee and Susan Blackmore – Near-Death Experiences and Consciousness
February 27, 2012

One of the costs of being conscious is that, once in a while, we are forced to contemplate the fact that we are mortal. Ironically, a close brush with the grim reaper leaves many people more convinced than ever that our minds are not tethered to our bodies, and therefore can survive physical death. What …