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Richard Wiseman on the Skeptics Movement and Tricking People
November 14, 2019

Richard Wiseman is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in England. Richard began his career as a professional magician before pursuing a career in psychology, and developing a reputation for research into luck, deception, the paranormal, humor, and the science of self-help. Wiseman joins Jim Underdown in London where …


ECSO President, Claire Klingenberg on the State of Skepticism
October 31, 2019

The European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO) is an umbrella of skeptical organizations throughout the EU that investigate claims of pseudoscience, and defend scientific integrity and practice in research, education, medicine, and public policy. Point of Inquiry co-host Kavin Senapathy attended the 2019 European Skeptics Congress in Ghent, Belgium, where she presented during the session …


How Defy Ventures Reduces Recidivism with Rehabilitation
October 17, 2019

In the second part of this two-part series on the prison system reform, Jim Underdown speaks with Andrew Glazier, president of Defy Ventures, on the high recidivism rates in prisons, how Glazier and Defy Ventures are improving prison inmate rehabilitation, and what happens to communities when people are kept locked up indefinitely. Defy Ventures is …


Former Security Guard and Atheist Activist Steve Hill on the Prison System
October 3, 2019

How humane are prisons in the U.S.? And what is their purpose – to punish or to rehabilitate? This is part one of a two-part series that dives into the prison system, what it looks like from the inside, how it destroys the lives of black and brown folks who have been overpoliced and put …


Angela Saini on the Return of Race Science
September 19, 2019

Even though there’s growing awareness that race is a social construct — it defies biological definition — it’s really hard to let go of a concept that feels so real. There’s also a temptation for progressive, more or less decent human beings, who wouldn’t consider themselves racist, to define racism as something that happens on …


Dr. Sarah Taber on the Myth of the Destruction of Family Farms
September 5, 2019

Point of Inquiry co-host Kavin Senapathy has covered food and agriculture for years, and if she’s learned one thing, it’s that people’s views on farming are rife with misconceptions. The conversation around food is complex, and involves a slew of gray areas and mountains of data. Enter Dr. Sarah Taber. She’s the host of the …


Jerry Minor – From Jehovah’s Witness to Comedian
August 22, 2019

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes actor, comedian, and former Jehovah’s Witness, Jerry Minor. Minor has been a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live and appeared on HBO’s Mr. Show and various other television and film spots throughout his career. He joins Jim Underdown to dive into his life during and after being …


Clearing Up the Concept of Risk Assessment
August 8, 2019

How well do you think you can assess risk? The evidence is clear that humans are innately poor at assessing risk in our personal lives, in part due to how our brains are wired, and that can make it challenging to make informed decisions about everything from vaccines and medicines to diet and children’s safety. …


Julia Sweeney on Atheism, Saturday Night Live, and Me Too
July 25, 2019

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes comedian, monologist, and atheist, Julia Sweeney. Many may know Sweeney from her time on Saturday Night Live, her appearances on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and from her current roles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Hulu’s Shrill. Jim Underdown sat down with Sweeney at CFI West to discuss her time …


Why Do People Love Umami but Fear MSG?
July 11, 2019

Why do people love the taste of Umami but avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is the purest form of Umami on Earth? In this episode of Point of Inquiry, Kavin Senapathy speaks with experts on MSG— which was first isolated by Japanese chemist Dr. Kikunae Ikeda— to explore this culinary and scientific disconnect. Tia Rains, …