Science


Steve Silberman: Evolving Attitudes Toward Autism
November 17, 2015

It used to be that autism was considered to be the result of poor parenting, but starting in the 1930s, it was understood to be a hereditary condition, and the behaviors often associated with autism turn out to be present, to one degree or another, in most of us. Though attitudes about autism have changed …

Taste the Science! – Serious Eats’ J. Kenji López-Alt
October 19, 2015

Myths and pseudoscience do not only apply to the realms of religion, alternative medicine, and the paranormal. One area of our lives in which science and a little myth-busting can do enormous good is…cooking! This week Point of Inquiry welcomes Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing culinary director of the website Serious Eats. Kenji suggests we take the …

Putting Kids First: Sarah Levin and Ed Beck on Vaccine Laws
October 12, 2015

With misinformation about vaccines proliferating among certain groups in the U.S., diseases that had previously been thought eradicated are creeping back into American life. As far as the law is concerned, whether or not a parent chooses to put their own child at risk by denying them vaccinations remains, largely, their personal choice. But this …

Keep ‘Em Separated: Rev. Barry Lynn on God and Government
September 21, 2015

One of the United States’ most prominent and respected advocates for secularism is a reverend, and that of course is our guest this week, Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Few have more experience untangling religion from government as Rev. Lynn, who has spent a career making …

Eugenie Scott: Decrypting Pseudoscience
August 24, 2015

Our very special guest on Point of Inquiry this week is Eugenie Scott, the former director of the National Center for Science Education who has been waging and winning battles against creationism and pseudoscience for years, and has become one of the most venerated luminaries of the skeptic and secular movements. A Fellow of the …

Stephen M. Walt: Learning to Live with the Islamic State
July 28, 2015

As difficult it is to accept, there may be no loosening of the grip ISIS currently holds over its territory, at least not any time soon. Our guest, Stephen M. Walt, begins to come to terms with this unpleasant situation in a new article for Foreign Policy magazine, “What Should We Do if the Islamic …

Richard Dawkins: LIVE at the Reason for Change Conference
June 22, 2015

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Richard Dawkins for a special episode recorded before a live audience at the Center for Inquiry’s Reason for Change conference in Buffalo, New York on June 13, 2015. Dawkins is easily one of the world’s most influential and controversial scientists; a pioneer in evolutionary biology, science communication, and the …

Overwhelmed by Celebrity Culture, with Tim Caulfield
June 15, 2015

Celebrities have always played an oversized role in our culture, and there’s nothing new about them using their star power to endorse ideas or products. But we now live in a time in which mass media consumption is greater than ever before, and the celebrities we revere are now at our fingertips, often only tweet …

Alex Garland: Ex Machina and the Question of Consciousness
May 18, 2015

Ex Machina, a new film that tells the story of a billionaire programmer who creates an artificially intelligent female robot, is in theaters now, and its writer and director, Alex Garland, is our special guest on Point of Inquiry this week. Although this is Garland’s debut as a director he has also written hit novels …

Clearing Up the Calorie: The Science of Nutrition, with Marion Nestle
May 11, 2015

When over one-third of American adults are obese, it’s no wonder that our culture is deluged with fad diets and alleged miracle supplements. Everyone is looking for the easiest way to obtain and maintain health but it’s no small task in the midst of a whirlwind of conflicting information. And what the heck is a …