Science Salon—A Podcast of Skeptic Magazine-logo

Science Salon—A Podcast of Skeptic Magazine

Podcasts >

More Information

Location:

United States

Genres:

Podcasts

Language:

English


Episodes

Dr. Gregory Berns — What It’s Like to Be a Dog…and Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

4/16/2018
More
In this wide-ranging dialogue (recorded on September 1, 2017) on the nature of consciousness Dr. Michael Shermer talks with Dr. Gregory Berns, Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy and Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience. Dr. Berns is famous for his use of fMRI to study canine cognitive function in awake, unrestrained dogs. The goals of his research are to non-invasively map the perceptual and decision systems of the dog’s brain...

Duration:01:09:50

Dr. Leonard Mlodinow — Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change

4/9/2018
More
Out of the exploratory instincts that allowed our ancestors to prosper hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans developed a cognitive style that Mlodinow terms elastic thinking, a collection of traits and abilities that include neophilia (an affinity for novelty), schizotypy (a tendency toward unusual perception), imagination and idea generation, pattern recognition, mental fluency, divergent thinking, and integrative thinking. In this remote Science Salon (recorded on March 22, 2018),...

Duration:00:51:29

Dr. Michael Shermer — Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia

3/25/2018
More
In his most ambitious work yet—a scientific exploration into humanity’s obsession with the afterlife and quest for immortality—bestselling author and skeptic, Michael Shermer, sets out to discover what drives humans’ belief in life after death, focusing on recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality along with utopian attempts to create heaven on earth. For millennia, religions have concocted numerous manifestations of heaven and the afterlife, and though no one has ever returned...

Duration:00:55:46

Bill Nye the Science Guy Saves the World on Netflix

3/7/2018
More
Michael Shermer interviews Bill Nye the Science Guy about his new Netflix series “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which aired Friday, April 21, 2017. The conversation took place on December 18, 2016 at the offices of the Planetary Society, for which Nye is the CEO. Learn more about the series on Netflix.

Duration:01:25:41

Dr. Bart Ehrman — How a Forbidden Religion (Christianity) Swept the World

2/19/2018
More
In this remote Science Salon (recorded on February 19, 2018), Dr. Shermer converses with the great bible scholar and historian Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, the Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ehrman is a leading authority on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity and the author of 8 Teaching Company courses and a number of New York Times bestselling books, including Misquoting Jesus and How Jesus Became God. In...

Duration:01:18:53

Dr. Kip Thorne — Gravitational Waves, Black Holes, Time Travel, and Hollywood

2/18/2018
More
Join us for what promises to be one of the deepest and most profound conversations we’ve had in our Science Salon series as Dr. Thorne reflects on his life and career in theoretical physics, his pursuit of the detection of the long-elusive gravitational waves through the LIGO detector, his relationship and bet with Stephen Hawking, how he came to consult on Carl Sagan’s Contact and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, his curious work on black holes, wormholes, and time travel, and what it’s...

Duration:01:14:32

Dr. Robert Trivers — Evolutionary Theory & Human Nature

11/16/2017
More
Dr. Robert Trivers and Dr. Michael Shermer have a lively conversation on everything from evolutionary theory and human nature to how to win a knife fight and Trivers’ membership in the Black Panthers. Don’t miss this engaging exchange with one of the most interesting scientists of the past half century.

Duration:00:49:37

Donald Prothero & Timothy Callahan — UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says

10/15/2017
More
UFOs. Aliens. Strange crop circles. Giant figures scratched in the desert surface along the coast of Peru. The amazing alignment of the pyramids. Strange lines of clouds in the sky. The paranormal is alive and well in the American cultural landscape. In UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens, Don Prothero and Tim Callahan explore why such demonstrably false beliefs thrive despite decades of education and scientific debunking. Employing the ground rules of science and the standards of scientific...

Duration:01:07:07

Dr. Nancy Segal — Twin Mythconceptions: False Beliefs, Fables, and Facts about Twins

9/17/2017
More
Dr. Nancy Segal, the world’s leading expert on twins, has a new book that sheds light on over 70 commonly held ideas and beliefs about the origins and development of identical and fraternal twins. Using the latest scientific findings from psychology, psychiatry, biology, and education, Dr. Segal separates fact from fiction. Each idea about twins is described, followed by both a short answer about the truth, and then a longer, more detailed explanation. Coverage includes embryology of...

Duration:00:54:12

Dr. Walter Scheidel — The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century

6/11/2017
More
Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, the Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of...

Duration:00:57:31

Derren Brown — Magic, Happiness, and Skepticism

5/15/2017
More
In this remote Science Salon, Michael Shermer talks with Derren Brown, a British magician and writer. His TV show Derren Brown: Mind Control received immediate success after airing in 2000. His specials include Russian Roulette, Seance, The Heist, Hero at 30,000 Feet, How to Predict the Lottery, and Apocalypse. His live shows Something Wicked This Way Comes and Svengali have won him two Olivier Awards. He garnered the 2012 BAFTA for Best Entertainment for Derren Brown: The Experiments. He...

Duration:01:16:21

Dr. Andrew Shtulman — Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong

4/23/2017
More
Why do we catch colds? What causes seasons to change? And if you fire a bullet from a gun and drop one from your hand, which bullet hits the ground first? In a pinch we almost always get these questions wrong. Worse, we regularly misconstrue fundamental qualities of the world around us. In Scienceblind, cognitive and developmental psychologist Dr. Andrew Shtulman, a professor of psychology and cognitive science at Occidental College, where he directs the Thinking Lab, shows that the root...

Duration:01:15:43

Dr. Carol Tavris — Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)

2/19/2017
More
Why is it so hard to say “I made a mistake”—and really believe it? Social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris, one of the most influential thinkers and writers of our time, explores in dialogue with Michael Shermer cognitive dissonance and what happens when we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people—we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our...

Duration:01:03:37

Gary Taubes — The Case Against Sugar

1/22/2017
More
Among Americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. And sugar is at the root of these, and other, critical society-wide, health-related problems. With his signature command of both science and straight talk, Gary Taubes delves into Americans’ history with sugar: its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, the contemporary overuse of high-fructose corn...

Duration:01:08:00

Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan — Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal The Cosmos

11/13/2016
More
Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan is a cosmologist and theoretical astrophysicist from Yale University, specializing in dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. She also holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professorship of the Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is passionate about sharing science with the general public and in her new book she provides a tour of the “greatest hits” of cosmological discoveries—the ideas that reshaped our...

Duration:01:32:33

Dr. Benjamin Bergen — What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves

10/16/2016
More
Dr. Benjamin Bergen is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, and in his new book he explains why profanity is so appealing to us. Let’s face it, we all swear. Whether we’re happy or mad, uttering a four-letter word seems to be a natural occurrence for most of us. But why do we swear, even when we know we’re breaking cultural taboos? Why are some words off limits in certain countries or deemed offensive in past centuries but are considered perfectly...

Duration:01:41:48

Dr. Stephon Alexander — The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe

5/22/2016
More
In The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe, physicist and jazz saxophonist Dr. Stephon Alexander revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander’s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and physics, from taking music lessons as a boy in the Bronx to studying theoretical physics at Imperial College. Playing the saxophone and improvising with equations,...

Duration:01:34:08

Dr. Janna Levin — Gravitational Waves, Black Holes and the Nature of the Cosmos

4/10/2016
More
On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the National Science Foundation made a thrilling announcement: gravitational waves—first predicted by Einstein as part of his general theory of relativity in 1916—had been detected for the first time. This incredible development made front page news and was reported by outlets across the country. How was such a remarkable discovery, a long hundred years after Einstein’s prediction, made possible? In this Science Salon based on her new book, Black Hole Blues...

Duration:01:03:01

Dr. Sean B. Carroll — The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters

3/20/2016
More
How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we...

Duration:01:35:28

Dr. Arthur Benjamin — The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring Out Why

1/24/2016
More
The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you had in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples—from ice cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares—this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and truly magical properties behind those formulas and equations that once left your head spinning. You’ll learn the key ideas of classic areas of mathematics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, but you’ll also have fun...

Duration:01:33:25

Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads