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Episode 13: What's Wrong with the IAT? (with Jesse Singal)
Journalist Jesse Singal joins Yoel and Mickey to talk about the state of science journalism, what he thinks is wrong with how people interpret the Implicit Association Test (IAT), and the pros and cons of moral outrage. Why do so many science journalists simply repeat talking points from university press releases? Is it ethical to administer the IAT as a teaching tool? What is social media like for a journalist? Bonus: Yoel, Mickey, & Jesse discuss a new paper arguing there are upsides to...
Episode 12: Everybody Hates Social Media
Mickey and Yoel take on social media. What are the upsides and downsides of being on social media, particularly Twitter? Why does Mickey ban himself from social media for most of the day? What led Yoel to abandon Twitter entirely for two weeks, and what drew him back in? Would the open science movement have happened without social media? Bonus: when is it a good idea to give voice to the voiceless?
Episode 11: No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?
Yoel and Mickey discuss how scientists should publicize their work. Should scientists issue press releases about their findings? Should they write op-ed columns to communicate directly with the public? If Yoel writes an op-ed about Mickey's paper, is that weird? Do scientists have an obligation to share their work with the public, or does self-promotion involve too many perverse incentives? Bonus: Toronto sex doll brothel, raw water, and beaver fever.
Episode 10: Conservative Social Psychologist Wanted (with Clay Routledge)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Clay Routledge to the show. Clay is a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University who studies the cognitive and motivational consequences of the search for meaning, including religion and other supernatural beliefs. Clay talks about his childhood growing up as the child of missionaries in Africa and the U.S., what it's like to be outside the liberal mainstream in psychology, and how religion and belief in alien visitors may be connected. Special Guest:...
Episode 9: Giving the Finger (with Alice Dreger)
Yoel and Mickey welcome author, journalist, historian, and bioethicist Alice Dreger to the show. Alice, who wrote Galileo’s Middle Finger, discusses how her upbringing, her academic background, and her own Galilean personality led her to piss so many people off in the service of serving both truth and justice. Can academics pursue both truth and justice? What is a Galilean personality? Do activists pollute science? Why did Alice refuse to be lumped in with the so-called Intellectual Dark...
Episode 8: Confessions of a Science Critic (with James Heathers)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Northeastern University research scientist and science critic James Heathers to their show. Yoel, Mickey, and James discuss science reform and the need for robust science criticism. Why is it so hard for some (older) scientists to admit their mistakes? Do science critics feel empathy for the scholars they criticize? Is there a danger of science criticism going too far, even over-correcting? What exactly is Yoel drinking this episode? Bonus: James discusses his...
Episode 7: When Does the Left Go Too Far?
Yoel and Mickey ask how to know when the political Left has gone too far. Assuming the Left can indeed go too far--turning off even other progressives who feel abandoned by their natural political home--Yoel and Mickey riff on ways this might manifest. The conversation includes a discussion of identity politics, the problems with subjectivity, the challenge of balancing the desire for justice with the desire for truth, and the inherent problem of being both a scientist and activist. Before...
Episode 6: Yoel and Mickey Fall in Love (with Elizabeth Page-Gould)
Yoel and Mickey welcome their University of Toronto colleague and close friend, psychologist Elizabeth Page-Gould. Liz, who is an expert in close friendship, tries to help Yoel and Mickey fall in love with each other…and with her…by administering the so-called fast-friends procedure. By answering questions of increasing intimacy and revealing personal stories, Yoel, Mickey, and Liz grow in rapport over the course of the hour, sometimes uncovering deep emotions. Bonus: Yoel and Mickey discuss...
Episode 5: I Love How You Hurt Me (with Paul Bloom)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Yale psychologist Paul Bloom to the show, their very first guest. In a far ranging conversation, Yoel, Mickey, and Paul discuss the potential benefits of pain. Why do we sometimes choose to suffer? Are there any benefits (to self or society) to being a painful or disagreeable person? Why do we enjoy and seek out aversive fiction, be that in books, TV, or film? Why do so many of the goals that we set and pursue involve pain and suffering? Bonus: Yoel, Mickey, and Paul...
Episode 4: The Replication Crisis Gets Personal
In their most emotional episode yet, Yoel and Mickey discuss the replication crisis in psychology. What is meant by the replication crisis and how did it get started? Why does it appear like the field is split into two, with some young academics actively trying to reform psychology and more senior scholars suggesting the problems have been mostly overstated? How have academics dealt with the possibility that their own work might not be robust and replicable? Finally, how did one of the most...
Episode 3: WTF is the IDW?
Yoel and Mickey take a deep dive into the so-called Intellectual Dark Web (IDW). What is the IDW and who are the prominent members of this group? Why do members of the IDW seem so cranky? Are members of the IDW actually being silenced, and given their massive popularity, who is silencing them? Is the IDW a positive and new development in our culture? Should the members of the IDW be concerned about some of their fans and followers? Bonus: Why did Yoel decide to have us drink the champagne of...
Episode 2: You're Not Wrong Walter, You're Just an A$$hole
In this episode, Yoel and Mickey tackle problems of tone and incivility in online discussions of the scientific literature. What constitutes bullying and is the term abused to derail legitimate criticism? What is an ad hominem attack and when is it a fallacy? Finally, who's our favorite member of the Black Goat podcast?
Episode 1: In Search of the Campus Free Speech Crisis
In their first episode, Yoel and Mickey tackle the alleged free speech crisis on campus. Is there reason to worry or are reports of left-wing intolerance overblown? We take a closer look and talk about what we do and don't feel comfortable saying on campus. Also: who are we and why are we doing this?