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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Aug052018

RS 214 - Anthony Aguirre on "Predicting the future of science and tech, with Metaculus"

Release date: August 5th, 2018

Anthony Aguirre

This episode features physicist Anthony Aguirre discussing Metaculus, the site he created to crowd-source accurate predictions about science and technology. For example, will SpaceX land on Mars by 2030? Anthony and Julia discuss details such as: why it's useful to have predictions on questions like these, how to measure Metaculus' accuracy, why Anthony chose not to run it like a traditional prediction market, and how to design incentives to reward good forecasters.

Links:

Metaculus

"Why We Should Think Twice About Colonizing Space" by Phil Torres

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Jul222018

RS 213 - Dean Simonton on "The causes of scientific and artistic genius"

Release date: July 22nd, 2018

Dean Simonton

This episode features Professor Dean Simonton, who has spent his life quantitatively studying geniuses, from Einstein to Mozart. Dean and Julia discuss his views on whether IQ is important, whether some innovations are "in the air" at given points in history, whether the "10,000 hours = mastery" theory promoted by Malcolm Gladwell is accurate, and more.

Links:

"The Genius Checklist" by Dean Simonton

"Hereditary Genius" by Francis Galton

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Monday
Jul092018

RS 212 - Ed Boyden on “How to invent game-changing technologies”

Release date: July 8th, 2018

Ed Boyden

This episode features neuroscientist Ed Boyden discussing two inventions of his that have revolutionized neuroscience: optogenetics and expansion microscopy. Ed and Julia talk about Ed's approach to coming up with good ideas, why he prefers reading old science to new science, his big-picture plan for what he wants to solve in his career, and his take on the rationalist versus Hayekian debate over how to make important progress.

Links:

Ed's Research: Synthetic Neurobiology Group

Ed's Pick: "Time, Love, Memory" by Jonathan Weiner

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts