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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, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Nov272016

RS 173 - Brendan Nyhan on "What can we learn from the election?"

Release date: November 27th, 2016

Brendan Nyhan

Since Trump's surprising win in the 2016 presidential election, there's been a flurry of discussion about why things turned out this way. But which explanations are well-supported, and which are wrong (or simply rationalizations)? This episode features political scientist Brendan Nyhan, who talks with Julia about questions like: Were the polls and models wrong? If so, why? How surprised should we have been by Trump's win? And why didn't the markets react badly to it?

Brendan's Pick: "Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate" by Craig Silverman

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Nov132016

RS 172 - Brian Nosek on "Why science needs openness"

Release date: November 13th, 2016

Brian Nosek

There's a growing anxiety about the quality of scientific research, as a depressingly large fraction of articles fail to replicate. Could "openness" solve that problem? This episode features Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology and founder of the Center for Open Science. He and Julia discuss what openness means, some clever approaches to boosting openness, and whether openness could have any downsides (for example, in the cases of peer review or data sharing).

Brian's Pick: "Consequences of Prejudice Against the Null Hypothesis" by Tony Greenwald

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Oct302016

RS 171 - Scott Aaronson on "The ethics and strategy of vote trading"

Release date: October 30th, 2016

Scott Aaronson

It can be pretty frustrating to live in a "safe" state during national elections, where the chance your vote will affect the overall results is practically zero. This episode, with professor Scott Aaronson, explores an unorthodox solution to the problem: "swapping" your vote with someone in a swing state who was going to vote for a third party candidate. Scott and Julia explore the game theory of vote swapping, and whether there are any ethical problems with it.

Vote Swapping Sites: TrumpTraders.org (recommended), MakeMineCount.org

Scott's Pick: "Why Nerds are Unpopular" by Paul Graham

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts