About the Podcast
Rationally Speaking is the bi-weekly podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join hosts Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, and science and pseudoscience. Any topic is fair game as long as we can bring reason to bear upon it, with both a skeptical eye and a good dose of humor!
We agree with the Marquis de Condorcet, who said that in an open society we ought to devote ourselves to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them."
Rationally Speaking is recorded live in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village and is produced by Benny Pollak.
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Massimo Pigliucci hosts the Rationally Speaking Podcast and is a Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. His research is concerned with philosophy of science, the relationship between science and philosophy, and the relationship between science and religion.
He received a Doctorate in Genetics from the University of Ferrara in Italy, a PhD in Botany from the University of Connecticut, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He has published over a hundred technical papers and several books. His most recent technical book is Making Sense of Evolution: Toward a Coherent Picture of EvolutionaryTheory (co-authored by Jonathan Kaplan,University of Chicago Press). Prof. Pigliucci has been awarded the prestigious Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution. He has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science "for fundamental studies of genotype by environmental interactions and for public defense of evolutionary biology from pseudoscientific attack."
In the areas of public outreach and critical thinking, Prof. Pigliucci has published in national magazines such as Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, Philosophy Now, The Philosopher’s Magazine, Secular Nation and American Atheist magazine. He has also been elected as a Consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and serves on the New York City Skeptics board of directors. Pigliucci pens the "Rationally Speaking" blog, and has authored the popular science book Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science (Sinauer). His forthcoming book is Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell the Difference Between Science and Bunk (University of Chicago Press).
Selected Recent Publications:
- Pigliucci, M. 2009. Consciousness, meditation and the Dalai Lama. American Atheist 1: 24.
- Pigliucci, M. 2009. The evolution of evolutionary theory. Philosophy Now 71:6-8
- Pigliucci, M. 2009. Experimental philosophy, an oxymoron?. Skeptical Inquirer 1:16-17
- Pigliucci, M. 2009.The tree of life. Skeptical Inquirer 1:20-21
Julia Galef is a New York-based writer and public speaker specializing in science, rationality, technology, and design. She serves on the board of directors of the New York City Skeptics and co-blogs at Rationally Speaking along with Massimo Pigliucci. She has moderated panel discussions at conferences such as The Amazing Meeting, Skepticon, and the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, and gives frequent public lectures to organizations including the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Student Alliance. Julia received her B.A. in statistics from Columbia in 2005, and after graduating spent several years as a research assistant for social science professors at Columbia, Harvard and MIT, including a year writing case studies on international economics for Harvard Business School.
Benny Pollak produces the Rationally Speaking Podcast and serves on the New York City Skeptics baord of directors, as well as the NECSS organizing committee. Benny realized he had always been a passionate skeptic in 2005 after listening to a "Skepticality" podcast interview with James Randi. Passionate about critical thinking, he found skepticism very much in synch with his interest in science and Objectivism.
In 2007 he started the New York Skeptics Meetup. It was there that he met a fellow Skeptic who had bigger ambitions. Soon after that, with two other committed skeptics who shared the vision, he co-founded New York City Skeptics.
Benny makes a living as a V.P. in Equities Technology at Barclays Capital in New York City.