Past episodes

263: Is cash the best way to help the poor? (Michael Faye)

262: Humanity on the precipice (Toby Ord)

261: Dangerous biological research – is it worth it? (Kevin Esvelt)

260: Why we’re polarized (Ezra Klein)

259: The genetic lottery (Kathryn Paige Harden)

258: How to reason about COVID, and other hard things (Kelsey Piper)

257: “Price gouging” in emergencies (Raymond Niles and Amihai Glazer)

256: How to be a data detective (Tim Harford)

255: Are Uber and Lyft drivers being exploited?

254: Unfair laws / Why judges should be originalists (William Baude)

253: Intellectual honesty, cryptocurrency, & more (Vitalik Buterin)

252: Understanding moral disagreements (Jonathan Haidt)

251: The case for one billion Americans, & more (Matt Yglesias)

250: What’s wrong with tech companies banning people? (Julian Sanchez)

249: The case for racial colorblindness (Coleman Hughes)

248: Are Democrats being irrational? (David Shor)

247: The moral limits of markets / The problem with meritocracy (Michael Sandel)

246: Deaths of despair / Effective altruism (Angus Deaton)

245: Are Boomers to blame for Millennials’ struggles?

244: Seeing other perspectives, with compassion (Stephanie Lepp & Buster Benson)

243: The case for open borders (Bryan Caplan)

242: Why consciousness is an illusion (Keith Frankish)

241: Debunking the Stanford Prison Experiment (Thibault Le Texier)

240: Goodhart’s Law and why metrics fail (David Manheim)

239: The debate over whether male and female brains are different (Saloni Dattani)

238: Stuff I’ve been wrong about (Razib Khan)

237: Is screen time bad for you? (Andy Przybylski)

236: Why are the prices so d*mn high? (Alex Tabarrok)

235: Why people think their violence is morally justified (Tage Rai)

234: Global poverty has fallen, but what should we conclude from that? (Dylan Matthews)

233: The culture of coding, and how it’s changing the world (Clive Thompson)

232: Defending big business against its critics (Tyler Cowen)

231: Misconceptions about China and artificial intelligence (Helen Toner)

230: Big picture journalism – covering the topics that matter in the long run (Kelsey Piper)

229: Erisology, the study of disagreement (John Nerst)

228: Is Elsevier helping or hurting scientific progress? (William Gunn and Alex Holcombe)

227: Dissent and free speech (Sarah Haider)

226: An updated view of the best ways to help humanity (Rob Wiblin)

225: The case for charter schools (Neerav Kingsland)

224: The long-term effects of lead on crime (Rick Nevin)

223: The Mohists, ancient China’s philosopher warriors (Chris Fraser)

222: Ask a Mathematician, Ask a Physicist (Spencer Greenberg and Seth Cottrell)

221: Is philanthropy bad for democracy (Rob Reich)

220: Tough choices on privacy and artificial intelligence (Peter Eckersley)

219: A skeptical take on behavioral economics (Jason Collins)

218: Good and bad critiques of economics (Chris Auld)

217: The problem of false, biased, and artificial news (Aviv Ovadya)

216: Being a transhumanist evolutionary psychologist (Diana Fleischman)

215: The long-term future of humanity (Anders Sandberg)

214: Predicting the future of science and tech, with Metaculus (Anthony Aguirre)

213: The causes of scientific and artistic genius (Dean Simonton)

212: How to invent game-changing technologies (Ed Boyden)

211: The case against beauty in physics (Sabine Hossenfelder)

210: Conceptual objections to IQ testing (Stuart Ritchie)

209: Collective intelligence and the ethics of A/B tests (Christopher Chabris)

208: Thinking in Bets (Annie Duke)

207: The wrong way to think about parenting (Alison Gopnik)

206: Change My View (Kal Turnbull)

205: Are ideas getting harder to find? (Michael Webb)

204: Reforming psychology, and self-awareness (Simine Vazire)

203: Where is everybody? Solutions to the Fermi Paradox (Stephen Webb)

202: The case against education (Bryan Caplan)

201: The cybersecurity dilemma (Ben Buchanan)

200: How much should tech companies moderate speech? (Timothy Lee)

199: Why people should have the right to self-medicate (Jessica Flanigan)

198: Private truths, public lies (Timur Kuran)

197: Why people think some things can’t be quantified – and why they’re wrong (Doug Hubbard)

196: Weird ideas and opaque minds (Eric Schwitzgebel)

195: Emerging technologies that’ll improve and/or ruin everything (Zach Weinersmith)

194: Why Buddhism is true (Robert Wright)

193: Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor? (Eric Jonas)

192: The problem with implicit bias tests (Jesse Singal)

191: What the internet can tell us about human nature (Seth Stephens-Davidowitz)

190: Pascal’s wager and other low risks with high stakes (Amanda Askell)

189: What causes obesity? (Stephan Guyenet)

188: Being strategically wrong (Robert Kurzban)

187: Do people vote based on self-interest? (Jason Weeden)

186: Why we evolved the urge to explain (Tania Lombrozo)

185: The role of ideology in politics (Hans Noel)

184: What caused the industrial revolution? (Gregory Clark)

183: Transformative experiences (L. A. Paul)

182: How online research can be faster, better, and more useful (Spencer Greenberg)

181: Moral uncertainty (Will MacAskill)

180: The worm wars (David Roodman)

179: Is economics more art or science? (Dani Rodrik)

178: Trying to live well, as semi-rational animals (Tim Urban)

177: The science and ethics of kidney donation (Dylan Matthews)

176: Against democracy (Jason Brennan)

175: Do sweatshops reduce poverty? (Chris Blattman)

174: What happened to evidence-based medicine? (John Ioannidis)

173: What can we learn from the election? (Brendan Nyhan)

172: Why science needs openness (Brian Nosek)

171: The ethics and strategy of vote-trading (Scott Aaronson)

170: Social justice and political philosophy (Will Wilkinson)

169: Thinking about humanity’s far future (Owen Cotton-Barratt)

168: Overconfidence (Don Moore)

167: Why technology is becoming too complex (Samuel Arbesman)

166: Why you should expect the truth to be crazy (Eric Schwitzgebel)

165: Success and luck (Robert Frank)

164: Using meta-knowledge to learn how science works (James Evans)

163: Free will and moral responsibility (Gregg Caruso)

162: Poetic naturalism (Sean Carroll)

161: Algorithms to Live By (Tom Griffiths and Brian Christian)

160: Live at NECSS – Tackling bioethical dilemmas (Jacob Appel)

159: Do fish feel pain? (Colin Allen)

158: Negotiating with your future selves (George Ainslie)

157: What made the human brain special? (Suzana Herculano-Houzel)

156: Why it’s so hard to change someone’s mind (David McRaney)

155: Detecting fraud in social science (Uri Simonsohn)

154: Why your brain might be rational after all (Tom Griffiths)

153: Why so much of what we “know” about medicine is wrong (Vinay Prasad)

152: The pros and cons of civil disagreement (Dan Fincke)

151: Why everyone falls for con artists (Maria Konnikova)

150: The malleability of human memory (Elizabeth Loftus)

149: How essentialism shapes our thinking (Susan Gelman)

148: The Myths that Stole Christmas (David Kyle Johnson)

147: Why do Americans vote the way they do? (Andrew Gelman)

146: The pros and cons of making fallacies famous (Jesse Richardson)

145: Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (Philip Tetlock)

144: Does parenting matter? (Bryan Caplan)

143: The theorem that proves rationalists can’t disagree (Scott Aaronson)

142: The case against empathy (Paul Bloom)

141: The argumentative theory of reason (Dan Sperber)

140: Newcomb’s paradox and the tragedy of rationality (Kenny Easwaran)

139: Moral hypocrisy – why doesn’t knowing about ethics make people more ethical? (Eric Schwitzgebel)

138: Why the West rules – for now (Ian Morris)

137: Should scientists try to create dangerous viruses? (Marc Lipsitch)

136: Why microfinance won’t cure global poverty (David Roodman)

135: Most human behavior is signaling (Robin Hanson)

134: Science drives moral progress (Michael Shermer)
133: The Many Worlds Interpretation is probably correct (Sean Carroll)

132: Live from NECSS 2015

131: Being an honest liar (James Randi)

130: The atheists’ own 10 commandments

129: Would the world be a better place without religion?

128: Fifth anniversary live show

127: Philosophy of physics (Elise Crull)

126: Crazy beliefs, sane believers (Preston Bost)

125: The quantified self

124: Stoicism

123: P-hacking and other problems in psychology research (Daniel Lakens)

122: The science and philosophy of humor

121: 80,000 Hours (Benjamin Todd)

120: Nihilism

119: On Assholes (Aaron James)

118: Live from Baruch College (Steven Novella)

117: How to think like Sherlock Holmes (Maria Konnikova)

116: Farewell to reality (Jim Baggott)

115: The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience (Maarten Boudry)

114: Massimo and Julia go freestyle

113: The Turing test

112: Race – just a social construct?

111: Human nature

110: Scientia, the unity of knowledge

109: Plato at the Googleplex (Rebecca Newberger Goldstein)

108: Suicide

107: Does the future belong to MOOCs?

106: Live from NECSS (Lawrence Krauss)

105: Coming Out Atheist (Greta Christina)

104: Love and Math (Edward Frenkel)

103: Why I don’t call myself an atheist (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

102: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (Zach Weinersmith)

101: The mathematical universe hypothesis (Max Tegmark)

100: Live Q&A – Massimo and Julia answer everything

99: Exposing the myth of the mad genius (Judith Schlesinger)

98: Psychiatric diagnoses – science or pseudoscience? (Jerome Wakefield)

97: Being a utilitarian in the real world (Peter Singer)

96: The seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience (Sally Satel and Scott Lilienfeld)

95: The computational theory of mind (Gerard O’Brien)

94: Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (Maarten Boudry)

93: The science of climate change (Michael Mann)

92: Believing in magic (Paul Offit)

91: Skeptical Inquiry (Kendrick Frazier)

90: On wine, water, and audio

89: Online dating

88: Brilliant blunders (Mario Livio)

87: Naturalism (Sean Carroll)

86: Live from NECSS – Why does the world exist? (Jim Holt)

85: Live from NECSS – The role of science in morality (Michael Shermer)

84: The myth of universal love (Stephen Asma)

83: The Half-Life of Facts (Samuel Arbesman)

82: It’s not easy being green

81: Live! Bad Pharma (Ben Goldacre)

80: Dear Abby

79: The Republican war on science (Chris Mooney)

78: Intelligence and personality testing

77: Feminism and science (Victoria Pitts-Taylor)

76: Crowdsourcing and the wisdom of crowds

75: When scientists kill

74: Live! Philosophy of religion (John Shook)

73: Live! Answers for Aristotle

72: Paradoxes and paraconsistent logic (Graham Priest)

71: On science fiction and philosophy

70: Buddhism and other Asian philosophies (Graham Priest)

69: Metaphysics (James Ladyman)

68: Applied rationality

67: Freudianism as pseudoscience

66: The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking (Matthew Hutson)

65: Philosophical shock tactics

64: Looking beyond human nature (Jesse Prinz)

63: Consilience – the unity of knowledge

62: What neuroscience tells us about morality (Patricia Churchland)

61: Willpower

60: Q&A with Massimo and Julia

59: Live at NECSS – The simulation argument (David Kyle Johnson)

58: Intuition

57: Peer review

56: Science news literacy (Howard Schneider)

55: Spirituality

54: The “isms” episode

53: Parapsychology

52: The Holocaust-deniers’ playbook (Donald Prothero)
51: Economics Without Illusions (Joseph Heath)

50: Neurobabble

49: Denialism of climate change and evolution (Eugenie Scott)

48: Philosophical counseling (Lou Marinoff)

47: SETI

46: The varieties of skepticism

45: Spinoza, Göedl, and Theories of Everything (Rebecca Newberger Goldstein)

44: Fluff that works

43: Women in skepticism

42: On the limits of reason

41: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding (Robert Zaretsky)

40: Q&A with Massimo and Julia

39: The science and philosophy of free will

38: Evidence-based philanthropy (Holden Karnofsky)

37: The science and philosophy of happiness

36: Why should we care about teaching the humanities?

35: What is philosophy of science good for?

34: Celebrities and the damage they can do

33: Live at NECSS, New dilemmas in bioethics

32: Value-free science?

31: Vegetarianism

30: Delusions of Gender (Cordelia Fine)

28: Live! How to tell science from bunk

27: The perihelinox episode, on anniversaries (Timothy Alborn)

26: Is anthropology still a science?

25: Q&A with Massimo and Julia

24: Memetics!

23: Everybody making mistakes, except us (Carol Tavris)

22: Lies, damned lies, and medical science (Steven Novella)

21: Experimental philosophy (Joshua Knobe)

20: Q&A with Massimo and Julia

19: False beliefs that refuse to die (Brendan Nyhan)

18: Evolutionary psychology

17: Transhumanism

16: Deferring to experts

15: Q&A with Massimo and Julia

14: Science, religion, happiness, and other myths

13: Superstition – is it good for you?

12: What about thought experiments?

11: The Creationism and ID wars (Eugenie Scott)

10: Nonsense on Stilts

9: When smart people endorse pseudoscience

7: Is string theory “not even wrong”? (Peter Woit)

6: Fluffy thinking

5: The need for a space program (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

4: The great atheist debate over the limits of science

3: Can history be a science? (Peter Turchin)

2: Love, a skeptical inquiry

1: Why be rational?