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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


Monday
Apr022018

RS 205 - Michael Webb on “Are ideas getting harder to find?”

Release date: April 1st, 2018

Michael Webb

This episode features economist Michael Webb, who recently co-authored a paper titled "Are ideas getting harder to find?" It demonstrates that the number of researchers it takes to produce a technological innovation has gone up dramatically over time. Michael and Julia discuss various possible explanations for why this is happening, along with several challenges to his paper.

Paper Co-Authored by Michael: "Are ideas getting harder to find?"

Michael's Pick: "Truth and Power: An Interview with Michael Foucault"

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Mar182018

RS 204 - Simine Vazire on “Reforming psychology and self-awareness”

Release date: March 18th, 2018

Simine Vazire

Simine Vazire is a professor of psychology, the author of the blog, "Sometimes I'm Wrong," and a major advocate for improving the field of psychology. She and Julia discuss several potential objections to Simine's goal, how to handle criticism, and Simine's psychology research on the question: How self-aware are people about the way they behave?

Simine's Pick: "My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir" by Clarence Thomas (paired with: any biography of Clarence Thomas)

Simine's Blog: "Sometimes I'm Wrong"

Simine's Podcast: "The Black Goat"

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Mar042018

RS 203 - Stephen Webb on “Where is Everybody? Solutions to the Fermi Paradox.”

Release date: March 4th, 2018

Stephen Webb

In 1950, the great physicist Enrico Fermi posed a question that people have been puzzling over ever since: Where is everybody? The universe has been around for billions of years, so why haven't we seen any signs of alien civilizations? This episode features physicist Stephen Webb, who describes some of the potential solutions to the puzzle. Stephen and Julia also discuss questions such as: What evidence have we gotten so far that helps us answer the Fermi problem? How do we estimate how rare/difficult it is for human-level intelligence to evolve? And why does it matter what the answer to Fermi's question is?

Stephen's Website

Stephen's Pick: "The Cosmic Zoo: Complex Life on Many Worlds"

Eternity in Six Hours by Stuart Armstrong and Anders Sandberg

Dissolving the Fermi Paradox by Anders Sandberg

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts