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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
May292016

RS 160 - Live at NECSS -- Jacob Appel on "Tackling bioethical dilemmas"

Release date: May 29th, 2016

Jacob Appel and Julia Galef at NECSS

It's the annual live Rationally Speaking episode, taped at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism in NYC! This year features returning guest Jacob Appel, a bioethicist (and lawyer, and psychiatrist). Jacob and Julia discuss various bioethical dilemmas, such as: How do you handle parents who want to withhold medical treatment from their child for religious reasons? Is it unethical for American doctors to test new medications in the third-world? And what kinds of principles does a bioethicist use to justify their decisions, beyond "that's just my personal opinion"?

Photo by Larry Auerbach. More NECSS photos from Larry can be found here.

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 Full Transcripts 

 

Monday
May092016

RS 159 - Colin Allen on "Do fish feel pain?"

Release date: May 15th, 2016

Colin Allen

In this episode Julia talks with philosopher of cognitive science Colin Allen about whether fish can feel pain. In the process they explore a cluster of related questions: Are fish conscious, and how could we tell? What's the difference between pain and suffering? And are there evolutionarily adaptive reasons why animals would have the subjective experience of pain, as opposed to just instinctive reflexes to avoid potentially harmful stimuli?

Colin's Pick: "The Evolved Apprentice" by Kim Sterelny

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

 

Monday
May092016

Rationally Speaking to Record Live Episode with Jacob Appel

Rationally Speaking is pleased to present a live episode recording with special guest bioethicist Jacob Appel on Sunday, May 15th at this year's Northeast Conference for Science and Skepticism. What are the big ethical conundrums in medicine? Should we honor patients requests for doctors of a particular ethnicity or gender? What about requests for medically unnecessary surgery such as elective limb amputation? Should we use research that was obtained unethically?

NECSS is an annual conference that will take place at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Manhattan campus May 12th through 15th. This year will feature past Rationally Speaking guests including David Kyle Johnson, Maria Konnikova, and Steven Novella. Tickets are available now, including a steep discount for students. We hope to see you there!