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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
Jul232017

RS 189 - Stephan Guyenet on "What causes obesity?"

Release date: July 23rd, 2017

Stephan Guyenet

In this episode Julia sits down with neuroscientist and obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet, to talk about what scientists know so far about the causes of obesity, and in particular the brain's role in regulating weight gain. Julia and Stephan cover questions such as: Why did obesity start to increase in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century? Does the body have a "set point" of fat that it tries to defend, and what affects those set points? Are low-carb diets more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets, and if so, what explains the difference?

Stephan's Book: "The Hungry Brain"

Stephan's Pick: "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" by Michael Moss

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Friday
Jul072017

RS 188 - Robert Kurzban on "Being strategically wrong"

Release date: July 9th, 2017

Julia Galef interviews Robert Kurzban

In this episode, recorded live at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, Julia interviews evolutionary psychologist Rob Kurzban, author of "Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite." Rob describes the "modular mind" hypothesis, and how it explains hypocrisy, self-deception, and other seemingly irrational features of human nature. Rob and Julia argue about how useful these kinds of "strategic wrongness" really are.

Rob's Pick: "Society Of Mind" By Marvin Minsky

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Jun252017

RS 187 - Jason Weeden on "Do people vote based on self-interest?"

Release date: June 25th, 2017

Jason Weeden

What determines which policies a person votes for? Is it their personality, their upbringing, blind loyalty to their political party? Or is it self-interest -- people voting for policies that will benefit themselves and the groups they belong to? This episode features psychologist Jason Weeden, arguing that self-interest is a much bigger determinant of voter behavior than most political scientists think it is. Jason and Julia talk about why researchers disagree over this question, and what "self-interest" even means.

Jason's Blog: We the Pleeple

Jason's Book: "The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind"

Jason's Pick: "Dragons of Eden" by Carl Sagan

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

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