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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


RS94 - Maarten Boudry on Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem

Release date: October 13, 2013

Maarten BoudryWhat's the difference between science and pseudocience -- and is it even possible to draw a clean line separating them? In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia interview philosopher Maarten Boudry from Ghent University. Tune in to hear them discuss Massimo and Maarten's new book, "Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem"... and stick around to learn how Maarten pranked theologians.

Maarten's pick: "Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking"



RS93 - Dr. Michael E. Mann On The Science Of Climate Change

Release date: September 29, 2013

Michael E. MannIn this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia and Massimo talk to physicist and climatologist Michael Mann about how we know the climate is getting warmer. Among other things, they cover the physical processes of climate change, the role that predictive models have played in confirming scientists' theories about the rate of warming, and what are uncertainties in the science. Also, how optimistic we should be about technological solutions to the problem.

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. Dr. Mann is author of more than 160 peer-reviewed and edited publications, and has published two books including Dire Predictions: "Understanding Global Warming" in 2008 and "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines" in 2012. He is also a co-founder and avid contributor to the award-winning science website


Michael's pick:



RS92 - Dr. Paul Offit On Believing in Magic

Release date: September 15, 2013

Dr Paul OffitHow has alternative medicine managed to become so mainstream? This episode of Rationally Speaking features Dr. Paul Offit, award-winning specialist in vaccines, immunology and pediatrics, and author of popular books such as "Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine." Julia and Massimo interview Dr. Offit about the fight against alternative medicine, why it's still unregulated, and whether or not to tell patients about placebos.

Paul A. Offit is an American pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Offit is also a Founding Board Member of the Autism Science Foundation.

Paul's pick: "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer"