Episode Archive for July 2010

Francesca Grifo - Science Under Obama

July 30, 2010

When President Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009, he pledged to “restore science to its rightful place” in the U.S. government. And true to his word, the president promptly staffed his cabinet with distinguished scientific leaders, liberated embryonic stem cell research from the Bush era restrictions, and released a  memorandum on “scientific integrity” intended to reverse the kinds of problems seen in the Bush years.

Since those days, however, the “scientific integrity” agenda does not seem to have filtered through the federal government as hoped. And according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times,…

Tom Quinn - O Sweet Jesus

July 23, 2010

Tom Quinn has spent the past 15 years as a documentary TV writer and producer for Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic and others. He has traveled the world producing programs that explore and deconstruct urban legends, psychic claims, religious myths and conspiracy theories, and has worked with the likes of James Randi and Michael Shermer.

He’s a graduate of the American Film Institute, he’s been a film critic, a story analyst for Universal Studios and HBO, and, in 2005, he received two Emmy nominations for his History Channel special, Beyond the Da Vinci Code. He has…

Phil Plait - Death from the Skies

July 16, 2010

Our guest this week needs no introduction for those in the skeptical and secular world. After all, he has a frakkin’ asteroid named after him.

He’s Phil Plait—science blogger extraordinaire for Discover Blogs, where he authors “Bad Astronomy.” Recently, Plait joined Point of Inquiry for a wide ranging conversation about standing eggs on end, Apollo moon landing deniers, wacky yet endearing Hollywood bad science, something called “spaghettification,” ... and the end of the world.

Phil Plait is a skeptic and an astronomer, and former president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. He lectures widely across…

Adam Savage - Skeptic (Confirmed)

July 09, 2010

Adam Savage is an artist, actor, educator, special effects designer and co-host of the Discovery Channel’s TV show Mythbusters.

Adam has a diverse background in animation and design, and for almost two decades he has concentrated on the special effects industry for film, theater and television. 

A prominent skeptic and atheist, Adam lectures in science education and is a strong promoter of critical thinking.

Karen Stollznow spoke with Adam in Las Vegas at The Amaz!ng Meeting, the annual conference of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

In this conversation, Adam speaks about…

Robert Price & Chris Mooney - Must Atheists Also Be Liberals?

July 02, 2010

Recently in Amherst, New York, two of Point of Inquiry’s hosts sat down for a special in-studio episode of the show. One was a conservative (Robert Price), one a liberal (Chris Mooney)—and both were atheists.

The topic they tackled: Is there any necessary correlation between one’s disbelief in God and one’s place on the political spectrum?

The result was a fascinating—and notably civil, and frequently entertaining—conversation ranging across foreign policy, abortion, stem cell research, animal rights, and many other topics. In the end, the discussants actually found not only much disagreement, but also some common ground.

Robert M. Price is Professor of Biblical…