Episode Archive for April 2011

George Lakoff - Enlightenments, Old and New

April 25, 2011

George Lakoff is a cognitive linguist at the University of California at Berkeley. But unlike many of his scientific peers, he’s known as much for his work on politics as for his research.

Lakoff the famed author of many books on why the left and right disagree about politics, including Moral Politics, Don’t Think of an Elephant, Thinking Points, and most recently, The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century Politics with an 18th Century Brain

Throughout these works Lakoff has applied cognitive and linguistic analysis to our political rifts, and his ideas about “framing,” “metaphor,” and the different moral…

Josh Rosenau - The Evolution Revolution

April 18, 2011

Our guest this week is Josh Rosenau, the Programs and Policy Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and writer of the blog “Thoughts from Kansas” at ScienceBlogs.

Josh has pursued a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas, studying the ways ecological competition shapes the ecological niche and geographical ranges of species. In his role at the NCSE, he works with grassroots groups, testifies before school boards, meets with legislators, works with scientists to be more effective communicators and the public to increase science literacy globally.

In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Josh presents the “Three Pillars of Creationism”,…

Nuclear Risk and Reason - David Brenner and David Ropeik

April 11, 2011

When the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan last month, it left behind not only mass destruction, but also a nuclear crisis that was covered 24-7 by the international media. 

Since then, we’ve been embroiled in a huge debate about nuclear policy—should there be a “Nuclear Renaissance” in the United States, or should we put it on hold?

A central issue underlying all this is the scientific question of risk. How dangerous is radiation, anyway? Do we overreact to reactors? 

To tackle that question, we turned to two different guests. One is one of the world’s foremost experts on radiation exposure and its…

August Berkshire - Minnesota Atheist

April 04, 2011

One of the outstanding leaders of organized atheism in our day is a man named August Berkshire. He is a non-believer of broad sympathies, having served as an officer and/or board member of organizations as diverse as Minnesota Atheists, Atheist Alliance International, Humanists of Minnesota, Freedom from Religion Foundation, and others. 

He is also a community activist at the forefront of church-state separation issues. August brings a winning charm and personal openness to numerous speaking engagements throughout the numerous college and high school classrooms in the Minneapolis area every year. He is a prolific author of thought-provoking anti-theological pamphlets and the…