Episode Archive for May 2014

Capital Punishment in Crisis with Dahlia Lithwick

May 27, 2014

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor and Legal Correspondent for Slate, where she writes the “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns. Her legal commentary won her a National Magazine Award in 2013. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and she joins Lindsay Beyerstein to talk about the crisis facing capital punishment in the United States.

Almost all executions in the United States are performed by lethal Injection but America’s go-to lethal injection drug cocktail is rapidly becoming obsolete because a key component is no longer readily available. States have been reduced to scrounging drugs…

Farzana Hassan on Islamic Extremism

May 20, 2014

Our guest this week is Farzana Hassan, a Pakistani-Canadian political scientist, a columnist for the Toronto Sun, whose new book is Prophecy and the Fundamentalist Quest: An Integrative Study of Christian and Muslim Apocalyptic Religion

Hassan joins Point of Inquiry’s Josh Zepps to talk about issues surrounding Islam, in particular the difficulty in honestly dealing with terrorism and extremism and their relation to Islam, and the fine line between legitimate criticism and Islamophobia. Hassan, herself a Muslim, suggests that there exists doctrinal support within Islam for many of the terrible acts we see today done in its…

Science Denialism with Donald Prothero

May 12, 2014

Our guest this week is Donald Prothero, paleontologist, geologist, and author of the new book Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future. He’s an expert on the effect of past climate change on the fossil record, as well as the co-author of Abominable Science, a skeptical look at  cryptozoology and cryptozoologists with Daniel Loxton.

Science Denialism is a many-headed hydra that rears up when people don’t want to believe what science tells us. In this day and age, science has enough cachet that educated people don’t openly reject it when…

Talking Nerdy (And Ethically) with Cara Santa Maria

May 05, 2014

Our guest this week is Cara Santa Maria, contributor to Al Jazeera America’s science show TechKnow, and the host of the podcast Talk Nerdy. This neuroscientist, science educator, producer, writer, and television personality has brought her intelligence and insights to the Huffington Post as its former senior science editor, was the co-host and producer of TakePart Live on Pivot TV, and has appeared countless times on CNN, FOX, BBC, among many others.

Point of Inquiry’s Josh Zepps sat down with Santa Maria for a conversation about growing…