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Episode One Hundred And Eighty Four – On Safe And Secular – Interview With Michael De Dora

safe and secular

Welcome to episode one hundred and eighty four of the Token Skeptic. As you may have heard in the news this week, the American Food and Drug Administration has given a controversial Houston doctor the green light to continue providing experimental cancer treatments. The FDA has lifted restrictions on a clinical trial run by Stanislaw Burzynski, who for nearly 40 years has claimed that he has discovered natural substances that can fight certain cancers. It’s due to worrying cases like this and many others, that the Safe and Secular Campaign was created – at http://safeandsecular.org: To keep health care safe, effective, accessible and responsive to needs – it has to be secular. It has to be…

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Basic Intro To Podcasting Questions 101

working on newsboss.jpg

This is a bright and brisk blogpost to answer some of the questions from fellow radio students at the radio course I did over the weekend! If you’re not sure about what a podcast is, check out About The Token Skeptic. ***** * What Are Some Good Sites To Host A Podcast If You’re Starting Out? Try: www.soundcloud.com www.audioboo.fm to begin with, then there’s a few other ideas and links out there if you search: Podcasting Equipment Guide (2011) Starting A Podcast: The Best Recording Equipment & Platforms You Should Use (2012) * What Do I Use To Record? What I use varies according to what I’m doing! In the field: I have used a Zoom…

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Urban Legendary Two – Interview With Joe Kleiman On “Blackfish”

Urban Legendary Logo

The Second Urban Legendary Show! An interview with Joseph Kleiman, about the documentary “Blackfish“, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and associated issues. Additional news: “Ruling was made on the 11th April 2014, in SeaWorld’s appeals case against OSHA. Ruling was not favorable to SeaWorld. The only option remaining is US Supreme Court. The OSHA decision affects only Orlando, not the Texas or California parks. Water work during performances at those two parks may resume as early as this summer.”  – Thanks to Joseph Kleiman, my interviewee, for this information. Sometimes I watch documentaries – but I usually keep a skeptical attitude about them. After years of teaching Media studies and senior English classes about non-fiction films, I’m always a little…

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty Three – On The Atheist Alphabet And Trollhunter – Interview With Catherine Deveny

Van Badham and Catherine Deveny

For this episode, I talk to Catherine Deveny (right) – about her crowdsourced video, The Atheist Alphabet and the Melbourne Comedy festival show, The Trollhunter. The Trollhunter is currently playing until April 20th at the Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers, Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton. “Acid-tongued, potty-mouthed” Catherine Deveny and “Too ugly to be raped” Van Badham join forces in an hilarious battleaxe-wielding comic assault through multimedia and actual material of Internet trolls into misogyny and troll culture. An otherwise peaceful village is given a rude awakening by the sudden appearance of a troll harassing the village’s women. The girls and women of the village are menaced by the slimy breathed, sticky fingered general disgustingness….

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty Two – The Best Of (The Rest Of)

tokenskeptic logo

Back when it was Episode Sixty… and then Episode One Hundred And Twenty… I did round-ups of “best of” interviews and segments of the show. This one is a little overdue (and – annoyingly enough – so is my next Urban Legendary show – this is what happens when my audio starts being heard on air – on two different local radio stations! – rather than just online!), but I hope you enjoy revisiting some of the content. If you’re new to the show, this might give you an idea of how the show has been running and what has been some of the developments over time. I sincerely hope that I can continue with…

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty One – On The Checkout – Interview With Julian Morrow

www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/

The Checkout is a satirical consumer affairs series on Australia’s ABC TV, presented by Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser team, Kirsten Drysdale, Kate Browne, Scott Abbot, Zoe Norton Lodge and Ben Jenkins. From cradles to graves, everyone’s a customer – and we have the right not to remain silent. Each week, The Checkout takes a no-holds-barred, irreverent and entertaining approach to explaining and exposing the ways that all of us are being ripped off. For this interview, I speak to Julian Morrow – who first became interested in consumer issues in 1974 when he was born due to contraceptives that failed to work as described. He spent the 1980s and 90s on hold waiting to…

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News

Best Of Podcast Competition Won!

Well done to Gerry, who has won the #182 competition! The episodes in order are: 122 Several at Berlin world skeptics congress 123 Jonny Scaramanga 128 Robin Ince 130 Dr Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain 131 Sue Knight 136 Warren Bonett 139 Ashley Ng 142 Prof Uta Firth IFLS Live in Oz  with Elise Andrew 170 Robin Ince and Trent Burton 165 Paul Offit 172 Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero 175 I Immunise with Katie Attwell 168 Prof Brian Cox 144 Paul Fidalgo 159 Darryl Cunningham 146 Skeprechaun podcast 151 David Gorski 147 Laurie Tarr 150 Hiyaa podcast 153 Dr Emma Burrows 158 Skepticism in Tomania 154 Shelly Segal Thanks to everyone who entered and thank you for your support of the show! Get The…

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Podcast episode

Episode One Hundred And Eighty Four – On Safe And Secular – Interview With Michael De Dora

safe and secular

Welcome to episode one hundred and eighty four of the Token Skeptic. As you may have heard in the news this week, the American Food and Drug Administration has given a controversial Houston doctor the green light to continue providing experimental cancer treatments. The FDA has lifted restrictions on a clinical trial run by Stanislaw Burzynski, who for nearly 40 years has claimed that he has discovered natural substances that can fight certain cancers. It’s due to worrying cases like this and many others, that the Safe and Secular Campaign was created – at http://safeandsecular.org: To keep health care safe, effective, accessible and responsive to needs – it has to be secular. It has to be…

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Basic Intro To Podcasting Questions 101

working on newsboss.jpg

This is a bright and brisk blogpost to answer some of the questions from fellow radio students at the radio course I did over the weekend! If you’re not sure about what a podcast is, check out About The Token Skeptic. ***** * What Are Some Good Sites To Host A Podcast If You’re Starting Out? Try: www.soundcloud.com www.audioboo.fm to begin with, then there’s a few other ideas and links out there if you search: Podcasting Equipment Guide (2011) Starting A Podcast: The Best Recording Equipment & Platforms You Should Use (2012) * What Do I Use To Record? What I use varies according to what I’m doing! In the field: I have used a Zoom…

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Urban Legendary Two – Interview With Joe Kleiman On “Blackfish”

Urban Legendary Logo

The Second Urban Legendary Show! An interview with Joseph Kleiman, about the documentary “Blackfish“, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and associated issues. Additional news: “Ruling was made on the 11th April 2014, in SeaWorld’s appeals case against OSHA. Ruling was not favorable to SeaWorld. The only option remaining is US Supreme Court. The OSHA decision affects only Orlando, not the Texas or California parks. Water work during performances at those two parks may resume as early as this summer.”  – Thanks to Joseph Kleiman, my interviewee, for this information. Sometimes I watch documentaries – but I usually keep a skeptical attitude about them. After years of teaching Media studies and senior English classes about non-fiction films, I’m always a little…

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty Three – On The Atheist Alphabet And Trollhunter – Interview With Catherine Deveny

Van Badham and Catherine Deveny

For this episode, I talk to Catherine Deveny (right) – about her crowdsourced video, The Atheist Alphabet and the Melbourne Comedy festival show, The Trollhunter. The Trollhunter is currently playing until April 20th at the Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers, Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton. “Acid-tongued, potty-mouthed” Catherine Deveny and “Too ugly to be raped” Van Badham join forces in an hilarious battleaxe-wielding comic assault through multimedia and actual material of Internet trolls into misogyny and troll culture. An otherwise peaceful village is given a rude awakening by the sudden appearance of a troll harassing the village’s women. The girls and women of the village are menaced by the slimy breathed, sticky fingered general disgustingness….

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty Two – The Best Of (The Rest Of)

tokenskeptic logo

Back when it was Episode Sixty… and then Episode One Hundred And Twenty… I did round-ups of “best of” interviews and segments of the show. This one is a little overdue (and – annoyingly enough – so is my next Urban Legendary show – this is what happens when my audio starts being heard on air – on two different local radio stations! – rather than just online!), but I hope you enjoy revisiting some of the content. If you’re new to the show, this might give you an idea of how the show has been running and what has been some of the developments over time. I sincerely hope that I can continue with…

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty One – On The Checkout – Interview With Julian Morrow

www.abc.net.au/tv/thecheckout/

The Checkout is a satirical consumer affairs series on Australia’s ABC TV, presented by Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser team, Kirsten Drysdale, Kate Browne, Scott Abbot, Zoe Norton Lodge and Ben Jenkins. From cradles to graves, everyone’s a customer – and we have the right not to remain silent. Each week, The Checkout takes a no-holds-barred, irreverent and entertaining approach to explaining and exposing the ways that all of us are being ripped off. For this interview, I speak to Julian Morrow – who first became interested in consumer issues in 1974 when he was born due to contraceptives that failed to work as described. He spent the 1980s and 90s on hold waiting to…

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Episode One Hundred And Eighty – On The State Of Skepticism – NZ Skeptics Convention 2013

NZ Skeptics State of Skepticism Panel

Welcome to the 180th episode – with many thanks to the New Zealand Skeptics, this is the audio from a panel I took part on, during Saturday, September 7, 2013. Moderator: Peter Griffin –  founder and director of the Science Media Centre, editor of http://Sciblogs.co.nz, tech columnist for the Listener. http://www.petergriffin.co.nz. Dr Pamela Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. Through CosmoQuest, she works to engage people in both learning and doing science. Join her in mapping our Solar System in unprecedented detail through citizen science projects, and learn astronomy through media productions like Astronomy Cast. Dr Siouxsie Wiles describes herself as a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast but to others…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Nine – On Adventures At The #ASC14 – Skeptical Science, Brain Craft And The Science Of Immunisation

skeptical science

This week I was working at the Australian Science Communicators conference of 2014 (ASC14), held in sunny Brisbane from the 2-5th February. While I was there, I took the chance to catch up with three great science communicators: John Cook, Vanessa Hill and Kylie Walker. John Cook is the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He created SkepticalScience.com, a website that refutes climate misinformation with peer-reviewed science. In 2011, Skeptical Science won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge. John has co-authored the college textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis, the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand and several papers…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Eight – On Vaccine Risk Perceptions And Ad Hoc Risk Communication – An Interview With Professor Dan Kahan

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2386034

The gap between scientific facts and the understanding of the general public is one that science communicators debate about a lot. Since many of the Token Skeptic episodes look at the issue of misunderstandings about vaccination, I’m always keen to look at what research is being done in that field. In January of this year, the paper Vaccine Risk Perceptions and Ad Hoc Risk Communication: An Empirical Assessment was published on the Social Science Research Network site, authored by Dan Kahan. It’s a fascinating read. What particularly intrigued me was what help concerned citizens can be when it comes to communicating scientific facts well – and when it’s important to take a step back. Dan Kahan is…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Seven – On A Better Life – Interview With Chris Johnson

http://www.theatheistbook.com

For this episode, I talk to Chris Johnson, the creator of the book A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God. The myth persists. Even in our modern world, countless people believe that without God, one’s life has no purpose or meaning — that the lives of atheists are devoid of joy and happiness because they are not religious. Explore the meaning and joy of life with 100 atheists in this book of photos and commentary featuring Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Steven Pinker, Penn & Teller, Julia Sweeney, Alex Honnold, Derren Brown, and more! Chris Johnson is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. He received his undergraduate degree in film production…

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Episode One Hundred and Seventy Six – On Science Communication And Education – Ann Reid Of The NCSE

Ann Reid NCSE

Welcome to episode one hundred and seventy-six! Ann Reid is the new executive director of the USA’s National Centre For Science Education. Reid succeeds Eugenie C. Scott, who served as executive director for twenty-seven years, 1986 to 2013. Like NCSE itself, Reid combines scientific excellence with communications expertise. For fifteen years she worked as a research biologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where she was responsible for sequencing the 1918 influenza virus. She then served as a Senior Program Officer at the National Research Council’s Board on Life Sciences for five years and then, most recently, as director of the American Academy of Microbiology. In both roles she oversaw major efforts aimed at communicating…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Five – On I Immunise – Interview With Dr Katie Attwell

http://immunise.org.au/

I’m very fortunate to live in a great part of the world, near Fremantle in Western Australia. I’m also very fortunate that there’s proactive people here who are very concerned about vaccination rates – and are willing to try outreach in a number of different ways. For this interview, I talked to Dr Katie Attwell, of “I Immunise“. Fremantle contains a number of families who practice what might be regarded as alternative parenting. It is not unusual to see a mother breastfeeding a toddler. Many parents wear their babies and use cloth nappies. These practices are in keeping with Fremantle’s reputation for being clean, green and forward-thinking. Parents within this community seek to make informed…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Four – On Art And Science – Carbon Dating And The Society for Science-Based Medicine

Kyle Sanders of Carbon Dating

Welcome to another episode of Token Skeptic – with Kyle Sanders from Carbon Dating and Dr Mark Crislip with the new The Society for Science-Based Medicine! Kyle Sanders began writing comics at the University of Science And Fine Arts for a student-run lampoon site, then spun-off to create the college webcomic. Following pilot training and a move to Little Rock, Kyle found himself looking for a way to find intelligent conversation and founded Little Rock’s first Skeptics In The Pub. After a year of co-hosting Skeptics and a string of embarrassing romantic encounters, a collection of punchlines had been forming that desperately needed an outlet. A deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan provided the boredom necessary to turn these punchlines and…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Three – On Bad PR – Interview With Michael Marshall

http://bad-pr.tumblr.com/

Announcement! Not only is the 25th December the birthday of the Token Skeptic podcast – it’s also the day that the Patreon support site is launched! Check out http://www.patreon.com/kyliesturgess and consider supporting the show into 2014! There’s rewards for your support and even goals to reach along the way, so I hope you can be a part of the new Token Skeptic show. We all know that you can’t believe everything you read in the papers – but that truism extends far beyond the celebrity pages and gossip columns, and even turns into ‘real’ news. The near-invisible influence of PR companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported. And…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy Two – On Abominable Science – Interview With Daniel Loxton And Donald Prothero

Abominable-Science-cover

The cover of Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids may resemble a 1920’s-era science fiction magazine, but the contents are educational, entertaining and downright skeptical. With years of experience in investigating paranormal claims and teaching critical thinking, the combined powers of Daniel Loxton and Donald Prothero present the arguments for and against the existence of the most famous (and debated) monsters in history. Abominable Science takes on the likes Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and Mokele Mbembe (or the Congo dinosaur) – all delivered in a colourful and analytical fashion. If you ever had any questions about the psychology and cultural influences behind the stories that had you captivated as…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy One – Interview With Nathan Gray Of BoySetsFire By Sebastian Bartoschek

Boysetsfire Nathan from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boysetsfire-Nathan.jpg

This is a special episode (with apologies for the delay!) with an interview conducted by the awesome Sebastian Bartoschek with the lead singer of BoySetsFire, Nathan Gray. BoySetsFire is a post-hardcore band from Newark, Delaware that formed in October 1994, featuring guitarists Chad Istvan and Josh Latshaw, vocalist Nathan Gray, and bassists Chris Rakus and Robert Ehrenbrand. The latest album by BoySets Fire, “while a nation sleeps…” on End Hits Records has so far reached #22 on the German album charts – this interview was conducted during their German tour by Sebastian. Check out Sebastian’s website (and all his other great works!) at his official site found at http://www.sebastian-bartoschek.de. Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K. Miller of www.penmachine.com and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of  www.miltonmermikides.com. Please leave positive comments…

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Episode One Hundred And Seventy – On The Incomplete Map Of The Cosmic Genome

the-incomplete-map-of-the-cosmic-genome

For this episode, I talk to comedian and writer Robin Ince and writer and director Trent Burton about what started in 2011 as a documentary project and has now become the application “The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome”. In the words of Richard Feynman, “We are matter with curiosity.” The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome is there to help – as a guide to modern thoughts on why we are as we are and why the Universe is as it is.  Leading scientists, writers and performers expressing their love of how far the human imagination combined with scientific thinking can get us. Designed to be easily approachable and understandable to people who may not have picked up a science book since…

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Episode One Hundred And Sixty Nine – On Memes, Blogs And Videos: How Social Media Has Transformed The Way We Communicate Science

tokenskeptic logo

This is the audio (video references included at the end of this blogpost if you wish to see them) from a National Science Week, CPAS and CAASTRO, Science Alert and ANU Colleges of Science lecture, which was held on Friday, August 9 2013, at the  Finkel Lecture Theatre John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU. The event formed part of National Science Week and was hosted by the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at ANU in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Science Alert and the ANU Colleges of Science.  It was an evening with some of the world’s top social media science communicators as they discuss…

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Episode One Hundred And Sixty Eight – On The Australian Tour Of Prof. Brian Cox

Brian presenting

Welcome to a special episode celebrating National Science Week in Australia! I’ve been busy as anything with the #IFLSLive event over in Sydney and due to technical issues this is a little later than planned – but here’s (finally!) the full interview I conducted with Professor Brian Cox at the start of the week, with many thanks to Gia Milinovich for her awesome help. I probably don’t need to say much to introduce him – Professor Brian Cox, OBE is an English particle physicist, a Royal Society University Research Fellow. He is a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.  Professor Cox is best known to the…

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Episode One Hundred And Sixty Seven – On Being Chronically Skeptical

Chronically Skeptical Logo

Welcome to episode one hundred and sixty-seven of the Token Skeptic podcast! “Chronically Skeptical” is an on-line resource specifically intended for those with chronic (and other) illnesses and disabilities who prefer their social support network free of the mystical, the magical, the misinformed, the unproven and the dangerously deluded. For this interview, I spoke to Tim McGregor. Also mentioned in the show - chrishofstader.com - thanks so much for your support, Chris! To join the forums, head to http://www.chronicallyskeptical.org. Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K. Miller of www.penmachine.com and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of  www.miltonmermikides.com. Please leave positive comments and reviews on iTunes and consider supporting the show via visiting  Tokenskeptic.org - and I’d love to get your feedback via tokenskeptic@gmail.com.

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Special IFLSLive In Oz Episode – Interview With ASAP Science

ASAP Science

Here’s another interview for IFLSLive, featuring during ScienceWeek in Australia! ScienceAlert & Powerhouse Museum present IFLS Live! An evening celebrating science at 500 Harris St, Ultimo, Sydney on the 12th August. Canadian biologists and educators Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown take a unique approach to presenting biological concepts – and as founders and creators of ASAP Science, they have reached over 10 million views on their YouTube channel. With clear, vibrant diagrams and informative, straightforward explanations, they have produced videos ranging from happens in your brain when it’s high on alcohol or marijuana to the facts behind contraception. They’ve even worked with US science educator Bill Nye on asteroids hitting earth! ASAP Science are just some of the many great scientists who’ll be presenting at…

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Episode One Hundred And Sixty Six – On “And In Science” And Doubtful News Round-Up

And Now In Science

Welcome to Episode One Hundred and Sixty Six! This episode features an interview with “And In Science” creator Rohan Kapitany - and a brief update on some of the following Doubtful News items, for Saturday, 27th July 2013. Firstly, two highly recommended books: Haunting America by Dr Karen Stollznow and Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero – also reported on Doubtful News. Also note: pre-order date for Stollznow’s God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States is October 1st. Hollywood Skeptics group will present awards Latest Bigfoot DNA rumoured to be bear is consistent at least (also check out [Big]Foot in mouth: Bigfoot…

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Special IFLSLive In Oz Episode – Interview With Dr Carin Bondar

Carin Bondar

Here’s another interview for IFLSLive, featuring during ScienceWeek in Australia! ScienceAlert & Powerhouse Museum present IFLS Live! An evening celebrating science at 500 Harris St, Ultimo, Sydney on the 12th August. Dr Carin Bondar is a ‘Biologist with a Twist’ – she has a great love of science, a charismatic personality and a determination to tell great science stories. Her PhD is in population ecology from the University of British Columbia and her amazing career includes being host and researcher for a number of great videos on science, including the web series “Behind the Headlines” and more recently the series “Wild Sex”, which has reached nearly six million views on YouTube. Her work has been featured online at National Geographic Wild, Jezebel, BoingBoing, Forbes,…

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Episode One Hundred And Sixty Five – On An Interview With Dr Paul Offit And Doubtful News Round-Up

do you believe in magic offit

Welcome to Episode One Hundred and Sixty Five! This episode features a brief update on some of the following Doubtful News items, for Wednesday, 17th July 2013: Pam Ragland, Terry Smith: No, psychics can’t help murder victims. Slate In Iraq, the Bomb-Detecting Device That Didn’t Work, Except to Make Money – BusinessWeek. Madonna leads you to the Devil. The Telegraph. Joe Rogan meets Todd Disotell about Bigfoot. Vulture. Australians seem to be getting dumber – but does it matter? The Conversation. Watch him pull a USDA-mandated rabbit disaster plan out of his hat. Washington Post. Subscribe and donate to Doubtful News, to keep your regular rundowns on weird and wonderful beliefs, brought to you at www.doubtfulnews.com….

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