The European Skeptics Podcast
Skeptics with a K
The mission of the Prism Podcast is to explore “the spectrum of science, critical thinking, and science communication.” Our casual yet thorough conversations with a wide variety of guests allows us to explore scientific topics from unique perspectives and angles.
Our approach is three pronged. First, we have our guest describe what they do and how it can impact and interest our listeners. Second, we juxtapose the science (or science activism) our guest is doing with what those in the alternative medicine/pseudoscience field are doing, which obviously can be deceptive and even harmful. Last, we have our guest describe how he or she is communicating their work to the general population. We believe that science not communicated to the lay public is science half done.
Drs. Clay Jones and Grant Ritchey bring their expertise in medicine, dentistry, and skepticism to bear on the topics at hand, and they strive for diversity in subject matter from guests from all over the world. Apart from the US, our guests have been from all over the world, particularly the U.K., where we have a strong base.
Thank you for your consideration; we consider it an honour to be included in such worthy company.
- Episode 69, where we interview renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann.
- Episode 85, Dr. Jens Foell discusses Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), how it’s used, its limitations, and how pseudoscientists abuse it to further their own agendas.
- Episode 68. In this interesting episode, we talk to Bronwen Dickey, author of the book Pit Bull. This was fascinating because using an evidence based approach, Bronwen shows that many myths and stereotypes about Pit Bulls are unfounded. We then discuss how difficult it is to change one’s worldview, even when the evidence is overwhelming.
- Episode 75, Dr. Carol Tavris, speaking on Cognitive Dissonance. She literally wrote the book on it. http://traffic.libsyn.com/prismpodcast/Tavris.mp3
The ParaPod began life as a podcast about the paranormal in 2015, where comedians Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds debated claims of ghostly activity. As the series progressed it was clear that sceptic Boldsworth had the measure of believer Dodds, and recorded a landslide victory in systematically dismantling the claims through critical thinking and occasional demonstrative deceit (he convinced Barry that the film The Babadook really happened to prove Barry would believe anything).
The first series was followed in 2016 with a series that concentrated on Mysteries, and a final series in 2017 about Conspiracy Theories. The show developed into a dissection of the psychology of why people believe in outlandish conceits, and with Barry ever willing to suspend both his disbelief and intelligence, Boldsworth continued his futile task of making Dodds see sense. It has been twice nominated for Chortle Comedy Awards, won a Midlands Comedy Award and topped the main iTunes Podcast Chart (Barry maintains number 2 in a chart is “still at the top”). Ian is currently writing a book “Is there anybody there?” deconstructing his experiences dealing with Barry and his ilk, and The ParaPod Movie is currently in production for a 2018 release.
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The European Skeptics Podcast (ESP) is an independent, weekly show produced in English, that focuses on skeptical actions across Europe and aims to become a communicational hub for different groups working in different countries. Our motto: “Building a bridge for skeptics”.
The podcast is hosted by three individuals from different corners of Europe: Jelena Levin from Latvia (although she lives in the UK), Pontus Böckman from Sweden (also representing the Swedish organisation ‘Science and Popular Enlightenment’) and András G. Pintér from Hungary (also representing the ‘Hungarian Skeptic Society’).
Every odd-numbered episode features regular segments: ‘This Week in Skepticism’ (a significant event from the history of skepticism that happened on the week of release of the episode), ‘Skeptical News from Europe’, ‘Really Wrong’ (a virtual prize given to people making silly claims) and a science or skepticism related ‘Quote’ from a well known European. On every even-numbered episode we have an interview with a representative of an organisation or project, either from a certain European country or stretching across borders.
We currently have 90 episodes released, many of which have been used as reference for Wikipedia articles by the international community of editors called ‘Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia’.
- 1. Episode #068, featuring our interview with Sofie Vanthournout, director of the EU branch of the exemplary UK charity Sense about Science. http://theesp.eu/
- 2. Episode #069 with the greatest number of topics covered on a single episode since we started the podcast in November 2015. http://theesp.eu/
- 3. Episode #072, featuring our interview with Alan Henness, founder and co-director of The Nightingale Collaboration. http://theesp.eu/
- 4. Episode #088, featuring our interview with Professor Susan Blackmore. http://theesp.eu/
Skeptics with a K is a fortnightly podcast which has been running since August 2009, produced by the Merseyside Skeptics Society. The show is hosted by Mike Hall (President of the MSS) and features Dr Alice Howarth (PhD Cancer Researcher and Secretary of the MSS) and Michael Marshall (Project Director of the Good Thinking Society and Vice President of the MSS). While maintaining a light-hearted and approachable style, episodes see each of the presenters take an in-depth look at a topic, study or news item of skeptical interest.
Rather than being a superficial commentary show, our focus is on investigation and analysis, with each story involving the presenter doing original and independent analysis. This often involves looking at the details and methodological flaws in peer-reviewed studies cited by the media, reporting on undercover investigative work undertaken by the hosts, breaking down the real science behind the pseudoscientific claims of alternative health practitioners, and occasionally dissecting common fallacies which are routinely shared by even sceptically-minded people. Mike’s six-month series on the myth of the placebo effect, and what the studies actually show when it comes to the ‘power’ of placebos, is a particularly notable example of how we try to go beyond the claims to examine the underlying detail.
- 1. http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2017/08/skeptics-with-a-k-episode-205/
- 2. http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2017/06/skeptics-with-a-k-episode-199/
- 3. http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2017/03/skeptics-with-a-k-episode-194/
- 4. http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/2017/01/skeptics-with-a-k-episode-190/