Episodes Archive

Health Controversies #89

December 10, 2010

We’ll talk to medical physicist Dr. Marc MacKenzie about the new scanning equipment that’s causing a stir at U.S. airports. How do the machines actually work, and is their radiation dangerous? And Dr. Brian Goldman, the host of CBC's "White Coat, Black Art" shares his expert opinion on Dr. Paolo Zamboni’s Liberation Therapy, a treatment that claims to drastically reduce the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. We also spoke briefly to Kim Hebert about the 2010 Skeptic North Awards. Read More


Written in Stone #88

December 03, 2010

Science writer Brian Switek joins us to talk about his new book Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. We’ll take a detailed look at the fossil evidence, to learn about the evolution of life on Earth, and our evolving understanding of how the process works. And paleozoologist Darren Naish discusses the Science of Godzilla, his look at the hypothetical biology, anatomy and physics of the famous movie monster. Read More


The Calculus Diaries #87

November 26, 2010

We talk to Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. We’ll find out how much advanced math figures into our daily lives, and how even the mathematically challenged can learn to love the language of numbers. And hip-hop science advocate Baba Brinkman returns to discuss his new project, The Rap Guide to Human Nature. Find out more about Baba's crowdfunding drive for the Rap Guide to Evolution DVD! Read More


Consensus Science #86

November 19, 2010

We look at scientific consensus through the eyes of non-scientists. Skeptic North bloggers Erik Davis and Steve Thoms explain how non-professional researchers can understand the state of modern science on questions from climate change to the effects of electromagnetic fields. Skeptic Bros Tom and Nick Croucher talk about the Placebo Band, a project targeting the claims of applied kinesiology. The Power Balance bracelet decision we mentioned on-air is posted at Vic Skeptics. Read More


Cooking for Geeks #85

November 12, 2010

We set the table for Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food. From overclocking your kitchen appliances to recipes right out of a chemistry lab manual, we’ll explore how delicious cooking can be when you add a dash of nerd. Immunologist Dr. Gary Stadtmauer joins us to explain the science behind food allergies. Dr. Stadmauer mentioned two allergy resources on this episode: www.foodallergy.org and the Food Allergy Initiative. Desiree mentioned a news story she had read about poppy seeds causing a false positive on a drug test, leading to a newborn being removed... Read More


A Retrospective #84

November 05, 2010

In honour of CJSR's FunDrive, we took a look back at some of our favourite moments from the show, and offered our (insightful and witty) commentary. Please note: Although FunDrive is over, it's never too late to donate. If you do decide to contribute online, please email us and let us know, so we can make sure you receive a tasteful and iconic Skeptically Speaking button! If you have already donated, we think you're great. The clips that we played on this show came from these past episodes: Astronomy Science Fiction and Skepticism Ask a Pharmacist How Many Licks Great... Read More


Race and Reality #83

October 29, 2010

The first show of our host station’s CJSR’s annual FunDrive campaign features a look at the science of race, with Guy P. Harrison, author of Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity. Is there any real biological basis to race? And how does it compare with our cultural understanding? We talk to Noah Nez, author of Diary of a Native Skeptic, a blog that looks at critical thinking from a Native American perspective. Read More


Vaccines #82

October 22, 2010

We talk to Dr. David Gorski, surgical oncologist and Managing Editor of Science-Based Medicine, about the science and the suspicion of vaccinations. How do vaccines actually work? Why do so many parents fear them? And how has vaccine anxiety contributed to the resurgence of childhood diseases? Leart Shaka talks about The Vaccine Times, his project targeting pediatrician’s waiting rooms in the fight against vaccine misinformation. Read More


Delusions of Gender #81

October 15, 2010

We speak with academic psychologist Dr. Cordelia Fine. Her new book, Delusions Of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, challenges the assumption that gender roles are wired into our brains, and shows us how ubiquitous cultural stereotypes are mistaken for actual fact. On Everything You Know is Sort Of Wrong, Greg Laden asks if modern hobbies are an evolutionary consequence of prehistoric gender roles. You can find more information about the Waterloo, Ontario Drinking Skeptically on Meetup and Facebook. Read More


Science Journalism #80

October 08, 2010

We’ll speak to Bora Zivkovic, Blog and Community Editor at Scientific American and one of the ScienceOnline organizers, about how online science reporting and the explosion of science blogging are affecting the way science news is brought to the public. And science journalist Stephen Strauss will tell us how the decline of the newspaper industry has affected his profession. Looking for the Science Blog Aggregator mentioned on the show? Click here. Read More


Your Brain on Music #79

October 01, 2010

We’re joined by neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, to discuss his book This Is Your Brain on Music. We’ll look at the neuroscience of music appreciation, and explore the fascinating ways that listening to music affects our brains. And on Speaking Up, Raven Hanna and Logan Daniel share a look at the Science Tarot, a project that uses eye-catching art and the mythical structure of the tarot to illuminate scientific concepts, and Richard Murray on the inaugural Toronto Skepticamp. Read More


Improbable Research #78

September 24, 2010

We look at the stranger side of science with Marc Abrahams, the editor of Annals of Improbable Research and creator of the the Ig Nobel Prize. Is science that makes us laugh better at making us think? And neurobiologist Dr. Richard Wassersug explains his research into the relative tastiness of Costa Rican tadpoles. Read More


Bad Research #77

September 17, 2010

Cognitive psychologist Barbara Drescher joins us to discuss the common mistakes scientists make, and what happens to the science when their research goes wrong. And on Speaking Up, journalist David Dobbs explains the case against Marc Hauser, a prominent Harvard evolutionary biologist who was recently found guilty of scientific misconduct. Read More


The Women Of Skepticism #76

September 10, 2010

Live from Skeptrack at Dragon*Con, we talk to the women of skepticism about the contributions they're making to science and critical thinking. We start with a panel including Kylie Sturgess of The Token Skeptic, Robynn "Swoopy" McCarthy of Skepticality, and Heidi Anderson and Jenna Marie Griffith of SheThought. Field recordings: Donna Mugavero, Laurie Tarr, Dr. Pamela Gay, Dr. Rachie Dunlop, Jennifer Ouellette, Maria Walters, A Kovacs, Barbara Drescher Read More


Nobel Prize Women in Science - Part 2 #75

September 03, 2010

Author Sharon Bertsch McGrayne returns to tell us about more about the most influential women in the history of modern science. Part 1 of the episode is here. And on Speaking up, we talk to our own Ryan Bromsgrove explains everything you need to know about Quantum Misappropriations, and to Nicole Gugliucci with an update on Dark Skies, Bright Kids. Read More


The Conspiracy Skeptic #74

August 27, 2010

We talk to Karl Mamer, host of The Conspiracy Skeptic, a podcast that examines the breathless claims and the actual evidence behind today’s most tenacious conspiracy theories. On Speaking Up, we speak with geneticist Josh Witten on what irrational beliefs can teach us about evolutionary theory, and Skeptic North Blogger Kim Hebert examines 21 studies claimed to support homeopathy. You can read the blog post that inspired Josh Witten’s Speaking Up on The Finch & Pea. You can also read Kim Hebert’s examination of all 21 of these studies at Skeptic North. Read More


Transhumanism - Part 2 #73

August 20, 2010

Back by popular demand: George Dvorsky, of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, and science blogger Greg Fish. It's time for another look at Transhumanism, this time to debate Artificial Intelligence and the Singularity. On Speaking Up, we talk with Joey Haban of newly-nerfed.net on the myths and misunderstandings about Deaf culture. Transhumanism - Part 1 can be found here. Read More


Sex at Dawn #72

August 13, 2010

We talk to author Christopher Ryan about his new book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. We’ll discuss the most recent science and theories, and how social norms compare to our biological impulses. On Speaking Up, we have Derek Colanduno and Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy with a look at the skeptical events happening at this year’s Dragon*Con! Read More


Genetically Modified Foods #71

August 06, 2010

University of Florida researcher Kevin Folta discusses what an expert in plant genomics thinks about the claims and controversy surrounding genetically modified foods. On Speaking Up, we talk with Monty Harper and the "Songs From the Science Frontier" project. Read More


The Culture Of Fear #70

July 30, 2010

We're joined by sociologist and author Barry Glassner. For ten years, his book The Culture Of Fear has shed light on the way that cultural anxiety is manufactured to drive media ratings and win votes for politicians. The book has recently been updated to cover the trends of the last decade, and Glassner will explain why we're still afraid of all the wrong things. And Greg Laden is back with Everything You Know is Sort of Wrong. This time, is it true that poor people have more babies than the wealthy? Read More