Monday, November 17, 2008

Skeptics Guide to the Universe - podcast review

A good podcast combines a clear subject with a message, a community, a regular release schedule and entertainment. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe has all of this. (feed) The subject is science, the message is the skeptical one. The podcast's mission is to inform about science, educate in solid reasoning and reveal the dangers of superstition, unscientific fads and beliefs and it spectacularly succeeds at that.

The podcast has built a huge following and fame. I have been following it from the beginning and if I discontinued to do so, it was out of saturation. The message is clear, no need for repetition there and the entertainment element has had its effect. Yet, the friendly banter and the jokes among the panelists are certainly a strong point for the show, even if it has worn out on me. The same goes for the recurring game of 'science or fiction' during which the panel is presented with three alleged news items, one of which is fictitious and they need to guess which one.

Upon continuous listening, the persistent quality lies with the science news updates and the interviews. The latest in science and technology are discussed and especially panel leader Steven Novella and his brother Bob are knowledgeable and good at explaining the items. Nearly every show features an interview with a speaker of note, who contributed to the skeptical cause, mostly by publication. Promptly, every week the show is published. With a show this good, it should come as no surprise there is a great following.

More Skeptics Guide to the Universe:
The predictions for 2007 reviewed,
In Memoriam Perry DeAngelis,
Barry Glassner,
Interview with Jimmy Carter,
Brian Trent.

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