Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena is an award-winning weekly science podcast. Since 2006, Skeptoid has been fighting the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement.
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Skeptoid generally examines four basic types of popular pseudosciences:
- Consumer frauds, like magic jewelry and free energy
- Urban legends, like the Amityville Horror or the Philadelphia Experiment
- Useless alternative medicine schemes, like detoxification and reflexology
- Conspiracy theories, like chemtrails or 9/11 "truth" theories
Skeptoid is a registered trademark of Skeptoid Media, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity.
In 2014, Skeptoid was a finalist for the Parsec Award for "Best Fact Behind the Fiction" podcast.
In 2013, Skeptoid was a finalist in the Best Science and Best Education categories in the Stitcher podcast awards.
In 2012, Skeptoid won Best Science Podcast in the first annual Stitcher podcast awards, beating out shows from the BBC, NPR, Scientific American, and others.
In 2010, Skeptoid won the prestigious Parsec Award for "Best Fact Behind the Fiction" podcast, and was a finalist in 2011. Host and producer Brian Dunning was recognized by the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) for "Outstanding Contribution to Science and Skepticism".
In 2009, Skeptoid was a finalist in the Education category at the Podcast Awards.
Skeptoid can be heard on the following radio stations (please contact the stations directly for schedule and programming information):
- National Science Foundation Science360 Radio
- WPRR Michigan 1680 AM & 95.3 FM
- WIDE Wisconsin 99.1 FM
- WXPI Pennsylvania 88.5 FM
- WRFI New York 88.1 FM Ithaca, 91.9 FM Watkins Glen
About Brian Dunning
A few years ago, I began searching for interesting and unusual phenomena in Internet forums and mailing lists. More than once, I tried to open a discourse offering alternate, more reasonable explanations for the reported phenomena, as diplomatically and respectfully as I could. Nevertheless, the most insightful replies I got were:
Warning: skeptoid alert!
Another debunkatron rears its ugly head.
OK, fine, I understand that it's their forum, that I'm just a guest, and if they are not open to critical examination, that's their right and they're under no obligation to me. But I marveled that they felt that way, in light of the forum's stated purpose: "Discussion of Fortean phenomena." That their only response was to make up patronizing and dismissive nicknames for me shows that their true interest is certainly not open discussion. In fact, the next time I tried to log in, I found that my account had been banned.
This happened on three different Fortean Phenomena forums, and I'm being completely honest when I say that my posts were respectful and in no way inflammatory. They were much worse than that: they were skeptical.
So, in the interest of improved public relations, I'm going with the flow. If rationally examining pseudoscientific claims makes me an evil skeptoid debunkatron, so be it. I'll even help out by so identifying myself up front.
Thus was born Skeptoid.
By profession I am a computer scientist, both as a Silicon Valley CTO and as a consulting engineer. My only academic credential that bears any scrutiny is in Writing for Film and Television from University of California, Los Angeles. I also have a credential that doesn't bear any scrutiny — and you'll find it at Thunderwood College. I'm also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
I've written a few books and numerous technical articles. I decided to put this experience to good use, and created the Skeptoid podcast. I'm also one of the featured bloggers on SkepticBlog, the official blog of the prospective TV series The Skeptologists which I host.
I have a great wife, two terrific kids who are smarter than me, a cat who's dumber than me, and some assorted koi who haven't yet been evaluated. We all live happily on the beautiful and sunny southern California coast.
© 2014 Skeptoid.com