Podcast review: Skeptics Guide to the Universe

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is a juggernaut of skeptical commentary, this long-running show is hosted by neurosurgeon Steve Novella. He is joined by the “Rogues”: Bob and Jay Novella (two of Steve’s brothers), Skepchick Rebecca Watson, and Evan Bernstein. I learn something every episode, but after a few years, I think the main reason I listen is because it’s part of the background of my life. I want to know what’s going on with them. I want to keep up on news in the international skeptic community. I want to see if I can ever improve my results in the “Science or Fiction” quiz.

There is a lot of personal interaction, and it may take new listeners a bit of time to get up to speed on that. But it is also packed with regular features, all with a science/skepticism theme, such as:

  • This Day in Skepticism (neat historical tidbits)
  • A news roundup with commentary (keeping abreast of breaking news in science and pseudoscience)
  • Who’s that Noisy? (try to identify where the sound comes from, or who is speaking)
  • Science or Fiction (try to identify which science news item is the fake; listen to the rogues’ reasoning as they try to puzzle it out themselves)
  • Quickie with Bob (short nuggets of fun science news)

One might glean, listening for long enough, that one or more of the hosts are atheists, but that isn’t what the show is about, and I think that this is generally a believer-friendly podcast. Only when religious figures step into serious science do they become fair game. I think anyone who identifies as a fan of science in any way should enjoy this show. Give it a try.


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