SKEPTIC CHECK: WHAT, WE WORRY?

[ Mon. May. 5. 2014 ]

We all have worries. But as trained observers, scientists learn things that can affect us all. So what troubles them, should also trouble us. From viral pandemics to the limits of empirical knowledge, find out what science scenarios give researchers insomnia.

But also, we discover which scary scenarios that preoccupy the public don’t worry the scientists at all. Despite the rumors, you needn’t fear that the Large Hadron Collider will produce black holes that could swallow the Earth.

It’s Skeptic Check, our monthly look at critical thinking … but don’t take our word for it!

Guests:

  • David Quammen – Science journalist, contributing writer for National Geographic Magazine, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
  • Sandra Faber – Astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Paul Saffo – Technology forecaster based in the Silicon Valley
  • Seth Shostak – Senior astronomer, SETI Institute, host,Big Picture Science
  • Elisa Quintana – Research scientist, SETI Institute
  • Lawrence Krauss – Theoretical physicist, Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University

Inspiration for this episode comes from the book, What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night edited by John Brockman.