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Skeptic Check: What, We Worry?

Presenter: Seth Shostak, SETI Institute
When: May 5, 2014 6AM PDT

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!

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.

This episode was tagged with: biology evolution health disease zoology computers technology history cosmology universe Kepler aliens SETI robots astronomy population genetics

Big Picture Science

  • The Big Picture Science radio show and podcast engages the public with astrobiology through lively and intelligent storytelling. Science radio doesn’t have to be dull. The only dry thing about our program is the humor. Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style.
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