Please help update my skeptic podcast census

Podcast IconBack in May 2011 I attempted to measure the amount of skeptic podcasting being produced and generated some interesting statistics.  In April 2012 I ran an update post attempting an overall census of what podcasts were out there, and found I had missed a bunch the first time through.  This post is an attempt at updating the data once again.

It seems there was some untapped demand for a good catalog of skeptic podcasts – that 2012 post is the number 3 most popular single post on this blog for the last year!  Podcasters have told me they see new listeners coming to their sites regularly, referred from there.  Noticing that phenomena, Shane P. Brady took the data I generated there and turned it into an interactive catalog called Skeptunes.  I encourage you to give it a look.

One of the things I noticed in the 2012 survey was that the number of different skeptic podcast titles seemed to be topping off around 100, and it looked like there was a slight trend downward.  It’s always dangerous to extrapolate from real-world measurements like this, so I didn’t draw much of a conclusion.  So now that more than a year has gone by, I think it’s time to measure again and see what is actually happening.

I’ve started with my data from last time, and looked in Skeptunes, SkepticsOnThe.Net and of course iTunes for any new ones I missed. But I’m sure I still must have missed something. Check out the list in the rest of this post and let me know which ones I’m missing.

Hey, you forgot my favorite atheist podcast!

As in the previous surveys, I have arbitrarily decided to exclude purely atheist, secular or humanist podcasts from this list. No judgment is implied. I just had to keep the project down to a reasonable size. Plus I’m more familiar with the science-based podcasts (what I call “skeptic” podcasts). I define these as podcasts which:

  • Discuss testable claims from pseudo-science and the paranormal often
  • Emphasize critical thinking, cognitive biases, logical fallacies & other skeptic concepts
  • Regularly feature known skeptics as hosts or guests

Many do touch on atheism issues, some quite extensively. But unless they also do a fair amount of the above things as well, I’m leaving them out. And so, the podcasts that focus purely on issues of religion, church/state separation, philosophy, anti-atheist prejudice and so on have been omitted. Pure science podcasts, that never touch on critical thinking, pseudoscience or the paranormal are also excluded as well.  But science podcasts that regularly dip into the skeptic well, such as Big Picture Science (which does one episode a month on a skeptic topic) are included.

Please review and help

As in last year’s post, below are two lists. One is active podcasts, the second lists the ones that seem to have stopped producing new episodes. In many cases the defunct podcasts are still available to download. (And of course I’m interested in historical growth estimates so it is useful to include them for that purpose).

Here’s what I have so far for active podcasts. The date is for the first episode. Most are produced in the United States, excepted as noted otherwise in the last column. As I post this I have 96 entries, almost the same as last time around.

Podcast Name Started Where
Amateur Skeptics Jan 26, 2010
American Freethought Nov 24, 2007
Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics Oct 6, 2012
AstronomyCast Sep 10, 2006
Be Reasonable Jan 28, 2013 UK
Big Picture Science (formerly Are We Alone?) Mar 8, 2006
The Bogosity Podcast Mar 20, 2011
Brain Science Podcast Dec 15, 2006
Brains Matter Oct 16, 2006 Australia
Caustic Soda Mar 29, 2010 Canada
Center Stage (CFI) Nov 2, 2009
Cognitive Dissonance Apr 13, 2011
Consilience Mar 16, 2011 South Africa
The Conspiracy Skeptic Oct 22, 2007 Canada
The Critical Eye Podcast Mar 5, 2010
The Cusp (Completely Unnecessary Skeptical Podcast) Jan 21, 2010 New Zealand
Dr. Karl and the Naked Scientist (BBC) Nov 25, 2010 UK
Dr. Karl Science on Mornings Mar 12, 2009 Australia
Exposing PseudoAstronomy Aug 1, 2011
Geologic Podcast Feb 14, 2007
The Hansard – Canberra Skeptics Record of Reason Mar 1, 2009 Australia
Hoaxilla May 18, 2010 Germany
InKredulous Feb 8, 2010 UK
Invisible Sky Monster Sep 26, 2011
Just Skeptics May 16, 2010 UK
Kritisch Denken (Critical Thinking) Feb 18, 2009 The Netherlands
Kvack! (Quack) Oct 17, 2011 Sweden
Lab Out Loud Oct 8, 2007
Legion of Reason Dec 30, 2011 Canada
Life, The Universe and Everything Else (Winnipeg Skeptics) Nov 20, 2011 Canada
Little Atoms Jul 21, 2006 UK
Magonia Apr 25, 2010 Spain
The Malcontent’s Gambit Apr 18, 2012
Meet the Skeptics Sep 13, 2010
Mile High Sanity Project Dec 26, 2011
Monster Talk Aug 24, 2009
Nothing Serious Mar 22, 2013
Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Mar 10, 2011
Paranormal Skeptic Academy Oct 25, 2012
Penn’s Sunday School Feb 19, 2012
Pensando Críticamente (Critically Thinking) Nov 8, 2010 Spain
The Pod Delusion Sep 18, 2009 UK
Point of Inquiry Dec 11, 2005
Prism Podcast Aug 4, 2013
The Pseudo Scientists Dec 1, 2008 Australia
Pseudocast Oct 2, 2011 Slovakia
Quackcast May 4, 2006
Radio Freethinker Mar 24, 2009 Canada
Rationally Speaking Feb 1, 2010
Reality Check (Melbourne) Jul 28, 2009 Australia
The Reality Check (Ottawa Skeptics) Sep 9, 2008 Canada
El Rincón Prohibido (The Forbidden Corner) Apr 17, 2008 Spain
Safek Mar 13, 2010 Israel
Saltklypa Oct 21, 2010 Norway
Sceptici în România Oct 20, 2010 Romania
Scepticisme Scientifique Jun 15, 2009 Belgium
Science for the People (formerly Skeptically Speaking) Mar 20, 2009 Canada
Science On Top Mar 24, 2011
Science… Sort Of Aug 11, 2009
Science Talk (SciAm) Sep 14, 2010
Skeprechauns (Irish Skeptics) Jun 18, 2010  Ireland
Skeptic Canary Show Apr 3, 2013 England
The Skeptic Wire Apr 13, 2011
The Skeptic Zone Sep 26, 2008 Australia
Skeptical Connections Feb 11, 2013
Skepticality May 9, 2005
Skeptically Challenged May 31, 2013
Skeptically Yours Jul 29, 2012
Skeptics & Believers – A Paranormal Podcast May 4, 2013 UK
The Skeptics’ Guide 5×5 Jan 6, 2008
A Skeptics Guide To Conspiracy Sep 16, 2012
Skeptics Guide to Government Aug 27, 2011
The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe May 4, 2005
Skeptics in Mormonville Oct 27, 2011
Skeptics in the Pub (Atlanta) Aug 15, 2009
Skeptics in the Pub (Cambridge) Jun 2, 2010 UK
Skeptics in the Pub (Oxford) Mar 5, 2013 UK
Skeptic’s Testament Jan 23, 2010 Australia
Skeptics With a K Sep 1, 2009 UK
Skepticule Sep 6, 2009 UK
Skeptikerpodden Mar 29, 2010 Sweden
Skeptiles – Skeptical Response Podcast Jul 1, 2012
SkeptisCH – Der kritische Schweizer Podcast Aug 5, 2012 Switzerland
Skeptoid Oct 2, 2006
The Skeptopus Podcast (San Diego Skeptics) Feb 6, 2013
Skeptoskop (GWUP) Sep 25, 2011 Germany
Smart Enough to Know Better Jun 20, 2010 Australia
Star Talk Radio Jun 1, 2009
Strange Frequencies Radio Nov 23, 2008
Strange Quarks Nov 1, 2010 UK
The Strength of Evidence Aug 21, 2012
Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know Oct 20, 2009
Token Skeptic Dec 25, 2009 Australia
Warning: Radio Aug 13, 2007
Weird Things Oct 19, 2009
Why You’re Wrong Apr 1, 2011 Canada
Yardie Skeptics Jun 2, 2013 Jamaica
You Are Not So Smart April 4, 2012

Here are the podcasts that seem to be finished.  Please correct me if I’ve prematurely put one in this set, or if there are podcasts above that should be moved into this list. As I post this there are 66 entries here, about twice as many as last time.

Podcast Name Start End Where
Actually Speaking Dec 1, 2009 Apr 21, 2011
The Amateur Scientist Podcast Jan 1, 2007 Dec 24, 2011
The Amazing Show starring James Randi Sep 24, 2007 Dec 11, 2008
Audio Martini Jan 1, 1999 Jul 8, 2012
The BadCast Mar 6, 2010 Mar 1, 2011 UK
BEASTcast Mar 2, 2011 May 27, 2012
Beer, Bullshit & Brains Jan 27, 2009 Sep 8, 2010
Cold Beer for the Skeptic’s Mind Dec 2, 2010 Sep 16, 2011
CON-sequence Jun 26, 2012 May 15, 2013
CORIcast Sep 3, 2009 Nov 18, 2011
Cosmic Boondocks (Nirmukta) May 15, 2011 May 15, 2012 India
Cosmic Tea Party Nov 30, 2008 Mar 26, 2011 Australia
The Critical Thinker Podcast Jun 15, 2010 Dec 31, 2011
Critical Wit Mar 28, 2011 Jul 26, 2012
Desert Air Jun 19, 2011 Jan 17, 2013
Digital Bits Skeptic Jan 1, 2008 Feb 10, 2011
Double Meat Podcast Jan 11, 2010 Apr 24, 2011
Drunken Skeptics (Michigan Skeptics) Oct 3, 2010 Feb 5, 2012
Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge Dec 8, 2010 Feb 2, 2013 Canada
Escépticos Apr 25, 2010 Apr 1, 2013 Spain
El Esceptiradar (The Skeptic Radar) Apr 23, 2011 Aug 12, 2011 Spain
Evolution 101 Feb 4, 2006 Jan 24, 2007
The Evolving Scientist Jun 20, 2011 Feb 13, 2012
For Good Reason Jan 23, 2010 Dec 15, 2011
Fundamentally Flawed Jun 22, 2011 Feb 23, 2013 England
The Ghost Field Guide Dec 3, 2010 Jan 18, 2011 UK
Glasgow Skeptics Oct 1, 2011 Jan 20, 2012 Scotland
Good Skeptic, Bad Skeptic Jan 16, 2010 Jan 16, 2010 UK
Granite State Skeptics Mar 4, 2010 May 13, 2010
Hunting Humbug 101 Oct 7, 2008 Jun 6, 2010 Australia
In Vino Veritas May 28, 2011 May 2, 2012 Australia
The Inconvenient Truth Nov 12, 2011 Jun 1, 2012
Incrédulos (Unbelievers) Aug 8, 2009 Aug 17, 2010 Spain
The Infidel Guy Show Jan 1, 1999 Apr 29, 2010
Inside Belief Jun 25, 2011 Sep 5, 2011 Canada
Irregular Climate May 27, 2010 Jul 9, 2011 Canada
Ja é skeptisk… Oct 8, 2010 Feb 9, 2012 Sweden
Logically Critical May 28, 2006 Oct 28, 2007
La media hostia (The half blow) Dec 21, 2009 Jun 24, 2012 Spain
Mike’s Weekly Skeptic Rant Dec 9, 2007 May 10, 2011 Canada
I Misteri di Massimo Polidoro Jan 1, 2006 Sep 1, 2009 Italy
Nonsense Podcast Apr 14, 2009 Feb 26, 2010 Australia
Occam’s Barbershop Oct 27, 2010 Oct 31, 2011 Ireland
Parenting WIthin Reason Feb 28, 2010 Jun 11, 2011
Pienso, luego dudo (I think, therefore I doubt) Dec 18, 2010 Jul 13, 2012 Argentina
Podcast Irreductible (The Irreducible Podcast) Jul 23, 2008 Jan 9, 2013 Spain
Radio Ratbags Nov 5, 2011 Feb 25, 2012 Australia
A Ration of Reason Sep 27, 2010 Aug 21, 2011
Rational Alchemy Feb 3, 2009 Jan 31, 2011
Rational Capital Oct 3, 2010 Apr 25, 2011 Australia
Rational Horizon May 30, 2009 Nov 22, 2010
Righteous Indignation May 31, 2009 Mar 26, 2012 UK
Science Talk Jan 10, 2011 Oct 25, 2011
Scopes Monkey Choir Nov 2, 2010 Sep 23, 2012
Skepchick Podcast Dec 23, 2008 Dec 23, 2010
Skeptech Apr 27, 2008 Nov 26, 2009
Skeptic Coffee Break Jan 16, 2012 Apr 2, 2012
Skeptical Viewer Mar 3, 2008 Nov 16, 2010
SkepticPod Feb 22, 2010 Aug 19, 2011 UK
Skeptics in the Pub (Birmingham) May 15, 2010 Oct 1, 2012 UK
Super Woo Fighting Duo Oct 29, 2010 Feb 12, 2011 UK
The Tank (The Skeptic Tank) Sep 15, 2005 Dec 4, 2007 Australia
Three Thinkers May 31, 2010 May 29, 2011 Australia
VoFcast Apr 6, 2011 Mar 18, 2012 Sweden
Westminster Skeptics Mar 17, 2010 Feb 12, 2012
Yeah Right! Skeptics Jan 25, 2012 Jun 27, 2012

Please respond in the comments. I’m interested in skeptic podcasts I’ve missed, of course, but also corrections to the data you see here or perhaps objections to which ones I’ve included based on my stated criteria.

Once I’m happy this list is complete, I’ll do another post with some updated statistics.

Update October 8: Added StarTalk Radio
Update October 10: Skeptically Speaking is now Science for the People; added You Are Not So Smart

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About Tim Farley
Focused on online misinformation, Tim Farley is a software engineer, computer security expert and scientific skeptic who created the site What's The Harm. He is a Past Fellow of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

30 Responses to Please help update my skeptic podcast census

  1. Pingback: How many skeptic podcasts are there? Please help me find them all | Skeptical Software Tools

  2. Chip Cherry says:

    I don’t see StarTalk Radio with Neil Degrasse Tyson. I would say that it’s not strictly science. He deals with a lot of issues that overlap with skepticism, especially in the Cosmic Queries episodes which deals with listener questions.

    • Tim Farley says:

      Yeah, I’ve gone back and forth on that one. I suppose I should include it if I’m going to include things like AstronomyCast, Geologic and Penn’s Sunday School.

    • Tim Farley says:

      I’ve added Star Talk Radio.

      • Chris says:

        Cool! The two part show with Dan Aykroid was full of questioning his belief in the supernatural.

        (I see the skeptical podcasts I download are all here, plus a few more that I will check out)

    • Tim Farley says:

      Is that really a skeptic podcast? Seemed pure science to me when I looked. Hmmm… I do note they explicitly mention critical thinking in the iTunes synopsis.

      • Fred Bremmer says:

        Yes, I think Inquiring Minds is a skeptic podcast. Both hosts are known to many skeptics from their work on Point of Inquiry and their multiple appearances at major skeptic conferences. I just listened to an episode of Inquiring Minds that talked about conspiracy theorists and denialists associated with 9/11 Truthers, anti-vax, and climate science denial, among other things. They’ve only released a few episodes, but I think they’ve already touched on cognitive biases, and as you note, they mention critical thinking in the podcast description.

      • Tim Farley says:

        You’ve sold me. I’m on a trip right now but as soon as I get a chance I’ll add it to the list.

  3. Erik Harris says:

    If SciAm’s “Science Talk” is considered a skeptical podcast for the purpose of this list, you should also consider the Science Magazine Podcast, Science Friday, and all of SciAm’s 60-Second podcasts. None are explicitly skeptic podcasts, but neither is Science Talk. All focus on science, though, making them pretty much automatically geared toward skeptics.

    • Tim Farley says:

      Yeah, you’ve got a good point there, I may be opening a can of worms by including the SciAm one. I think someone on Twitter suggested it, but I’ll give it a second look.

  4. rossbalch says:

    The Imaginary Friends show is an active skeptical/science/atheist podcast, they have talked about whooping cough outbreaks, aliens e.t.c.

    Also Skeptically Challenged is produced out of Australia.

    • Tim Farley says:

      Skeptically Challenged is already listed. I looked at Imaginary Friends, but from the show notes it seemed to be more of an atheism-secularism podcast. I do see a couple skeptic topics in there, I’ll give it another look.

  5. steveneddies says:

    Don’t know whether you’d consider You Are Not So Smart to be a skeptic podcast? http://youarenotsosmart.com/

    It’s about self delusion / cognitive biases / logical fallacies / etc.

  6. Jake L says:

    For what its worth, another one for the defunct list is “Talk About Strange”. http://www.ipadio.com/channels/TalkAboutStrange

  7. Pingback: Measuring the growth in local skeptic groups via Meetup.com | Skeptical Software Tools

  8. Chris says:

    I am going through checking on the list of podcasts that I am not familiar with, only to find out that at least a couple are actually video-casts, which cannot be downloaded to my mp3 player (not an iPod). So far I have found that the Prism Project and Skeptical Canary are in video format.

    Perhaps they should be in a separate category. Thank you.

    I am glad to see that Meet the Skeptic now has an mp3 download, and is no longer mostly video.

  9. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to bring attention to my own podcast on this comment thread, but I heard about this blog through “The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe” and thought I’d write in. Andrew Cody and I have a new podcast called “Within Reason” (withinreason.podbean.com, also available on iTunes). We discuss contentious issues from a rational perspective. Our first episode was on evolution vs. creationism with the illustrious Dr. Eugenie Scott. We’ll be discussing secularism, nutrition pseudoscience, the paranormal and more in upcoming episodes. The podcast is recorded in Montreal, Canada. Both Andrew and I are members of the Centre for Inquiry Canada. We hope to make the ever-growing list at Skeptools! Thanks!

  10. Pingback: Skeptische Podcasts: Een Kritische Review - Kloptdatwel?

  11. 66steve says:

    Hi, minor quibble,
    Skeprechauns should have Ireland listed under the “where” column.
    Ta.

  12. Would be good to add the Merseyside Skeptics podcast.

    • Tim Farley says:

      All three of them are already there under their names. They are called “Skeptics with a K”, “Inkredulous” and “Be Reasonable”.

  13. Dave Ramsey says:

    one of my absolute favorites is missing “The Humanist Hour” started on July 17, 2009. Another missing is “Point of Inquiry” from Center for Inquiry started Dec 11, 2005 a news source for skeptics and free thinkers.

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