UPDATE in October 2013: Work is underway to update this census, please go to this newer post.
Last May I attempted to measure the amount of skeptic podcasting being produced. We learned a number of interesting things in that post, one of which was that there are over two hours of new skeptic podcast material being produced every day.
It is almost a year later, and we are coming up on the end of the seventh year of skeptical podcasting. It seems appropriate to revisit the census and see where the current numbers are. Unfortunately, there’s no one place to go to find all the skeptical podcasts. Last year I had to create my list by hand, and I definitely missed several.
This year I have that list to start with, plus some known announcements of new podcasts. But I’m sure I must have missed a few. 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!
I must explain that I have arbitrarily decided to exclude purely atheist 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 skeptic personalities 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.
If someone out there wants to duplicate my technique to create an all-atheist podcast census, I’ll be glad to share my scripts and techniques, watch for links when I post my results in a few weeks.
Please review and help
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. (Also, 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. The podcasts listed in bold were not included in my survey last year.
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.
|Actually Speaking||Dec 1, 2009||Apr 21, 2011|
|The Amateur Scientist Podcast||Sept 1, 2007||Dec 24, 2011|
|The Amazing Show starring James Randi||Sep 24, 2007||Dec 11, 2008|
|Beer, Bullshit & Brains||Jan 27, 2009||Sep 8, 2010|
|Cold Beer for the Skeptic’s Mind||Dec 2, 2010||Sep 16, 2011|
|CORIcast||Sep 3, 2009||Nov 18, 2011|
|Digital Bits Skeptic||2008? earlier?||Feb 10, 2011|
|Double Meat Podcast||Jan 11, 2010||Apr 24, 2011|
|Evolution 101||Feb 4, 2006||Jan 24, 2007|
|The Ghost Field Guide||Dec 3, 2010||Jan 18, 2011||UK|
|Good Skeptic, Bad Skeptic||Jan 16, 2010||Jan 16, 2010||UK|
|Hunting Humbug 101||Oct 7, 2008||Jun 6, 2010||Australia|
|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||July 9, 2011||Australia|
|Logically Critical||May 28, 2006||Oct 28, 2007|
|I Misteri di Massimo Polidoro||Jan 2006||Sept 2009||Italy|
|Nonsense Podcast||Apr 14, 2009||Feb 26, 2010||Australia|
|Parenting Within Reason||Feb 28, 2010||June 11, 2011|
|A Ration of Reason||Sep 27, 2010||Aug 21, 2011|
|Rational Capital||Oct 3, 2010||Apr 25, 2011||Australia|
|Righteous Indignation||May 31, 2009||March 26, 2012||UK|
|Science Talk||Jan 10, 2011||Oct 25, 2011|
|Skepchick Podcast||Dec 23, 2008||Dec 23, 2010|
|Skeptech||Apr 27, 2008||Nov 26, 2009|
|Skeptical Viewer||Mar 3, 2008||Nov 16, 2010|
|SkepticPod||Feb 22, 2010||Aug 19, 2011||UK|
|Super Woo Fighting Duo||Oct 29, 2010||Feb 12, 2011||UK|
|The (Skeptic) Tank||Sep 15, 2005||Dec 4, 2007||Australia|
|Three Thinkers||May 31, 2010||May 29, 2011||Australia|
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. (I freely admit my criteria are arbitrary, so I’m open to discussion).
Oh, and as I post this, the answer to the title question is 100! There are 79 active and 21 defunct skeptic podcasts. Congratulations to Chris Barry who correctly guessed this last night!
You win nothing, unfortunately.
Update 1: Added Legion of Reason, count is now 101.
Update 2: Added Desert Air and Inside Belief, count is now 103: 81 active, 22 inactive.
Update 3: Added Why You’re Wrong, count is now 104: 82 active, 22 inactive.
Update 4: Added BeastCAST, count is now 105: 83 active, 22 inactive.
Update 5: Added Scepticisme Scientifique, count is now 106: 84 active, 22 inactive.
Update 6: Added Evolution 110, count is now 107: 84 active, 23 inactive.
Update 7: Added Caustic Soda, count is now 108: 85 active, 23 inactive.
Update 8: Added The Ghost Field Guide, count is now 109: 85 active, 24 inactive.
Update 9: Added The Critical Thinker Podcast, count is now 110: 86 active, 24 inactive.
Update 10: Added Mile High Sanity Project, count is now 111: 87 active, 24 inactive.
Update 11: Moved Amateur Scientist to dead list. Count is now 111: 86 active, 25 inactive.
Update 12 (April 18): Added Irregular Climate, Bogosity, Kritisch Denken, Parenting Within Reason. Count is now 115: 88 active, 27 inactive.
Update 13 (April 19): Added Weird Things. Count is now 116: 89 active, 27 inactive.
Update 14 (April 20): Added Life, the Universe & Everything Else. Count is now 117: 90 active, 27 inactive.
Update 15 (April 24): Added Massimo Polidoro & Evolving Scientist podcasts. Count is now 119: 91 active, 28 inactive.
Update 16 (April 27): Added Skeptoskop, Tank/Skeptic Tank. Count is now 121: 92 active, 29 inactive.
Update 17 (April 30): Added Three Thinkers. Count is now 122: 92 active, 30 inactive.
Update 18 (May 6): Added Dr. Karl on triplej, Dr. Karl & the Naked Scientist. Count is now 124: 94 active, 30 inactive.
Update 19 (May 12): Moved Righteous Indignation to dead list. Count is now 124: 93 active, 31 inactive.
Update 20 (June 15): Added Kvack! and Pseudocast. Count is now 126: 95 active, 31 inactive.