Back 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.
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.
|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
Pingback: How many skeptic podcasts are there? Please help me find them all | Skeptical Software Tools
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.
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.
I’ve added Star Talk Radio.
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)
Inquiring Minds, by Chris Mooney & Indre Viskontas
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh yes, it’s a little different than many skeptic podcasts but YANSS definitely belongs on the list. Not sure how I missed that.
For what its worth, another one for the defunct list is “Talk About Strange”. http://www.ipadio.com/channels/TalkAboutStrange
Pingback: Measuring the growth in local skeptic groups via Meetup.com | Skeptical Software Tools
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.
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!
Self-promotion is very much encouraged! I will add you to the list shortly.
Along the same lines of bashful self-promotion: Carbon Dating is a skeptical comic strip about science, pseudoscience, and geeky relationships at Carbon-Comic.com. Just published in Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer, I would love to see Carbon Dating counted here too!
I’m a bit confused, is there a Carbon Dating podcast too? This census is purely about skeptic podcasts.
Pingback: Skeptische Podcasts: Een Kritische Review - Kloptdatwel?
There is also a new podcast http://skepticism.today/
Hi, minor quibble,
Skeprechauns should have Ireland listed under the “where” column.
Oh good spot – I fixed it.
Would be good to add the Merseyside Skeptics podcast.
All three of them are already there under their names. They are called “Skeptics with a K”, “Inkredulous” and “Be Reasonable”.
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.
Point of Inquiry is listed. I’m explicitly avoiding atheist/humanist/secularism podcasts here to keep the scale of the project manageable.