Each week we bring you a new, in-depth exploration of the space where science and society collide. We’re committed to the idea that making an effort to understand the world around you though science and critical thinking can benefit everyone—and lead to better decisions. We want to find out what’s true, what’s left to discover, and why it all matters.
These Numbers Explain the Nature of Reality
This week we talk to theoretical physicist and cosmologist Antonio Padilla about his new book Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them. It’s a book about nine unusual numbers that, once understood, can help you grasp how the universe actually works—from black holes, to gravity, to the passing of time itself.
The Science of How Your Dog’s Brain Works
This week we talk to Alexandra Horowitz from the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College about her new book The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves.
Horowitz’s book examines how a dog’s brain works and develops—how it dramatically changes during their first 12 months of life, her shifting perspective on dog cognition, and the vast differences between humans and dogs that we tend to overlook.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds
The Neuroscience of What Makes You You
This week we talk to cognitive neuroscientist Chantel Prat about her new book The Neuroscience of You: How Every Brain is Different and How to Understand Yours. The book is the result of Prat’s decades of work on the biological basis of individual differences in cognition—what makes you you.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds
What do animals dream about?
This week we talk to philosopher and animal ethicist David Peña-Guzmán about his new book When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness. David explores the idea that there really is a subjective world—a dream world—that lights up when animals sleep, what that actually looks like, and its moral implications.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds
The Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion
This week we’re joined by podcaster, journalist, and author David McRaney to discuss his latest book How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion. It’s a deep look at what we know about what it takes to change someone’s mind and why it’s more complicated than you might think.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds
The language of food, science, and critical thinking with J. Kenji López-Alt
This week we welcome back James Beard award winning food science writer J. Kenji López-Alt. He talks about growing up around science, studying architecture at MIT, and how, strangely enough, both subjects pertain to cooking. Kenji is the author of the bestselling The Food Lab and the recently released The Wok: Recipes and Techniques.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/inquiringminds
Offspring of Elevatorgate
“Inquiring Minds” began in 2013 when Chris Mooney and Indre Viscontas quit their jobs as hosts of the Center for Inquiry podcast “Point of Inquiry” in protest over remarks by CFI chief Ron Lindsey that were critical of skeptic personality Rebecca Watson, the central figure of the “Elevatorgate” brouhaha that marked the beginning of the end of the New Atheist movement of the aughts. After leaving PoI at the behest of the show’s producer—who was Watson’s boyfriend—Mooney and Viscontas started this podcast. Mooney didn’t stick around for long, but Viscontas has kept the show going for eight years. The show currently consists primarily of interviews with the authors of popular science books. Viscontas is a decent interviewer. I sort of wish that she and Mooney hadn’t dropped the religious skepticism aspect of the “Point of Inquiry” show when they started this show, but that decision probably helped the show last this long.
Love the Topics and Guests!
As a practicing therapists specializing in Addiction and Trauma, I’ve loved every episode I’ve listened to so far! You marry psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology/ cultural influence in such a seamless beautiful way to present oversimplified topics with the breadth and depth they deserve.
I particularly appreciate your episode on Addiction with Carl Erik Fisher (The Urge is phenomenal!) and the Science of Opinion. They both bring to mind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which is something I use a lot in my practice… may be a good topic at some point.
Thank you for such a great podcast, I’ve been looking for this for a long time!
This show has been one of my favorites for a long time. Science, research based material is what the world needs more of. Indre does an amazing job.