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Benjamin Radford

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Benjamin Radford, M.Ed., is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author, co-author, contributor, or editor of twenty books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. His newest book is Mysterious New Mexico: Miracles, Magic, and Monsters in the Land of Enchantment. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience.com.

Catching Up With Itinerant Feminist Organizer Shelby Knox

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 18, 2016
Catching Up With Itinerant Feminist Organizer Shelby Knox

A decade after I first interviewed feminist, education activist, and documentary subject Shelby Knox about her work I caught up with her for an update on her life and work.

Amy Schumer, the “Trainwreck” Shooting, and the Benefits of Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 12, 2016
Amy Schumer, the “Trainwreck” Shooting, and the Benefits of Skepticism

Amy Schumer blames herself for inspiring a shooting at her film Trainwreck, but there’s no reason she should. 

Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Feature
Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories of the Chupacabra

As well-known monsters go, the chupacabra is of very recent vintage, first appearing in 1995. However, some writers have created pseudohistories and claimed a false antiquity for the Hispanic vampire beast. These examples provide a fascinating look at cryptozoological folklore in the making.

Unco Junto: The Myth of the ‘National Conversation’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 3, 2016
Unco Junto: The Myth of the ‘National Conversation’
Ben Radford and three invited guests (David Koepsell, Robert Blaskiewicz, and Celestia Ward) offer their takes on the topic: Does a 'national conversation' exist, and if so, what is its nature?  First in a series.

Crop Circles and Vibrational Resonance: A Link?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 29, 2016
Crop Circles and Vibrational Resonance: A Link?
I was recently contacted by a person who had seen an online video about patterns created by salt on a vibrating metal plate and asked my opinion about whether they could explain crop circles. 

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U.K. Viral ‘Ghost Photo’ Explained

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 40.3, May/June 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

A Closer Look at Media Diversity: Should TV Reflect Reality?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 18, 2016
A Closer Look at Media Diversity: Should TV Reflect Reality?
Should TV characters reflect the demographics of their audiences? A closer look at two reports on minority characters offers insight. 

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 7, 2016
The Wisdom of Not Understanding
Too often we are embarrassed to admit that we don't understand what we are told. Asking for clarification not only helps both the speaker and listener communicate more effectively, but is also a powerful tool in skepticism and critical thinking.

Doubt and Skepticism at 10 Cloverfield Lane

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 16, 2016
Doubt and Skepticism at 10 Cloverfield Lane
One of 10 Cloverfield Lane's most effective themes is essentially a skeptical one: the uncertainty of knowledge.

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Cyptozology and Global Warming

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 40.2, March/April 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

Lessons from a Middle School Bermuda Triangle Q&A

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 22, 2016
Lessons from a Middle School Bermuda Triangle Q&A
A Q&A session with a middle school class about the Bermuda Triangle offers an unexpected lesson.

Feral Children in Fact and Fiction

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 10, 2016
Feral Children in Fact and Fiction
Legends from around the world tell of children raised by wild animals including wolves, bears, and apes. 

The Big Short: A Lesson in Financial Skepticism (film review)

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 15, 2016
The Big Short: A Lesson in Financial Skepticism (film review)
The Academy Award-nominated film The Big Short is, at it heart, a tale about the importance of skepticism: demanding evidence, doing original research, and not just accepting what you’re told—even by “experts.” 

Big Pharma Conspiracy Debunked

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 12, 2016
Big Pharma Conspiracy Debunked
Does Big Pharma really prevent the publication of studies unfavorable to their popular drugs? A closer look.

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Have You Seen the Toucan Man?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 40.1, January/February 2016

Skeptical Inquiree

The Bad Santa: A Review of “Krampus”

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 23, 2015
The Bad Santa: A Review of “Krampus”
The new film Krampus is a Christmas horror-comedy about a boy who accidentally summons Krampus, a hulking, horned, cloven-hoofed demon who terrorizes his family.

Follow-up on a Ghost Investigation

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 14, 2015
Follow-up on a Ghost Investigation

I occasionally am contacted by people who have read my books and articles or seen me on TV and have follow-up questions. Here is a recent e-mail I got that touches on the practical aspects of ghost investigations. 

A Question of Dragons

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 30, 2015
A Question of Dragons
Among my myriad editorial, writing, investigative, and other duties I often get e-mails from the public asking me questions about "unexplained" subjects. Here's my response to a sixth-grader's question about dragons.

Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

Skeptical Briefs Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Interviews
Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

In 2014, Skeptical Briefs Editor Benjamin Radford attended a caricature conference in Reno, Nevada. Inside a hotel ballroom full of ridiculously talented artists from around the world, he happened to meet Celestia Ward, a caricaturist who’s also a skeptic. Naturally, he had questions for her.

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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and Joe Schwarcz Win CSI’s Balles Prizes in Critical Thinking

Skeptical Briefs Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

A Question of Dragons

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 6, 2015
Among my myriad editorial, writing, investigative, and other duties I often get e-mails from the public asking me questions about "unexplained" subjects. Here's a question I got from a sixth grader about dragons.

The Curious Case of Baby Lisa and the Psychic

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 29, 2015
The Curious Case of Baby Lisa and the Psychic

In my over 15 years of investigations I've covered many dozens of claims of psychics and psychic detectives. Of those, about a half-dozen stand out as being particularly interesting or intriguing-not just yet another psychic making dubious claims, but some novel twist that at suggests a closer look is needed to understand what's going on. This is one of those cases.


Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 39.5, September/October 2015

Skeptical Inquiree
Playing with Past Lives: The Virginia Boy and the Dead Marine

Have you heard about this recent case of a young boy who says he lived a past life as a Marine? What do you make of it?

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Beware Mesmer Thieves!

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 39.6, November/December 2015

Skeptical Inquiree

‘Bridge of Spies’ on Spying and Due Process

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 21, 2015
‘Bridge of Spies’ on Spying and Due Process
'Bridge of Spies' is an engaging political thriller with a real American hero--whether audiences recognize it or not.

Alex Tsakiris, Psychic Detectives, and Bad Science

October 13, 2015
Alex Tsakiris, Psychic Detectives, and Bad Science

Good science requires good data, and to get valid results scientists must consider all of the evidence. If a researcher chooses to exclude some of the information available in an experiment, for example, he or she should offer a rationale for doing so. When researchers present to the public or their peers data that only supports their conclusions, that’s called bad science (at best) or outri

Reality Check: Is America ‘Numb’ to Mass Shootings?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 5, 2015
In the wake of a shooting that left at least ten dead, last week President Obama stated that "Somehow, this has become routine. We become numb to this." Is that true? 

“The Gospel According to Stephenson”: Seven Questions for John Schuermann

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 1, 2015
“The Gospel According to Stephenson”: Seven Questions for John Schuermann
In which I ask Writer/Director/Composer John Schuermann about his hoped-to-be upcoming vampire film "The Gospel According to Stephenson."

Do Conspiracy Theorists Drive Chevys?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 21, 2015
Do Conspiracy Theorists Drive Chevys?
You might think that conspiracy theorists would organize boycotts of General Motors, Bank of America, brands that use ADM products, and dozens of other familiar brands and companies found guilty of engaging in conspiracy.

“The Visit” (film review)

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 14, 2015
“The Visit” (film review)
Despite its flaws The Visit is successful enough in building fear and tension in a creepy atmosphere to merit a tepid recommendation. 

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