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Ben Radford

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Benjamin Radford is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author or co-author of six books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. His newest book is The Martians Have Landed: A History of Media Panics and Hoaxes. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience.com.

Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 3, 2013
Skeptical Cinema: ‘Bug’ and folie a deux

In most investigations two eyewitnesses are better than one. The 2006 horror film ‘Bug’ shows whay this is not always true. 

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Did Psychic Visions Locate Missing California Boy?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.5, September/October 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

The Mystery and Investigation of the Moving Statue

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 22, 2013
 An ancient statue caught on camera turning in its locked display case in June 2013 unnerved many people, and it has been definitively debunked. More interesting, though, are the reactions to the solution. 

Secular Sacred Sites and Ghost Hunting

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 12, 2013
There is a natural and understandable human reverence for sacred and secular-sacred sites, but it can also lead away from critical thinking and skepticism. 

Thor: The Dark World

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 8, 2013
Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World is a beautiful mess, a visually stunning film badly in need of a rewrite.

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Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Article

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Psychic Failure and the Boston Marathon Bombing

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

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The Biography of America’s Lake Monster

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.4, July/August 2013

Book Review

A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster by Robert E. Bartholomew

Confirmation Bias and Expectations Influencing Perceptions: A Micro-Case Study

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 23, 2013
As a skeptical investigator with a degree in psychology, I often encounter (and discuss) people whose expectations have colored their perceptions. We often see what we expect to see, whether it's there or not. Of course everyone does it, including me. Here's a personal account of my recent experience.

German ‘Wild Boy’ Sentenced for Fraud

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 3, 2013
In 2011 a young man wandered into a German police station and told office workers, "I'm all alone in the world, I don't know who I am. Please help me."

“Nothing But Bad News…”

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 13, 2013
Sometimes when discussing current events I will hear someone say "Oh, I hate the news... I don't follow the news anymore, it's nothing but bad news." It's just a depressing laundry list of death and war and problems, a daily documentation of the world's progress on its inexorable path toward hell.

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Briefs Briefs

BMI and the Argument from Antiquity Fallacy

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 26, 2013
Is pointing out that a medical procedure has been used by doctors for 150 years an example of a logical fallacy? Maybe, or maybe not...

Why Parents Don’t Vaccinate Their Children—And What We Can Do

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 2, 2013

There are several reasons why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, though most of them come down to misinformation from anti-vaccine advocates. With the recent addition of Jenny McCarthy to the popular ABC television show The View, many people are wondering what effect, if any, this will have on vaccination rates. However there are some strategies than can fight the misinformation.

Sandy Hook School Shooting: The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.3, May/June 2013

Skeptical Inquiree
Sandy Hook School Shooting: The Adam Lanza Death Certificate Conspiracy

"Is there any chance you could put my mind at ease and explain why the Social Security Death Index would list [Sandy Hook shooter] Adam Lanza as having died on December 13, 2012, the day before the Sandy Hook shooting?"

The New ‘Best Case’ For Psychics: Did ‘Intuitive Visions’ Locate Missing Boy?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 14, 2013
The remarkable case of a missing California boy whose body was apparently located by a psychic is making headlines across the country as the 'best case' for psychics. But is it? 

How I Covered the Bangladesh Toilet Ghost Hysteria Story

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 26, 2013
I'm sometimes asked how my articles and columns come about; here's one recent example, about a ghost-haunted toilet in a South Asian factory.

Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books

Online Extras
June 20, 2013
Investigating Plagiarism in New Age Books

I recently uncovered rampant plagiarism in a HarperCollins title The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires: An A–Z of the Undead, “written” (more accurately “cut-and-pasted-from-the-Internet”) by Theresa Cheung.

Tracking the Chupacabra: The Wikipedia Page!

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 20, 2013
Tracking the Chupacabra: The Wikipedia Page!
My book solving the chupacabra mystery now has its own Wikipedia page!

Participating in a Brazilian Panel on Science Journalism and Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 5, 2013
Participating in a Brazilian Panel on Science Journalism and Skepticism
Last July I was invited to São Paulo, Brazil, to speak on a panel about skepticism and the state of science journalism sponsored by Folha do Sao Paulo, the city's largest newspaper.

Infomercial King Kevin Trudeau Recycles ‘The Secret’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 30, 2013
Kevin Trudeau, convicted felon and infomercial king, has made millions claiming to reveal important medical and dietary information kept secret by a conspiracy between the medical establishment and big drug companies. His most recent venture rips off the New Age best-seller The Secret.

Love Labyrinths

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 22, 2013
Love Labyrinths
A friend of mine is getting married next weekend and she wants to have the ceremony in a labyrinth. She asked me to write a short piece about a love labyrinth...

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Lessons from a Denver Fly

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.2, March/April 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

My Prediction of the Cleveland Abduction Situation, and the Tragic Failure of Psychics

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 9, 2013

In 2009 I predicted the recent Cleveland abduction situation, or one very much like it. 

Skeptical Commentary Following Tragedy: Exploitation or Education?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 8, 2013
Recent tragedies such as the Boston marathon bombing and the horrific case of three women rescued in Cleveland brought skeptical commentary highlighting the failure of psychics. However some people feel that skeptics should not comment on such events because it smacks of exploitation.

The Biography of America’s Lake Monster

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 25, 2013
The Biography of America’s Lake Monster
A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster, by Bob Bartholomew. 

Trance: Trainwreck from a Trainspotting Director

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 14, 2013
Trance: Trainwreck from a Trainspotting Director

Trance is not inherently a bad movie; it’s just one of those movies where the longer it went on, the less I cared who lived, who died, or whether anyone found that damned painting. 

 

 

The Scope of Skeptical Activism: A Personal Story   Part 2 of 2

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 2, 2013
What should the scope of skepticism be? There are countless causes I support, including environmentalism, feminism, animal protection, social justice, exposing hypocrisy, science communication, media literacy, and others. But I rarely tackle these issues under the banner of skepticism. Here's why.

The Scope of Skeptical Activism: A Personal Story Part 1 of 2

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 13, 2013
I'm best known for my skeptical investigations and research into paranormal subjects. It's not surprising that people tend to focus on that, since those are weird, sensational claims, but that's only a small part of my work. Here's a look at the broader scope of skeptical activism from my personal perspective.

Film review: Oz the Great and Powerful

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 8, 2013
Film review: Oz the Great and Powerful
At a reported cost of $200 million to make, Oz the Great and Powerful is a much better exercise in direction and production design than screenwriting. 

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