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Ben 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 or co-author of seven 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.

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. 

Noah Nez, The Native Skeptic

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 5, 2013
Noah Nez, The Native Skeptic

I first heard about the Native Skeptic from Desiree Schell, the host of the Skeptically Speaking podcast. She mentioned a writer named Noah Nez who blogged about skepticism within the Native American community. He’s been a columnist for the Skeptical Briefs ever since. 

Available in the Print Edition. Subscribe Here.

The Mysterious Bee Deaths

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

Being ‘Over It’-And the Lack of Charity

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 19, 2013
On being "Over It," and the lack of charity in discourse. 

‘Over It’ Follow-Up: Why Would Anyone Criticize an Anti-Rape Poem?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 18, 2013
Feminist activist Eve Ensler wrote a poem saying that she was "over rape" as part of an effort to stop physical and sexual abuse of women. I agreed with much of it, and wrote my own poem based on hers. We have both recently been criticized for it. 

Over It.

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 15, 2013
On Valentine's Day, feminist activist Eve Ensler asked women around the world to dance in an effort to stop sexual and physical violence against women in an event she called One Billion Rising. How big is the problem, and will it do any good? 

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

When people don’t understand something they are told, there are three possibilities or root causes.

Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 1, 2013
Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, said in 1835 that he had spoken to God recently, and during their conversation he learned that Jesus would return within the next 56 years, after which the End Times would begin promptly. Many Mormons have taken exception to this claim; who's right? 

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Briefs Briefs

Near-Death Experience Expert Arrested in Daughter’s Torture / Conspiracy Theorists See UFO over Antarctica / NOAA Denies Existence of Mermaids

The House of Skeptics Serves Psi (And Crow)

January 18, 2013
The House of Skeptics Serves Psi (And Crow)

A review of Science & Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics, by Chris Carter.

Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 15, 2013
Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

 Not long ago, when George Hrab's latest CD Trebuchet came out, I sat down (not actually, literally, or even metaphorically) and asked him about his music and skeptical influences. And, really, things I probably shouldn't have asked, but there you go. And here you go. 

Trigger Warnings: Public Service or Fallacious Fad?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 6, 2013

Proponents and critics of "trigger warnings" (warnings placed before discussions and descriptions of potentially traumatic events in articles and blogs) have argued that the warnings are either important, useless, a cynical attempt to get readers, infantilizing, considerate, ridiculous, and everything in between. There seems to be little real research into the validity and utility of trigger warnings; for those who wish to take an analytical look at the topic, here's a place to start. 

Questioning a Local Landmark

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 2, 2013
Questioning a Local Landmark
In my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, one of the top tourist attractions is the Sandia Peak Tramway, "the world's longest." But is it? 

Bashing the BMI: A Closer Look at the Skeptics

December 31, 2012
Bashing the BMI: A Closer Look at the Skeptics

Why such hate for an otherwise boring, uncontroversial medical formula?

A Skeptic’s Brief Conversation With a TV Producer

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 20, 2012
A Skeptic’s Brief Conversation With a TV Producer
A brief recounting of what happens when the goals and demands of skepticism collide with the goals and demands of TV production.

A Book of Stories that Happened to a Friend ...

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.6, November/December 2012

Book Review
A Book of Stories that Happened to a Friend ...

A review of Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: Updated and Expanded Edition by Jan Harold Brunvand.

Available in the Print Edition. Subscribe Here.

Mystery Solved—According to Whom?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.6, November/December 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.2, Summer 2012

Briefs Briefs

‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s’  Macabre Mistake

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 8, 2012
‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s’  Macabre Mistake
A 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' factoid read, "You are more likely to die on your birthday then any other day of the year." Well, yes and no.

In Science, Whose Department is the Ethics Department?: Part 2

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 4, 2012
What is the role of ethics in science? Part 2 of 2.

Art, Mysteries, and Context

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article
Art, Mysteries, and Context

In my books and workshops on scientific paranormal investigation, I discuss how best to conceptualize a mystery: basically, an event out of context. A live dolphin lying on a Manhattan sidewalk is a mystery; that same dolphin in a tank at an aquarium is not.

Life of Pi: A Skeptical Review

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 26, 2012
Life of Pi: A Skeptical Review

The Life of Pi is a fable about a young Indian man who finds himself aboard a freighter headed for Canada. A storm sinks the ship and soon Pi finds himself the sole human survivor, trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger...

In Science, Whose Department is the Ethics Department?: Part 1

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 23, 2012
What is the role of ethics in science? 

Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article
Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

A conversation with award-winning cartoonist, fine artist, and stand-up comedian Dan Piraro.

Available in the Print Edition. Subscribe Here.

Art and Skepticism Introduction

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article

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