Recent news about and collected by CSI
August 28, 2015
For generations, the mystery of the “sea serpent” witnessed by the captain of the HMS Daedalus in 1848 remained unsolved. But in the latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer, the magazine for science and reason, new evidence points to a definitive answer: No monster or dinosaur, but a particular kind of surface-skimming whale.
July 2, 2015
The 2014 Balles Prize in Critical Thinking, an award for excellence in the promotion of science and reason, was given this year to the creators, producers, and writers of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and to Dr. Joe Schwarcz for his book Is That a Fact? The Balles Prize is given annually by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), publisher of the magazine Skeptical Inquirer.
June 15, 2015
A leading science advocacy group is throwing down the gauntlet to the Heartland Institute, a group that claims that global warming stopped in 1998, with a stark, simple challenge: If the 30-year average global land surface temperature goes up in 2015, setting a new record, the Heartland Institute must donate $25,000 to a science education nonprofit.
June 9, 2015
The unprecedented availability of scientific data does not necessarily make for greater public understanding, as a celebrity-obsessed media turns to a handful of compelling scientific personalities to help us sort it all out. From Darwin to deGrasse Tyson, the rise of the “celebrity scientist” is explored in the latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
April 15, 2015
Misinformation in medicine has reached a fever pitch in the media, in public policy, and even within respected medical institutions. A new special edition of Skeptical Inquirer delves deep into a problem that includes—and goes far beyond—the anti-vaccination movement, with quack health gurus, scientific journals, and even entire governments promoting dangerous pseudoscience as medicin
December 10, 2014
Prominent scientists, science communicators, and skeptic activists, including Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” physicist Lawrence Krauss, Cosmos co-creator Ann Druyan, and many others are calling on the news media to stop using the word “skeptic” when referring to those who refuse to accept the reality of climate change, and instead refer to them by what they really are: science deniers.
December 5, 2014
Public discussion of scientific topics such as global warming is confused by misuse of the term “skeptic.”
December 3, 2014
To the great frustration of rationalists, it seems that no amount of education or evidence can dissuade people from clinging to beliefs in gods, ghosts, and conspiracies. But why? The newest edition of Skeptical Inquirer magazine explores the latest science and research behind the intractability of irrational beliefs.
October 10, 2014
Defenders of dubious alternative medicine often make their case by attacking doctors and the larger Western medical profession, accusing them of such things as being in the pocket of “Big Pharma” or favoring the treatment of an illness’s symptoms over its root causes. But retired Air Force surgeon and skeptical activist Harriet Hall is having none of it.
August 12, 2014
Ann Druyan faced constant resistance in her quest to bring the landmark series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey into being, dismissed by television executives and academics alike for her age, her lack of formal scientific credentials, and insistence on creative control. In two special interviews for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, she recounts how she persevered and succeeded in creating what turned out t