“There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to.”
These days, when content is king and the degree of social media promotion and sharing seems for many to equate to truth (cough fake news cough), it can be difficult to establish the facts of a given matter. We’re human, and so we seek shortcuts for finding the truth, and one of those shortcuts is consensus, or even the appearance of consensus. Even in explicitly scientific journalism, headlines and contextless statistics drive our opinions of what is true and what isn’t. Repeat lies and half-truths often enough and they become a proxy for the truth, regardless of their groundings in reality.
But, luckily for us, there’s a podcast for that. Science Vs, a show from Gimlet Media, seeks to cut through the popularity of what consensus seems to say is true by attempting to apply the maxims of the scientific method--namely evidence, testability, and falsifiability. Science Vs wants you to know not what the blog posts and trending hashtags say about that juice cleanse diet, but rather what science says. Oftentimes, there’s just not any evidence one way or another, and they’re not afraid to state that fact (unpopular and unworthy of upvotes as it may be).
Science Vs fulfills its mission with a cheerful, gung-ho tone. This, I think, helps to increase the accessibility of the content matter without taking too much away from the seriousness required of the approach of science. Host Wendy Zukerman takes listeners along for an entertaining, wild ride where she gets answers straight from the horse’s mouth--the scientists and doctors themselves. This is something I particularly appreciate about the podcast, because honestly secondary sources are nothing but hearsay when everyone has a voice on the internet. I’ve seen too many instances of laypeople being tricked into thinking that dihydrogen monoxide (AKA water) is bad for you, simply because of the name. When it comes to science, our gut reactions and intuitions too often lead us astray.
I can’t promise that every episode of Science Vs is gold, but it’s definitely one that’s worth checking out on an episode-by-episode basis.
Hit or miss.
Wendy Zukerman is an excellent guide on the journey toward scientific truth.
High. More and more dis/misinformation out there all but guarantees this show will continue to have ample content.
About 30 minutes
Overall Score: 7.2/10
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- Organic Food
If you like this podcast, you’ll probably like:
- What’s the Point
- Note to Self
- 99% Invisible