Monday, December 21, 2015

See you in January

The Unseen Podcast is taking two weeks off for the US Holidays. The next recording session is on 8 January, so look for a new episode on our feed on 9 January. Until then, stay warm (we understand that is no problem in Australia at present) and safe, and we'll see you then.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Episode 37 - Explore Strange New Worlds

Recorded: 18 December 2015
Released: 19 December 2015
Duration: 83 minutes, 40 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

A swath of Pluto in color
Host Paul Carr welcomes panelists Adam Smith, James Garrison and Patrick Festa to talk about some
recent advances in space science and physics, including the latest Pluto images, and the recent success by the Japan Space Agency (JAXA) in getting Akatuski into orbit around Venus on the second try. Plus, a brief, informal tutorial on how rockets work and our recommendations for this episode.

We apologize for the brief audio glitch at 11:57. It hasn't happened before and hopefully will not happen again.

Erratum: ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) was launched in 1997.


Pluto Images
Akatsuki Mission to Venus
Hyabusa 2
LISA Pathfinder
ACE Mission
Terra Mission
Gravitationally Lensed Supernova


Adam: Cassini Enceladus Images
James: Cowboy Bebop
Patrick: Saying, "Oh, I was Wrong"


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam Smith, James Garrison, Patrick Festa
Music: DJ Spooky

Creative Commons License
Unseen Podcast Episode 37 by Paul Carr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Friday, December 11, 2015

Episode 36 - Exoplanets and the Drake Equation

Recorded: 11 December 2015
Released: 12 December 2015
Duration: 81 minutes

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr and panelists Marsha Barnhart, Adam Smith, Nick Nielsen and James Garrison talk
The Kepler Space Telescope
about exoplanet discoveries and what all the exoplanets might mean for understanding the likelihood of us finding other technological civilizations. We talk about Kepler, and the upcoming TESS and PLATO missions, as well as the cancelled Terrestrial Planet Finder.


The Wow! Signal: The Golden Age of Exoplanets
Kepler Space Telescope: Exoplanet Hunter
ESA's PLATO Mission
Moon Microbe Mystery Finally Solved
The Drake Equation
Fossil Microbes on Mars?
ESA's PLATO Concept
Dynamical Considerations for Life In Multihabitable Planetary Systems
Any Sufficiently Advanced Civilization is Indistinguishable from Nature
Episode 24 - Define Panspermia
Jerry Coyne: Why Evolution is True


James Garrison: Gaelic Storm
Paul Carr: What If? by Randall Munro
Adam Synergy:


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Marsha Barnhart, James Garrison, Nick Nielsen, and Adam Smith
Music: Dj Spooky

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Episode 35 - Smarter than We Are

Recorded: 6 December 2015
Released:6 December 2015
Duration:82 minutes, 36 seconds

Nick Bostrom
download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes new panelist Jeff Boerst, as well as Adam Smith, Buck Field, and Patrick Festa. They talk about the future prospect of super intelligence. Is super intelligence even possible? Will robots tolerate us after we are no longer of use to them? Can people opt out of the robot society?


Nick Nielsen on the Halos of Vanished Civilizations and The Wilderness Hypothesis
Help The SETI Institute
How Long to Continue?

Nick Bostrom: Superintelligence
Nick Bostrom: What Happens when our Computers are Smarter Than Us? (video)
Robin Hanson on Human Emulations (Ems)
Robin Hanson's TED Talk on Ems
Episode 3 on Asimov's 3 Laws.


Adam Smith: Brain Pickings
Buck Field: Ghost In the Shell Standalone Complex
Patrick Festa: The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston
Jeff Boerst: Bone Tomahawk
Paul Carr: The Frood by Jem Roberts


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam Smith, Buck Field, Jeff Boerst, and Patrick Festa
Music: DJ Spooky
Post Production:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How long to continue?

I never want to see the Unseen Podcast become an institution - something that continues on indefinitely for its own sake. It should always serve some purpose, and when either it fails to serve that purpose, or energies, time and funds can better serve the same purpose in other ways, then we close the book and move on. We should always be able to justify the time and energy we put into the podcast, as well as the hour or more each week that we ask of you to listen to us talking.

I communicated to the team yesterday that I intend to make a decision in a few months about whether to continue with the Unseen Podcast, and the set of criteria I expect to consider in making that decision. The decision will be to either commit to continue for about one more year before again reconsidering, or to announce the final episode and be done - not a sad, sputtering, fade but a definitive closing.

To boil it down, the decision will revolve around clear progress toward building a committed, open community around a steadily improving podcast that remains true to its values.

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, and would like to see it continue to episode 100 and beyond, here are some of the things you can do.
  1. Join the panel pool, or encourage someone else to join. Once in the panel pool, consider becoming a host, or even a producer. Commit to being on a panel a least once a year, and engage with the topics threads as they come up.
  2. Engage with us on our listener community, our subreddit, on Twitter, our Facebook page, or this blog. Ask your questions, make comments or suggestions, tell us when we got our facts wrong, or recommend topics or a special guest for the show.
  3. Share episode links on social media to help us find our audience.
  4. Help defray our costs by pledging a small monthly amount at Patreon.

Monday, November 23, 2015

One week break

There will be no show recorded this week, as it's a holiday in the US. The next recording session will be December 6th 2015, and the podcast will probably be out that same day. Feel free, however, to keep the conversation going about the content of the episodes to date (click on "Episodes" just below the banner to get a complete list), or future episodes and guests.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Episode 34 - Where's My Flying Car?

Recorded: 20 November 2015
Released: 21 November 2015
Duration: 90 minutes, 4 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr and the panel talk about the near term future of transport: Hyperloop, Autonomous Cars, and what about flying cars?


Questions about Asteroid Mining

Hyperloop Tech
The Race to Create Elon Musk's Hyperloop

The Trolley Problem
SMBC: The Trolley Problem


Adam Smith: Emily Lakdawalla's Blog
Marsha Barnhart: Blade Runner
Mateusz Macias: iRobot (film)
Mike Bohler: Conspiracy Theorists Lie
Nick Nielsen: Life as a Condition of Cosmology
Paul Carr: Project Archivist


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam Smith, Marsha Barnhart, Mike Bohler, Nick Nielsen, Mateusz Macias
Music: DJ Spooky

Friday, November 13, 2015

Episode 33 - Extract the Resource

Recorded: 13 November 2015
Released: 14 November 2015
Duration: 90 minutes, 4 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes panelists Buck Field, James Garrison and Mike Mongo. Mike brings along surprise special guest Jim Muncy to talk about the recent law passed by the U.S. Senate that supports ownership of resources extracted from celestial bodies. From there, we talk about what we will need to be able to find and mine the richest, most accessible asteroids.


James Muncy
Senate Votes to Legalize Space Mining
Space Law and Space Resources
Martin Elvis on Asteroid Mining
How Many Ore Bearing Asteroids?
Asteroid Initiatives
The International Space Station's 3D Printer


Dan Dennett
Mike Mongo: The Mechanical by Ian Tregellis
Buck Field: The Void Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
James Garrison: Improvised Star Trek
Paul Carr: Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panel: Mike Mongo, James Garrison, Buck Field
Surprise Guest: James Muncy
Music: DJ Spooky

Friday, November 6, 2015

Episode 32 - The Science Fiction Sessions

Recorded: 6 November 2015
Released: 7 November 2015
Duration: 104 minutes, 28 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes David Grigg, Patrick Festa, James Garrison and Nick Nielsen to talk about
Science Fiction: what is it, what does it mean to each of us personally, and what is it good for? What is ti bad at? Among other things, we promise to do a Douglas Adams episode closer to Towel Day.


David Grigg on The Narratorium
An Exploration of Science Fiction

Big History: Why We Need to Teach the Modern Origin Story
The Problems with Big History and Turning Science into a Myth

Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness

Akira at IMDb

Nick Nielsen's blog post about the episode

Nick Lane: The Vital Question
Wadada Leo Smith
Scott Sigler's Alive
Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: David Grigg, Patrick Festa, James Garrison, Nick Nielsen
Music: DJ Spooky
Communications Platform: Google Hangouts on Air
Hardware: Shure, ART, Behringer, Apple
Software: Reaper, Soundflower, LineIn

The Unseen Podcast is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Episode 31 - Not Necessarily Monsters

Recorded: 30 October 2015
Released: 31 October 2015
Duration: 111 minutes, 33 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Spring Heeled Jack
Host James Garrison welcomes special guests C. Webb from The Paranormal Skeptic Academy and David Flora of the Blurry Photos podcast. The panel are Marsha Barnhart, Mike Bohler and Paul Carr. We talked abut cryptids, including Spring Heeled Jack, Bigfoot, Goat Man, Nessie, the Green Man, super soldiers, conspiracies, mangy Chihuahuas, and naked hairy people running around trailer parks. James is encouraged to write a book about the various things burned indelibly into his memory.


James Garrison's blog posts on cryptids:

Bigfoot, the BFRO, Finding Bigfoot, and a look at the evidence

Calling Bigfoot! Bigfoot, the BFRO, Finding Bigfoot and the evidence. (now with sounds!)
Cryptids for the Beginning Skeptic   


Host: James Garrison
Producer: Paul Carr
Special Guests: C. Webb, David Flora
Panelists: Marsha Barnhart, Mike Bohler, Paul Carr
Music: Halloween: Monster on Campus, Superfools: Not a Monster

The Unseen Podcast is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-alike license.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Episode 30 - The Practical Transhumanist

Recorded: 23 October 2015
Released: 24 October 2015
Duration: 86 minutes, 20 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr and the panel welcome Twin Cities transhumanist Tim Shank for a discussion what
Tim Shank
transhumanism means right now, not just off in the science fiction future. We discussed Tim's personal experiments with implants, smart drugs, and the future of human enhancement. We also struggled with what the definition of "human" is about to become.


Cambridge Brain Sciences
Nick Nielsen's blog about this Episode - with rich linkage.
Why are there Computer Chips in Tim Shank's Hands?
the 10% of your Brain Myth
Brain Stimulation  - TheMilitary's Mind-Zapping Project
Put Down the Smart Drugs

Designer Babies in Space
the Wow! Signal Podcast


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Special Guest: Tim Shank
Panelists: Adam Smith, Buck Field, Marsha Barnhart, Nick Nielsen
Music: DJ Spooky

The Unseen Podcast is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Episode 29 - I'm not saying it was Aliens

Recorded: 16 October 2015
But, It's Aliens!
Released: 17 October 2015
Duration: 101 minutes, 48 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes panelists Adam Smith, Buck Field, James Garrison and Mike Bohler to talk about the recent very strange light curves and follow up observations reported by Tabitha Boyajian, et. al. that has been sensationalized in the mainstream media to "Alien Megastructures." Somehow this diverges (drink!) into a discussion of woo woo entertainment television and one of its most obnoxious personalities.



Music: Dj Spooky
host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Mike Bohler, Buck Field, James Garrison, Adam Smith
Hardware: Shure, ART, Behringer, Apple
Software: Google Hangouts on Air, Soundflower, Reaper, Line In, OS X Yosemite

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Episode 28 - Solar System Exploration

Recorded: 9 October 2015
Released: 11 October 2015
Duration: 86 minutes, 20 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file
Cave on the Moon

Host Adam Synergy welcomes regular panelists Patrick Festa and Nick Nielsen to talk about the
present and future of solar system exploration.


NASA Selects Investigations for Future Key Planetary Mission
Russian/Soviet  Venus Missions
Let's Go Explore Venus!

Svalbard Seed Vault

Build a Supercomputer on the Moon

Lava Tube Moon Base
The Caves of the Moon

Mars Flyby

Nick Nielsen's blog entry about the episode


Host: Adam "Synergy" Smith
Panelists: Patrick Festa, Nick Nielsen
Producer: Paul Carr
Music: DJ Spooky
software: Google Hangouts on Air, Reaper

Friday, October 2, 2015

Episode 27 - The Mars One Candidates Respond

Recorded: 2 October 2015
Released: 3 October 2015
Duration:101 minutes, 8 seconds.

download the .mp3 audio file

In Episode 21, our panel expressed heavy skepticism about the Mars One plans to settle Mars. Shortly afterward, Ryan MacDonald e-mailed and took issue with some of things said on that Episode, so we invited him and his colleagues Dianne McGrath and Oscar Mathews to join us and explain the Mars One enterprise from their perspective.  Paul Carr is joined by  those three Mars One astronaut candidates, and panelists Adam "Synergy" Smith, Antonio Paris, David Grigg, and Patrick Festa.

We had a few technical glitches, as we suppose is inevitable when trying to connect 8 people on 3 continents, but I think you'll agree it's a good conversation about one way humanity might become a multi-planet civilization.


Episode 21: Mars One and Its Skeptics

The Paragon ECLSS Study and a Summary of Same
Ryan MacDonald's YouTube Channel

Perchlorate Removal
Real Martians: How to Protect Astronauts from Radiation on Mars


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Guests: Diane McGrath, Ryan MacDonald, Oscar Mathews
Panelists: Adam Smith, Antonio Paris, David Grigg, Patrick Festa
Music: DJ Spooky

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our new Patreon Support platform

We have added  a Patreon page for those listeners who want to help support this podcast with their spare change, similar to what we do for the Wow! Signal, except that this is a monthly - not per episode - pledge. Just to nag a bit, the best ways to support us are:

  • Help us spread the word with sharing episodes and reviews on popular aggregators such as iTunes.
  • Follow us on Twitter (we generally follow real people back), and retweet us from time to time. We retweet also.
  • Become a panelist. We want new panelists all the time. Come over to our G+ participant's community and knock on the door. We let almost everyone in, and new panelists have priority. Even if you can't be on a panel, you can contribute to the discussion of what topics we will cover that week.
  • The suggested monthly donation is $1 at Patreon. They make this easy for both of us. We don't want to be more than a little sliver of your charitable giving, though.  
  • Soon we'll have a Facebook page you can post on, and we already have a subreddit where we are happy to take listener comments, suggestions and critiques. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Episode 26 - What this podcast needs is more cowbell!

Recorded: 25 September 2015
Released: 26 September 2015
Duration: 107 minutes 24 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes veteran panelists Buck Field, James Garrison, Mike Bohler, Ciro Villa and
Patrick Festa to talk about the first half year of the podcast, where it's been, what the highlights were, and where it's going. Of course, this spins completely out of control into unrelated topics, like how much we should respect conspiracy theorists.

Each of our 19 panelists is thanked individually, and there is a plea for volunteers to co-produce and occasionally host the show. If interested, please e-mail us unseenpodcast  - at - gee-mail or comment on the blog post.


All the Unseen Podcast Episodes
All the Unseen Panelists
More Cowbell!
Nick Nielsen's Grand Strategy blog
Our video promo featuring Collin


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Buck Field, Ciro Villa, James Garrison, Mike Bohler, Patrick Fests
Music: DJ Spooky
Promotional and Blog Assistance: Mateusz Macias
Happy Feet: Collin

The Unseen Podcast is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Episode 25 - Meet Me on the Far Side of the Moon

Recorded: 18 September 2015
Backlit Pluto Image
Released: 19 September 2015
Duration:87 minutes, 24 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes Adam "Synergy" Smith, Nick Nielsen, Mateusz Macias, and James Garrison to the panel. The team talks about some recent developments in exoplanets science and the future of planet hunting. Some planets about M-dwarf stars may in fact be habitable. Would creatures evolving on the dark side of a habitable M-dwarf planet be able to develop technology? How long will itbe until we replace the artist's concepts with actual images of Earth-like exoworlds? Will telescopes on the lunar farside help?
In this episode we are trying a new protocol to keep from talking over each other. This led to one awkward pause at 37 minutes, but I think it was worth it. We'll keep refining this.

Erratum: This is not the Wow! Signal, but we hope to have some fresh content from the Wow!
Signal very soon to talk about.


ESA Scientist Ana Heras on the PLATO Mission 
S.A.G.A.Net astrobiologist Betul Kacar interviewed on the Wow! Signal
The WFIRST Mission

Nick Nielsen's version of events.


Host And Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam "Synergy" Smith, James Garrison, Nick Nielsen, Mateusz Macias
Music: DJ Spooky
Hardware: Shure, ART Pro, Behringer, Apple
Software: Reaper, Soundflower, LineIn, OS X Yosemite
Postprocessing: Auphonic
Hosting: Libsyn

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why this Podcast?

On September 25th, we will record Episode 26, looking back on the first six months of this podcast and towards its future. I wrote this post to put down my thoughts about just that, in terms of what drives me to produce it.

My experience of mission statements has been that of viscous ooze of liquid insincerity stiffened by a rehash of the tediously obvious. I have no interest in writing such a thing. However, I think it does do good to sit back and ask yourself from time to time “why am I doing this?”. After all, podcasting is not like parenting  - you can stop doing it whenever you want, and no one has any business being upset about it should you stop. Just as bands are better off breaking up after they have had their say, and not keep touring for forty years playing the same songs the same way, so podcasters who can not explain why they continue should admit this to themselves, and stop.

There are lots of possible reasons that people may start and continue a podcast, and they usually have little to do with the medium itself. Podcasts are undertaken to promote something or someone, to get a message out, to educate and inform, to sell advertiser’s products in exchange for entertainment, or just for fun. While I am not hostile to any of these motives, neither the Wow! Signal or the Unseen Podcast exist for any of these reasons. So, why then?  What is the purpose of the Unseen Podcast? Why do I pour more time than I have to spare, and a little money, and a fair bit of lost sleep into it?
The Wow! Signal began because I thought it could be the podcast that was missing - the one I wanted to hear that no one was doing. For a while, I thought that Seth Shostak’s podcast Are We Alone, complete with its ads for green lasers and telescope stores, was almost that, but he joined forces with the formidable Molly Bentley and went off in a different direction. At that point, I knew less than nothing about podcasting, but I had a deep intuitive sense of what I wanted the Wow! Signal to be, and how it would be different from any other podcast. The introduction to Episode 1 was my attempt to articulate that at the time:

I’m not a pessimist.  We uppity monkeys can, over time, puzzle through quite a lot, and adopt mind bending new concepts with a kind of rebellious joy.  We reject the limitations of being survival machines for our genes - limitations that constrain how we explore, but not whether we explore.  There is a great deal of confusion we can clear up, new knowledge we can hope to acquire, and best of all, I continue to hope for much better questions.  It won't be quick or easy.  Even the most tentative answers to "who's there?" will take generations to acquire.  All we can do is start; and persist, and be ready for when the universe comes knocking.  That is why we have named this podcast after a single transient event that MAY have been a faint hint that we’re not alone.  

Now, almost three years and nearly 30000 downloads later, the Wow! Signal is still not exactly the podcast I want to listen to, but it is starting to find its way, and I don’t think it has much competition.

The problem I had with the Wow! Signal is that, although great guests agreed to appear, and the listenership seemed healthy,  I was failing to build a community around that podcast. I wanted people to interact with me, the podcast, the subject matter, and each other. My efforts in this regard had been a failure, and I admitted to myself that I didn’t know how to go about it. The subreddit was a ghost town, and the Google Plus community for listeners was growing, but had very poor engagement. I had almost no response to calls for questions or comments. I even invited listeners to come on the show and speak their minds, and no one was interested. I desperately wanted the podcast to be more of a conversation within a community than a monologue with interviews.

I decided to try an experiment, and that was to spin off a podcast from the Wow! Signal that is as completely open as I know how to make it, and to get people directly involved by appearing on the podcast. It would be an unedited, unscripted (i.e. uncontrolled), hour or so with a panel of whoever wanted to participate, talking about whatever they found most interesting.  That was the genesis of the Unseen Podcast. I announced that the first episode would be April 3rd 2015, and I recruited physicist Ben Tippett to appear to give our discussion a little focus and direction. I recruited Marsha Barnhart, Ciro Villa and Nick Nielsen to appear as the first panel. It worked. Ben was terrific, and the panel and I asked most of our burning questions. I was encouraged.

This was all about starting the conversation within a community that I only imagined existed, and that we are still discovering and may still be forming. This is an active, controversial, civil, but spirited conversation about the human future, and where or when in that future we may meet with other technological beings who may be presently wondering about their future. We are, of course, getting a lot of things wrong, but if we approach these big subjects with the requisite humility, we can hope for and encourage progress, and to be wrong in far more productive ways as we go forward.

So, the Unseen Podcast is just one public voice of this conversation in which anyone can participate. We are not a soapbox, a classroom, or a crusade. Other people engage in science education far better than we can hope to do so, and we leave that to them with our blessing. We use science as a searchlight to illuminate a tiny corner of that immense darkness before us. We look here and there, and we have questions that stay with us night and day. We feel a powerful need to talk about these questions, and we can. Anyone can.

We will get out of this conversation what we put into it. That is why I am doing what I can to support it, but of course, I will need a great deal of help. If everything depends primarily on me - my efforts, my ideas, my words - that is a certain failure. 

I hope we can begin by growing our listener community from hundreds to thousands, and to have them engage with us. We will look for a high degree of engagement with listeners in online forums. I will look for broader panel participation, with some new people and one or two veterans on each panel. I want more women and young people on the panels. I want several different people to try their hands at hosting, and maybe one or two to try co-producing. We’ve had stellar guests so far, and I want more of them, every 3 or 4 episodes. I want to see lively and creative engagement with topic threads by a wide section of the community. I’m not going to ask anyone for money, but time and energy, yes, I will ask.

The ideal panelist on the Unseen Podcast is someone who knows what they don’t know, and finds what they don’t know most fascinating. Come on, that’s you, isn’t it? Want to join in?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Episode 24 - Define Panspermia

Recorded: 11 September 2015
Released: 12 September 2015
Duration: 114 minutes, 36 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes Patrick Festa, Buck Field, James Garrison, and Adam "Synergy" Smith for
a discussion of the latest ideas of panspermia, or how life might migrate between planets or even between stars. The latest paper by Lin and Loeb is brought up. The discussion morphs into one about the history and philosophy of science and then back to panspermia.

Erratum: HIV is actually a Lentivirus, which is an RNA virus that carries with it the enzymes necessary to make DNA in the host cell.


Lin and Loeb: Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

The Europa Report
Moving the Goalposts Defined
Interview with Nora Noffke on Martian Microbial Mats
Interview with Astrobiologist David Grinspoon
Red Rain
DNA Viruses
Are Viruses Alive?
Did Gilbert Levin Discover Evidence for Life on Mars?

The Wow! Signal


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panel: Patrick Festa, Buck Field, James Garrison, and Adam "Synergy" Smith
Music: DJ Spooky

Monday, September 7, 2015

Episode 23 - Reforming Science

Recorded: 7 September 2015
Released: 7 September 2015
Duration: 73 minutes

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes panelists Gita Jaisinghani, Lacerant Plainer, Adam "Synergy" Smith, and Nick Nielsen. The subject is the soul searching now going on within science about reproducibility, the publication of negative results, and flaws in the peer review system. A recent study in Science on the reproducibility of results in psychology triggered our discussion about how science can converge faster onto reliable confirmation of falsification of hypotheses. Can the public trust science?

Erratum: Panelist Nick Nielsen is from the United States, although this is a majority non-US panel.


How Shoddy Medical Research Can Harm Us All
Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science
Bleak Verdict on Validity of Psychology Experiments
Challenges in Irreproducible Research
Dan Mirman - Reproducibility Project: a front row seat
Nature Methods: Enhancing Reproducibility
Publication Bias
All Trials
Nature: Registered clinical trials make positive findings vanish
Science Exchange


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Gita Jaisinghani, Nick Nielsen, Lacerant Plainer, and Adam Smith
Music: DJ Spooky

Friday, September 4, 2015

Episode 22 - Report from Starship Congress

Recorded: 4 September 2015
Released: 5 September 2015
Duration: 86 minutes, 4 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Rachel Armstrong
Host Paul Carr is joined by the panel, including Nick Nielsen and Mike Mongo who report after a
long day at Starship Congress. Mike has his friends Rachel Armstrong and Andreas Tziolas with him, and we talk about interstellar flight, what it means, and how we think it might be possible.


Episode 21 - Mars One and Its Critics
Starship Congress 2015

For and Against Method

The Cosmic Neutrino Background


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panel: Mike Bohler, Buck Field, James Garrison, Mike Mongo, Nick Nielsen, Adam "Synergy" Smith
Spontaneous Special Guests: Rachel Armstrong, Andreas Tziolas
Music: DJ Spooky

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Episode 21 - Mars One and Its Skeptics

Recorded: 28 August 2015
Released: 29 August 2015
Duration: 89 minutes, 24 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host James Garrison welcomes Mateusz Macias and Patrick Festa to discuss Mars One, and the
balance of risks in colonizing Mars. Does Mars One have a good plan, or a plan at all? Can they admit they are wrong? This spins off into a tangent about atheism, skepticism, and religion.


Mars One
Mars One Debates MIT (The Verge)
Mars One Debate at the Mars Society Convention
Inspiration Mars
Mistakes Were Made, but Not by Me 
Pamela Gay: This I Believe
Michael Shermer: Why Smart People Believe Weird Things

The Wow! Signal


Host: James Garrison
Panelists: Mateusz Macias, Patrick Festa
Producer: Paul Carr
Music: DJ Spooky
Website and Promotion: Mateusz Macias
Software: Reaper 5.01, Google Hangouts, Soundflower,Line In,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Episode 20 - Astronomer Pamela Gay

Recorded: 21 August 2015
Released: 22 August 2015
Duration: 72 minutes, 57 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file
Dr. Pamela Gay

Co-hosts Paul Carr and Adam Smith welcome special guest, astronomer Pamela Gay. Dr. Gay is well known in the astronomy community for Astronomy Cast and her direction of We asked her about Cosmoquest, women in science, and much more.


The Astronomy Cast
Pamela Gay's Blog
Stuart Robbins: Moon Research
Second Life
RR Lyrae Variable Stars
The Wow! Signal Podcast

Interview with Seth Shostak (2013)

Update: Pamela got her grant.


Hosts: Paul Carr and Adam "Synergy" Smith
Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Antonio Paris, Ciro Villa, Mateusz Macias, and Patrick Festa
Music: DJ Spooky and George Hrab

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Episode 19 - Mysterious Alien Worlds

Recorded: 14 August 2015
Released: 15 August 2015
Duration: 88 minutes, 52 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr with Adam "Synergy" Smith, Ciro Villa and Patrick Festa discuss some recent
Artist's conception of 51 Eridani's Jupiter like planet
discoveries in the exoplanet world, neutrino astronomy, gravity waves, the names of exoplanets, and other things.

We apologize for all the background noise during the hangout. We'll try to improve on that in future.


WASP-47: A Hot Jupiter System with Two Additional Planets Discovered by K2
Astronomers Glimpse a Young Jupiter
Circumbinary exoplanet Kepler 453b
Interview with Planet hunting legend Geoff Marcy.

Ice Cube sees highest energy neutrino ever found

The Machine Readable Bonner Durchmusterung
The Planetary Habitability Lab - The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog

The Wow! Signal


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam Smith, Ciro Villa, Patrick Festa
Music: DJ Spooky

Friday, August 7, 2015

Episode 18 - Choosing Science

Recorded: 7 August 2015
Released: 8 August 2015
Duration:93 minutes 48 seconds

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Host Paul Carr is Joined by Patrick Festa, James Garrison, and Nick Nielsen. We discuss Nick's latest blog entry on Folk Tales and Scientific Progress, then move on to discussing science literacy and critical thinking. We make fun of Deepak Chopra and have praise for Brian Cox and Emily Lakdawalla.

Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society

Folk Concepts and Scientific Progress
Folk Concepts of Scientific Civilization

Seven Month Old Babies Show Awareness of Other's Viewpoints

Emily Lakdawalla's Blog

Ben Goldacre's Bad Science Blog

Brian Cox's website

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: Patrick Festa, James Garrison,Nick Nielsen,
Music: DJ Spooky
Hardware: Audio Technica, Art ProBehringer, Apple
Software: Reaper, Google Hangouts, Soundflower, Linein, OS X Yosemite, Auphonic