The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Reviews For The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

I love the subject matter. I cannot stand the way the hosts present it for many reasons. They come off as preachy and condescending. Even the sound of their voices is grating.
I was shocked by any negative Cara reviews. Cara is brilliant. Naysayers just don’t like smart women. If she were a man no one would complain about her talking a lot, interrupting or her laugh. Come on people. She has educated and insightful remarks.She is excited about information. Double standard for men. Get used to it, men. Podcasts are giving smart, talented women a voice and a platform to be heard. Need more? Talk Nerdy with Cara.
My most listened to podcast of the last 10 years. Steve is a human encyclopedia, Cara is an intellectual dynamo, Bob is my favorite Uber geek, and Jay and Evan are very insightful as well s as hilarious. I’ve met them at a conference and they are great down to earth people.
A long time listener that has the highest repect for this podcast and it's hosts.
I really like the podcast and have been listening consistently for a fairly long time. Rebecca was probably my favorite rouge, but then she was replaced with cara. I wasn’t immediately against cara but since she’s been on, she seems to take up a hugely disproportionate share of the discussion. A lot of the time it’s just cara and Steve taking to each other - or, when it gets really bad, just cara interjecting every 20 seconds or so. I honestly just skip through her talking sometimes. I know I’m biased against her (I just don’t like her personality, I think), but it really feels like the cara and Steve show now. She already has a podcast of her own, it’s not like this is the only outlet in which you can get her opinion or reporting. I respect what she does and I see that she works very hard doing it, I’m just not a fan and I wish I could hear more (or at least an equal amount) of the other rouges.
I'm always learning something. Very informative
There is no one with a more condescending know it all attitude than Stephen Novella. Today’s episode included a discussion of Avi Loeb’s latest book. Clearly Novella did not read the book. While it’s highly likely that Loeb is wrong about Oumuamua, he has a lot of interesting things to say about the search for extraterrestrial life. Novella should stick to what he knows. For an in-depth discussion with Avi Loeb listen to Sean Carroll’s podcast.
This is the perfect podcast for me to listen to only daily walks because afterwards, I feel like both my brain and my body got a workout. I like the way they make science accessible to a non-scientist who as a child wanted to be a scientist like me. It’s jammed packed with all sorts of topics.
Great show provides my weekly scientific information.
Gosh, rather flabbergasted by the lack of knowledge and expertise the hosts are bringing to the table. It’s all superficial at best. Instead of asking the right questions when they have guests, they often chime in incessantly about things they obviously understand. “I believe pottery is about 10,000 years old.” And it goes on and they all make some guesses. They frequently toss around terms they can’t explain and will simply say “look it up.”
Good content but you must understand that they are liberals first and scientists second. Everything is presented through their liberal lens.
Listened for a while and really enjoyed their insight on science. It definitely will make you look at things different but they’ve went far left political and act like they’re social justice crusaders. Anyone want something better than this try Astronomy Cast.
I have been listening to this podcast on and off for many years. Looking back, I feel fortunate to have found it during a particularly difficult point in my life; it played a formative role in my present outlook - and, really, in the person that I have become. I was disheartened to see a number of negative comments in the recent reviews. From the beginning - and still, this is a podcast created by (and for) people that have a genuine love and enthusiasm for science and reason. If you find science and reason inconvenient to your ideology or political leanings - maybe you’re on the wrong side of the facts. I can’t recommend this podcast highly enough.
Love these guys. I went to a live show and supported them on Patreon. Over the last year, their left leaning views tainted the podcast to the point I stopped supporting them. It is still a fantastic pod, but I can’t give it five starts. To be an effective science communicator you can’t alienate half the audience as they have done.
Used to listen to every show, but dropped out when they went political a couple years ago. Checked in again with a couple recent expisodes. Some tremendous stuff mixed with a lot of social justice, cheap-shot attacks, dumb segments and a lot of sanctimony. Lots of criticism of easy targets like anti-vaxxers. That's just lazy. I have no idea what Evan is doing there. Barely knows his topics, most of his additions are just agreeing with others. He must be a brother in law. Cara is extremely talented (or just works very hard) dealing with complex topics, but her smugness and social justice spin on just about everything are extremely annoying. She should be too smart to let herself become just another NPR host. The boys are fine and Steve is a gem The noisy and some word thing they do is just dumb. Done for 2021 with this. It was such a terrific science show a few years ago, I'll check in again in 2022.
This podcast opened my eyes to critical thinking and was the lauchpad for me to leave the mormon church. I owe my future second Saturdays along with 10% of my income to the rational, skeptical, and science based thinking skills that I picked up just by listening to the thought process of each person on the show. Keep up the great work!
My favorite podcast! Refreshing focus on truth and science.
Hands down the best podcast to make love to.
What a shame. One of the better science podcasts has now joined the political trash heap . You present the show as science focused, but the constant interjection of your political ideologies has ruined this show for me. If this is now the “woke” science show present it that way vs. pretending to be something else.
Long time listener but the podcast jumped the shark about when “AI” became trendy (again). Discussions on that topic demonstrated the caste’s propensity to pontificate based on zero knowledge or training. Extract topics the cast knows nothing about (yet immodestly babbles on about) and all that is left is a cursory review of the latest pop science news one can get from a number of sources such as Science News.
Content is pretty good. No idea why the stupid lady is on there apparently to laugh in a sound that sounds like chalkboard scratch if she doesn’t stop I’ll have to stop downloading this podcast.
If you like science and skeptical, critical thinking, this show is a must! Thank you SGU for being a defining force in my life. I became a secondary science teacher in part because of the work you have done, and have become a better critical thinker because of the content you have put out throughout the past few decades. My thanks to everyone on the SGU, both past and present. This podcast is my favorite skeptical science podcast. I’ve been listening since at least 2009. I love the back and forth banter mixed in with the segments. I also admire the editorial control over the SGU, and Steve and Cara in particular for calling out both liberal and conservative nonsense on both sides the isle. Most of the negative reviews you will see on Apple Podcasts have quibbles with the show tackling politically or socially sensitive topics, or have a personal axe to grind when the show covered their sacred cow topic in a way they didn’t agree with politically, despite the science or evidence. Some of the reviews are clearly and blatantly sexist, attacking Cara’s voice or presence on the show. I’m writing this review in the hope that you ignore these people, and check out one of the best science podcasts on the internet. You won’t regret it.
Cara seems to act like this show is a one on one between her and Steve, whom she regularly nterrupts anyway. She seems to dominate every discussion, occupying every second of space to express something or another. Even more annoying is her incessant laugh/giggle after she says something. It's a reliable verbal tic, if you will, and quite off-putting.
I use to have a huge list that I listened to. This one is the last remaining podcast I listen to religiously. I love so much about this podcast. However since (I think) episode 801 where I heard everything anti-trump and “trump entire political base...” I am now questioning if this podcast isn’t infiltrated with the normal political hate and biases. I thought I understood the skeptical movement to be able to see that every president is loved and hated and every president does good and bad... all depending on who you ask to varying degrees and regardless of political party. I honestly thought this movement would look at each and every event with its own light but the other day I heard, well as I said earlier everything never-trump and anti-republican. I must have misunderstood a lot more than what I thought.
I listened to this podcast for years and enjoyed it, but they lost me when they doubled down on Cara’s assertion that computer scientists are racist. The show is no longer an escape from the politics of today, as their editorializing has become more politically partisan.
Lack of editing leaves this podcast sounding like a local morning radio show filling time with uninteresting banter without structure. Grateful for the intention but not the podcast.
Listener since 2009 reviewing for the first time: PROS: Excellent coverage of science news from more focused sources, presented with appropriate skepticism of PR-speak and mainstream science reporting hype. Generally good interviews. Wide topic spread, including regular revisits to the core critical thinking principles. CONS: Minus one star for the recent return of culture war issues, e.g., “mansplaining,” references to “old white men” as an attempt to poison the well, etc. Note that I am not referring to the general condemnation of public ignorance or certain politicians who are ardently anti-science, but tangentially related social issues; the crew still does a great job of smacking down woo from both the left (anti-GMO, anti-nuclear) and right (global warming denialism). Minus a second star for the amount of chit-chat; you can generally start at about five minutes in for content. As a thumb rule, no one is interested in your audio/video setup or your kids but you and your close friends.
I've been listening to the Skeptics' Guide since late 2006, and have been hooked on it ever since. Steve Novella and the Rogues are living proof that skeptics are far from the cynics and naysayers that some make them out to be. The show is an absolute blast, as much as anything about science can be considered absolute! Complaints about politics on the show are misplaced, as critical thinking, science literacy, and media literacy ought to be applied to all domains, including science policy, egregiously anti-science political claims, and grand conspiracy theories, especially those that influence politics, not just a few narrow silos or scientific topics. The show has been fundamentally nonpartisan since the beginning, and remains so now. It’s one of the things that makes the show’s dynamics work so well. Rock on, Rogues!
I used to love the show and the interactions that hosts have on air. The podcast was dedicated to promoting scientific literacy and critical thinking. Unfortunately, this year the podcast turned into political activism. The Holly Trinity - environmentalism, oppression and strict quarantine. Plus, Steve and Cara dominate the discussion. I start to feel bad that almost every idea that Jay has is being killed on the spot. I have PhD in chemistry and am quite scientifically literate. There are other science podcasts. Good luck, guys! I hope that our roads will cross again.
This show’s quality and validity has degraded in the last few years due to the injection of political ideology. This comes mainly from Cara’s injection of “woke,” identity politics garbage; equity not equality; anti-sexism and anti-racism; “science from different perspectives;” representation over quality; white fragility; old white men jokes. No one on the show pushes back, and often gurgle some agreement. Go back to talking about science.
Typical format starts with the week's science news, any corrections from previous shows, followed by a few game-type segments. Hosts explain topics by laying out evidence and reason instead of simply saying “this is true, deal with it.” (Hence, they are not politicians.) Those that complain it being political or “the girl ruined the show” are displaying their own fallacious thought processes. The podcast uses the best available evidence to discuss current topics, aka being a skeptic. They aren’t “woke” or “lefties,” they are using the process of science to analyze the world. They rip apart the left all the time! If people don’t like that the podcast explains why something incorrect that the listener holds dear, too bad! It’s called science; it doesn’t care what you think. If the evidence doesn’t support your feelings then your feelings are flat out WRONG.
I’ve been listening to this podcast for 13 years. I’ve never missed a single episode. It is a wonderful podcast, it changed my life, and it is only about the science. Politics come up when they are directly anti-science, and since this podcast battles anti-science, it makes sense Trump’s name comes up more often than presidential administrations of the past. Never has any political figure harbored so many intentionally harmful unscientific views, way beyond the standard climate change denial and political games. Cara is beginning to turn me off of the show, however. When I hear her voice, I am beginning to skip forward 30 seconds, until someone else speaks. She certainly has the right to speak, and her topics are generally well researched, and she is highly intelligent. The other hosts, however, are careful not to interrupt. Like Trump, Cara doesn’t seem able to stop herself, even when Steve is talking, which is ridiculous. Even if she isn’t actually saying anything substantive, she seems to feel the need to make little comments during every single other host’s segment, like a drawn out “Mmmmhmmm,” or “Yeaahhhh.” It’s really too bad. In fact, it often destroys the show’s narrative and flow. I sincerely hope that Cara becomes too busy with her other projects and leaves the show, or that Steve respectfully guides Cara into more respectful and considerate behavior, like most of our parents and teachers did when we were kids.
If you like succinct explanations of current science news you’ll love this podcast. Dr. Novella is a neurologist and his co-hosts are science communicators as well.
Used to be a really good, factual and scientific show. Now it’s a lefty podcast with some science thrown in. Bummer.
If you like science give it a try.
These guys are supposed to be skeptics? How about being skeptical of all sides of a story. If the rona news isn’t doom and gloom and aligns with their woke, left, “the world is crumbling because of trump” perspectives, it must be false. Complete trash now. No wonder I stopped listening last year.
Love the show, but please include actual talk topics in titles not just the number.
Love listening to your array of interesting personalities. I depend on this podcast for the straight story, and science or fiction is a hoot. There’s just one problem, and it’s that one of the crew is an up talker. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. I listen anyway, because I’ve been hooked since my son turned me on to podcast in 2006.
Used to be okay. Now it’s not. The girl has an annoying voice and injects her political beliefs into every show.
Science-based thinking is our last, best hope to create a world with less suffering and more opportunity. Learn how to be a rational, logical thinker here at The SGU. Your escape to reality!
If you’re a racist, think women belong in the kitchen and have a slight rightward lean, this ain’t your f*<€ing podcast. However, This is my favorite podcast of all the pods being cast! Cast on my friends!
I’m a new listener and am enjoying the podcast. My one quibble is that the podcast is just too long for my taste. One quick fix would help. Please consider adding a time index to the show notes so listeners can prioritize the material they want the most. Thanks for all the work that goes into this show.
I used to be a Patreon Patron, but cancelled. Sam Harris now gets that sub fee. Still giving 5 Stars because I've been listening for over a decade and still have some loyalty, but this is not the same podcast I used to love and SGU needs to know why. Cara has ruined the podcast because she can't stop herself from injecting politics and opinions. The rest of SGU follows along with these opinons which leads to ridiculous discussions, flaunting moral certitiude around feminism, race, fat-shaming, etc. Look at all the 1-Star reviews for this podcast saying the same thing and listen to them! I don't dislike Cara and we need more female skeptics, but she's just a bad fit for an apolitical science podcast. Also... No one wants a segment where you just read the definition of a word...


Definitely worth a listen, it seems that now that skepticism has hit some politically charged topics people don’t like to be so skeptical. The show is great, I don’t agree with everything 100% but it’s still a great show that fills my skeptical tank once per week. Even when topics that I don’t agree come up it’s fun to question myself and see why I don’t agree if I’m being skeptical or my feelings are in the way.
The most even-handed, deep dive into various science articles and logical fallacies anywhere. And fun. And interesting. And never intentionally talks above the level of the audience. I love this show.


That whole rant about qanon and the Jews was time I will never get back. You guys need to stop with the crazy. You are making it hard for the rest of us to call ourselves Democrats. Anyone sane that listened to this episode,7/25/2020, has got to just wonder who gave the intellectually challenged people a podcast. All that nonsense is the reason our country is falling apart. Grow up.
This is a must listen to anyone trying to keep up with the main science news of the week, EVERY WEEK, no joke, they never take vacations from uploading episodes! Plus they can be very funny.