The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Reviews For The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

I have been listening to and supporting these amazing people for over a decade and I will never stop. They host amazing guests, play fun games and have irresistible chemistry. You will be hard pressed to find a group of people more dedicated to reason and science than this incredible panel of Skeptics. Every week this group of family and friends, led by Dr. Steve Novella, peels back the layers of reality to get to a closer approximation of the truth. I have laughed so hard it hurt and I have wept alone at work while my co-workers stared at me uncomfortably. If you are looking for a way to calibrate your baloney detector, you cannot find a better podcast. I highly recommend that you start with the latest episodes. However, do yourself and your skeptical toolbox a favor and download the very first episode. Go on a bold and inspirational journey with these pioneers of scientific education.
I've been listening for over six years, but just recently became a patron (oops). The value of this podcast? The games like science or fiction, who's that noisy, and the fact that members of the panel can pitch particular science stories all make the show lively and entertaining. Also, the emphasis on peer review, diving into the quality (or lack thereof) of research studies, confrontation of fakery, and promoting real open-mindedness - change your mind in the face of evidence - as opposed to "Goop" type open-mindedness, are all terrific. Changed me.
I wonder how many people that complain about Cara are men vs. women. I believe that Cara is actually quite wonderful. While I don’t think that they are experts on every topic they touch, they don’t have to be! As long as they do their research and provide us with a lovely summary of interesting science topics, I trust that others that listen to the show will correct them if necessary. The show is truly great! And I like Cara’s choice of topics. As a woman in science, it’s funny to me that people find it difficult to stomach her “know it all” personality, but not Steven’s or Bob’s or Evan’s or Jays’s?! So if you want digestible science news and a fun thinking game at the end of every show.. watch SGU!
This traditional white male trying to get a better perspective on cultural issues is grateful for Cara’s voice here. Thanks for stepping up and talking about cultural issues with respect to the telescopes in Hawaii, for example. Thank you, Cara, for being willing to do this labor. Guys, stay humble.
Love the show, it’s my favorite of all the podcasts I listen to. I was just reading some of the reviews and noticed that some were critical of Cara, which I found interesting. I think Cara has been a good addition to the show, but what was interesting to me is how many people leveled criticisms of Cara (she’s a know it all, she interrupts, she sometimes says things that are wrong, she laughs too much, etc.) that could equally apply to any of the men on the show, including Steve. But for some reason all these people only notice it in Cara? Can’t imagine why...
These guys keep it real
Good podcast. Would prefer more info and less giggling, idle banter and self promotion. Comedians your not. There are plenty of comedy podcast. Please stick to science.
Exceptional level of research & intellectual integrity in science communication. Long-time subscriber.
Show rocks and Cara is hot.
Turned it off and unsubscribed when I listened to a segment where a host was describing irruption in animal populations with a complete lack of understanding of what they were talking about. It’s not necessary to know everything but you can preface what you are saying by a statement that you don’t have the whole story and you will research it further. Basic misunderstanding of life cycles of certain species and an amateur’s conflation of other unrelated species. If they think that’s okay, how can I be sure about other subjects they discuss that I know very little about?
I’ve been listening for over a year now, and this is still one of my favorite podcasts. I’m not sure why but I’m always sucked into paying attention this show. I love learning about news items across various fields of science, and being challenged in what I think about controversial topics. Reviewers- please stop bashing Cara, we need more women communicating science and I’m sorry if you’re not used that. This podcast is not inherently political, but the panel’s hand is forced to discuss topics when political action is taken based on non-scientific belief systems. It is important to call out pseudoscience, political or not. Keep up the great work guys!
Great podcast - another reason to be happy it's Saturday morning! Informative, entertaining and humorous.
Same as others have pointed out. Love the show, love the science, love the presentation. Only if Cara doesn't ruin it. There's really a ton of issues with her, so I won't dwell on all of them. I didn't realize it at first, especially why I was so irritated at times while listening to the show. And then, during one of the recent episodes it was a totally different show. It then dawned on me that the difference was that Cara was not there. And what a big difference it was. No one was giving us her "pure", "know it all" opinion, no one was interrupting other speakers, etc. Sorry to say this Cara, but you either bring the show back to Earth or, there are quite a few talented female science presenters out there. Other than that, the show has aged quite well. Good job guys.
All the people writing bad reviews of this show because of Cara are really telling on themselves and might want to take a deep look inwards. The show is amazing and I look forward to it every week. They go beyond the sensational headlines that are pervasive in science reporting and help to understand what’s actually going on. I am a better and smarter person for having stumbled upon this show.
A force multiplier podcast. It's entertaining and informative, but also the subject matter will make you a better thinker, which will help you in all areas of life.
Great analysis of weekly science news. Also has a solid reminder that the skepticism is everyone’s role in today’s world.
Entertaining and informative. I always learn something new with each episode. The group are amazing and although the content is scientific, they all have a sense of humour. I’ve been listening for about 9 years on Android devices but just got an iPhone and this is the first podcast I’m adding to my new device. Although all segments are great, Science or Fiction is my fav’.
Let me preface with this: I haven’t listened in a while, like someone else mostly because of Cara. I liked her at first but didn’t mesh quite like early Rebecca and it’s hard to replace. To be fair I stopped listening in Rebecca’s last year before coming back with Cara because Rebecca too had become intolerable. Topics now are very science oriented and don’t hit the skepticism like they used to. I know there are only so many ways to cover UFOs and it’s hard to do for every week for the last 10+ years but newer skeptic topics seem to be lost somewhere and pushed to the side for a science topic. I love science and this is a big reason I got into science (started out as a history major...these guys made me a chemist and material scientist my freshman year), but I love the journey of science and reasoning of it more than just listening to a simplified nature article that misses the nuances. I highly recommend the first 5-6 years especially first 2 because it’s more off the cuff and developing. When it was a podcast for NESS and not the broader public. Another aside the guys are amazing personally they went out of their way for a present for my now husband when we first started dating and it’s still on our coffee table and we display it proudly. I’ve met Rebecca Watson on a handful of occasions and she is also very nice and interesting but became to political for me personally. TLDR: great people who make the podcast, if you like a science podcast listen to the latest ones if you want to hear skepticism and learn listen to the early years.
I stopped listening to this podcast primarily because of Cara Santa Maria. Anyone can ask questions, but when you are attempting to explain something out of your field, it is NOT okay to create false narratives that you think make a cohesive story. Particularly when it comes to biological sciences, it is very clear that she has no idea what she's talking about. Which is fine until she says things that are false in an attempt to make sense of things. Very disappointing that this show has a large following and spreading false information on topics like brain mapping and generic research.
This is the one I make sure I listen to every week. It's also one of the few I support financially. It's an easy, fun way to learn one of life's most vital skills: critical thinking.
I learn so much from this show. I inadvertently learned that I’m very good at trivia games and this podcast is part of why.
Been listening to SGU for almost a decade now. Great for people curious about skepticism and also for those already steeped in the community.
From a mind so open my brain was falling out to a solid foundation in reality, and they kept me laughing the whole way!
Like most forms of media today, this show has turned into just more Trump-hating, liberal propaganda. A political echo chamber. Sad.
Critical thinking, science news, entertainment, Star Trek references, and so much more. I don’t know what I would do without the chance to hang out with Steve, Bob, Cara, Jay, and Evan every week. I’m sure they hear this quite frequently, but this podcast changed my life. Did I mention you should listen to this podcast? The best part is you can listen to it anywhere! Training for marathons, driving halfway across the country, getting ready in the morning, flying to Chile — you name it, I’ve done it. I recommend it to everyone I meet. So hey, stranger: Listen to this one! This review has had multiple exclamation points removed, but I want to make sure everyone reading this knows that I’m honored and excited to share my thoughts about the SGU. So don’t panic, grab your towel, and listen now.
Gang, please fix this show. The openings with all the introductions and advertising for your events is getting nuts. Last show (700) was almost 15 minutes in before you got to any content. And can you cut down on all the cutsy banter just a bit? Nothing wrong with a bit of this, but it's really gotten too much. Finally, a tip. When I look for a podcast to play, I first go to the title. Every other one I listen to puts the topic in the title. With yours, I have to open it, so many times i've skipped over it (yes, I'm that lazy).
I once wrote..."Great show... Been listening for years and it constantly delivers. Thanks!" My current opinion... The once skeptical innovators and a sanity check for thinkers has turned arrogant and agenda based. They use the name of skepticism to support a belief structure for which they have NO skeptical view. The show should be called "Church Novella".
I have been listening to the SGU for a long time, and went back through to the beginning as well. I have learned SO much! The Rogues introduced me to skepticism and I realized how faulty my thinking was. While I loved science, I didn't understand it at all. I have now completely fallen down a million rabbit holes of learning science, skepticism, how memory works, and how biased we all are, as well as thousands of other topics. Thank you so much, SGU! You do the best work. You are making the world a much better place. :)
After reading the excellent SGU book I decided to listen to the podcast. The book is richly informative, the podcast is fluff. Listened to several shows and they all seem to be little more than the cast just joking with each other. Reminded me of sitting next to a table of frat boys. Almost no actual content. Maybe I just randomly picked some of the weaker episodes, but I found very little more than a bunch of people sitting around making small talk. Is this all there is?
Sometimes they touch on interesting things and other times they drone on about uninteresting things. As far a skeptical podcasts go, I prefer Monster Talk and Skeptoid.
It's an interesting experience, listening to the same podcast for years and growing and changing alongside them. Steve and Cara are the best science communicators, Jay the best goof and every-person, but it is the group interaction that makes it a fun, warm and intelligent podcast.
Without a doubt this podcast has changed the way I think in positive ways. We don’t have enough of an emphasis on critics thinking in the world today and this show is an oasis of evidence-based brilliance.
Excellent podcast. Been listening for years.
Yes there are other podcasts. But then, there’s the SGU. Dr. Steve Novella and the Rogues have been pushing out quality entertainment, popular science, and critical thinking since almost before podcasts were a thing. Today they are on top of their game - producing fun content with a level of intellectual challenge few other popular shows achieve. Also, the addition of Carla Santa Maria to the cast means we’re not just listening to a bunch of old white guys speculating about time travel and making Star Wars jokes (although we are). Listen and learn, nerdos.
Incredibly good podcast, keeps you thinking and provides frequent golden nuggets of wisdom.
This podcast provides rock-solid techniques for how to train your mind to evaluate claims critically, and how to see the red flags and intellectual missteps of bad arguments and credulous thought. If everyone was required to spend an hour a week listening to this podcast, the world would be a much better place.
Love the knowledge I’ve gained from this show over the years. Not funny but that’s not the point either. Honestly I’m writing because after 5 minutes of scrolling through reviews at maximum velocity it was still 10 years ago so just fun to shout into the void. 4/5 because sometimes steven dismisses things prematurely. Always qualifies his dissent adequately but i would like a bit more optimism.. and every feedback segment is framed as “this person is wrong, here’s why” often accurate — just bothers me
SGU has gone back to the intersectional feminism of the Watson days. Stopped listening after Cara proclaimed “Mansplaining!” When someone disagreed with her. I waited 3 weeks for a retraction that never came. Good bye SGU.
If you don’t like being fooled; if you yearn to know what's real; and if you can take an honest, critical look at your own beliefs and assumptions, skepticism is for you.
They pull bad headlines from the internet and proceed to discuss them, then immediately begin “tearing them down”. They talk like some reporter’s take on a study is authoritative, and tear that down, not the study, which is obvious they never read. They don’t even finish the original story. In trying to tear it down, they misrepresent science and use obvious logical fallacies (one of them actually said “if it was worth it, we would already be doing it” yeah, that bad). They don’t know their subject matter. They think they do good research if they go to the second page of Google results. Some of the basic science mistakes they make are things you would have learned in 2nd grade science. Don’t understand how they hold themselves up as experts, when their knowledge is recently obtained from the internet, superficial in nature, and often erroneous.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, but this is the only one I've listened to consistently for several years! The SGU consistently puts out quality content, and have been for something like 11 years; I don't know how they do it on top of full-time jobs. Their intro, "Your escape to reality" was literally an escape to reality for me when I was working on a biodynamic farm, and surrounded by woo. This is a great podcast for staying up to date on science news, honing your skeptical chops, and just enjoying the comraderie of people I've never met, but who've come to feel like friends. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Even if you don't like the topics of the first episode you try, all of them are different, and I promise you will ultimately learn tools to better evaluate information for yourself.
Good informal podcast
I’ve been listening to this podcast for over 10 years and have learned so much from the SGU. I also contribute to their Patreon. However it’s getting difficult to get through the podcasts when Cara is on the show. She’s constantly interrupting the others, and her know-it-all manner of speaking irritates me to no end. I wouldn’t discourage others from listening because the content of the show is so important. Steven is a great host and I love Science or Fiction. I just wish they could even out the presentation so I don’t have to fast forward through segments.
Now with 100% more discussion of important topics like “mansplaining.”
Sorry guys. After over ten years you’ve begun to lose me. I hate to point the finger but I’ve noticed it was after Cara joined the crew. She’s clearly very intelligent and well spoken but I believe she is too dominating and it kills the vibe I’ve always enjoyed. If it’s not your segment and what you have to say isn’t earth shattering, let the segment leader speak.
She thinks every podcast (even other ones) are an interview about her. Everything leads back to her, somehow. It's getting tiresome.