Reviews For Skepticality:The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine

I once looked forward to this podcast as a well-edited compilation of diverse voices from the scientific and skeptic community. These days, quality and diversity seem lacking. A recent May 2017 episode had a seemingly unedited 30+ minute discussion of Wikipedia editing. Some of the sound quality of the contributors is also quite grating.
I generally enjoy Skepticality. It's a decent podcast. However, after discovering it a couple years back, I went and listened to the back archive to "catch up" and I really really loved it... it was a bit more quirky and I loved several of the regular contributors.. but in the lst few years, several of those old regulars have stopped appearing and I really find they were my favorite part of the show. Again, its a really good podcast, but it'st eh past catalog which gets my 5 stars.
This is a useful podcast for those who want information on skeptical books, events and activism. The interviews would benefit from editing; they often ramble. Sometimes it seems the interviewer has forgotten there is an audience. Thirty minute interviews can drag on for half again as long. This could be addressed with more focused questioning and better sound editing to keep the conversation moving.
I'm gaming the system a little by giving 5 stars. The truth is these guys/gals aren't the best entertainers. Derek can be a little hard to listen to, especially when reading anything prepared... "Awkward" is probably the best description. But there's good information and conversation to be found. I can't knock a solid source for skeptic content, because of a little lack of polish and occasional cringy awkwardness.
Turned into a Trump bashing festival. Sore losers.
Lots of ideas I never considered. Challenges me to think, in a good way.
This is actually one of the worst podcasts I have listened to. I have suffered through 10 episodes to give this a chance. As little as that may seem, that is far more research than is put into to this podcast. The production quality is right there with the worst I have come across but you can usually get past that. What you can't get past is that the arguments are very surface level and the hosts and guests are not well versed on the arguments and beliefs of the other side. When they need to fill time, they turn to mocking the subject. Perfect example of "beware of what you find on the internet".
This is a very well done podcast. I love all the different voices and the interviews are fantastic. Highly recommend.
The host talks so fast, that I turned it off within the first minute. I tried again the next day, but after a few more minutes, the “phaser” effect turned me off in its entirety. If you like to strain in order to get a message, you might like it. I don’t.
While I enjoy Derek, who I think has gotten really good as time goes on, and the various subjects, it is hard not to have the entire podcast engulfed in how annoying the female interviewer is. After all this time it seems like she either has a cold all the time or is really nervous. Her voice goes into this highs and lows without much reason that I can see. The way she interviews people is really off putting and almost like she didn't prepare any questions and, unlike Derek, she goes out of her way to say something she thinks is smart to impress the guest or maybe the audience. Unfortunatey, she looks like a moron doing it rather than just having a natural flowing conversation. Honestly, she reminds me of a stereotypical unattractive, plain, boring girl who goes out of her way to sound smart and put down every area she doesn't fit in. For example, just listen to her recent interview about Celebrity Culture. Regardless, her voice is so annoying and her interview style so bad I don't know how the decision hasn't been made to have her only work behind the scenes.
If you're in the "skeptic community", you'll probably like this podcast. And you're not the kind of person I'm writing this review for. A person outside the skeptic community who just wants to hear some interesting information should look elsewhere. There is occasionally an interesting or intriguing bit here, but you have to listen to hours of droning to get to it. For those who don't know, "skeptic" is a code word which means essentially the intellectual equivalent of a bully. Just like physical bullies like to pick on weak people and not people their own size, skeptics spend most of their time not vigorously discussing interesting topics with other intelligent people, but rather sneering at dullards and superstitious and gullible people, and congratulating themselves on being so brilliant for accepting scientific explanations for everything. They all speak in smug and pompous tones of voice that sound like fingers on a chalkboard after a few minutes. If you're a masochist, by all means listen to this podcast. But if you want something interesting and scientific to listen to, you'll get a much better hit ratio by skipping skeptic podcasts altogether.
Great Podcast. I have been listening to this podcast since the beginning. The podcast has evolved into one of the best pod cats out there. Several of the guests opened my eyes to a great number of new viewpoints.
I've been listening to this show for about a year and I'm honestly pretty surprised by how little the listenability of the show has improved. Not a single person involved in the show has learned how to do a line reading. Derek pauses his sentences in the absolute strangest places. Everything he says sounds stilted and irritating. Nothing sounds natural. All of their banter is pretty obviously scripted (but not rehearsed). Learn to read off of a page! It isn't THAT difficult. Enough time has elapsed for this to have improved. Aside from that, GREAT CONTENT. But I may have to stop listening because every time I get really distracted and irritated by the line reading.
I enjoy this podcast. However, the woman who keeps talking about going to Manchester, England, England" annoys me beyond reason. WHY DO YOU SAY "ENGLAND, ENGLAND"?!? One England is sufficient!!
This show introduced me to podcasting in 2005, and has remained one of the few shows from that time I still subscibe to. If you like to think, you will love this show. If you do not know how to think, then you need to download and listen to every episode. Thanks Derek and Swoopy, its been a great ride...
The information they provide is useful and makes me a more effective thinker but I often see many people not exercising effective thought therefore I recommend this podcast.
I listened with increasing frustration to the interview with Jon Hotchkiss of "This vs That." Jon: Please stop talking. Stop. Talking. Stop. Between Hotchkiss unable to shut up and Derek quietly letting him rant on (with occasional "Very cool" interjections), I wanted to pound my head against a telephone pole. (Fortunately, my patient dog kept me from injuring myself by peeing on the pole.) Ironically, Hotchkiss's new show "This vs That" sounds very interesting. Of course Derek ("Cool, very cool") allowed 80% of the show to pass by before we found that "T v T" is an Internet subscription show. Still, at $5-10, it seemed not outrageous. But Hotchkiss WOULDN'T SHUT UP. I realize he's an accomplished, talented TV/media producer and I imagine a certain amount of hyperbole ("We did a big experiment, big, I tell you!") is perhaps to be expected, but didn't his handlers ever take him aside and whisper, "Hey Jon, when you've made your point, JUST SHUT THE **** UP.") One clue that you're droning on is when you repeatedly say "Again, as I said..." Again, I say, Hotchkiss: put a muzzle on it when you've made your point.
Some segments are enjoyable and I have found many of the interviews to be interesting enough. The 4 stars have more to do with the quality of the guests than the abilities of the hosts. There are enough complaints about the apparent arrogance of the hosts. Yes, it does also sound like they are reading from a script. Derek needs to practice annunciation! He alternates between rushing through mumbled words and then taking painfully long pauses in the middle of sentences. He speaks so softly that I made the mistake of turning the volume up, which resulted in shockwave of sound slapping me in the face when the music started playing for the next segment.
I have found many interesting people and resources through Skepticality. I stumbled upon it a year ago, so naturally went back and listened to the previous ones starting from the first episode. I should admit that I was a little skeptical about possible hidden agenda, as I had no idea about this fledgling skeptic community such as the good folks in JREF. Keep up the good work Derek, and bring up Swoopy once in a while.
Love the interviews and the new format.
I used to enjoy this podcast, but it really went downhill about 6 months ago. It's very segmented and runs too long. Also seems like they keep talking about the same thing over and over. Also has the worst theme song of any podcast ever.
My favorite of all the freethinker podcasts out there. Their contributing guests are great. Unlike some other, also great skeptic podcasts, skepticality is well scripted rather than discussion-based and they are very good at staying on one topic long enough for it be refreshing without it getting boring.
Fun to listen to and know they have done their homework. (I have checked up a few times and they are right on)
TOTALLY sounds scripted, read, and non-spontaneous, over-produced and performed by a mush-mouth host. Is this the best Skeptic Magazine can do? Listening to this makes me wanna get religion! Don't recommend this to someone you want to bring to skeptical philosophy...they will run away and never trust your opinion again. Instead subscribe to The Skeptics Guide to the Universe(SGU), Penn's Sunday School, Skeptics with a K, and The Skeptic Zone.
Skepticality gets some amazing folks on to interview, then it's like Jimminy Glick. I could only listen to them fail to hold up to the tallent on the other end of the phone again and again so many times before I had to stop listening, and delete the entire collection from my library. Every interview I find myself thinking "Gee this would be an amazing guest to hear on the SGU!" I've met Derek and I like him (though we have disagreed on occasion) but I don't think that he makes a good podcast. But hey, I'm apparently in the minority in this point of view.
Great podcast, great segments. Not only the original skeptic podcast, still the best.

5/5

This podcast is usually pretty good but #188 was an excellent interview and a great program overall.
Words have meanings and a skeptic is "A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions." The self described skeptics on this podcast are dogmatic believers in Reductionism and Materialism, skeptical only of ideas that run counter to these two belief systems. Mocking anyone who doesn't subscribe 100% to your belief system is not Skepticism. It is defending your faith.
I am enjoying all the recent episodes, each one better than the next, talking about topics of interest to the rational thinker.
I can't listen to this podcast since Swoopy left. Derek either speaks like DC's Swamp Thing, spits out words all jumbled together, or mixes both styles in the same sentence. Like this: "Hey. ThisisDerek. Andyourelisseninto. Skepticality. The official audio program. Of Skeptic Magazine. For Tuesday. December 13th......... 2011" Unfortunately I can't take it anymore. I tried. Now I just listen to Tim Farley's segment, then check to see if Swoopy is back, and immediately skip the rest of the podcast. That's unfortunate because they frequently have interesting guests on the program, but listening to Derek conduct an interview is too much torture. Sorry.
I have an open mind about most things, but when these guys tell us what we SHOULD think, and if we are not on their side, we are less human, I really have an issue with that. You can be skeptical, but look at all sides as well. Also, I notice they diss on Christianity all the time. Even though I am agnostic, I find that insulting. How about dissing Islam? Or Derek are you too afraid to touch that? Hmmmmmmmm
Swoopy and Derek quickly come to feel like close friends, sitting there discussing science and skeptical thinking while I drive, work and relax. Like Agnostic Salvation Hour, Monstertalk and a precious few Good Atheist episodes, Skepticality has hit on a great mix of female and male hosts that keep things interesting and balanced, while pacing perfectly so that you never feel like you need to skip ahead or listen at 2x "just to get to the good parts." There's a reason why Skeptic Magazine picked this podcast as one of their official podcasts. You won't be disappointed.
I could only make it through two episodes and was extremely disappointed. This podcast has nothing to do with skepticism rather the promotion of atheism and humanism. To compare Colbert and Stewart as one of us was very insulting. Critical thinking has little to do with the satire they present.
The podcast is clean, seems to be well planned, and they have access to notable names for interviews. However, from the name of the podcast, I thought it was going to be about critical thinking, challenging popular perceptions, and maybe an analysis of "the latest study" announced on network news. Instead, in the two episodes I listened to, it turns out to be a shill job for Atheism and Humanism. Fine, but brand it that way. If you enjoy NPR, you might be able to stay awake during the interviews. If you are looking for a podcast that does not hide behind science or shield it from criticism, try "No Agenda," those guys are true free-thinkers.
I have a few problems with this podcast. First of all, Derek (or however it is spelled) is hardly ever even on the show. He announces the titles and associations, then disappears while Swoopy drones on and on. There needs to be more science banter and discussion among themselves. I hate to say it, but the SGU does this perfectly. And my only other problem is that you never know when a new episode will show up with Skepticality. I was looking forward to it last week, and a week has past, yet no new episode. However, the Skeptic History segment is phenomenal. My favorite part.
Tried listening to multiple episodes, but it just feels like it drags on and on. It sounds like every word is read directly from script without deviation or enthusiasm. It may be a fairly informative podcast, but all credibility goes out the window with the podcast art. Depeche Mode would like their style back guys.
I have listened to about 150 episodes of this podcast, and I will say there have been some great authors, musicians and other guests that are informative and interesting. The addition of skeptic history is great. However, I have noticed that over the last year, the content has started to become somewhat mundane and it's material is a lot less edgy compared to when the podcast begun. It is the sporadic episodes that seem appealing that keep me subscribing to this podcast, although I probably only listen to every third or fourth one published. That having been said, this podcast has great production values and Swoopy seems genuinely knowledgeable about the books, music, etc. that her guests produce. I feel as though she has lost some passion or has less time available for the podcast now than before.

...
1/5

Not worth the time to critique.
This was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and through it I discovered a lot of other great podcasts through it! I stopped listening to this a few years ago when I cleared out my over-full podcast feed, and I haven't really missed. This is a "pretty good" podcast, but there are a lot better out there on the same topic.
After listening to a few episodes of this podcast, it comes of more as a left-wing preaching session than objective skeptical discussion. Within the interviews, they slam global warming skepticism, a feature ironically prevalent in skeptic community podcasts, they pan meat-eating, and they even go so far as to equate the Tea Party movement to evangelicals. And while the conversation with Guy P. Harrison on his book was fascinating, thought-provoking, and meeting with unequivocal agreement from me, it hardly has anything to do with skepticism. I have some of the same criticisms with SGU as I do with this podcast, but it was much more overbearing here. Perhaps I would change my mind after listening to more episodes, but after about five in a row I knew that I could not recommend this one. It seems well produced but off-topic and agenda driven.
Your recent shows interviewing the author of the Columbine book and the one regarding psychics "helping" police investigations were some of the most interesting podcasts I've ever heard; that's saying a lot stacked up against "Reasonable Doubts" and "The Atheist Experience". I'd say those two shows of yours more than made up for that awful, self-congratulatory 100th episode show. Keep up the good work! P.S. Is anyone else sick of hearing about George Hrab?
I really enjoy The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. They take a critical look at topics and ask their guest great questions. I listened to skepticality hoping it would offer the same. However, they are more like people magazine. If you want boring questions and want to learn more about the people than their ideas tune in. I listened for 1 year and gave up. I wish Skeptoid would expand.
This is a show that's not just about critical thinking. It's a pretty decent general science program in its own right. There's usually an interview or two which is always informative. The hosts are personable and don't take themselves too seriously.
Science is in good hands.
I adore my science and skeptical podcasts. I've tried and tried to like Skepticality and have attempted to sit through quite a few. The interviews are dull in spite of great guests and topics. I feel the interviewers and are just not very skilled at what they're attempting to do.