Phil Plait – Active Skepticism Online


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Phil talked to us about science communication online, and how the “new” (now teenaged, in more ways than one) media has affected it. Specifically how instant info – passed on Twitter – can actually make misinformation spread faster than good info, and how freaking hard it is to clean up once that happens.

Phil Plait is an astronomer, author, blogger, and skeptic… which means you better have some good evidence for any claims you make to him! In fact, Phil is the President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, a non-profit based on the works of noted conjurer and skeptic James Randi – famous for debunking the spoon-bending efforts of Uri Geller. The critical thinking movement is growing by leaps and bounds, and the JREF has been at the center of a grassroots effort to bring more skepticism into everyday life, especially online.

Phil writes the Bad Astronomy Blog, now hosted by Discover Magazine, and he blogs for the JREF and for SkepticBlog.

His books debunk many misconceptions about astronomy, and to his chagrin he still deals with Moon Landing deniers, astrology, and UFO believers to this day.

In his opinion – and he’s right – the Universe is cool enough. Why make up stuff about it?

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