Interview with Sheril Kirshenbaum

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As planned, I interviewed Sheril this morning on MN Atheist Talk Radio about the Science Debate Dot Org project. Mike Haubrich was host. I think it was a great interview, please give it a listen.

The interview is available here.

I also interviewed Sheril about this important topic on paper here.

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2 thoughts on “Interview with Sheril Kirshenbaum

  1. I listened to all 52 minutes of this interview on the Atheists’ Talk radio program sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists. It was about the “science debate” in politics.

    First of all, anytime I hear about a “science debate”, I find it is almost invariably about climate change or evolution, primarily if not entirely. And this held true here. Oh, there were some brief mentions of other areas of science or medicine such as food science, mental health, national security, vaccinations.
    There was also some talk about TV shows, “The West Wing” and “House of Cards” , and the awkward, arcane architecture of Albany’s (NY) legislative buildings.

    But climate change dominated, as expected, and evolution even got some fascinating acknowledgements. Even more fascinating was a tie-in, possibly, to FICTION. Watch for it:

    Time 3:25: ‘The types of issues that people were coming to brief me on were REALLY important things, everything from CLIMATE CHANGE to ocean health…’

    3:54: ‘Groups that were COMPLETELY ANTI-SCIENCE, maybe, you know, CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS, or what have you.’

    4:34: ‘My day job is at the University of Texas at Austin where I’m director of the U.T. Energy Poll and what we do is look at public attitudes towards CLIMATE CHANGE to hydraulic fracturing…’

    11:18: ‘We have the most wonderful team… our president…is DARWINS’S GREAT GREAT GRANDSON, and ALSO A SCREEN WRITER, and our board chair… a SCREEN WRITER AS WELL.’

    18:06: ‘Three thousand questions to presidential candidates Obama and McCain … only six mentioned either CLIMATE CHANGE or GLOBAL WARMING….gives a sense of just how little science was coming up along the campaign trail. And that’s changed a lot over the past eight years… [now] candidates on day one are talking about CLIMATE CHANGE and energy …’

    23:20: ‘[She has a] two year old son… wants him to have healthy food to eat… worries about addressing drought… severe storms as CLIMATE CHANGE continues to change the landscape a bit…’

    29:14: ‘A science debate, if we think about CLIMATE CHANGE itself there are 2 sides to the debate… but really that’s a false debate… [it’s like having a debate about] whether Big Foot is real…’
    Q: ‘What would the science debate topic be [for the candidates]? A: That’s a hard one, Greg … the kind of question I’d like to see addressed would probably deal with the interrelatedness of … energy, water, food and CLIMATE…’

    39:09: ‘Wondered if there was evidence of science in political debates in last 10 or 20 years… other than the EVOLUTION question I guess, [they’re asked] “Do you believe in EVOLUTION?” and everyone says “No”…

    So, nothing at all surprising, except maybe, about the having screen writers as top leaders of your science organization.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, and recognized that at the moment, energy (which was as emphasized as climate change this morning) and climate change are current pressing issues.

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