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Very Bad Wizards Cite Neuroskeptic

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticMay 23, 2018 4:06 PM


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I was honored yesterday to learn that I've been featured on popular philosophy and psychology podcast Very Bad Wizards. You can listen to the episode here.


In this episode, hosts Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro discuss this blog, but they mainly focus on my tweets. In particular, Sommers and Pizarro pay tribute to some of what I like to think of as my 'wtf' tweets, in which I link to a new scientific paper which is just, well, bizarre or remarkable. Here's a relatively mild example, one mentioned on the podcast:

Pornography use is negatively associated with sexual satisfaction in American men, but not among men who held a low opinion of the Bible checkbate, atheists

— Neuroskeptic (@Neuro_Skeptic) January 30, 2018

Here is a more extreme case

. I often get asked how I manage to find these kinds of papers, but there's no trick to it. They're all on PubMed waiting to be found and I have a crawler

that searches for a long list of search terms every day. Which terms? Well, without giving too much away, "foreign body" accounts for a good proportion of the weird stuff. I'm very pleased to see that people appreciate these tweets because I tweet about them simply because I find them interesting, and what I find interesting is not necessarily a good guide to what is important. Sometimes I feel like a schoolboy passing notes in the classroom telling people to turn to a certain page of the book where they will find a rude word. But I think there is more to it than that. There's something fascinating, not just in the subject-matter of these papers, but in the fact that scientists are writing about them and in the way in which they are written. The contrast between the formal scientific prose and the nature of the content is what's really driving my interest and that's what seperates me from the note-passing schoolboy... that's my defence, anyway.

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