Nonsense on Stilts: Science, Pseudoscience & the Need for Critical Thinking

Friday February 1: 7:00PM 8:00PM

Event Admission  

There is good science and bad science. There is quasi-science and pseudo-science. It's a complex landscape out there, where people can get lost, swayed by purveyors of snake oil, big pharmaceutical companies, and a host of other unsavory characters. And yet, we cannot be informed citizens of a 21st century democracy and not know how to think about this issue. It matters to you and your loved ones whether you accept current medical knowledge about vaccines or think that they are a Big Pharma conspiracy. It matters to the whole planet whether you think the climate is tilting out of control because of greedy human activities or instead suspect that it's all about scientists wanting more money for their petty projects.

In this Olio, Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a scientist and philosopher from the City College of New York, will explore with you the good science <> bad science <> quasi-science <> pseudo-science landscape. We will talk about fundamental physics and astrology, evolutionary psychology and parapsychology, trying to make sense out of nonsense. We will also get acquainted with a handy guide on how to make up your mind about whether to trust an alleged expert or not.

Teacher: Massimo Pigliucci is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

Complimentary beer by our presenting partner Sixpoint Brewery.

Sixpoint’s motto is “Beer is Culture,” to highlight the human trajectory—the earliest human civilizations were founded upon the cultivation of cereal grains for making beer. Sixpoint aims to perpetually inspire the art, creativity, and collaboration generated through beer by acknowledging the history of the craft, while forging ahead to inspire culture in a modern setting.