Episode #1: Supermoons, Tiger Poo and Steven Novella

The time has finally arrived. After months of preparation and two trial runs, we are ready to release the inaugural episode of Consilience: An African Science Podcast. You can download the 1st episode here (mp3 / 1:04:23 / 31.4mb). (Alternate link: here).

We discussed…

This Week in Scientific History:

Albert Einstein (yeah, him) was born on March 14th, 1879. Quite a guy, that guy.


Did a “Supermoon” cause the earthquake in Japan? The Daily Mail published an article saying it might have, quoting astrologer Richard Nolle. But the scientific community disagrees. (There may be a fairly weak correlation for small earthquakes).

Richard Hoover caused a fuss when he reported finding fossilized microbes in a meteor, but the strength of his evidence has been called into question. And the obvious editorial bias does not help.

We discuss new developments in South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometer Array and look at the efforts being made to bolster the country’s bid. (A slight factual error crept in here: Michael said that when the SKA becomes operational it’ll produce more data in a single day than humanity had produce up until that point. The actual figure is a week).

Australian scientists have discovered an effective kangaroo deterrent… Tiger feces.

Owen addresses his reaction to a sleep survey conducted in the US and revises his position on whether or not gadgets inhibit melatonin production.


Dr Steven Novella (Image: http://www.theness.com)

This week we include the first half of our interview with Dr Steven Novella of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. (Oh yes, we did).

We discussed Steve’s weird hobbies, whether his wife is a skeptic, who his favorite science journalists is, and preventing bad science journalism before it happens…

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15 Responses to Episode #1: Supermoons, Tiger Poo and Steven Novella

  1. James says:

    A triumph! Well done, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    But, like an unpaired parenthesis, I’m waiting in semi-frustration for a goodbye. 😉


  2. Tauriq Moosa says:


    “We discussed Steve’s weird hobbies, whether his wife is a skeptic, who is favorite science journalists is, and preventing bad science journalism before it happens…”

  3. Pingback: South African Science & Skeptic Podcast: Consilience Episode 1, feat. Steven Novella « The Indelible Stamp

  4. murraybiscuit says:

    nice start lady and gents.

    i can’t find the podcast on itunes – i realise you can add it via feedburner, but it may be helpful (for those who don’t know about the blog) to find it at another source. submitting it is fairly simple following the prompts in itunes…

    regarding the s.k.a, i found this article a while back which. it helps to explain the purpose of the project, science behind it and construction of the array, in simple terms.

    i liked the einstein remark about confirmation bias, and follow-on comments about poor reporting. here’s one of my favourite articles on the subject, reminding us that indefensible positions, egos and science don’t mix too well.

    • Thanks Murray!

      iTunes requires 3 episodes before they’ll list a podcast. As soon as we hit that mark, we’ll submit it.

      Thanks for the links. I read that Ars piece a while back – excellent stuff.

  5. Holy crap – you guys got an interview with Steven Novella?! I’m listening immediately 🙂 looking forward to the future of this podcast!

  6. Pingback: An African Science Podcast « The Skeptic Detective

  7. Cathy says:

    Getting Steven Novella was a SERIOUS scoop! I’m looking forward to the second half…….ahem, can I have my headphones back please? I want to play the piano…..

    • Angela says:

      Well, we are recording the next episode today, will include the second half of our interview with Steve in this one.
      I will bring your headphones back soon, promise.

  8. Tom Maydon says:

    Hi guys

    Can’t get hold of the podcast on iTunes. I login on a UK account and can’t find it! About time the Saffers had a Skeptical voice. Good luck and well done!

    • Hi Tom… Thanks! Unfortunately we got rejected from iTunes once (technical issue) and now we’re waiting to get assessed again. In the mean time, you can subscribe manually. Open iTunes and click on “Advanced”, then “Subscribe to a Podcast”. Paste this feed url in, and click “Ok”.

      Hope that works.

  9. Tom: yeah sure. What we cover depends a lot on what we come across. Feel free to email us stories you think might be worth covering.

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