audio Trust me, I’m a Scientist

monkey cageThe Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Radio 4 comedy and popular science series. Hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince, it is described it as a “witty and irreverent look at the world according to science”.

Each show on “The Infinite Monkey Cage” has a particular topic up for discussion, with previous topics including the apocalypse and space travel. There are normally three guests; two of these are scientists with an interest in the topic of discussion, offering an expert opinion on the subject. The other guest is often a comedian, who takes a less serious view of the subject, and often makes the show more accessible by asking the ‘stupid’ questions that the other guests may have overlooked.

In this episode, physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince continue their witty, irreverent and unashamedly rational look at the world according to science. Brian and Robin are joined by special guests Ben Goldacre and comedian Dave Gorman to discuss the notion of trust in science.

Why are people prepared to believe in magic and pseudoscience rather than empirical evidence, and does it matter? Science often appears open ended and evolving, a reason to mistrust it, especially when it can feel like we are bombarded with so much contradictory information. So is the scientific method the only way to truly test if something works, and why should we trust the scientists over alternative practitioners who many people would argue have helped them more than anything that comes out of a laboratory.

Listen to the podcast on the BBC Radio 4 website.