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

None at Strand Bookstore

Fri, Feb 1 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

In this Olio, we will explore the good science/pseudo science landscape and learn some ways to exercise critical thinking.

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
Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


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Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

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New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.