How do you spot the difference between good and bad science? In this episode of the Podcast, we talk with Dr. Michael Shermer about what and who to trust in health and fitness research. Turns out we should all embrace our inner skeptic.

Click below to listen to Greatist’s first podcast, right here on our site:


And check out Greatist Podcasts (and subscribe!) on iTunes!

0:20 — How to get the most mental energy from your morning coffeeActions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread use. Fredholm, B.B., Bättig, K., Holmén, J., et al. Section of MolecularNeuropharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology,Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Pharmacological Reviews, 1999Mar;51(1):83-133.

2:57 — How to use skepticism to make healthier choices every week.

3:25 — Why do people believe weird things?

5:05 — How Dr. Shermer’s athletic background shaped his views on logic and reason.

6:35 — What is a skeptic?

9:13 — The difference between skepticism and cynicism.

12:20 — Why jellybeans won’t cure cancer — and how to figure out what will.

14:46 — The most common thinking errors behind health claims.

16:43 — The biggest obstacle to health and fitness research.

17:37 — How to reconcile conflicting evidence between studies.

19:06 — The one choice Dr. Shermer made in the last week to improve his health.

The Believing Brain by Dr. Michael Shermer

Click here to download the audio file | 19.7 MB| 20:58

Click here to subscribe in iTunes

Click here for the RSS feed (non iTunes)

Click here for the show archive

Armi Legge

David Tao

Michael Shermer

If you listen to this episode on an iPod or other music-playing device, links to cited studies will appear on your screen as you listen.