Michal Shermer joins Brian Keating on the The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/into-the-impossible/id1169885840?mt=2

Michael Shermer on his new book, GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE

Professor Brian Keating
3 min readApr 8, 2020


A Conversation with Dr. Michael Shermer about Science, Society, Skepticism, & his new book GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE: https://youtu.be/5dGzMTdfsic

Featured on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast, a Production of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego


#SkepticMagazine #ScientificNaturalism

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, The Moral Arc, and Heavens on Earth. His new book is Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist.

Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelshermer

and Brian Keating here: https://twitter.com/drbriankeating

Michael Shermer is a beacon of reason in an ocean of irrationality.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson

Michael regularly contributes opinion editorials, essays, and reviews to: the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. He wrote 214 consecutive monthly columns for Scientific American. He appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Oprah, and Larry King Live (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!). He has been interviewed in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Dr. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown. His two TED talks, seen by millions, were voted in the top 100.

Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University. He has been a college professor since 1979, also teaching at Occidental College, Glendale College, and Claremont Graduate University, where he taught a transdisciplinary course for Ph.D. students on Evolution, Economics, and the Brain.


Get Michael’s Books here:

GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE: https://amzn.to/2VetAo0

HEAVENS ON EARTH: https://amzn.to/2yAPNVE

THE MORAL ARC: https://amzn.to/2xTA0RJ

Watch Michael Shermer discuss Losing the Nobel Prize with Brian Keating on SCIENCE SALON # 70:

Topics discussed included:


  • Michael’s background and how he became a passionate skeptic
  • How to teach people HOW to think in the age of dis/mis-information.
  • How should we view social media and ‘cancel culture’?
  • Parsing the conflicting information regarding COVID-19 stats, reporting, science, efficacy of treatments and cures, severity of the infection etc.
  • The biases that are most dangerous NOW!

Online pedagogy and distance learning

  • Are campuses obsolete?
  • You endorse GREAT COURSES and are an author of one. Why?
  • What is lost online?

Higher Ed/Post COVID?

  • Shermer had his own problems with employment after a PhD. Is it worth it? Is Freeman Dyson correct? Shermer became an information/education entrepreneur and professional speaker/writer.
  • Will the value of branded education be flattened with the explosion in online learning?
  • What will be the new ways of credential validation etc.

Thinking Like a Scientist

  • How can people adopt the scientific method for themselves?
  • Conciliation of science and faith: is it possible
  • Michael’s favorite lessons that can be learned from the history of science?

Questions from the audience as well!



Professor Brian Keating

Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego. Host of The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast Authored: Losing the Nobel Prize & Think like a Nobel Prize Winner