Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

Chart Positions

Social Sciences 11
Science & Medicine 54

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


Brian Brushwood - Scams, Swindles and Skepticism

September 3rd, 2010

Episode 242 of 537 episodes

Host: Karen Stollznow Brian Brushwood began his career in magic "To get free drinks at bars and impress friends," but ended up becoming a science communicator and skeptic. The author of Cheats, Cons, Swindles & Tricks: 57 Ways to Scam a Free Drinkand The Professional's Guide to Fire Eating, Brian is a "Bizarre Magician". Making side show tricks cool again, Brian hammers nails into his head and eats fire in his "Bizarre Magic Show", "America’s Number One College Magic Show". He also communicates critical thinking to the college market in his lecture "Scams, Sasquatch and the Supernatural" In this episode with host Karen Stollznow, Brian discusses outreach to this important yet often overlooked demographic. They discuss tertiary-level courses in skepticism and the paranormal, and whether there is "age appropriate skepticism" Brian explains the stereotypes associated with magic and magicians, and how the "m-word" (magic) has stigmatized. He also discusses the negative connotations associated with the "s-word" (skeptic), and how to combat the image problems with guerilla skepticism, hidden beneath comedy and magic. Brian is a prolific personality on various internet shows including the Brian Brushwood Live Show, the Weird Things podcast, and NSFW on This Week in Tech TV. But he is best known for his show Scam School. Usually the ones who expose scams, Brian tells us when the skeptics should be the scammers. In this “Mythbusters” for the pool shark crowd, Brian pulls street cons, swindles and scams in the name of skepticism.