Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

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

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Social Sciences 16
Science & Medicine 79

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.


Sir Harold Kroto - Science Education and Freethinking

March 29th, 2008

Episode 124 of 570 episodes

Sir Harold Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The Florida State University. He is a tireless science educator who gives lectures, presentations and workshops to groups of all ages with the aim of communicating his passion for science. He's a fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded its 2002 Michael Faraday Award for public appreciation of science. In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Sir Harold Kroto relates what budded his initial interests in science, including the influence of his childhood Meccano sets, and emphasizes the importance of hands-on exploration and science learning. He recounts the discovery of the Buckminster Fullerene, for which he won the Nobel Prize, and the frustration he has with people outside the sciences who view science as only worthwhile if it is "useful." He discusses his views on religion, and how his background in science has fueled his freethinking and religious skepticism. He explores the question of whether or not science education efforts are succeeding, and details his "buckyball" workshops for children. He also explores whether or not he advances the "religion of secular humanism" when he teaches science deliberately excluding any mention of God or religion.

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