Day: April 5, 2011

132. Deborah Blum On the Taboo of Paranormal Science Reporting

Pulitzer Prize winning author Deborah Blum discusses the challenges of science reporting and the paranormal taboo. Skeptiko guest host Steve Volk welcomes Deborah Blum author of, Ghost Hunters - William James and the Hunt for Scientific Proof of Life After Death. During the interview Ms. Blum discusses her approach to covering the paranormal: Steve Volk: This is one of the hardest things. Who do we believe? Who do we trust? I want to see somehow people in the middle pick this stuff up and look at it, but that's a very, very rare occurrence. Deborah Blum: I agree. Like I said, I'm a mainstream science journalist and daughter of a chemist. But what was fascinating to me when I started working on Ghost Hunters is that I'd go and give talks at different universities. I mean literally, I was at the University of Florida and they said, 'Oh, let us tell you about our haunted laboratory.' Or I was at a meeting with a bunch of animal researchers and I was sitting next to a very respected scientist from Stanford who immediately started telling me about the telepathic experiences she'd had with a friend of hers who is a scientist at Southwestern University. I thought to myself, 'This whole world exists that really those of us in the skeptic/science community never see because people just don't tell you about it. Steve Volks's website Fringe-ology Trailer Deborah Blum - Ghost Hunters Play it: Download MP3 (58:00 min.) Read it: Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I'm your host, Alex Tsakiris. On this episode, as you just heard, there's a new voice behind the interview so before we get started I thought we'd take a minute and introduce that voice, that being the voice of journalist and author, Steve Volk, who's joining me right now.