The Rational View podcast with Dr. Al Scott

The Rational View podcast with Dr. Al Scott

Physicist Dr. Al Scott addresses politically and socially divisive issues with insightful evidence-based analysis of the facts. Learn to apply the tools of science to discover the most rational path to an optimistic vision of the future.


May 27, 2023 45 mins

In this episode I’m continuing my investigations into the science of nutrition and health. Today I’m looking at the effect that diet has on longevity. We know that eating poorly can kill you in any number of ways, but is there a fountain of youth out there? Can we extend lifespan merely by choosing the right foods?  My guest today will have something to say on this topic.


Dr. Valter Longo has thirty years of experience in the fie...

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In this episode I am returning to a core topic to The Rational View, the communication of science. My guest has experience communicating science to the public during environmental crises, and has shared his experience and advice for other scientists in a newly published book. What are the mistakes that scientists make in outreach, and how can we do a better job without endangering our careers?

Christopher Reddy is a leader in the s...

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I have been recently exploring the impacts of what I call the AI revolution we are currently experiencing surrounding the release of ChatGPT and its rapidly expanding progeny.  Today I want to explore the economic impacts of ChatGPT gobbling up white collar jobs the same way that robotics has devastated blue collar jobs and salaries. I originally discussed this issue in one of my first podcasts on "Income Inequality: We botched it"...

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I think this episode is very pertinent and deserves to be re-released now that we are starting to experience what seems to be a revolution in artificial intelligence.  The job market is about to be shaken up considerably.  I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

The global economy is in a shambles due to CoVid-19 and millions of workers are suffering with no safety net.  The last time the economy tanked like this in 20...

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April 22, 2023 20 mins

In this episode I demonstrate my research process by focusing on some controversy that came to light following my interview of Dr. Peter Butt, chairman of the group responsible for Canada's new tightened guidelines on healthy drinking.

The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR) has just published a stinging critique of the newly released Canadian guidance on Alcohol and Health. In the critique, Forum chair R. Cu...

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April 15, 2023 30 mins

This episode follows up with my thoughts on my last interview with mens' coach Kevin Scott, “Can we Manifest our Future? Similar to many life coaches these days, Kevin believes that if we can put our minds into the proper emotional state that the universe will bend to your wishes.  Here on The Rational View we understand that extreme claims require extreme evidence. After our discussion, it was clear that it would be very difficult...

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Today I’m going to tackle a topic you may have heard about in popular society these days, if you’ve ever listened to a motivational speaker or a life coach.  They call it manifestation. What is it? What does it mean? What does science have to say about it? To get to the bottom of this, I’m interviewing Kevin Scott, personal coach and leader of the Effortless Alpha mens’ program. I will provide a skeptical scientific viewpoint on th...

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April 1, 2023 28 mins

It seems we are fated to live in interesting times. We stand balanced on the precipice of a new revolution in society.  Advanced artificial intelligence systems have crossed a threshold that many thought impossible.  What are the implications?

The Future of Life institute just released an open letter signed by over 1,000 thought leaders including Elon Musk, and Steve Wosniak, calling on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least...

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This is another cool science episode. Today I'm interviewing successful science outreach personality, cosmologist, and podcaster Dr. Paul Sutter.

Paul M. Sutter is a theoretical cosmologist at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University and a guest researcher at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in NYC.

He is an award-winning science communicator, having authored two ...

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In this episode I am returning to explore the truth about the Chernobyl disaster. I have the great fortune to interview one of the doctors who treated the exposed workers in Moscow following the explosion.  Let’s see what he thinks of the health risks of nuclear power.

Robert Peter Gale was born in New York in 1945. He received his MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo and PhD in microbiology and immunology from the U...

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In this episode I continue my exploration of the science of nutrition and food by exploring one of the most controversial money-making phenomena to exist. Diets. Body image is a central problem to a large fraction of the population, and people are willing to spend a lot of money trying to get thin and be more attractive.  In this episode I interview a leading expert on the science of dieting to cut through the flab and get to the f...

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In this episode I want to dig into the impacts of alcohol on health. Many of us have heard news stories saying that a glass of red wine every day can help you live longer. This was used to explain why people with a Mediterranean diet seem to live longer than people on a North American diet, for example. The Resveratrol in the red wine is an anti-oxidant that supposedly helps to prevent cell damage.  One can search the literature to...

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February 25, 2023 30 mins

In this episode I continue my investigation into the science of nutrition and food. Today I’m interviewing a physician who has been focusing on a critical evaluation of so-called alternative medicine or SCAM. I want to investigate with him the science behind various detox diets and claims made by nutrition specialists. I expect to receive a very skeptical viewpoint based on his many blog posts suggesting that claims of detoxing are...

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In this episode I’d like to explore the impacts of the precautionary principle in public policy.  Many people think that the precautionary principle is the safest way forward. We shouldn’t use a tool until we’re sure that it won’t harm us. This just makes sense, doesn’t it? The application of the precautionary principle in European energy policy, for example, has lead to the shut down of Germany’s nuclear fleet, strong labelling la...

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February 11, 2023 54 mins

In this episode I’m starting my series of interviews on the science of nutrition at the top with an interview with a leading authority on the politics of food and nutrition, Dr. Marion Nestle. In 2011 author Michael Pollan ranked her as the #2 most powerful foodie in America (after Michelle Obama), and American food journalist Mark Bittman ranked her #1 in his list of foodies to be thankful for. 

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard P...

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February 4, 2023 16 mins

In this episode I’m hoping to start a new investigation into the science behind nutrition and food science. Many of us have heard the messages from our doctors that we need to cut back on our high sodium diets and we need to avoid fat and red meat to prevent heart disease. We’ve been told that sugar is bad for us. Processed foods are bad for us. Alcohol is bad for us. We need to eat more fruit and vegetables. We need to eat more fi...

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In this episode I return to the hard problem of consciousness with a distinguished neuroscientist, Dr. Anil Seth.  In the finest traditions of science, Dr. Seth is willing to test his ground-breaking theories of mind on himself by exploring the impacts of psychedelic drugs on the conscious experience. 

Anil Seth is a neuroscientist, author, and public speaker who has pioneered research into the brain basis of consciousness for more...

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January 21, 2023 42 mins

In this episode I talk about how nuclear energy is being framed in Germany, the environmental laggard currently mining lignite coal for heat. I review some of the blatant anti-nuclear rhetoric being broadcast internationally and expose the flaws in the arguments.

On social media I have been heavily critical of Germany’s Energiewende. This is their national program to shut down their clean nuclear fleet and attempt to replace it wit...

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January 14, 2023 14 mins

In this episode I am bringing you my 2022 Rational View year in review, followed by a cool Pecha Kucha presentation that I made last year to a group of football alumni, put on by my public school friend Andy Vasily host of the Run Your Life podcast. The presentation is called ‘Why we need a Rational View’, and it defines much of what I have learned about communicating science, and the need for a rational discussion in a polarized w...

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January 7, 2023 51 mins

Dr. Alexander Wong rejoins the Rational View to review the new and exciting advance in Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT. 

ChatGPT is a variant of GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3) that is specifically designed to be used in chat applications. It is a large language model that has been trained on a huge amount of text data in order to generate human-like responses to various types of inputs. Some key features of ChatGPT in...

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