Maria Konnikova on the hygiene hypothesis.

Are We Purell-ing Ourselves Into Oblivion?

Are We Purell-ing Ourselves Into Oblivion?

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Sept. 12 2017 8:27 PM

The Hygiene Hypothesis

Should you let your kids eat dirt?

Do dirty hands make healthier bodies?


Listen to Episode 826 of Slate’s The Gist:


Do germaphobic parents doom their kids to a lifetime of allergies and irritable bowels? This sounds like a question for our favorite game, “Is That Bullshit?” Returning champion Maria Konnikova helps us sort good bacteria from bad. Konnikova writes for the New Yorker and is the author of The Confidence Game.

In the Spiel, what should we consider before changing the definition of sexual assault?

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.