Interview on The Blog Reader

Interview on The Blog Reader

Interview on The Blog Reader

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 21 2006 10:59 PM

Interview on The Blog Reader

A few days ago I was interviewed by Jesse Singal of The Blog Reader. The interview is now online.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

A little while ago, even maybe as recently as a year ago, I would have held back a little in my diatribes such as in that interview. I would have been less willing to state things baldly, more willing to cushion it or make it more palatable. But since then, I've seen just too much crap going on. George Deutsch. Creationism. A Congress all-too-willing to eviscerate reality. Doom-mongerers. Ann Coulter.


A little while ago, I was worried I might lose some of my audience if I said things that might alienate them. I was right; I would. The difference now is, I don't care as much. Of course I do actually care, but I've learned that someone with strong opinions-- especially those that are based in rock-solid fact-- are always going to tick off people who prefer fantasy to be their reality.

But there are lots of people who really want more information, who want to understand. The vast middle-- those are the ones to whom I want to talk. They may hear Bart Sibrel, or Richard Hoagland, or Eric Julien, and be swayed. Scientists have spent way too long just hoping the antiscience infection would go away, but it festers, and many times it erupts.

We can't cure it, we can't totally eliminate it, any more than your body's immune system can kill every last noisome bacterium. But they can be kept under check; the immune system can keep it from spreading out of control.

Skepticism is our minds' immune system. I aim to keep it healthy.