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Jan 24, 2023

Jonathan and Chris talk to Tom Thumb, the author of the book Science for Hippies. How do you have productive conversations with people who believe that we can never truly know anything and that everything happens for a reason? Tom shares his experience being a rational hippie trying to get his friends to think more scientifically, especially in the middle of a pandemic!


(1:41) Why a science book for hippies?

(7:11) Natural immunity and germ denialism

(10:55) What science communicators get wrong

(17:21) Trust and meeting experts in person

(22:02) “We can never truly know anything”

(24:38) “Everything happens for a reason”

(31:48) The squishy middle

(33:11) Quantum woo and science envy

(39:27) Tom’s most embarrassing story

(47:57) Tips on being more humble

(50:31) Science and magic


* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.


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1) Tom’s book, Science for Hippies:

2) Tom’s personal website: