Mar 10, 2022 • 19M

The Skeptic

Michael Shermer was hired to question the conventional wisdom, but he asked too many questions.

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Amna Khalid
Banished is a show about our reassessment of the many people, ideas, objects and even works of art that conflict with modern sensibilities. What can we learn about our present obsession with cancel culture by examining history, and what might it mean for freedom of expression? And how do we reconcile opposing points of view without turning on each other? For subscriber-only content, visit
Episode details

Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and host of the podcast The Michael Shermer Show, was a regular writer for Scientific American for 18 years. With more than 200 monthy columns under his belt, he was hoping to match Stephen Jay Gould’s record run of 300 at Natural History and was due to hit his target within a few years. In December, 2018, however, he was abruptly let go.

In this episode of Banished, Amna Khalid talks to Shermer about the souring of his relationship with SciAm, the importance of skepticism and the rise of censoriousness in recent years.