PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
E-mail: press@centerforinquiry.net

Indre Viskontas Joins Point of Inquiry

February 08, 2012

Point of Inquiry, the official podcast of the Center for Inquiry (CFI), today announced that cognitive neuroscientist and former Miracle Detectives host Indre Viskontas will join the show as cohost with science writer Chris Mooney. Beginning in February, Mooney will host three times a month; Viskontas will anchor the last Monday of every month. The show will continue to be released every Monday on the Point of Inquiry website and on iTunes.

Point of Inquiry critically examines topics in science, religion, philosophy, and politics. Each episode takes on a specific issue and features lively discussion with leading researchers and writers, putting a special focus on science and public policy matters. Past shows have featured Brian Greene on string theory, Paul Offit on vaccine denialism, Eugenie C. Scott on the necessity of climate change education, and Daniel Dennett on the scientific study of religion.

“We are thrilled to have Indre Viskontas join the Point of Inquiry team. Her background in both cognitive neuroscience and entertainment makes her a natural fit,” said Adam Isaak, producer of Point of Inquiry. “Her ability to successfully present science and critical thinking to a general audience makes her an invaluable addition to the show.”

As cohost of the Oprah Winfrey Network hit show Miracle Detectives, Viskontas drew on her scientific background to investigate alleged miracles and provide a rational, skeptical perspective to counteract the temptations of magical thinking and pseudoscience.

Isaak added that he is very pleased that Chris Mooney will be expanding his role as a host from two shows to three shows per month. “Chris’s background as a science journalist and his skills as an interviewer have contributed immensely to the quality of our programming.”

CFI has also announced that later this month it will be launching a new podcast, focusing on critical examination of the Bible, hosted by biblical scholar Robert M. Price.

Indre Viskontas, a writer, neuroscientist, and opera singer, holds a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience and a master of music in vocal performance. Her scientific research explores the neural basis of memory and creativity; she has published more than thirty original peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Viskontas is affiliated with the Memory and Aging Center at UC-San Francisco and is the associate editor of the journal Neurocase. She cohosted Miracle Detectives, a six-episode docuseries on the Oprah Winfrey Network, in which she explored the scientific explanations of paranormal experiences. She also blogs regularly at www.indreviskontas.com.

Chris Mooney is a science and political journalist, blogger, podcaster, and experienced trainer of scientists in the art of communication. He is the author of four books, including The New York Times best-selling The Republican War on Science and the forthcoming The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality (April 2012). He blogs for Science Progress, a website of the Center for American Progress and Center for American Progress Action Fund.

To learn more, visit pointofinquiry.org.

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