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Skepticality Branding Square
Hosting Derek Colanduno · "Swoopy"
Genre science / news
Updates Bimonthly
Debut April 1, 2005
Ratings Non-explicit

Skepticality is the official biweekly podcast of The Skeptics Society's Skeptic magazine. It explores rational thought, skeptical ideas, and famous myths from around the world and throughout history. Beginning in April 2005, it has featured interviews with James Randi, and scientists, such as authors and astronomers Phil Plait and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Greg Graffin from Bad Religion, Adam Savage from the Mythbusters, popsinger Jill Sobule, author Ann Druyan and scientist Bill Nye.

Skepticality is co-hosted by Derek Colanduno and "Swoopy" Robynn McCarthy.


On September 7, 2005, during a keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs mentioned Skepticality as one of the top nine podcasts at the iTunes Music Store. On that same day, the podcast's future was thrust into uncertainty. Little over an hour after Jobs's comment, co-host Derek Colanduno suffered an aneurysm-like brain AVM. Two days later, in an emotional three-minute message, Swoopy announced his condition on Skepticality. For the next week, as he lay in a medicated coma, friends of Derek broadcast messages of hope via the podcast. More detail on Derek's personal website.[1]

Swoopy and Derek's wife provided daily updates of Derek's condition via the show's online message boards. Weeks later, he regained consciousness and began undergoing therapy. Derek's speech therapist was able to use recordings of the podcast to help in his recovery.[2] Swoopy gradually found time to produce new shows, calling on others to act as co-host. In December 2005, Derek returned to the weekly broadcast, as he now requires only part-time rehabilitation.

After an episode on February 12, 2006, the hosts took the longest break the program has seen since its inception.[3] No updates of the podcast were posted via the feed or the website from that time until August 14, 2006. During that time, however, the hosts remained active on the podcast's website discussion.[4] In a posting made to the forum on June 11, 2006, Derek Colanduno noted work towards—and the possibility of—an imminent episode. The long-awaited episode finally appeared on August 14, 2006, with an announcement that Skepticality was now the Skeptic magazine's official podcast.

Featured segments[edit]

Tim Farley from the What's The Harm? website visits a week in skeptic history with this segment titled Skepticism, Past and Future. First called A Few Minutes of Skeptic History it debuted on episode 123 on March 3, 2010.[5] Bob Carroll from The Skeptics Dictionary debuted with a segment on logical fallacies called Unnatural Virtue, March 27, 2012.[6] Jarrett Kaufman and Wendy Hughes from the Independent Investigations Group debuted April 25, 2012 with a segment centered around the coincidence website The Odds Must Be Crazy.[7][8]

Recurrent guests[edit]

The show has a number of guests who have been featured on more than one show. Amongst them are James Randi, Phil Plait, Pamela Gay and skeptical musician George Hrab.


In an interview with Derek during the June 1, 2006 episode[9] of Slacker Astronomy, the naming of Asteroids 106545 Colanduno[10] and 106537 McCarthy[11] was announced to the world. The asteroids were named in homage to the hosts of Skepticality by their discoverer the late Jeff Medkeff, who said, "My naming of these asteroids for you is a token of my esteem for you and your accomplishments."


In 2007, Skepticality was recognized for excellence in podcasting with the Best Speculative Fiction News Podcast award at the Parsec Awards and Best Science Podcast award at the Podcast Peer Awards, selected by registered fellow podcasters. Both presentations were made at Dragon*Con 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia.

On November 22, 2007, the Skepticality podcast was listed as "Site of the Week" on's Sci Fi Weekly.[12]

On August 9, 2008, Skepticality was named "Podcast of the Week" by The Times.[13]

Legal Information[edit]

Skepticality is a legal Trademark


Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Downloadable electronic publications, namely, podcasts in the field of science and skeptical thought.

Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK Serial Number 77763547


  1. ^ "Derek Colanduno". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  2. ^ Green, Heather. "Don't Quit Your Day Job, Podcasters". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  3. ^ "Past Episodes | Skepticality". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  4. ^ "Forum - Skeptic Magazine Official Podcast Skepticality Skeptic". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  5. ^ Colanduno, Derek. "Episode 123". Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  6. ^ Colanduno, Derek. "Episode 179". Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  7. ^ Derek Colanduno. "Episode 181". Skeptic Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Skepticality Episode 181: The Odds Must be Crazy". IIG. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  9. ^ Identified as both chat show #7 and #9.
  10. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  11. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Site of the Week". November 22, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  13. ^ Campling, Chris (August 9, 2008). "Podcast of the week: Skepticality offers the 'truth'". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 

External links[edit]