Special Request for Comments on the Mindcast

Okay, it is time to get things going again with the Mindcast. A new show will be uploaded this week, but before that happens I’m announcing a few changes and a few potential changes. You could read the brief summaries below, or you could listen to my audio explanation and hear more details below.

Special Request for Comments.

First, I’m splitting my website up. Yes, The Inoculated Mind will fission, divide and specialize. One site, which will retain the URL, http://www.inoculatedmind.com, will most likely be the website for the Mindcast. The other site, URL undetermined, will be my blog, so that I can keep my writings on science, personal musings on social stuff, and philosophical quandaries separate from the show. This will not only make it easier for people to find things related to the show when they come looking, but it will also allow me to freely express and identify myself on my own blog, and not have it get confused with my show.

Second, I’m thinking about whether or not to keep the Science fiction music. There are advantages to keeping with the same music each show, and disavantages. In brief, if I stick with the scifi, I might have to spend a lot of time getting explicit permissions to use all the music, but I could keep my variety and keep having fun with it. If I switch to a regular intro and outgoing theme, and music in between, that would make my life easier, but also limit creativity. (It may also make it easier to syndicate the show, more in this later.) Do you like the Scifi? Would you hate it if I changed it to something else? Or would you like me to pick a particular SciFi to stick with instead?

Third, I am going to add regular topical segments to the show. I started and stopped a segment on nutrition 2 years ago, but I would like to start it again, by soliciting help from an expert on the subject. I would also like to start a segment on logic, logical fallacies, and a look at the ways that we fool or convince ourselves with or without logic. Those are two that are high on my list, but how about yours? Would you like a regular segment on Astronomy? Climate Change? Politics and Science? Famous (and infamous) Scientists? What else? Tell me what you want to hear more about!

What else do you think about the show? What do you like, what bugs you, what would you really like to see improved?

There are two ways you can send in your suggestions. The first is to just leave a comment on this post. The second would be to email me at science AT inoculatedmind DOT com. Thanks for listening, for reading, and thanks in advance for sending in your suggestions. The next episode of the Mindcast will be uploaded this week, and with your input, I can make it better than ever!

Published by

Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar researching citrus genetics at UC Riverside.

7 thoughts on “Special Request for Comments on the Mindcast”

  1. Great! I’ve missed Mindcast! I often don’t have time to read the blog, but I have lots of time to listen to downloaded .mp3s, and the topics you cover aren’t those I usually encounter.

    First, I don’t care what the URL is, just announce it. If you keep a unified RSS feed, just be sure to mark podcasts differently from blog posts.

    Second, as to the music, it’s nice, but hardly essential. It makes me smile to recognize some bit of music, and your tastes are reasonably similar to mine, but that’s not why I listen.

    Third, don’t worry about logical fallacies, those are readily available at the SGU, and there are several astronomy podcasts. Think of the podcast as *your* soapbox. Your earlier excursions into CCD, agronomy, agriculture, etc are AFAIK unduplicated on the web. Political issues regarding your research or interests are always interesting.

    Good luck!



  2. Thanks for your comments, Dennis. You make a very good point about talking about topics that are not often covered elsewhere. Thanks for your perspective on the music, too.

    I’ve been busy with so many things lately, but I’m working on another show to upload very soon!


  3. I like the variety of music. Changing it weekly makes it part of the show rather than window dressing. On the other hand, if you could actually get someone to create an original theme song for you, that would be cool. The worst thing you could do would be to keep the same borrowed song every week–borrowed window dressing is lame.

    As for the logic section–where do you want to go with it? The first thing that crossed my mind was doing weird logic puzzles and games and such, which I know a little about and could help out with. Misuse of science in public policy debates might be more on topic, something where I have no more expertise than you, but would be interested in helping out with anyway.


  4. I home school my two girls, 9 and 14. I would love to hear science stories which are directed to a general audience, children and adults; experiments one can do at home, stories about science and math in real life, stories on scientist are all fantastic. Perhaps have each podcast center around a theme: life science; interview a life scientist, an experiment, puzzle or game involving life science, new animal discovered, factoid. All very clean language.

    Music: an intro theme is great, but the rest, I agree, vary.

    Logic: YES!!!!! Please! I’d love a regular segment on logic, critical thinking and reasoning. I would love a separate podcast dedicated to logic and reasoning and directed, again, at children as well as adults.


  5. Chris: Good points about the music, I had thought something similar to that. It would be awesome to have someone compose music for my show… I wonder how much Danny Elfman costs these days? Hee hee hee. I wish.

    Rachel: Experiments you can do at home – that’s a good idea! At this point, I’m not sure about separate podcasts, if I would do a separate one it would most likely be specific to my field. Nice to have another vote for the logic segment. 🙂 Thanks for your input!

    Another possibility which Rachel brings up is a constant opening theme music, but varying the rest of it. I had thought about turning the Scifi music into little ‘bumpers’ like when I start speaking after each break, which then trail off as I keep talking. That would easily qualify as Fair Use and I wouldn’t need to get any permissions.

    If I were to go with this option, then the challenge would be to find (or make) a regular recognizable theme music for the beginning (and end?) of the show that would fit the show and not sound borrowed.


  6. Rachel Ann: check out the Naked Scientists (and Ask The …) podcasts from the BBC; fun, informative, with kitchen science segments.

    The Naked Scientists

    Are We Alone? is from the SETI Institute, entertaining (if you think Seth’s puns are entertaining), skeptical, factual.

    There are lots of skeptical podcasts, but most are oriented to adults.



  7. And there’s Slacker Astronomy for a pretty good astronomy podcast, from what I remember last time I listened to it. Their script-reading is probably better today than it was two years ago.

    I couldn’t compete with shows dedicated to those topics, but what I’m hoping to do is broaden the range of topics and make it more thematic and recognizable. Actually, I’d better add Seth to my list of people to chase down for interviews – been meaning to talk to him!


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