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The Star Spot

The Star Spot, with Justin Trottier, is a space themed podcast and radio show focusing on all aspects of astronomy and space exploration. Episodes feature timely news along with fascinating interviews with guests of wide-ranging background: scientists, engineers, artists, politicians, and entrepreneurs. Topics are broad, from the latest space mission to how the universe began to why humans explore.

Jul 22, 2019

Feature Guest: Dan Falk

Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by science writer Dan Falk.

We’ll start today’s interview with a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the landing of humans on the moon and the internationalism of that critical moment. But then, 50 years after this triumph of science, we’re going to confront head on a set of old and new challenges to the scientific enterprise itself.

All the fascinating research and discoveries we share at The Star Spot rests on basic assumptions about the primacy, scope and universality of science. In this two episode series, we take a step back and wrestle with some uncomfortable questions.

What if the fundamental reality we probe is merely a simulation? Does science harbour blind spots that will forever limit its ability to build a theory of everything? And even if science is supreme, can it contend with conspiracy theories and pseudoscience - like the moon landing hoax belief - that undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the wider public.

Current in Space

Tony explain a remarkable finding from the Curiosity rover on Mars: it's detected the biggest emission of methane on the red planet yet. Then Simon delves into the subject of a black hole so unusual that it shouldn't exist at all! And Amelia and Tony report on a new instrument that's being used to hunt for exoplanets in the Alpha Centauri system. 

About Our Guest

Dan Falk is an award winning science journalist and broadcaster. He has been published very broadly, including Smithsonian, The Walrus, Cosmos magazine, Scientific American,, Slate and New Scientist. Dan Falk is also the author of three books, including In Search of Time: Journeys Along a Curious Dimension, Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything, and The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe. He co-hosts the BookLab podcast. In spring 2019 he was the Science Communicator in Residence at York University in Toronto.