Dr. Sean Rafferty is an archaeologist at the University at Albany. His office is right next door to Cara’s. He was one of Chris’ professors in grad school. Sean’s focus has moved from strictly cognitive and Northeastern U.S. archaeology to the philosophy of skepticism. While Chris fondly remembers Sean as skeptical by nature, he has delved deeper into the discipline, theory, and literature of skepticism and teaches several courses and sections on it to UAlbany students.

Cara hosts Science on Tap lectures at a local pub in Albany, and Sean gave a lecture for her on skepticism. Episode 2 is the audio of that lecture. We interviewed Sean as a way to set up the episode, and we all have so many words, we decided to split it into two parts.

Learn more about Sean’s research and teaching at his department webpage: http://www.albany.edu/anthro/rafferty.php

Sean got into skepticism by listening to podcasts (fancy that!), so we asked him what some of his favorite podcasts are and promised to provide links to them here:

Classroom Materials

Calling Bullshit Syllabus: http://callingbullshit.org/

Recommended Books:

The Demon Haunted World – Carl Sagan

You are not so smart – David McRaney

Nonsense on Stilts – Massimo Piglucci

The Believing Brain – Michael Shermer

Abominable Science – Donald Prothero

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future – Donald Prothero

Contact Sean Rafferty:


Journal of Northeast Anthropology http://www.albany.edu/northeast_anthropology/, neanthro@albany.edu

Contact Us:




Cara Ocobock




Chris Lynn




The song in the soundbed is “Broke 4U Baby” by the Morning Shakes, Chris’ band from the 1990s.

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