Last week I was invited on BBC Radio 5 to debate astrology. I have done lots and lots of these types of shows in my time, and they usually dissolve into a ‘there is no scientific evidence’ vs ‘but my clients tell me I am accurate’ debate. This time I thought it might be interesting to make the scientific case in a somewhat more forceful way. So, when the astrologer said that they were aware of compelling scientific evidence for their art, I decided to press the issue. In the end, I asked the ‘Which studies do you find convincing?’ question six times. I was a bit disappointed that the host made us move on, but do find the whole thing quite fuuny….
The clip has had a mixed reaction. Some people think that I came across as rude, and that open minded listeners would have sided with the astrologer. Others have said that I seemed firm but fair, and that it helped make the skeptical position more convincing. What do you think? Does this type of approach help or hinder the public understanding of science?