Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour.
Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour.

Science and Journalism, with Christiane Amanpour

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour. Photo Credit: Brandon Royal
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Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Christiane Amanpour.

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About This Episode

Did you know that reporting a story is like using the scientific method? In both instances, you have an idea, you gather all the facts and information surrounding the idea, you analyze what you have, and then you present your findings. On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the symbiotic relationship between science and journalism with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Eugene Mirman and investigative reporter Azmat Khan.

To start, you’ll learn how mathematics and science influence Christiane’s approach to reporting the news. We investigate the relationship between reporters and scientific inquiry. Christiane tells us why good journalism must always have humanity. Learn the differences between genuine questioning and ideological taunting. We play a game that helps you realize when news reporting is biased and untrustworthy. 

You’ll hear about Christiane’s connection to the Moon landing. We explore the dangers of reporting from a war zone. Judith Matloff, conflict journalism expert, drops by to help us understand the dangers reporters face today. We ponder if the risks are still the same for journalists now as they were 40 years ago. You’ll learn why the current political landscape has caused a shift from journalists being caught in the crossfire of stories to being deliberately targeted and threatened. Azmat explains why she immerses herself as much as she can before she heads into a conflict zone to report. 

Discover how the rise of freelancers, the upgrades to mobile and digital communications, and the use of social media are re-shaping the journalism landscape. We answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the science of reporting. Christiane tells us how she got a member of the Taliban to sit down for an interview. We reflect on the importance of CNN’s presence in the first Gulf War. Lastly, Bill Nye sends a remote dispatch imploring us to appreciate the mighty work of the journalist. All that, plus, Neil caps off the night by examining the different truths we find in the world.  

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us:

Paul Sikes, Stephanie Judd, Michael McBride, François Fraser, Dan Yoder, John Ward.

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