My Skeptical Hero: Dr. Steven Novella
I’d like to go ahead and for the moment set aside any problems or negative connotations that the word “hero” has (there will be a post forthcoming on the subject) and say that Steven Novella is my skeptical hero. The guy is just rock solid.
I bought an iPod on 2006 and discovered podcasts for the first time. The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe was around 30 episodes in or so and I downloaded and immediately burned through them all. Since then, I’ve listened to every single episode. Dr. Novella strikes me as the skeptic’s skeptic: he has a deep well of knowledge to draw from; he’s responsible with the facts; he’s malleable in the face of new evidence; and he’s passionate but not strident (although I think a lot of people in the skeptical/atheist community are called “strident” who really aren’t).
Plus, the guy is just a workhorse. He runs a weekly podcast; he has another podcast; he writes a blog; he runs around from skeptical conference to skeptical conference; oh, and on the side he happens to be a neurologist.
Here’s a tie-in with our SM Artist of the Week, George Hrab. George has been a somewhat frequent guest on the SGU, and his wit makes for a nice counterpoint to Steve’s scholarly approach. Here’s an episode from December of last year.
The word “hero” again, in my context is not to be taken as someone who is overly-venerated, or seen as some kind of sacred person. I am using the term to appropriately venerate a person. Dr. Novella deserves esteem and recognition for his wonderful contribution to the skeptical community, and I appreciate the impact he’s made on my life and the joy I’ve received from his work over the years.
Thank you Dr. Steven Novella!