Episode 81

Published on:

6th Sep 2023

Andrew Huberman: Forest Bathing in Negative Ions

We are back with a moderate-sized Decoding that focuses on Andrw Hubernman a baritone podcaster and neuroscientist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Huberman is a broad-shouldered, big-bearded... science communicator. Extremely popular with the tech-bro optimiser set, he offers science-based 'protocols' on everything from supplement routines to whether you should avoid sunscreen(!).

He's been lauded for his ability to communicate scientific topics clearly and in great depth. But has also faced criticism (including from us!) for his tendency to overhype findings from low-quality studies, promote supplements with dubious claims, avoid any positive mention of vaccines, and cheer on the efforts of his podcasting bros/heroes: Lex Fridman and Joe Rogan.

In this episode, we take a look at a rather specific piece of content, just a 20-minute segment from a recent AMA on the scientific evidence for the benefits of 'grounding' and getting out into nature. We will learn all about the negative ions emanating from streams and waterfalls, the joy that can be sparked by seeing a squirrel wrestle with a nut, whether Huberman actually advocates staring into the sun, and try to solve the age-old question of what is best in life- a sushi restaurant or prancing in a forest.

Also featuring: some good content recommendations (for a change!) and a review of the recent demented goings on in the gurusphere with one Jordan B. Peterson and his quest to destroy the College of Psychologists of Ontario.


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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.