So far Season two of StarTalk’s television edition strongly resembles its first. There is one notable difference – an additional guest. At some point during the in-studio conversation segments, host Neil deGrasse Tyson uses the discussion at hand to introduce a third guest via video call. In each of the episodes so far (the fourth one premieres in the U.S. tonight), the guest has some connection to the main theme of the episode. None of these guests have been announced in advance, even to the audience at the taping.
Episode one focused on science, politics and policy. The video guest was Richard Muller, professor of physics and, more germane to the theme, author of Physics for Future Presidents.
Comedy and science was the focus of the second episode. The video guest was Andy Weir, author of The Martian. The conversation with Weir focused on the use of comedy in his fiction.
The third episode concerned animation and science. Simon Singh was the video guest, and he has written The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets.
Tonight’s new episode is on science and illusion. The special interview guests are Penn and Teller (though Teller will likely not be speaking), and Tyson will be joined by co-host Chuck Nice and neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde. No word as to whom the video guest might be. Perhaps Larry Wilmore, host of The Nightly Show, former StarTalk special interview guest, and slight-of-hand magician, will call in.
If you can’t get the television program in your neck of the woods, look for the StarTalk Radio podcast. They released all of the first season’s episodes in podcast form (with a little bit of extra material) and the first two episodes of season two are available now. If you want more video goodness, there are many extras available on the show’s website.