The Black Goat


Episode 4: Hate the Sinner

April 5, 2017

Many of us try to draw a line between criticizing the science and criticizing the scientist. But when are ad hominem criticisms okay? We talk about the difference between ad hominem arguments and the ad hominem fallacy, the asymmetry between praise and criticism, and the sometimes complicated relationship between our scientific output and our reputations. Plus: In our opening segment we talk about an experiment in gender-swapping email signatures. And we answer a letter from someone whose data was used for a publication by a fellow graduate student without permission.

Links discussed:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at You can email us at

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This episode was recorded March 10, 2017.