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Brian Dunning (author)

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Nationality  American

Name  Brian Dunning
Role  Writer
Brian Dunning (author) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Occupation  Writer, producer, author
Residence  Laguna Niguel, California, United States
Books  Special Edition Using Adobe GoLive 6, Strapping Young Lads
Education  University of California, Irvine, University of California, Los Angeles, Brigham Young University

Brian dunning talks at google

Brian Andrew Dunning (born 1965) is an American writer and producer who focuses on science and skepticism. He has hosted a weekly podcast, Skeptoid, since 2006, and he is an author of a series of books on the subject of scientific skepticism, some of which are based on the podcast. Skeptoid has been the recipient of several podcast awards including the Parsec Award and Stitcher award. Dunning also created a Skeptoid spin-off video series, inFact, available on YouTube.


Dunning has produced two educational films on the subject of critical thinking, Here be Dragons in 2008, and Principles of Curiosity in 2017.

Dunning co-founded Buylink, a business-to-business service provider, in 1996, and served at the company until 2002. He later became eBay's second biggest affiliate marketer; he has since been convicted of wire fraud through a cookie stuffing scheme. In August 2014, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for the company obtaining between $200,000 and $400,000 through wire fraud.

In 1996 Dunning co-founded and was chief technology officer for Buylink Corporation. Buylink received venture capital funding from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. In 2000 he participated in a presentation on Buylink at The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum called Bricks to Clicks in the New Internet Reality. He discussed the company on CNNfn's Market Call, in Rhonda Schaffler's Maverick of the Morning segment. In 2002, Dunning left his position as CTO of BuyLink.

Between 1997 and 2005 he was technical editor for FileMaker Advisor Magazine, and contributing editor of ISO FileMaker Magazine, 1996–2002, winning one of the FileMaker Excellence Awards at the 2001 FileMaker Developers Conference.

Skeptical activism

Beginning in 2006, Dunning hosted and produced Skeptoid, a weekly audio podcast dedicated "to furthering knowledge by blasting away the widespread pseudosciences that infect popular culture, and replacing them with way cooler reality." He is also the author of the book of the same title and a sequel.

Beginning in 2007, Dunning periodically released video episodes of his InFact series. Each episode is under four minutes long and covers issues similar to those explored in more depth in the Skeptoid podcast, but is intended to reach a wider audience due to its brevity and availability on YouTube.

In 2008 Dunning produced Here Be Dragons, a free 40 minute video introduction to critical thinking intended for general audiences, and received an award from the Portland Humanist Film Festival for this in November 2011.

In 2010 Dunning was awarded the Parsec Award for "Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast". In August 2010 he received an award recognizing his contributions in the skeptical field from the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) during its 10th Anniversary Gala.

In June 2017 Dunning's second film, Principles of Curiosity, was released. According to Dunning, this "presents a general introduction to the foundations of scientific skepticism and critical thinking... It is nonprofit, noncommercial, and licensed for free public and private screenings. It is provided with free educational materials for teachers, designed for high school through college. It is suitable for all audiences. Its 40-minute runtime should fit into most classes."

Dunning has written articles for, published by The Skeptics Society, and was an executive producer for the unreleased network television pilot The Skeptologists. He is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and is the "Chancellor" of the non-accredited "Thunderwood College", a parody of unaccredited institutions of higher learning which offer "degrees" in a variety of subjects.

Wire fraud case

In August 2008, eBay filed suit against Dunning, accusing him of defrauding eBay and eBay affiliates in a cookie stuffing scheme for his company, Kessler's Flying Circus. In June 2010, based on the same allegations and following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a grand jury indicted Dunning on charges of wire fraud. On April 15, 2013, in the San Jose, California, U.S. District Court, as part of a plea agreement, Dunning pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

From an agreement of the parties, the eBay civil suit was dismissed in May 2014 and Dunning was sentenced in August 2014 to serve fifteen months in prison for the company receiving between $200,000 and $400,000 in fraudulent commissions from eBay. Dunning admitted that he received payments to which he was not entitled, commenting "I fully accept this determination, and fully accept and admit responsibility for every action I was involved in."

Skeptoid podcast

Skeptoid is Dunning's weekly podcast. The show follows an audio essay format, and is dedicated to the critical examination of pseudoscience and the paranormal. In May 2012, Skeptoid became a California state non-profit corporation.

Along with similarly themed Point of Inquiry, Skepticality: The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine, and The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, it is listed on an iTunes (US) web page of popular science and medicine podcasts. In May 2014, Skeptoid’s website reported that the podcast had a weekly average of 161,000 downloads.

Each roughly ten-minute Skeptoid episode focuses on a single issue that is generally pseudoscientific in nature. Transcriptions of the episodes are available on line, and usually fall into one of four categories:

  • Quackery medical modalities: such as homeopathy, reflexology, detoxification, or chiropractic
  • Popular cultural misconceptions: such as organic foods, SUVs, and global warming
  • Urban legends: such as crop circles, the Amityville Horror, the Phoenix Lights, or the Philadelphia Experiment
  • Religion and mythology: such as creation legends, New Age religions, and concepts of sin
  • Beginning in 2007, Dunning authored a series of books based upon the Skeptoid podcast episodes.

    Despite his shift away from the technology industry, Dunning continues to do computer programming, and does web development for his Skeptoid website.

    Skeptoid honors

    Skeptoid was a 2009 Podcast Awards finalist in the Education category.

    In 2010, Skeptoid won the Parsec Award for "Best Fact Behind the Fiction" podcast. Also in 2010, Skeptoid was recognized for "Outstanding Contribution to Science and Skepticism" by the Independent Investigations Group (IIG).


  • Strapping Young Lads. Xlibris Corp. 2001. ISBN 978-1-4010-1168-0. OCLC 227969099. 
  • Coauthored with Allyson Knox and Lori Becker: Special Edition: Using Adobe GoLive 6. [1]: Que. 2003. p. 650. ISBN 978-0-7897-2727-5. OCLC 48678473.  LCC TK5105.8885.A34 D85 2003
  • Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena. Thunderwood Press. 2007. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-4348-2166-9. OCLC 287154998. 
  • Skeptoid 2. Skeptoid Media. 2008. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-4404-2285-0. OCLC 589083050. 
  • Skeptoid 3: Pirates, Pyramids, and Papyrus. Skeptoid Media. 2011. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-4538-8118-7. 
  • Skeptoid 4: Astronauts, Aliens, and Ape-Men. Skeptoid Media. 2012. p. 349. ISBN 978-1-4752-0565-7. 
  • Skeptoid 5: Massacres, Monsters, and Miracles. Skeptoid Media. 2013. p. 359. ISBN 978-1-4927-0906-0. 
  • The Secret of the Gypsy Queen (illustrated by Jesse Horn). Skeptoid Media. 2013. p. 32. ISBN 978-1477626238. 
  • Here Be Dragons: an Introduction to Critical Thinking (Video). B. Dunning. 2008. OCLC 270775142. 
  • Principles of Curiosity (Video). Skeptoid Media. 2017. 
  • References

    Brian Dunning (author) Wikipedia