Their neighbours and many of their co-workers have no idea that they are “internet famous,” but Cristina Fernandes-Roach, Pat Roach, Darren McKee and Adam Gardner are the masterminds behind the popular science podcast “The Reality Check.”
The show just celebrated 500 episodes and over 3.5 million downloads.
The extremely popular podcast is recorded the Roach’s basement and it explores a wide range of controversies and curiosities using science and critical thinking.
“We will look at something in pop culture,” Fernandes-Roach told CityNews. “Like Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog Goop. They will make some ridiculous claims and we will take it on and look at the evidence behind their claim and then debunk it.”
The quartet’s podcast, that is featured on eOne Podcasts, just was awarded the same honour that popular podcasts like “Serial” have won. They just won the Mixcloud Online Radio Award for best online talk show.
“We got on the What’s Hot Charts in Australia and we noticed a huge uptick in people downloading the show. We have listeners from all over the world,” Fernandes-Roach said.
While they say the podcast is supposed to be interesting and entertaining, they hope it encourages people to look at how they think.
“We will have someone that has a belief in something,” McKee said, “Then we show them that there is no evidence to support it or some of the facts aren’t quite true to support it. But the other side is that we are trying to give them the critical thinking skills so they can use that for anything that they encounter.”
They also offered some advice to anyone wanting to get into the podcasting business.
‘It’s a real commitment,” Roach told CityNews, “There isn’t a lot of money in it and it’s a commitment. We figure it’s well over 20 to 30 hours each a week that we put in to the show. It’s like a second job, but we love it.”