Author Archives: Pontus Böckman

TheESP – Ep. #139 – Fake Cancer Cures in Trouble and the Discoverer of Pulsars Gets Revenge

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Claire Klingenberg sits in for András on this episode where the Pope blames the devil for revealing all the bad stuff he is responsible for.
This week in 1895: The birth of Chiropractic.
Also, fake cancer cures take several hits, an overlooked astrophysicist finally gets the recognition she deserves and a brave pharmacist in Germany takes a stand against homeopathy. We learn that cannibalism is bad for you and other good stuff as we celebrate the newly announced Ig Nobel prizes.
Short random announcement: Please note that it must be parasite season, but that reason and logic will always prevail.
We conclude this unusually positive episode by a Really Right award concerning CRISPR research.

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

00:04:40 Pontus Pokes the Pope

The Pope blames the devil for revealing abuse – and boy is he!

00:07:20 This Week: The birth of chiropractic on 18 September 1895

00:10:21 Skeptical News

LATVIA: European Cancer Patient Coalition revokes the membership of Virotherapy Foundation a.k.a. Rigvir

INTERNATIONAL: Swedes share more fake news than any others in Europe

UK: Good Thinking Society gets cancer quackery investigation published in BMJ

INTERNATIONAL: Measles update – Vaccine Confidence Survey

INTERNATIONAL: eBay removes fake cancer ‘zapper’ treatments from sale due to work by Good Thinking Society

UK: British astrophysicist overlooked by Nobels wins $3m award for pulsar work

GERMANY: A Pharmacist in Bavaria has removed all homeopathy from her displays

INTERNATIONAL: Ig Nobel prizes 2018: the European recipients

00:40:28 Really Right: Researchers are fighting back on the EU decision that Crispr should be banned as GMO

00:42:35 Quote and Farewell

“It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge”
Enrico Fermi, Italian and naturalized-American physicist and the creator of the world’s first nuclear reactor

00:43:44 Outro

00:44:59 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #136 – Jay Novella

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On this Episode:

QED in Manchester is drawing closer!
We speak to Jay Novella of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (the SGU) whose total cast will be there in October. Hear about what we can expect from the SGU in Manchester, what they will be up to in the future and about their book which is due to be released on 2 October. We also get into our views on lobbying, children’s education and about being a parent.
Enjoy!

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:33: Greetings

00:02:23: Interview with Jay Novella

00:37:18: Farewell

00:39:29: Outro

00:40:44: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #134 – Psychic Taxes, Homeopathy and One Hell of a Bus Ride

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Radio Ad; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

As Eggman (Brian Eggo) sits in for Andras we examine the latest news which includes Psychic Sally’s taxes, the end to NHS funded homeopathy in England, Russian attitudes to conspiracy theories, the latest measles situation and more.
Also the Pope gets poked about his upcoming Irish visit and Brian gets on bus 666 to Hel (sic).

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Also check out the on-going Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe, ending 26 August!

00:05:27 This Week in Skepticism

Actress Sylvia Millecam died Aug. 19, 2001 after seeing psychic & alternative healers.

00:13:25 Skeptical News

UK: Psychic Sally hit with almost £3m tax bill

EUROPE: EU Court of Justice declares gene edited crops to be GMO

UK: NHS Bristol ends funding for homeopathy, ending all homeopathy commissioning in England

RUSSIA: Russian beliefs in conspiracies

EUROPE: Measles outbreak updates

UK: A UK parliamentary committee about risks to ‘shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions’.

POLAND: Take bus 666 to Hel!

00:53:28 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Pope Francis goes to Ireland and still doesn’t care

00:56:30 Really Wrong: Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine

01:01:20 Radio Ad

01:02:32 Farewell and Quote

“There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.”

Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born scientist, inventor and engineer.

01:08:02 Outro

01:09:17 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #133 – Malek Tohme

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On this Episode:

We have good news from Ukraine, when we talk to Malek Tohme, who is starting up the Ukraine Humanist, Rationalist, Skeptic Modernists in the city of L’viv!
And a special shout out to James The Amazing Randi who turned 90 on 7 August!

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:33: Greetings

00:03:14: Interview with Malek Tohme

00:30:42 Radio Spot

00:33:16: Farewell

00:37:22: Outro

00:38:37: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #132 – Science in trouble, educating politicians & finding pseudoscience

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

We quickly go from ear-candles to ass-candles and then the Pope doesn’t want us to be skeptical. Guess what? We still are…
On this episode you’ll hear some updates on the Hungarian government’s attack on science, how the anti-vax movement causes a lot of trouble in different countries and what we can do to counter them. We also talk about the educational projects that Spanish skeptics run, the NHS landing credit to bogus treatments, a new study showing the negative effects of taking alternative therapies, the journal Homeopathy gaining on their impact factor and the UK parliament aiming to see clearly with regards to scientific misconduct. Terminally ill Laura Brennen campaigns for vaccination that could have saved her.

Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

00:11:40 This Week in Skepticism

Born on 26 July 1875: Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist who met and collaborated with Sigmund Freud in Vienna in (1907-13), but then developed his own theories. He also had an interest in UFOs and aliens.

00:16:59 Skeptical News

HUNGARY: The minister of Innovation and Technology doubling down on their attack on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

AUSTRALIA: Example to all countries: Australia to issue monthly fines to parents who don’t vaccinate children

SPAIN: Science in Parliament sessions on their way in Madrid

UK: NHS lending credit to bogus treatments

EUROPE: Measles outbreak updates

INTERNATIONAL: Cancer patients using alternative therapies twice as likely to die

UK: The journal Homeopathy sees its impact factor risen by 52%

SPAIN: ‘Stop pseudoscience’ campaign kicks off on Twitter again

UKRAINE: Diphteria outbreak in Ukraine

IRELAND: Does Ireland need a dedicated body to fight pseudoscience

UK: House of commons committee on Science and Technology wants clear picture of misconducts at research insitutes

SPAIN: Call for fictional stories related to skepticism and critical thinking

00:49:30 Pontus Pokes the Pope: The pope does not like skeptics

00:53:56 Really Right: Terminally ill Laura Brennan promotes vaccine that could’ve saved her

00:57:44Quote

“Scepticism is the first step towards truth.”

/Denis Diderot, French philosopher

00:58:48 Outro

01:00:03 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #131 – Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe

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On this Episode:

We talk with the fabulous and twice Ockham’s Award winning Edinburgh Skeptics Society!
Heather Pentler and Sean Slater tell us all about the upcoming Skeptics on the Fringe when there will be 23 skeptical events, every day, starting 4 August.
If you have chance, you should go!

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:12: INTRO

00:00:37: Greetings

00:07:35: Interview with Heather Pentler and Sean Slater from Edinburgh Skeptics Society

00:34:01: Farewell

00:37:21: Outro

00:38:36: Out-takes

TheESP – EP. #129 – Amina Manzoor

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On this Episode:

We talk to leading science and medical reporter Amina Manzoor at the largest Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN). Amina Manzoor fights the good fight in the media to spread an objective and fair view on health myths, alternative “medicine” and she reports on new scientific studies in a popular way. And it works! The readers are interacting and interested!

Together with her colleague Maria Gunther, Amina recieved the Swedish Skeptics’ “Enlightener of the Year” award for 2016.

Among the topics that comes up are Anti-gluten myths, Chronic Lyme Decease, Fake news, Bad PR and Quacks in Mexico

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: INTRO

00:00:29: Greetings

00:02:32: Interview with Amina Manzoor

00:46:33: Farewell

00:49:49: Outro

00:51:04: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #128 – 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge, News and Climate Therapy

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Norbert Aust; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

We comment on Stephen Hawking’s funeral and give a new update on the European statistics for measles (it’s bad).

00:07:10 Short interview with Norbert Aust

We talk to Norbert Aust from the German skeptics (GWUP) and Homeopathy Information Network about their 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge

00:18:43 This Week in Skepticism

James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”. He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine “hypnotherapist” and the “Father of Modern Hypnotism”.

00:22:16 Skeptical News

00:40:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:43:05 Really Wrong

00:45:50 Quote

“Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought: the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new.”
/ Galileo Galilei, Italian polymath /

00:47:35 Outro

00:48:50 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #126 – Colliding worlds, more measles and Poking the Pope

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:29 Greetings

Catching up on our slightly erratic release schedule (only two days after the previous episode!):
Jelena takes over the role of host as András is stuck in a hotel somewhere, with WiFi only slightly better than smoke signals. We talk about TEDx in London, while Dobby the skeptical cat argues that you should become a patron of the show.

00:07:13 This Week in Skepticism

Immanuel Velikovsky (10 Jun. 1895 – 17 Nov. 1979), Russian independent scholar best known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history, in particular the US bestseller Worlds in Collision published in 1950.

00:14:10 Skeptical News

00:25:10 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:28:24 Really Wrong / Really Right

00:33:23 Radio Spot

00:34:18 Quote

“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”
/ David Hume, Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist /

00:35:35 Outro

00:36:50 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #125 – Pepijn van Erp

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On this Episode:

On this episode we interview Dutch mathematician and skeptical activist Pepijn van Erp to talk about his blog, his work at Stichting Skepsis and the Dutch skeptical magazine Skepter and all the topics that he likes to blog about ranging from Climate Change Denial to Conspiracy Theories.

Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:08: INTRO

00:00:36: Greetings

00:02:24: Interview with Pepijn van Erp

00:51:01: Farewell

00:51:26: Outro

00:52:40: Out-takes