Author Archives: Pontus Böckman

TheESP – Ep. #152 – Year End 2018

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A bit of a different episode this week, released on the last day of the year to remind our listeners (and ourselves) of the most important things that happened in 2018. Lots of interesting stuff and also what to look forward to in 2019.
We wish you all a really Happy New Year, and we’ll be seeing you!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Checking in with András; Woo in 2018; Skeptical initiatives 2018; Skeptical Awards 2018; QED; The ESP highlights of 2018; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:00 Intro

00:00:28 Greetings

00:04:44 Checking in with András

00:11:06 Woo in 2018

00:13:53 Skeptical Initiatives in 2018

  1. Natalie Grams: Her book now available in English
  2. Massimo Polidoro: Strane Storie
  3. ProVaxx Challenge:  Czech Skeptics
  4. Factfulness: Hans Rosling’s Posthumous Book

00:15:56 Skeptical Awards in 2018

00:21:26 QED – Question, Explore Discover 2018

00:24:28 The ESP Highlights of 2018

00:36:15 Outro

00:37:30 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #151 – Newton’s birthday, the Pope’s promise, CICAP’s new chapter & Xmas in Sweden

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

Show Notes:
00:00:00 Intro

00:00:28 Greetings

00:06:36 This Week in Skepticism

  • Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642), brilliant figure of science and a keen alchemist.

00:12:29 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Pope: Church Will ‘Never Again’ Cover Up Clergy Sex Abuse.

00:19:13 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: A new chapter of CICAP
  2. Ukraine: Measles epidemic is still here
  3. Spain: Spanish chiropractors fear for their jobs
  4. Sweden: Christmas is NOT renamed ‘Winter Celebration’

00:28:38 Skeptical Christmas Songs

00:29:17 Quote

“We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
1st rule (of 4) of scientific reasoning
/Isaac Newton, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687), 3rd edition (1726)/

00:32:09 Outro

00:33:23 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep #149 – Julia Offe

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On this Episode:

This week Pontus and Jelena talks to German Science Communicator and Skeptic Julia Offe. Julia Offe has a PhD in molecular biology and is active within GWUP, the German Skeptics. We talk about the recently announced “Das Goldenes Bretts”-awards and other GWUP activities, as well as the Science Slam events that Julia is promoting in many different places with huge turnouts.

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

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Julia Offe; Closing remarks; Wikipedia spot; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:34: Greetings

00:03:11: Interview with Julia Offe

00:38:09: Closing remarks

00:45:41: Radio Spot

00:47:16: Farewell

00:47:48: Outro

00:49:03: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #145 – Elsevier monopoly?

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András and Pontus join ranks to talk about Massimo Polidoro, Elsevier vs. open access and a film that drives Polish disapproval of the Catholic Church. Plus why people don’t trust science and other news and tidbits from across Europe and the world.

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

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

New Scientists in US Congress: https://nordic.businessinsider.com/2018-midterms-8-new-scientists-elected-to-house-senate-2018-11

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:44 Pontus Pokes the Pope

New film causes huge Catholic backlash in Poland.

00:09:50 Skeptical News

ITALY: Updates about Massimo Polidoro’s latest deeds

SWEDEN: Less crimes, but people feel less safe

HUNGARY: Social Media Manipulation

SWEDEN: Macchiarini aftermath: New study to look into science fraud

EUROPE: Elsevier accused of anti-competitive practices

GERMANY: Das Goldenes Brett nominations now open

00:29:41 Really Right: Bahnhof defies Elsevier

00:32:25 Farewell

00:34:21 Outro

00:35:36 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #144 – No Zero Tolerance for Abuse

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Join us to hear about Pope Francis’ failing October synod, Galileo and how homeopathy is getting a really hard beating in Spain. In other news the Good Thinking Society fights Goop, EU tries (but fail) to get statistics about the anti-vaxx movement and how science is hard: Contrary to what you have heard humans have not wiped out 60% of all vertebrates and an organic diet has not been proved to prevent cancer.

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

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

Show Notes:
00:00:28 Greetings

00:03:45 This Week in Skepticism: Galileo was right! (31 October 1992)

00:07:10 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Francis called for a synod in October that refused to agree on “zero tolerance” against abuse.

00:12:54 Skeptical News

UK: The Good Thinking Society reports Goop to UK authorities on 113 (at least) counts

EUROPE: Anti-vaxxers in Europe – important but flawed EU report

INTERNATIONAL: Organic food does not prevent cancer

WORLD: Statistics is hard: We may not have wiped out 60 % of animals after all

SPAIN: Homeopathy needs evidence to be sold in Spain

00:35:40 Really Wrong: Social media stops sex ed campaign

00:38:26 Farewell

00:43:00 Outro

00:44:15 Out-takes

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