Author Archives: Pontus Böckman

TheESP – Ep. #195 – EU rules on GMO are bananas

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This week pope Francis is all talk and no show, there was a secret love affaire between a Cardinal and a Queen of Sweden in 1654 and Massimo Polidoro’s book Il Mondo Sottosopra is now in the shops.
New study finds that measles resets your whole immune system in a very bad way, homeopathic nonsense should absolutely not have a Royal warrant of appointment and Swedish CAM proponents claim CAM is safe despite obvious examples that it is not.
Facebook and Twitter have totally opposite views in political ads on their platforms and Facebook employees points out to Mark Zuckerberg that he is wrong.
Finally, we demonstrate how the EU rules on GMO and CRISPR are totally bananas.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

We warm up by discussing politics which looks glum in the US, but in Hungary there seem be some signs that Viktor Orbán may not be invincible after all. Also, we find that the events calendar is full of Skeptical happenings, so there are lights in the dark, nonetheless.

0:06:03 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Francis is all talk and no show

The CDF (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, aka the Papal Inquisition) refuse to provide any help to an ongoing Bishops’ conference in Leicester that is trying to bring light on sex abuse allegations.
As an intriguing side note, old letters provide evidence of Queen Kristina‘s of Sweden flaming love affaire with Cardinal Decio Azzolino in the 1600s.

0:10:35 News

ITALY: Massimo Polidoro’s new book ‘Il Mondo Sottosopro’ is now out

Massimo Polidoro’s website: https://www.massimopolidoro.com/libri/e-uscito-il-mondo-sottosopra-il-mio-nuovo-libro-edito-da-piemme.html

INTERNATIONAL: Measles kills your immune system’s ‘memory’

UK: Homeopathy, the most dangerous kind of quackery

SWEDEN: Follow-up on suggested new CAM regulations – it’s not safe!

INTERNATIONAL: Facebook employees write letter criticizing ads policy on Politics

SWEDEN: Post-term pregnancy research cancelled after six babies die

00:35:27 Really Wrong: EU GMO rules are bananas

00:42:53 Quote and Farewell

“I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel – a solution of why Democritus laughed and Heraclitus wept.”

/ Horace Walpole, 24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797. English writer, art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician /

00:45:06 Outro

00:46:21 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #194 – Polio: Two Down, One to Go

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First: A big shout-out to fellow skeptics Claire and Jakub who are getting married on the day of the release of this episode!

This week we learn about William Benjamin Carpenter, an early skeptic and describer of the Ideomotor effect, back in 1870s. Then we ponder the results of the Synod for the Amazon and what decisions Pope Francis will have to make of those. Also, the renewal of the Pact of the Catacombs sounds perfect for the week of Halloween…
In the news we look at a study regarding mandatory vs. voluntary vaccinations, we note that even if you are a Shaman and married to a Princess you may not publish dangerous health advice and we have a look at the latest unfortunate victim of German cancer quackery.
We celebrate that two out of three polio strains are now eradicated and take a look at a new example of how to battle conspiracy theories, and are happy to see the Good Thinking Society help the chief of the NHS put homeopathy awareness on the agenda (and on the front page of the Daily Mail!)
We close the show by handing a Really Wrong Award to Adriano Panzironi, self-proclaimed diet and supplement peddler who promise to help you live to 120 (at a steep fee, of course…)
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

The full team is back together and send all their best to Claire Klingenberg and Jakub Kroulík who get married as this goes out on 31 October! Congratulations, we wish you all the best!
(Claire is of course the President of ECSO (the European Council of Skeptical Organizations) and occasional co-host of theESP)

0:04:09 This Week in Skepticism

William Benjamin Carpenter, born on 29 October 1813, was an English Physician, zoologist, physiologist and a skeptic. He described and named the Ideomotor Phenomenon, sometimes known as the Carpenter Effect.

0:08:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope – the Results of the Synod: Francis has the ball now

The Synod for the Amazon, which will be remembered as part of Francis legacy, votes in approval of married priests, female deacons and special rites in the Amazon (and only there). These are quite novel concepts for the Church and the question is now what Francis will do about it. Also, some bishops sneaked away to the catacombs to sign a pact

0:15:51 News

INTERNATIONAL: Voluntary vs mandatory vaccination policies and how people relate to them under different circumstances

NORWAY: Book of princess’ shaman boyfriend is stopped by publishers

UK: Leah Bracknell (1964-2019): another victim of cancer quackery?

INTERNATIONAL: Two Out of Three Strains of Polio Eradicated

GERMANY: The German Amadeu Antonio Stiftung publishes a new brochure on how to make sense of conspiracy theories

UK: Chief of NHS calls for de-listing of Society of Homeopathy from Professional Standards Authority (PSA)

00:37:00 Really Wrong: Adriano Panzironi claims his diets and supplements cure cancer and make you 120 years old

00:42:25 Quote and Farewell

“Believe what you like, but don’t believe everything you read without questioning it.”

/ Pauline Diana Baynes, 9 September 1922 – 1 August 2008. English illustrator, author and commercial artist /

00:43:07 Outro

00:44:22 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #193 – Global Vaccination Summit w Ovidiu Covaciu

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This week we have a very interesting catch up with Ovidiu Covaciu who attended the International Global Vaccination Summit organised by the European Commission and the WHO. But before that we celebrate that Jelena singlehandedly (well, not really) made sure that the new Center for Population Health in her home city of Seattle was dedicated to Dr. Hans Rosling, the Swedish professor and science communicator. We also talk about how Pope John Paul II this week in 1996 admitted that evolution probably has some merits to it after all. That doesn’t necessarily mean he liked it much.
After the interview we poke the pope with some more Amazon news and the hilarious innovations of the Vatican to make use of modern technology. Yes, it’s the eRosary™, that nifty device we’ve all been waiting for! It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and send those Hail Marys to the heavens above at the flick of the wrist (literally).
In the news we find another win for the Good Thinking Society against Peter Popoff, we anticipate the yearly ComceptCon skeptical event in Portugal and go through how the Swedish Skeptics was invited by the government to give their opinion on the coming CAM-regulations. Then we go to Spain where the Spanish Skeptics at ARP-SAPC join others to fight the dangerous idea of Bio-Neuro Emotion.
We finish off with handing out a Really Wrong award to the Polish ‘Law and Justice’ party that has passed a law that says sex education for kids is a form of paedophilia. Really, they said that.
Oh, and there’s a surprise coming for our most faithful patrons – you can join them if you want to!
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

The University of Washington in Seattle, basically on Jelena’s backyard, has dedicated their new building for the Center of Population Health to Dr. Hans Rosling, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

0:04:29 This Week in Skepticism

Pope John Paul II famously admitted that evolution makes sense on 22 October 1996. Better late than never!

0:08:26 Interview with Ovidiu Covaciu

Ovidiu Covaciu, the great Romanian vaccination champion, made sure he was invited to the Global Vaccination Summit in Brussels, organised by the European Commission and the WHO. We get a first hand report on what he told them that they should do!

0:28:29 Pontus Pokes the Pope – more on the Amazon, plus Praying via Bluetooth

The Vatican makes hilarious efforts to stay relevant in the age of ‘the Internets and all that’. Meet the eRosary, your hotline to God!

0:33:35 News

UK: Ofcom fines Ben TV £25,000 for Peter Popoff infomercials

PORTUGAL: ComceptCon 2019

SWEDEN: The Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF) has as requested by the government given their opinion on suggested changes to CAM regulation

SPAIN: ARP-SAPC (Spanish Skeptics) joins the request that the College of Physicians of Murcia stop the activity entitled “A course of miracles”

00:49:09 Really Wrong: To the Polish ‘Law and Justice’ party for passing a law that criminalizes sex education for kids and says it is a form of paedophilia 

00:52:16 Quote and Farewell

“The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions.”

/ Max Beerbohm, 24 August 1872 – 20 May 1956. English essayist, parodist and caricaturist /

00:53:59 Outro

00:55:14 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #192 – Dark Side of the Moon

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This week we first have a look to see if it was really the President of Finland who said he preferred reindeer to Trump before we congratulate the Spanish Skeptics for ceasing the opportunity of the Nobel week to point out what the ‘Nobel disease’ is in the mainstream media. We also remember the mockumentary ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ that premiered this week 17 years ago.
Social media is tough to handle, as pope Francis discovered when accidentally tagging an NFL football team on Twitter, much to the delight of all the fans. Meanwhile his synod on the Amazon is fully underway, and we report on the latest developments.
In the news, we report on the Global Vaccination Summit on-line, discuss the anti-gay sentiments in France, Flat Earthers in the Netherlands and the rising homeopathy resistance in Germany. We also discuss illegal circumcisions in Sweden, a new skeptical book from CICAP in Italy and the start of a huge medical lawsuit in France.
We end by handing yet another Really Wrong for covering up sex abuse in the Catholic Church, this time to Swedish Cardinal Anders Arborelius.
Give it a listen!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:50 Greetings

Do the President of Finland really prefer reindeer and snowballs to Trump? We would not blame him if that was the case, but in fact he did not say so in a video circulated on-line. The Spanish Skeptics ARP-SAPC and Círculo Escéptico took the opportunity apropos Nobel week to spread some knowledge about the ‘Nobel Disease’ in the Spanish newspaper ABC. Well done!

0:10:00 This Week in Skepticism

The ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ mockumentary was released on October 16, 2002.

0:15:20 Pontus Pokes the Pope – the Synod for the Amazon is in full swing

Why stop at married priests, why not women too. At least if they all stay celibate…

0:19:50 News

INTERNATIONAL: Global Vaccination Summit to fight vaccine hesitancy

FRANCE: Anti-gay demonstrations against new IVF law

THE NETHERLANDS:  0.9 per cent of Dutch people believe the Earth is flat

GERMANY: Homeopathy – even the SPD now supports defunding homeopathy

SWEDEN: Illegal Circumcisions in Sweden

ITALY: New book by Berti & Garlaschelli: The detective of the incredible

FRANCE: Mammoth trial begins for Mediator scandal

00:37:51 Really Wrong: Swedish Cardinal Arborelius admits to having covered up sex abuse

00:41:34 Quote and Goodbye

“Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.”

/ André Paul Guillaume Gide, 22 November 1896 – 19 February 1951. French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature /

00:42:51 Outro

00:44:06 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #191 – No dick, no vote

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This week we declare that we’re fans of Brian Cox and we deliberate some more on the book ‘Shoot for the Moon’ by Richard Wiseman (see ep. 190) and how we can apply the lessons learned from Apollo in our skeptical endeavors.
We then look into the soap opera that is the currently ongoing Synod in Rome that has created a big controversy for Francis, even before it has begun (and in addition he insists you need a dick to vote on the outcome). That is a developing story that we absolutely will come back to in the upcoming weeks.
Massimo Polidoro (see ep. 189) has yet another new book out AND has launched a new YouTube channel. Does the man never sleep? We take a look at why Greta Thunberg is constantly attacked, and our message is that if she gets on your nerves you should listen to what she says, not how she may make you feel.
The Swedish liberal Centre Party takes a very controversial stand against male circumcision and the World Health Organization has issued new recommendations regarding flu vaccinations.
We end the show with a deep dive into the climate change debate, handing out both a Really Wrong Award to the Climate Intelligence Foundation and a Really Right to the site Climatefeedback.org.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:49 Greetings

We talk about Brian Cox on tour and some more about Richard Wiseman’s book Shoot for the Moon)

0:08:14 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Synod for the Amazon 

Married Priests? Only in the Jungle…

0:15:17 News

ITALY: Massimo Polidoro has a new book out, plus a new YouTube channel!

INTERNATIONAL: Attacks on Greta Thunberg

SWEDEN: Political party votes for ban of circumcision – but leader asks everyone to ignore it

INTERNATIONAL: WHO recommendations regarding flu vaccine

00:36:48 Really Wrong and Really Right: To Climate Intelligence Foundation for the letter signed by “500 scientists” and to Climatefeedback.org for setting things straight

00:46:53 Quote and Goodbye

“If we [humans] disappeared overnight, the world would probably be better off […] It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
/ Sir David Attenborough, born 8 May 1926, English broadcaster and natural historian /

00:52:25 Outro

00:53:40 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #190 – Richard Wiseman and Shoot for the Moon

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This week we first have a brief follow-up on German Health Minister Jens Spahn’s failure do defund bogus homeopathy and how the IHN (Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie) has published an open letter to the minister explaining why he is wrong not to chance the rules. You can all go sign it! We also mention the Swedish Skeptics’ (VoF) successful participation in the Gothenburg International Book Fair.

The main segment of this episode is an interview with the marvelous Richard Wiseman, where he tells all about his latest book Shoot for the Moon. András was fortunate enough to catch up with him in Edinburgh and the book tells the fascinating story about how a very young, but passionate team, came together under Apollo 11 and were instrumental in putting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Richard has coined the phrase ‘Apollo Mindset’ to describe how the team spirit they developed was key in making sure that Apollo 11 was the fantastic success it was. The book also discusses how we may all learn from the Apollo program to apply a little #ApolloMindset on our own, more down-to-earth projects.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:48 Greetings

The INH (Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie) is challenging last week’s Really Wrong recipient, Jens Spahn! You shouls sign at: https://netzwerk-homoeopathie.info/en/offener-brief-an-gesundheitsminister-spahn-zur-fortgeltung-der-erstattung-von-homoeopathie-in-der-gkv/

Also a big shout-out the Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF) and their success at Gothenburg International Book Fair.

0:05:36 Interview with Richard Wiseman

0:31:18 Farewell

0:34:02 Outro

0:35:17 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #189 – with Massimo Polidoro

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This week we first hear from the fantastic Massimo Polidoro who tells all about CICAP Fest from two weeks ago.
We then look forward to a new film which is a fictional tale about the relationship between pope Benedict and Francis and report that there is a new book is out which brings attention to the brewing schism within the Catholic church (this makes Francis rather unhappy).
In the news, Russia is not very successfully trying to cover up the fire in the smallpox lab (ouch!), Sweden extends the HPV vaccinations to ALL kids (not just girls) and the Hungarian Skeptics scores a win for kicking out alt med quackery from a medical university.
Russian bot farms spreads both anti and pro vaccination memes in order to undermine people’s trust in information in general and we again get confirmation that the climate change is escalating. The ‘fake’ city of Bielefeld did not manage to find anyone to prove its non-existence and Swedish politicians try to score populist points with crime fighting proposals that will be totally ineffective or even counterproductive.
We end the episode by being deeply disappointed in the German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who totally failed to end homeopathy funding. For that, he receives this week’s Really Wrong award.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

Climate change rebellion is going on all over the world!

0:04:03 Interview with Massimo Polidoro

We hear more about the CICAP Fest the great success with the science festival in Padua.

0:15:33 Pontus Pokes the Pope – New book makes Francis talk openly about the schism

About the new film “The two Popes”:

About the book and Francis’ view on Catholic schism:

0:20:03 Skeptical News

RUSSIA: Fire in Russian Lab with smallpox-virus

SWEDEN: Boys to be included in HPV vaccination program

HUNGARY: Germanic New Medicine in physicians’ further education at Medicel University

RUSSIA / INTERNATIONAL: Malicious Bots and Trolls Spread Vaccine Misinformation

CLIMATE: 2015 – 2019 hottest five-year period ever

GERMANY: Bielefeld 1 million remains unclaimed

SWEDEN: Researchers criticize political approach to fighting crime

00:43:43 Really Wrong: To Jens Spahn for not ending funding of homeopathy in Germany

00:48:26 Quote and Goodbye

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
/ Plato, 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC, Greek philosopher /

00:52:25 Outro

00:53:40 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #188 – European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 2

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This week the team is all together at last! András us tells a bit about his adventures at the incredibly exiting CICAP Fest in Padua, more on this to follow next week.
In the main part of the episode we release the next set of interviews recorded at the European Skeptics Congress 2019! This time you will hear from participants and activists as well as get a sneak peek behind curtain from some of the organizers and volunteers.
Oh, and we have a new logo, thanks to Matt Kemp (@kemp_matt)! Thank you so much!
Enjoy!

Interviews in this episode: Jozef van Giel, Dieter Byttebier, Élisabeth Feytit, Paul de Belder

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:07:01 Interview: Jozef van Giel, podcaster

Jozef runs the Dutch speaking podcast Kritisch Denken (‘Critical Thinking’) and was also responsible for sound, video and recording at the ESC 2019.

00:19:56 Interview: Dieter Byttebier, debater

Dieter is the founder of the English speaking Meetup group ‘People with a Realistic World View’.

00:29:46 Interview: Élisabeth Feytit, film director, author and editor, as well as podcaster

Élisabeth is working on the film ‘Neo Guru’ (formerly know as ‘Memoirs of a Former Mystic’) about a former New Age ‘guru’ that abandoned her career to instead promote rational and critical thinking. Élisabeth also runs the French speaking podcast ‘Méta de Choc’.

00:38:58 Interview: Paul de Belder, Belgian activist and member of the skeptic organisation SKEPP

Paul de Belder was the main responsible (of course with the help of many others) of pulling everything together at the ESC 2019.

00:44:52 Farewell

00:48:44 Outro

00:49:59 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #187 – Antibiotic Resistance Worse Than Climate Change?

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This week we celebrate the birthday of the ‘Ask for Evidence’ campaign, the Pope gets stuck in an elevator and we debunk three myths about the Amazon forest fires.
Counterfeit Medicine is a growing threat to society, even more European countries lose their status a s ‘measles free’ and there are still repercussions in Sweden of the Macchiarini scandal in 2015.
Yoga may be good for preventing cardiovascular problem (but there are many questions still), what used to be the highest peak in Sweden has melted and is now number two and some say antibiotic resistance could be worse than climate change.
We finish off by awarding the BBC a Really Wrong award for thinking scientists believe Nessie could be a big eel.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

Next week we promise we will have more interviews from ESC 2019. The Swedish Skeptics (VoF) want everyone to come and meet them at the Gothenburg Book Fair, don’t be shy! If you want to volunteer please get in touch.

00:06:44 This Week in Skepticism

Ask for evidence campaign was launched 14 September 2011

00:08:58 Pontus Pokes the Pope – Stuck in an elevator, appointing new cardinals.

00:13:20 Skeptical News

THE AMAZON: Three myths about the Amazon forest fires

SWEDEN: Counterfeit medicine an increasing threat to society

EUROPE: Measles update: Albania, Czech Republic and Greece and UK

SWEDEN: Macchiarini update: Government suggests new rules to ensure ethical research

INTERNATIONAL: Who says it’s all negative? The addition of yoga to aerobic exercise programs reduces global cardiovascular risk (maybe)

SWEDEN: Highest mountain in Sweden has lost 15 meters since the 70s

UK: ‘Antibiotic resistance could kill us before climate change,’ says UK health chief

00:32:26 Really Wrong: To the BBC for stupid Loch Ness article

00:35:21 Quote and Goodbye

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
/ Aristotle, 384–322 BC, Greek philosopher /

00:36:39 Outro

00:37:54 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #186 – European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 1

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This week it was Congress time! András and Pontus (unfortunately, no Jelena) spent a wonderful weekend in Ghent, Belgium, at the European Skeptics Congress 2019, where they had a blast!
At the ESC 2019 there were talks by prominent skeptics and plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The result for the podcast is several interviews recorded on-site, with more to come later on. If you were there and met with us, we thank you for doing so! If not, there will be more opportunities in the future.
Until then, here are this week’s interviews, with even more to come on later episodes.
Enjoy!

Interviews in this episode: Edzard Ernst, Christine Mohr, Ovidiu Covaciu

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:13:55 Interview: Prof. Edzard Ernst, emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter

Title of ESC presentation: The battle against SCAM. Are we winning?

Abstract: What do governments and health organisations like WHO do against quackery?
Given the common use of quackery in virtually all countries, one would expect that governments and international organisations like the WHO would have developed effective strategies to limit its prevalence and minimise the harm quackery unquestionably does. Sadly, very few such initiatives seem to exist. Those organisations that actively fight quackery tend not to be run by governments but rely on private, altruistic initiatives. The WHO even has been responsible for several actions that arguably are not fighting but promoting quackery. This lecture will review several recent examples. It is concluded that governments and the WHO have, in the past, turned a blind eye to quackery. In the interest of public health, this situation has to change.

His new book: https://edzardernst.com/2019/08/my-new-book-alternative-medicine-a-critical-assessment-of-150-modalities/

00:22:49 Interview: Christine Mohr, professor in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland .

Title of ESC presentation: When using magicians to study how paranormal beliefs come about

Abstract: Humans belief, in many things. Popular are supernatural beliefs, hotly debated by believers and skeptics alike. Psychologists reported on various variables that correlate with such beliefs (e.g., appreciation of chance, more open to experiences). Yet, these latter studies are correlational unable to convey whether existing beliefs predict the appreciation of chance  (e.g., becoming more associative), or whether being more associative predicts the formation or reinforcement of paranormal beliefs. Over the last years, we performed several series in which we investigated the causality of belief change / reinforcement. In these studies, a magician performed a central event (e.g., a medium talking to a dead person, pseudo-scientific mind reading). Therefore, we could compare psychological variables we assessed before and after the event (tackling causality). Also, we could assess which pre-existing variables (e.g., paranormal beliefs, associative processing) predicted paranormal interpretations. Performing all studies in the classroom, we observed an overall high willingness to accept what the persons had just seen. In one study, around 65% considered that they had witnessed a genuine psychic event. Higher paranormal beliefs and affective reactions predicted a higher endorsement of a psychic explanation. Seeing how easily people are convinced by what they see, we are now starting to “debunking” participants in order to test which pre-performance information we have to provide to render participants more critical as to what is presented to their eyes. We assume that once the magician spells the beans, the belief in what one sees should be gone.

Link: https://applicationspub.unil.ch/interpub/noauth/php/Un/UnPers.php?PerNum=1116121

00:34:51 Interview: Ovidiu Covaciu, Activist against anti-vaxxers, Romania

Title of ESC presentation: The antivaccination activists, misinformation and the damage done

Abstract: Europe is facing a resurgence of preventable disease as anti-vaccine movements from across the continent are growing This talk will focus on the tactics the AV movement uses to gain influence, followers and political power. It will also discuss how to approach, counteract and fight against the AV movement, how to recruit experts by your side, turn the tide and save lives.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vaccinuri/

00:55:15 Farewell

00:59:39 Outro

01:00:54 Out-takes