Author Archives: Pontus Böckman

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


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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

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

Episode #121 – Dan Katz and Cognitive Behavioral Theory


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On this Episode:

We talk to Swedish renowned Psychologist and Skeptic, Dan Katz. Dan specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and has a very cool book out which is on its way to be translated into several languages: “The Lizard in Your Head”. He is also a member of the Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF)

Please also check out our event page at

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

Show notes:

00:00:07: INTRO

00:00:35: Greetings

00:02:09: Interview with Dan Katz

00:45:55: Farewell

00:50:29: Outro

00:51:44: Out-takes

Episode #119 – Polio, Hungarian Election, and BS Statistics


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On this Episode:

This week Brian Eggo sits in for Jelena as we talk about Hungarian elections, a medium shocked to discover that people sometimes commit fraud, HIV deniers in Russia, Hans Rosling’s last book and how Swedish authorities have been using bullshit data for years without having a clue.

And of course the Pope gets a mention for getting rid of hell (or did he?).

Plus, we celebrate that QED in Manchester is announced for October with The Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew, George Hrab and Helen Arney!

Please also check out our event page at

Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Really Wrong; Quote; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:00: Intro

00:00:27: Greetings

00:07:07: This week in Skepticism

00:12:27: Skeptical News

00:38:28: Really Wrong

00:44:57: Farewell

00:46:27: Outro

00:47:42: Out-takes

Episode #118 – Marko Kovic: Problems in the Skeptical Movement?


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On this Episode:

This week we talk to Marko Kovic, social science researcher and former President of the Swiss Skeptics (Skeptiker Schweiz). We discuss his recent blog post “Some problems of the skeptic movement” and talk about possible ways of addressing these issues.

Please also check out our event page at

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

Show notes:

00:00:07: INTRO

00:00:34: Greetings

00:02:09: Interview with Marko Kovic

00:36:46: Radio spot

00:39:19: Farewell

00:41:45: Outro

00:43:00: Out-takes

EPISODE #110 – Devil’s Footprints, Irish Cancer and The Backfire Effect


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Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Analysis; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:26 Greetings

00:07:15 This Week in Skepticism

00:14:07 Skeptical News

00:42:11 Analysis: the Backfire Effect Re-considered

00:55:06 Really Wrong:

Irish priest calls out for more exorcists

00:59:18 Quote

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
Arne Tiselius, Swedish biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry

01:00:47 Outro

01:02:02 Outtakes

Episode #108 – Britt Marie Hermes and Eran Segev


On this Episode:

This week we bring you an interview with Britt Marie Hermes and Eran Segev regarding the lawsuit against Britt Marie. Britt Marie has been taken to court in Germany by US-based naturopath ‘Dr’ Colleen Huber, claiming that Britt has defamed her. This concerns statements Britt Marie made in a blog, in which she was critical of the medical and fundraising practices of the Naturopathic Cancer Society and the Nature Works Best Cancer Clinic (Huber is associated with both).

Link to Britt Marie Hermes’ blog.
Link to Australian Skeptics fundrasier here.

Please also check out our event page at

Intro; Interview; Fundraiser promo; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:



Interview with Britt Marie Hermes and Eran Segev

Fundraiser promo




Episode #105 – Smallpox, fake news and the Taoiseach is a coward

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In our final episode for 2017 we look back at a skeptical year in Europe. We talk about smallpox, how measles continues to spread and how a prominent skeptic becomes head of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science. We also look into Facebook’s new attempt to fight fake news, how peer review punishes poor research and how Christmas decorations being removed in Italy has nothing to do with muslims.
Lastly the Taoiseach in Ireland failes to take a stand against Scientology, and for that he is Really Wrong.

Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Farewell; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings
Review of 2017 in Europe:

00:16:29 This Week in Skepticism: The Smallpox Retention Controversy

21:39 Skeptical News

00:43:21 Quote
“The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions.”
MAX BEERBOHM, British Critic, Essayist, and Caricaturist

00:47:21: Outro

00:48:36: Outtakes

Episode #102 – More Superheroes!

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On this episode:

We could not possibly fit everything into epsiode #100, so here come some more interviews from those recordings: We talk to Andreas Kyriacou, Antonia de Oñate and João Monteiro!
As always, make sure you check out our event page at

Intro; Greetings & Feedback; Interviews; Outro

Show notes:

INTRO music

Greetings and Feedback

Check out the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project at

Interview with Andreas Kyriacou from Skeptiker Schweiz and the Freethinkers Association of Switzerland

Interview with Antonia de Oñate from the Spanish Skeptics ARP and João Monteiro from COMCEPT in Portugal



Outtakes (from Ep 100 recordings, with Sean Slater)

Episode #101 – Belgian UFOs, the King of Germany and András goes into politics

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On this episode:

The brilliant Brian Eggo (“Eggman”) joins us from Glasgow as guest host and tells all about the Skeptics in the Pub movement in the world.

Then we dig into Belgian UFOs, dowsing in the UK, and how to combat fake news in Italian schools. Before we end, the “King of Germany” gets the Goldenes Bretts award, Macchiarini avoids prosecution and Italian anti-vaccers spread lies about a perfectly healthy child. Plus András goes all political.

Check out Glasgow Skeptics at or send them an email at enquiries(at)

Also, make sure you check out our event page at

Greetings and comments

This Week in Skepticism:
The Belgian UFO wave

News Items 

UK: Water firms use water diving to find leaks:

Italy: Schools to start new program to turn students into “Fake News Hunters”:

Austria: The Austrian Skeptics award the Goldenes Bretts Award to the “King of Germany”:

Sweden: Macchiarini not to be prosecuted in Sweden:

Really wrong: Italian anti-vaccers Corvelva and ‘dead’ baby picture:

Radio spots

Contact details, goodbye and more


“Let us keep our minds open, by all means, as long as that means keeping our sense of perspective and seeking an understanding of the forces which mould the world. But don’t keep your minds so open that your brains fall out! There are still things in this world which are true and things which are false; acts which are right and acts which are wrong, even if there are statesmen who hide their designs under the cloak of high-sounding phrases.”
Walter Kotschnig, Austrian born educator, diplomat and professor at Smith College