Tag Archives: ECSO

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

TheESP – Ep. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Intro

00:00:55 Greetings

00:06:16 This Week in Skepticism

1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon (or any other planetary body outside Earth).

00:09:45  Pontus Pokes the Pope

Cardinal George Pell in court for charges of sexual misconduct towards children.

00:15:58 Skeptical News from around Europe

  1. Italy: Italy’s anti-vax health minister fires 30 experts from Higher Health Council
  2. Russia: Homeopathy in disguise
  3. Sweden: Macchiarini charged in court after all
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  4. UK: Charity Commission publishes new guidelines for CAM charities
  5. Spain: The Skeptical Circle of Spain announces winners of the Pepe Cervera and the José Carlos Pérez Cobo prize.
  6. Sweden: Baby Acupuncture against Colic
  7. Belgium: Belgian authorities investigate case of autistic woman’s euthanasia

00:43:20 Really Right

  • Ovidiu Covaciu, educating people about vaccinations in a Facebook group.

00:46:38 Quote

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”
/Taylor Swift, American singer and songwriter/

00:48:01 Outro

00:49:16 Out-takes

Ep. #143 – QED Live Recording with Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella

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

This episode is the first of its kind as it is the live recording from QED 2018 that happened in Manchester in the middle of October. In the unfortunate abscence of Jelena, Pontus and András are joined by Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella to discuss local confectionery, booze and topics like the Shroud of Turin, Leukemia and how a new finding can lead to sensational but untrue headlines, a Danish cancer quack that sites his long deceased patients as his success stories, a couple of good news from Portugal and a student essay competition initiated by the University of Szeged to encourage critical thinking.
Of course, the pope gets poked again and Smirnoff gets the price for being Really Wrong in playing the non-GMO & gluten-free cards…

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

Show Notes:
Greetings

This Week in Skepticism: 14 October 1988 – media conference – Shroud of Turin radiocarbon date revealed and it turned out to be a medieval hoax.

Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new discovery with the potential to boost sensationalistic headlines

DENMARK: A cancer quack that still cites his patients as his success stories after they had died while he’d been treating them

PORTUGAL: Good and bad news

HUNGARY: Prestigious university calls for short essays written by students 15-18 years of age on a popular quackery and why it doesn’t hold water

Pontus Pokes the Pope

Sir Francis comparing abortion to hiring a trained killer while blaming the devil for church scandals

Really Wrong: Smirnoff advertising gluten-free, non-GMO vodka

Quote and Farewell

“The basics are knowing which small steps to take – you can’t start out planning world salvation from the get go. You have to be ready to do gruelling work. You have to find role models, who will teach you how to think better. You can’t always trust what you believe yourself. Every truth starts off as a delusion. It can only become truth after it is critiqued.”
/Ladislav Hromadka, Czech Philosopher/

Outro

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. #123 – Enrico Zabeo

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On this Episode:

This week we interviewed Italian skeptic and podcaster Enrico Zabeo, who’s one of the founders and hosts of Radio CICAP, the official podcast for the Italian skeptical organisation CICAP.

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

00:00:35: Greetings

00:04:18: Interview with Enrico Zabeo

00:36:47: Farewell

00:39:55: Outro

00:41:09: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #113 – Women in Science, measles epidemic, flat Earth and Susan Gerbic’s adventures

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:

00:00:26 Greetings

00:12:53 This Week in Skepticism

  • Brian Deer’s landmark investigation into the Wakefield fraud

http://briandeer.com/mmr/st-mmr-reports.htm

00:18:04 Skeptical News

01:00:53 Quote

“The essence of the scientific method is that it deals with problems as such and thus it seeks solutions, without prejudice or chauvinism. The question we ask is not who’s right, but what the truth is.”

/Albert Szent-Györgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel laureate/

01:03:01 Outro

01:04:16 Out-takes

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.

Segments:
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 #092

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We are checking in from Wroclaw, where we attended the 17th European Skeptics Congress and recorded a show sitting in a hotel room together.
You can listen to a couple of our short interviews recorded during this wonderful international event with Lesek, Deborah and Daniella. More to be released with upcoming episodes.
We also talk about the changes on the board of ECSO (European Council of Skeptical Organisations).
András is now on the road with Susan Gerbic, Mark Edward and Liubomir Baburov, networking across Europe with the “About Time Tour”.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; Interviews from the European Skeptics Congress

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

  1. We talk about the European Skeptics Congress, reflect on the event and exchange thoughts and feelings.
  2. European Council of Skeptical Organisations elect the new board and a new president – Claire Klingenberg, who we congratulate and wish all the best! As well as Claire, Andras and Pontus are now also part of the board and will be taking an active part in the work done by ECSO.
  3. If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

00:10:04
Interview with Lesek from Poland
Andras asks Lesek about his experience of the hypnosis on stage and how he got affected by it. During the congress Jakub Kroulik performed the seance of mass hypnosis and tried to convince the audience that anything can be suggested to the suggestible mind.

00:21:43
Interview with Deborah Hyde
Deborah and Andras talk about the congress, exorcism, the movie on exorcisms screened at the conference and the suggestibility of the human mind.

00:35:15
Interview with Daniella from Germany

00:37:45
Farewell

00:43:50
Outro

00:45:05
Out-takes

Episode #091

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On this episode:
Before we head out to the 17th European Skeptics Congress, we bring you news from Germany, Denmark, Italy and the UK, talk about Sigmun Freud and his weird theories. We try to find out if the world is coming to an end (again) and how fact checking can prevent elections from going off track.
Also, after the Congress, Andras is going on the About Time Tour with Susan Gerbic, Mark Edward and Liubo Baburov to do some skeptical networking in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. Feel free to donate to theri cause at fundly.com/about-time-tour-ske…rking-across-europe

Also, make sure you check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Really Right; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings and Feedback

00:10:39
This Week in Skepticism
Sigmund Freud, died on 23 September 1939.

00:17:48
Skeptical News

  1. UK/WORLD: The end of the world is upon us – again
  2. DENMARK: University of Copenhagen revokes doctoral degree for covering up misconduct
  3. NETHERLANDS: Netherlands wants EU to approve CRISPR crops since the technique is safe
  4. GERMANY: Correctiv.org – helping real time fact-checking during the upcoming German elections
  5. SWEDEN: Swedish police has NOT stopped rape investigations due to immigration
  6. GERMANY: A new book – False news making history
  7. ITALY: EU Court of Justice gives Italian farmer right to grow GMO corn (maize)

00:37:31
Really Right: Skeptical activism keeps Avocado (Wolfe) out of Finland

Finland Doesn’t Cry Wolfe

00:47:02
Quote
“One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”
/Albert Einstein, German physicist/

00:48:21
Outro

00:49:36
Outtakes

Episode #082

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Unfortunately, due to all three of us hosts being otherwise engaged, we could not provide you with a show this week. But there are a few things we had to mention. Sorry and hope to have your ears next week when we’re back to normal.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; Outro

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

00:04:38
Outro