Tag Archives: Hungary

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. #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. #178 – Camp Quest with Andreas Kyriacou, plus IQ testing and killing science

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This week while Pontus is away, we talk to Andreas Kyriacou from Switzerland about Camp Quest Switzerland before moving on to other events, IQ testing and a lot more, including a German petition to hold CAM practices to the same standards as real medicine, how the Hungarian Academy of Science is being killed off by Viktor Orban’s government, legal action against a science writer in Ireland, the situation of SCAM in Switzerland and Facebook trying to tackle the ever-growing issue of deep fake videos.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Andreas Kyriacou about Camp Quest; This Week in Skepticism; News; Quote; Outro

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:48 Greetings

00:05:21 Interview with Andreas Kyriacou

About Camp Quest Switzerland

00:21:44 This Week in Skepticism

Alfred Binet, French psychologist, born 8 Jul 1857.

00:30:40 Skeptical News

GERMANY: A German petition to stop authorising ineffective medicines (what organisation from?)

HUNGARY: Hungarian Academy of Sciences stripped of its research network by government

IRELAND: Gemma O’Doherty launches legal action against science writer David Robert Grimes

SWITZERLAND: SCAM situation in Switzerland

INTERNATIONAL: Zuckerberg Says Company ‘Evaluating’ Deepfake Video Policy

00:52:02 Quote and Goodbye
“Love of learning is the most necessary passion … in it lies our happiness. It’s a sure remedy for what ails us, an unending source of pleasure.”
/Emilie du Chatelet French natural philosopher, mathematician, physicist/

00:53:47 Outro

TheESP – Ep. #174 – Eating beaver

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This week András sticks his neck out, announcing that he will give a talk at the upcoming CICAP Fest in Padua in September – in Italian!
We then learn about Margherita Hack who was a formidable Italian astronomer, skeptic and co-founder CICAP, we hear more interviews from SkepKon, curtesy of special correspondent Annika Merkelbach and hear how Cardinal Pell is trying to get out of his legal problem while Francis are creating new ones. Meanwhile the Vatican has spent a fortune to stop legal protection of child abuse victims in the US.
Britt Hermes has won her court case (yay!), Sweden has a big public debate regarding the future of religious free-schools and there is a promising Hungarian initiative to get critical thinking into the education system.
Several UK papers foolishly repeat nonsense from social media about a young woman’s death in the Netherlands, we push for the Fight-the-Fake campaign and celebrate that a fellow skeptic has been elected into the Danish parliament (‘Folketinget’).
Finally, the Polish minister of Agriculture promotes eating beaver, which sounds so much better than it is…

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

András is going to give a talk at CICAP Fest in Padua in September – in Italian!

00:05:13 This Week in Skepticism

Born on 12 June 1922: Margherita Hack, Italian astrophysicist and activist who was one of the most important in her field in Italy. She was also a co-founder of CICAP.

00:10:14 SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach

Two more interviews from SkepKon by our special on-site reporter, Annika Merkelbach. This week Dr. Anna Beniermann (@annabeniermann, mailto:Anna.beniermann@hu-berlin.de)
Dr. Holm Gero Hümmler (@hummler, quantenquark.com)

00:15:34 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Pell’s appeal is going worryingly well, the abuse cases are too many to handle for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Catholic Church has spent a fortune to stop legal protection of child abuse victims. And the Lord’s prayer has aparently been wrong for 2000 years.

00:20:56 Skeptical News

GERMANY: Britt Hermes wins court case initiated by cancer quack

SWEDEN: Big debate regarding religious free schools after the recent scandals

HUNGARY: Educational program to achieve a critical approach to media consumption

THE NETHERLANDS: No, a Dutch teenager did not get assisted euthanasia because of depression after being raped

INTERNATIONAL: Fight the Fake website / compain

DENMARK: Danish General Election: Skeptic Stinus Lindgreen elected MP

00:37:35 Really Wrong

Polish Minister of Agriculture wants to eat beaver (and not in the fun way)

00:43:14 Quote and Goodbye
“The general root of superstition: namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.

/ Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, QC, an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author /

00:44:18 Outro

00:45:33 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #167 – Notre-Dame, Measles quadruples and Hungary wants to control Facebook

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This week we discuss the Notre-Dame fire before we celebrate this week’s icon, the Hungarian astronomer and skeptic Iván Almár. The Measles epidemic is getting even worse with the WHO showing a 300% global increase so far this year, Metabiota has launched a new website for tracking epidemics, Anthroposophs claim to be for vaccinations (they’re really not) and the Hungarian government wants to control Facebook.
Also, the “Finns party” switches to a new conspiracy theory when the old one is not attractive enough, the MMR vaccine does NOT cause diabetes and Brussels thinks 5G testing is using people as Guinea pigs. We learn (again) that stop eating sugar does not cure cancer and we give a shout-out to the Portuguese skeptics, ComCept, that are now on Patreon.
We close the show by saluting one of the champions of keeping the Internet a little bit saner: Snopes.com

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

We discuss the fire at Notre-Dame and ask you to support Rectraction Watch and also talk about the latest Skeptical Club in Budapest who debated how science fiction can shape society.

00:21:35 This Week in Skepticism

Iván Almár, born 21st April 1932. He is an Hungarian astronomer and prominent figure of SETI and the Hungarian skeptic movement.

00:26:32 Skeptical News

FRANCE: Good news: Measles cases go down in France

INTERNATIONAL: Bad news: The number of measles cases globally quadruple in 2019

INTERNATIONAL: Metabiota launches new epidemic tracker website

INTERNATIONAL: Are Anthroposophy enthusiasts for or against vaccinations?

HUNGARY: Facebook vs Hungarian government – who will win?

FINLAND: Right wing party switches to new conspiracy theory after old one loses attraction

UK: Diabetes claimed on Facebook post to be a side effect of MMR. It is not.

EU: Brussels puts 5G testing on hold in case it’s harmful

UK: Stopping all sugar intake won’t cure cancer

PORTUGAL: ComCept goes onto Patreon

01:01:04 Really Right

Snopes.com are Really Right for relentlessly debunking stupidity – most recently about Notre-Dame.

01:04:45 Quote and Goodbye
“Science, my lad, has been built upon many errors; but they are errors which it was good to fall into, for they led to the truth.”
/ Jules Verne, French writer pioneering science-fiction – Quote from Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) /

01:07:28 Outro

01:08:43 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #166 – A Black Hole, Two Popes and HPV vaccination works

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This week we celebrate the first picture of a black hole, Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday and the fact that we can poke two Popes in one week. HPV vaccination is shown to really work, a Spanish Bishop sells gay ‘cure’ courses, babies cannot live on sunshine and laughter and in Hungary you better follow the vaccination schedule for your child.
Also: Fines for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edzard Ernst goes to a SCAM conference, Norwegian government anonymizes job applications and NHS in the UK takes further steps against homeopathy.
Finally, it turns out that Scotland has some strange rules that give the church a bypass on democracy.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

First picture of a black hole! Pontus argues with climate change deniers after a panel debate during the Science Festival in Gothenburg; The Uncertainty Handbook needs translators

00:15:19 This Week in Skepticism

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (German: [ˈhaːnəman]; 10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.

00:24:01 Pontus Pokes the Pope(s)

Double whammy! Pope Benedict comes back for a rematch as Francis tells a student not to ask so many dumb questions

00:30:43 Skeptical News

SCOTLAND: HPV immunisation of 12 and 13-year-old girls has led to 89% decline in disease

SPAIN: Bishop in ‘gay cure’ controversy defended by church

SWEDEN: Baby almost dies from a diet of vegan food and sunshine

HUNGARY: Hungarian couple’s appeal rejected at the Constitutional Court regarding their vaccine exemption

SWEDEN: Follow up from 2 weeks ago: Jehovah’s witness who showed homophobic films gets 4000 Euro fine

FRANCE: Edzard Ernst on SCAM practice in France

NORWAY: Government wants to anonymize job applications

UK: Homeopathy prescribing set to be blacklisted under NHS England plans

00:57:19 Really Wrong

Unelected church representatives in local Scottish councils

01:03:19 Radio Spot

Laura Brennan, HPV vaccination champion

01:01:29 Quote and Goodbye
“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
/Charles Darwin, 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882, English naturalist, geologist and biologist/

01:04:05 Outro

01:05:20 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #159 – Fake News by Orban, German court vs Heilpraktiker 1-0 & Brian Bashing the Bishop

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In the abscence of Pontus, Jelena and Andras are joined by Brian Eggo to bring you a new show full of news and interesting topics including two events coming up (SkepKon 2019 in Germany and the 3rd Symposium on Science and Pseudoscience in Elche).
We also talk about the British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee’s milestone Evidence Check documents that is now part of skeptical history, then we move on to discussing Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban and how EU leaders now simply call his anti-migration and anti-Soros propaganda “Fake News” while he continues to break down the institutions of science in the country. We also chat about Edzard Ernst’s recommendation for a skeptical analysis in general and then bring the good news of a German court ruling against a SCAM practitioner for using false claims in their advertisements.
The Really Wrong price goes to the Catholic Church for being sloppy in their investigations regarding miracles performed by their saints.

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Radio Spot; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:11:16 This Week in Skepticism

The British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee published its damning Evidence Check on homeopathy on Feb. 22, 2010.

00:15:11 Skeptical News

HUNGARY: High-ranking EU politicians call out Viktor Orban on his “Fake News” propaganda.

INTERNATIONAL: What can consumers do when they are confronted with confusing or contradictory evidence? Advise fromEdzard Ernst.

FRANCE: French Judge Refuses to Block Catholic Sex Scandal Movie

GERMANY: German consumer association stops alternative Health Practitioners from treating cancer

00:44:34 Really Wrong

John Henry Newman: Second miracle approved as sainthood looms – and the Catholic Church claims to have them confirmed

00:53:40 Radio spot

00:54:49 Quote
“It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”
/Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, English writer/

00:56:13 Outro

00:57:28 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. #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

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