A bit less COVID-19-heavy episode this week with the news that May 2020 saw the highest concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere ever recorded and it was also the hottest May ever.
6 years ago, creationism as science in schools was banned in the UK and hallelujah, the Vatican is launching their new channel ‘VatiVision’ and a documentary series ‘The Great Popes’.
In the news this week:
– Nicotine replacement therapy is the new craze among possible COVID-19 treatments lacking evidence of efficacy
– The bad science story of Hydroxychloroquine that shook the world
– Millions seem to believe the Treaty of Trianon expires after 100 years
– People fall for the story of dozens of give-away TVs by Curry’s
– The German Medical Student Association issues a declaration against homeopathy
– Let’s see behind the curtain regarding the ‘Swedish Model’ once again
– Massimo Polidoro launches his Patreon page – with a twist.
This week’s Really Right price goes to Dutch anaesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee for publishing a free book ‘Anesthesia and the Soul’ that helps us understand out-of-body-experiences (OBE).
Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
“I’m comfortable with the unknown — that’s the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them. And that’s what science is. So I think if you’re not comfortable with the unknown, then it’s difficult to be a scientist… I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.” /Professor Brian Cox, British physicist, presenter, author and musician/
This week Deborah Hyde joins us to bring you news and interesting topics to cover with us. We start by mentioning how VoF (Sweden), the GWUP (Germany), ComCept (Portugal) and ARP-SAPC (Spain) make efforts to provide their readers with accurate and reliable information in the times of COVID-19.
Then Deborah gives us a brief overview of the history of quarantines, before we turn into discussing Cardinal Pell’s Right-Wing conspiracy coockoo and the Pope being useless.
A separate segment of COVID-19 update is followed by the news that include a UK holistic doctor recommending homeopathy against the novel coronavirus, a somewhat questionable study that claims to show the prevalence of TCM in different countries in the fight against the pandemic, how the Spanish Science Network Programme 2020 goes completely online, Danish researchers finding no benefit from treating asthma patients with homeopathy and reflexology alongside conventional treatments, how Facebook aims to warn users about coronavirus hoaxes, Swedish doctors and scientists selling stuff after preliminary results and naming it ‘Anoroc’, John Ioannidis comparing 100 best selling books on nutritional health with no surprising results, Natalie Grams going back to practiting medicine and doing less of educational work in the future, the Spanish prize offered for theatrical works criticising pseudotherapies and CICAP Live being launched on YouTube bringing Italian audiences a whole lot of science and critical thinking.
Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier gets this week’s Really Wrong prize for claiming that SARS-CoV-2 was manufactured from HIV and thus feeding conspiracy theories.
Segments: Intro; Greetings; A Brief History of Quarantines; Pontus Pokes the Pope; COVID-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
“Experiment is the interpreter of nature. Experiments never deceive. It is our judgment which sometimes deceives itself because it expects results which experiment refuses. We must consult experiment, varying the circumstances, until we have deduced general rules, for experiment alone can furnish reliable rules.” /Leonardo da Vinci, Italian sculptor, painter and polymath/
This week an old friend of ours Brian Eggo from Glasgow Skeptics joins us to bring you a show packed with news, thoughts and curiousities. We talk about how Skeptics in the Pub events are going online, that one time Rupert Sheldrake got stabbed and how Pope Francis has nothing to offer to help with the pandemic. After the usual COVID-19 update we talk about how Sweden takes a different approach to the disease than most, why the Royal Astrologer should not be trusted, and how a German consumer reported homeopaths for offering sugar pills to avoid infection. We also talk about Massimo Polidoro’s new video series, “OK Scienza”, Britt Marie Hermes’ law suit and the Skeptics Legal Defence initiative by the Australian Skeptics Inc. We mention how French skeptics at AFiS respond to a fake treatment Trump and Bolsonaro both promote, Fullfact brings you a list of guidelines to fact-checking and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences translates the mythbusting site of WHO. Unfortunately, the WHO also gets the prize for being Really Wrong for removing the advice not to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) against Covid-19.
Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
“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 and diplomat/
This week we welcome Massimo Polidoro back to our show. This time he tells us about how the latest edition of CICAPFest went (it was a great success in Padova, Italy). We also asked him about his upcoming books and more.
We also announced our participation in QED where we will record our first ever live show on the Podcast Track in Manchester. Stay tuned!
Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
This week we talked about Susan Gerbic’s new interview with Massimo Polidoro, a court case over calling someone a Holocaust denier, new teams doing science communication, coconut and the undecided public enemy state, homeopathy and whether it’s unethical for pharmacies to sell it, HPV vaccination for boys, ‘Inoculated’, a new movie in Germany that might be twice as dangerous as Vaxxed, SkepKon 2019, fake Twitter accounts, an Austrian photographer’s encyclopaedia of bogus claims and how religion ruins everything.
On 5 September 1996, Irving filed a libel suit concerning Lipstadt’s book in English court. He named in his suit Lipstadt and Penguin Books, whose division Plume had published a British edition of her book.
It was Homeopathy (and Chiropractic) Awareness Week, but wee had a lot of other stuff like anniversaries and awards to talk about on this episode, including 2 years of Information Netzwerk Homeopathie with Natalie Grams, 6 years of both ComCept running skeptical activism in Portugal and Spanish Skeptics running the show Pensando Críticamente.
Also, ComCept just announced their Flying Unicorn Awards, whilst CICAP has announced that there would be a CICAPfest held this year in Padova. In France, physicians appeal to get rid of alternative medicine, and in Italy, Massimo Polidoro recently launched his new video series on YouTube!
Let’s go nuts and follow Virgin Galactic on their journey to space tourism, but don’t forget Mark Zuckerberg’s promises to keep fighting against false information and brainwashing with Facebook.
“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/
To celebrate, we interviewed some of the superheroes of skepticism who have already been on the show and could accept our invitation to come back for a quick update.
Our guests were Gábor Hraskó, who was our guest on episode #001, Natalie Grams whose new book is out, Michael Marshall who talked about some new achievements of the Good Thinking Society, Liubomir Baburov and what’s planned for the future of Ratio, Sean Slater and what to expect from Skeptics on the Fringe in 2018, Massimo Polidoro and his new book along with news from CICAP and Susan Gerbic checks in together with Richard Saunders to finish the show with what was definitely the largest span of time zones in the history of our podcast.
Thanks for bearing with us and please keep listening to The ESP as we intend to stay.