Tag Archives: UK

TheESP – Ep. #173 – The ‘Tender Pope’, Homeopathy and SkepKon interviews

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This week we catch up a bit regarding VoF (the Swedish skeptics) and talk about a new Manifesto against pseudoscientific treatments. We also get a bit nostalgic about a UK referendum about Europe – in 1975.
Then we get two interviews from SkepKon by our special correspondent on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. We check in with Francis who has been in Romania and also apparently is happy to cultivate his future legacy as the ‘tender’ pope.
Sense About Science calls for volunteers for their Evidence Week, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube take a stance against MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) and other dangerous nonsense, and University of Vienna makes an effort to repair its past endorsement of homeopathy. More news about Natalie Grams and the totally bogus legal threat she is facing and also that her organisation, Homeopathy Information Network, has launched a repository of excellent information in English.
The fake cancer drug Rigvir has now been de-registered by the State Agency of Medicines (ZVA), but some forces are still pushing for continued distribution. In Belgium, a consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy, and then we end by giving a Really Wrong award to Keele University for keeping a an anti-vaxxer and bad researcher on their payroll.

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

00:00:50 Greetings

Some catching up regarding VoF, aka the Swedish Skeptics who will have a tent at Järvaveckan in Stockholm 12-13 June. If you’re in the neighborhood you should come and say hi!
We also welcome the initiative to a new European manifesto against pseudoscientific ‘treatments’ and we urge everyone to sign it.

00:13:39 This Week in Skepticism

6 June 1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum, putting “the uncertainty behind us” regarding the Common Market. Ooh, if only!

00:15:55 SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach

Two interviews from SkepKon by our special on-site reporter, Annika Merkelbach. This week we here from Dr. Claudia Preis (@PCandlovingit) and Philip Schunke (@pschunke)

00:24:06 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Frankie has been on a PR-tour in Romania. He is also preparing his future legacy as the ‘tender’ Pope (sounds yummy!).

00:28:28 Skeptical News

UK: Evidence Week

INTERNATIONAL Amazon, Facebook and YouTube Take Action against Health Misinformation

AUSTRIA: Medical University of Vienna makes progress in teaching medical students about SCAM

GERMANY: Update on last week’s news about Natalie Grams

GERMANY: INH launched a renewed website

LATVIA: Rigvir is de-registered but the circus is not over yet

BELGIUM: Belgian consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy

00:48:53 Really Wrong

To Keele University for allowing a UK Professor who is linking vaccinations to autism to raise money through their funding portal.

00:53:44 Quote and Goodbye
“Science … warns me to be careful how I adopt a view which jumps with my preconceptions, and to require stronger evidence for such belief than for one to which I was previously hostile. My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonise with my aspirations.”
/Thomas Henry Huxley, British biologist and a prominent defender of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection/

00:55:28 Outro

00:56:43 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. #156 – Edzard Ernst, Click to Pray, deaths by pseudotherapies and vaccination news

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This week we bring you lots news and topics from across Europe including Annika Merkelbach’s interview on Skeptical Inquirer’s website with Natalie Grams, whose book has just been published in English, Edzard Ernst‘s birthday, a praying application issued by the Vatican called “Click to Pray“, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to deal with reported non-reportings of clinical trials, a great achievement by Ben Goldacre and the AllTrials campaign (one of the great projects of Sense about Science), how 1 on 20 adults in Britain do not believe the Holocaust actually happened, a Spanish report estimating deaths by pseudotherapies, BARF – special food for your pets as part of the raw food movement, a dangerous book just published with the title ‘Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach’, the Ministry of Health in Ukraine finally taking action to tackle the measles epidemic in the country and the Swedish government deciding to finally include Chicken pox vaccinations in the national program.

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

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

00:00:26 Intro

00:00:51 Greetings

00:03:51 This Week in Skepticism

Edzard Ernst, born 30 January 1948.

00:10:25 Pontus Pokes the Pope

God comes on-line: Francis launches “Click to Pray“.
Plus what to look out for before the Bishops meeting in February.

00:16:23 Skeptical News

UK: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on board with AllTrials done by universities to be reported

UK: Holocaust remembrence day: New poll finds one in 20 adults in Britain do not believe it happened

SPAIN: Estimation of how many deaths could be traced back to pseudotherapies

DENMARK / GERMANY: BARF for your pets!

INTERNATIONAL: Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach

UKRAINE: Finally, actual action plans by the Ministry of Health to tackle disaster

00:47:47 Really Right:

SWEDEN: Chickenpox vaccinations to (finally) be included in national program

00:52:03 Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

00:53:34 Quote
“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.”
/ Immanuel Kant,German philosopher

00:54:34 Outro

00:55:49 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #155 – Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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This week we’re back to bring you news and info about a wide range of topics including Francis Bacon and his importance in the development of #science, how the ‘good pope’ John Paul II was a misogynist, why we admire the works of Sense about Science so much and how they came up with yet another campaign that deserves much attention (the ‘Evidence Hunter Activity Pack’), how facilitated communication is a thing in Sweden despite all the evidence that suggests it does not work at all, why we should be cautious with consuming #probiotics (thanks to Prof. Edzard Ernst for the heads up), plus Skepkon 2019, the German annual conference for skeptics organised by gwup | die skeptiker is coming up, while a Swedish acupuncturist is on trial for almost killing two patients and the county of Killarney in Ireland calls to remove #fluoride from drinking water, despite the lack of any indications that it could be harmful (while its benefits are many).

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

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

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:04:33 This Week in Skepticism

Francis Bacon: English philosopher and Statesman, born on 22 January 1561.

00:09:54 Pontus Pokes the Pope

John Paul II once refused to shake Irish President’s hand because she was not a man, and Cardinal Arborelius threatens to leave Swedish Missionary Council because of abortions.

00:16:28 Skeptical News

UK: New educational material developed by Sense About Science: Evidence Hunter Activity Pack

SWEDEN: Facilitated communication

INTERNATIONAL: Probiotics are not risk free

GERMANY: Tickets released for SkepKon 2019

SWEDEN: Acupuncturist on trial for almost killing two customers

00:38:28 Really Wrong: IRELAND: Killarney Council wants to ban water flouridation

00:41:07 Farewell

00:43:04 Quote
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
/Francis Bacon

00:43:54 Outro

00:45:09 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. #135 – ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico’s 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn’t get recognised as a religion.

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

00:11:50 Skeptical News

NETHERLANDS: “ET Healer” not prosecuted for possible contribution to suicide

UK: Royal homeopath dies in a bicyle accident

INTERNATIONAL: MEASLES UPDATE: Finally it makes the news (but the reported numbers are too low)

GERMANY: No preparations for alien landing situations

SWITZERLAND: Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

SPAIN: Issue #50 of El Esceptico to be released

NETHERLANDS: Wet Cupping on the rise in Amsterdam

NETHERLANDS: Pastafarianism “not a religion” – rules Dutch court

00:30:50 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Frankie boy cannot handle the scandal

00:35:16 Really Right: Greta Thunberg, 15, takes a stand for climate

00:40:59 Farewell and Quote

“Of a number of variant hypotheses about the same facts, that one is true which shows why facts, which in the other hypotheses remain unrelated, are as they are, i.e., which demonstrates their orderly and rational mathematical connexion.”

/Johannes Kepler German astronomer and astrologer/

00:42:20 Outro

00:43:35 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #134 – Psychic Taxes, Homeopathy and One Hell of a Bus Ride

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

Show Notes:
00:00:26 Greetings

As Eggman (Brian Eggo) sits in for Andras we examine the latest news which includes Psychic Sally’s taxes, the end to NHS funded homeopathy in England, Russian attitudes to conspiracy theories, the latest measles situation and more.
Also the Pope gets poked about his upcoming Irish visit and Brian gets on bus 666 to Hel (sic).

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

Also check out the on-going Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe, ending 26 August!

00:05:27 This Week in Skepticism

Actress Sylvia Millecam died Aug. 19, 2001 after seeing psychic & alternative healers.

00:13:25 Skeptical News

UK: Psychic Sally hit with almost £3m tax bill

EUROPE: EU Court of Justice declares gene edited crops to be GMO

UK: NHS Bristol ends funding for homeopathy, ending all homeopathy commissioning in England

RUSSIA: Russian beliefs in conspiracies

EUROPE: Measles outbreak updates

UK: A UK parliamentary committee about risks to ‘shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions’.

POLAND: Take bus 666 to Hel!

00:53:28 Pontus Pokes the Pope: Pope Francis goes to Ireland and still doesn’t care

00:56:30 Really Wrong: Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine

01:01:20 Radio Ad

01:02:32 Farewell and Quote

“There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.”

Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born scientist, inventor and engineer.

01:08:02 Outro

01:09:17 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

TheESP – Ep. #117 – Attack on our website, great minds, MMS, apitherapy and other quackeries

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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

00:06:40 This Week in Skepticism

00:14:47 Skeptical News

00:40:59 Really Wrong

00:47:04 Quote

“If many a man did not feel obliged to repeat what is untrue, because he has said it once, the world would have been quite different.”
/Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, writer and philosopher/

00:48:22 Outro

00:49:37 Out-takes