TheESP – Ep. #218 – All Pell Breaks Loose

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This week we bring you news and topics from all over Europe again.
We start by talking about the unfortunate death (probably of Covid-19) of a board member of VoF.
After that we’re looking back at the history of LSD and how 19 April marks a special day in it, before we discuss how Cardinal Pell walks freely after the High Court of Australia overturns the previous verdict on his child abuse case.
In the news: Covid-19 update followed by details of some other stuff related to the pandemic, including: OfCom, the British media authority helping confused media consumers, a Policy Paper of the NHS release a few days after the publication of Sense About Science’s call for transparency over testing. Colloidal Silver seems to be a big sell in Finland these days, while Hungary’s response to the pandamic can only be described as chaotic, something that a petition might not be able to change. Religious liberty restrictions across Europe are also in focus as countries are trying to fight the disease, while British homeopaths “happily promote bogus treatments”. A new Chernobyl scare makes its rounds on social media over a wildfire in the area, but the best news is that Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available.
President Macron gets this week’s Really Wrong Prize for adding weight to an unproven ‘cure’ for the Novel-Coronavirus.
Also, please don’t forget that nominations for the John Maddox Prize are open until 11th May.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

  • Terrible news: Swedish Skeptics board member deceased, likely from covid-19
  • “Stay The Fuck At Home” song:

0:05:23 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
19 April 1943, Albert Hofmann chose to deliberately ingest 250 micrograms of the Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) he had synthesized at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. Three days earlier he had accidentally absorbed some through his skin by touching a container of the drug. From the accidental exposure he experienced restlessness, dizziness and “extreme activity of imagination.” Although he had first made it five years before, as a drug intended to relieve respiratory ailments, it was only on this day that he found the drug was a hallucinogen. The striking experience was one he chose to repeat.

0:14:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
What the Pell happened?

Tim Minchin’s song ‘Come Home Cardinal Pell’:

0:24:21 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: OfCom gives a helping hand to media consumers
  3. UK: Update on Sense About Science’s call for transparency – Policy Paper issued by ministry
  4. FINLAND: Colloidal Silver sells out via closed Facebook groups
  5. HUNGARY: Chaos around response to Covid-19 and online petition for more comprehensive testing
  6. INTERNATIONAL/EU: Religious liberty restrictions across Europe
  7. UK: Dangerous nonsense spread by homeopaths in the UK
  8. HUNGARY/EU: Chernobyl wildfire stirs up radiation… and social media
  9. INTERNATIONAL: Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available

1:14:45 REALLY WRONG
The presidential curse(?): Macron adds to the hydroxychloroquine hype

1:19:46 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.”
/Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, Irish poet and playwright/

1:21:06 OUTRO

1:22:21 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep #217 – Online skepticism vs politics and miracles

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ECSO President Claire Kraulik-Klingenberg joins us for this week’s episode to bring you news and topics from all over the continent.
Skeptics in the Pub Online is now a thing, popping up everywhere, while power grabbing by authoritarian governments seems to be the new, concerning trend.
We talk about whether Alfred Nobel read his own premature obituary, prompting him to start the awards named after him.
Then poor Pope Francis’ struggles are discussed while more Covid-19 magic is coming from Turin.
In the news, religious bullshit spread by the government in Israel, President Lukashenko of Belarus claiming a vodka a day keeps the virus away, Prince Charles not using homeopathy as a cure against COVID-19, Sense About Science calling upon the government for more transparency in their actions against the pandemic, extra caution needed in times of increased online activities, plus the Portugese skeptics’ Flying Unicorn Award categories explained. Also, conspiracy theories linking 5G to COVID-19 on the rise, while the German skeptics launch a page explaining COVID-related myths.
The alt-right website Samhällsnytt gets this week’s Really Wrong prize for claiming the Swedish health authorities are implementing “death forms”.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:14:02 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
On 12 April 1888, a French newspaper allegedly published an obituary for Albert Nobel, inventor of dynamite, calling him “”a merchant of death.”, prompting Mr Nobel to launch his esteemed award.

0:21:20 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
The War on Pope Francis, plus more Covid-19 Magic 

0:27:40 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. ISRAEL: Religious bullshit spread by the government 
  3. BELARUS: President Lukashenko Claims Ice Hockey and Vodka Keeps covid-19 Away
  4. UK: Prince Charles’ office refutes AYUSH minister Naik’s Ayurveda curing Covid-19 claims
  5. UK: Sense About Science calls upon the government for transparency and an evidence-based approach
  6. INTERNATIONAL: The rise of opportunistic actions online
  7. PORTUGAL: The Flying Unicorn Award
  8. UK: Conspiracy Theories Linking 5G with Covid-19
  9. GERMANY: The GWUP website now features a list of COVID-19 myths

1:05:52 REALLY WRONG
Alt-right web site claims Swedish health authorities are implementing “death forms”

1:15:05 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
/Thomas Paine, English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary./

1:17:58 OUTRO

1:19:13 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #216 – Look WHO’s talking

 

 

 

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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.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:50 GREETINGS

Skeptics Legal Defense Fund

0:10:13 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Prof. Richard Dawkins was born on 26th March 1941.

0:21:21 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Don’t Worry. If you die from COVID19, you are forgiven…

0:27:06 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: PSA imposes strict conditions on Society of Homeopaths after judicial review requested by the Good Thinking Society:
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy for everyone – against COVID-19?
  4. UK: The Good Magic Awards
  5. UK/SPAIN: Science-me a story
  6. INTERNATIONAL: The global fight against disinformation
  7. INTERNATIONAL: Snopes and the need for fact-checking in the times of crisis
  8. HUNGARY: Online course for students aged 13-15 to learn how to be a critical news reader
  9. GERMANY: GWUP pledging to follow science regarding COVID-19 news reporting
  10. SWEDEN: Corona means big business for the quacks
  11. INTERNATIONAL: Connection between blood type and COVID-19?
  12. SPAIN: Reading for quarantine – Escepticos is the largest collection of skepticism-related material in Spanish

1:18:47 REALLY WRONG
WHO Removes Advice to Not Use TCM Against covid-19

1:25:52 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“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/

1:27:27 OUTRO

1:28:42 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #215 – Snippets for the time of quarantine

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We are bringing you a selection of topics this week, some Corona-related and some aren’t:
In the meantime, QED organisers ask you to hold your travel arrengements at this time…
The Vatican issues a decree that makes confessions obsolete, the Good Thinking Society convinces the PSA to impose strict conditions on the Society of Homeopaths, they also team up with Richard Wiseman to support magicians with the Good Magic Awards. A new project aiming at spreading the word of science in the Spanish speaking communities, how the global fight against disinformation is doing, Snopes and their need for help in keeping up their fact-checking work, a Hungarian foundation running an online course to teach children critical thinking skills in the times of COVID-19, GWUP pledging to stay on track with science in their reportings, quacks in the time of Corona, a possible connection between blood type and COVID-19 infections, and Spanish skeptics providing you with enough to read while you’re in quarantine.
The VtdK and the Royal Dutch Medical Association countering a bogus therapy.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:48 GREETINGS

QED organisers warn not to book your flights and accomodation just yet.

0:06:50 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
Prof. Richard Dawkins was born on 26th March 1941.

0:11:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Don’t Worry. If you die from COVID19, you are forgiven…

0:18:05 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: PSA imposes strict conditions on Society of Homeopaths after judicial review requested by the Good Thinking Society:
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy for everyone – against COVID-19?
  4. UK: The Good Magic Awards
  5. UK/SPAIN: Science-me a story
  6. INTERNATIONAL: The global fight against disinformation
  7. INTERNATIONAL: Snopes and the need for fact-checking in the times of crisis
  8. HUNGARY: Online course for students aged 13-15 to learn how to be a critical news reader
  9. GERMANY: GWUP pledging to follow science regarding COVID-19 news reporting
  10. SWEDEN: Corona means big business for the quacks
  11. INTERNATIONAL: Connection between blood type and COVID-19?
  12. SPAIN: Reading for quarantine – Escepticos is the largest collection of skepticism-related material in Spanish

0:57:38 REALLY WRONG/RIGHT
After Action From VtdK, the Royal Dutch Medical Association Again(!) Stops Accreditation of BS Therapy “PRI”

1:02:20 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

““[Science] works! Planes fly. Cars drive. Computers compute. If you base medicine on science, you cure people. If you base the design of planes on science, they fly. If you base the design of rockets on science, they reach the moon. It works.”

/Prof. Richard Dawkins, British biologist, author/

1:04:51 OUTRO

1:06:06 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #214 – Don’t Panic!

 

 

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The three of us finally reunite for yet another show featuring an update on the COVID-19 situation and the GWuP cancelling SkepKon 2020. Then, after an interview with Annabel Bligh of the Anthill Podcast, we return with Pontus poking the Pope again for worsening the pandemic with his irrational approach to church-going.

Our news segment covers all sorts of topics including a distant world where it’s raining iron, the Strasbourg Court rejecting case of anti-abortion midwives, homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis and Boiron closing down 13 sites, firing a quarter of their employees in the process.

If you want to help ongoing research into fighting SARS-CoV-2, you can try Folding@Home, then you can turn your eye towards Sweden where the acupuncturer who killed a client is back to court after having been acquitted. And finally, we mention a few social media awards that went to skepticism related contents in Germany.
Our Really Wrong award goes to Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien for claiming that holy water and the holy communion can not spread the virus.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:00:56 GREETINGS

Coronavirus update, plus sad news: SkepKon 2020 is now cancelled.

0:15:45 INTERVIEW with Annabel Blight from The Conversation

0:25:51 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – Since Religion is Irrational, Frankie Helps the Pandemic

0:30:31 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: European astronomers discover an even more hostile world than our own
  2. SWEDEN: Anti-abortion Midwives Rejected by the Strasbourg Court
  3. INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis?
  4. FRANCE: Homeopathy Company Boiron Closes 13 Sites and Fires a Quarter of Employees
  5. INTERNATIONAL: How you can help in fighting COVID-19 and its virus – Folding@Home
  6. SWEDEN: Acupuncture Acquittal Verdict Appealed
  7. HUNGARY: Bogus electrosmog leaflet issued by local authorities
  8. SPAIN: Spanish Actor Acquitted of Blasphemy
  9. GERMANY: Social media awards given to people dealing with topics relevant to skeptics

1:00:14 REALLY WRONG
POLAND: Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien claiming Holy water and communion “cannot spread virus”

1:04:07 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

/Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor/

1:06:18 OUTRO

1:07:33 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #210 – Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change with John Cook

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On this episode we interview Australian cognitive scientist and founder of the Skeptical Science website John Cook about his upcoming book ‘Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change’ that showcases typical climate science denial situations in a cartoon format. We also talk about other projects John has been busy with, including the Cranky Uncle app, The Debunking Handbook and a lot more.
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:00:57 GREETINGS

0:05:34 INTERVIEW – JOHN COOK of SKEPTICAL SCIENCE

0:56:01 FAREWELL

0:58:21 OUTRO

0:59:36 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: https://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. #163 – Hitler’s Pope, vaccine hesitancy, clinical trial reporting and blasphemy laws

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In this episode: ‘This week we bring you topics and news about SkepKon in Germany and the 38th Anniversary of the premier of Quark, Italy’s most famous science show hosted by Piero Angela.
Plus we talk about abuse in Poland by catholic priests and Pius XII being referred to as Hitler’s pope, how the supplement market is full of bogus claims, the Swedish National Library publishing the cost of accessing scientific studies, how the rise of both vaccine hesitancy and populism might be connected, an update on the state of the measles epidemic in Europe, the UK government promising a national strategy to tackle the lack of clinical trial reporting.
Plus, blasphemy laws accross Europe discussed after Femen protesters’ case hits the news in Spain.

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:08:26 This Week in Skepticism

Italian science program Quark, hosted by CICAP founder Piero Angela, premiered March 18, 1981.

00:13:53 Pontus Pokes the Pope

Abuse in Poland and Hitler’s Pope

00:20:38 Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: Most of the supplement market is bogus

SWEDEN: Swedish National Library publishes the cost of accessing scientific studies

INTERNATIONAL: Populist politics and vaccine hesitancy in Western Europe: an analysis of national-level data

INTERNATIONAL: Measles update:

UK: Government promises national strategy to boost clinical trial reporting

00:42:16 Really Wrong

Blasphemy in Spain: Appeal court overturns acquittal of Femen protesters

00:49:11 Quote and Goodbye
“The search to know has always been characterized by the need to doubt, the need to be critical, including the need to be self-critical.”
/Gerhard Casper, German-born professor, former president of Stanford University/

00:50:12 Outro

00:51:27 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #160 – Jay Novella & The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

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On this Episode:

This week we’re joined by Jay Novella for an interview in which we talk about his new position as a full-time employee of SGU Productions, what it means for the movement and The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe project, how to approach podcasting and other ventures, stuff about writing a skeptical book that hits best-seller lists and a lot of other things including Star Trek and the crew’s fun-filled side project, Alpha Quadrant 6.

Please also check out our event page at https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; Interview with Jay Novella; Closing remarks; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:35: Greetings

00:02:53: Interview with Jay Novella

01:09:26: Closing remarks

01:14:28: Outro

01:15:43: 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: https://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