Author Archives: Jelena Levin

TheESP – Ep #148 – Antonia de Oñate, Psuedoscience and Brexit fake news


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Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interview with Antonia de Oñate; News; Really Wrong; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:
00:00:55 Greetings

This week we first hear about John Tyndall who understood climate change over a 100 years ago and talk about how Francis get things wrong while in Poland.
We then have a short catch up with Spanish skeptical activist Antonia de Oñate, before we dig into the regular news. In here we learn about homeopathy getting a beating in both Hungary and Austria, about a Swedish quack who is also a sex offender, a pro-vaccine campaign in Italy and a rather depressing measles update.
At the end the Daily Mail gets a Really Wrong Award for spreading fake Brexit news.

00:05:14 This Week in Skepticism

John Tyndall (2 August 1820 – 4 December 1893) who had discovered the molecular basis of the greenhouse effect

00:08:44  Pontus Pokes the Pope

In this edition of PPP Pontus talks about how Francis goes to Poland, blames children for cancer and gays for pedophilia.

00:14:44 Interview with Antonia de Oñate

00:31:32 Skeptical News from around Europe

  • Hungary: New proposal from the Department of Health to strike homeopathy off the national register of drugs

  • Sweden: Swedish “Kinesiologist” sentenced for sexual abuse

  • Austria: The end of homeopathy in the medical school of University of Vienna

  • World: Ginger: 10,000 times more effective at killing cancer cells than conventional drugs?

  • Italia: Italian govt running TV ads in favour of vaccination

  • World: Measles update

00:53:00 Really Wrong

  • The Really Wrong: Daily Mail fake news: German children banned by EU from sending letters to Santa

00:57:54 Quote

“The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.”/ William Kingdon Clifford

01:00:06 Outro

01:01:21 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #142 – Aron Ra


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On this Episode:

On this week’s episode Jelena interviews Aron Ra – atheist activist, former president of Atheist Alliance of America, host of Ra-Men podcast. He is a current regional director of the American Atheists and founder of the Phylogeny Explorer project.

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Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro;

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:46: Greetings

00:03:33: Interview with Aron Ra

00:41:05: Farewell

00:47:06: Outro

00:48:22: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #130 – Eugenics, GSoW and the pope solves the crisis in the middle east


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

Show Notes:
00:00:55 Greetings

This week we bring you stuff to think about like Eugenics, plus news and updates on the Hungarian government’s attack on the freedom of science, GSoW reaching a new level of activism, legislative changes to occur in Germany regarding Heilpraktiker, Humanist weddings getting a green light in Ireland, Facebook shutting down Hungarian fake news sites, homeopaths offering their “solutions” to the problem of antibiotic resistance, nominations open for John Maddox Prize at Sense about Science, CICAPfest tickets now available and how wrong the Daily Mail is for reporting questionable claims of a non existant disease.
Pontus pokes the pope for being silly about his way of solving the crisis in the Middle East

00:06:28 This Week in Skepticism

The Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring in Nazi Germany was made into act on July 14 of 1933, but made active in January 1934

00:17:16 Skeptical News

  • Hungary: Update on the situation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences:

  • Europe: Measles update:–public-health-1725024

  • Northern Ireland: Court of Appeal in Belfast rules humanist marriage must be legally recognised

  • Hungary: Facebook shuts down Hungarian network of six fake news sites

00:49:30 Pontus Pokes the Pope

00:54:05 Really Wrong

01:00:00 Quote

“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty. Take your time to decide don’t rush. ”
/Publius Cornelius Tacitus, senator and a historian of the Roman Empire/

01:02:24 Outro

01:03:37 Out-takes

TheESP- Ep. #127 – Annika Merkelbach, SkepKon and GSoW


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On this Episode:

This week we interviewed Annika Merkelbach, who told us what’s new in Germany, how the greatest German skeptical convention SkepKon went and why the country need native speakers to join Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.

Please also check out our event page at

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

Show notes:

00:00:08: INTRO

00:00:36: Greetings

00:04:44: Interview with Annika Merkelbach

00:41:22: Farewell

00:43:58: Outro

00:45:12: Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #124 – Full Fact, vaccinations, intravaginal manipulations, Rigvir & plants vs bullies


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

Show Notes:
00:00:27 Greetings

Andras talks about this travels around Europe and meeting old friends; We remind listeners to book QED as tickets are limited (all the evening gala tickets are gone now!); Just a quick philosophical discussion on whether the government should be involved in telling its citizens how to live, what to eat, drink or smoke

00:12:38 This Week in Skepticism

Colin Fry (19 May 1962 – 25 August 2015) was an English television personality, entertainer and self-proclaimed medium. Fry consistently professed his beliefs as a psychic and garnered a following across his career, whilst critics said his capabilities came from cold reading

00:21:00 Skeptical News

Guidelines to achieve more in health:

Update on the current state of measles – terrible news:

New measles outbreak in Spain:

The Academy urges large scale reforms in education:

One of the top universities to shut down:

00:59:52 Really Wrong

Really Wrong: IKEA claims plants are hurt if verbally bullied

01:08:44 Quote

“Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”
/Lise Meitner – Austrian-Swedish physicist/

01:09:23 Outro

01:10:39 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

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

Episode #120 – Homeopathy Awareness Week, anniversaries, awards and Fact-checking Day


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On this Episode:

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.

Please also check out our event page at

Intro; Greetings; Various updates; Updates from around Europe; Quote; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

00:00:00: Intro

00:00:27: Greetings

00:02:25: Updates from around Europe

00:40:55: Quote

​”I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” – Arthur C. Clarke

00:41:56: Outro

00:43:04: Out-takes

Episode #109 – Burzynski, measles, an anti-vaxxer in court and science in the Parliament

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This week we bring you some good news about Britt Hermes’ crowd funding campaign run by the Australian Skeptics, a bit of an update on LSD and what a good trip is then move on to news from Hungary, Sweden, the Ukraine, Spain and Germany with a food supplement producer being fined for false advertisement, a major anti-vaxxer and flat-earther being prosecuted for letting his own child die, measles spreading wildly both in Sweden and in the Ukraine, the launch of a project called “Science in the Parliament” in Spain, the latest issue of Escepticos out now and the first major article on the website of the German Homeopathy Information Network (run by Natalie Grams) released in English.
Well, the Pope has also become a record holder with getting our Really Wrong prize for the third time…

Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Really wrong; Quote; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings

  • A great success of the Australian Skeptics campaign to help raise fund for Britt Marie Hermes for legal fees after she was being sued for defamation. Initial target is reached however the campaign is still open. Please consider donating here
  • Some feedback on our “on this day segment” from Episode 107 regarding LSD effect

00:08:41 This Week in Skepticism

Burzynski was born on January 23, 1943 in Lublin, Poland. The founder of Burzynski Clinic

00:20:36 Skeptical News

  • HUNGARY: Food supplement producer fined for using fake recommendation from medical association. Article link here
  • SWEDEN: Swedish measles epidemic now reached 28 cases. Article link here
  • UKRAINE: Measles outbreak kills 8 in the Ukraine.

  • SPAIN: CienciaenelParlamento. Article link here
  • SPAIN: Escepticos No. 48 out. Article link here
  • HUNGARY: Antivax guy prosecuted after having let own child

  • GERMANY: InformationNetzwerk Homaeopatie now in English:

Homöopathie-Kritik jetzt auch auf Englisch – und in Spanien

00:45:39 Really Wrong:

The Pope: Third time’s a charm…

00:51:37 Quote

“We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.” /Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, French chemist./

00:53:53 Outro

00:55:08 Outtakes

TheESP – Ep. #107 – Memories & predictions, LSD, disease outbreak prevention & animal brothels

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This week we make predictions regarding upcoming books by Edzard Ernst, talk about the future of fact-checking, discuss the works of Peter Boghosian, remember the father of LSD Albert Hofmann, then go on to our news items including the wrong-doings of Paolo Macchiarini, the measles epidemic in Sweden, the latest Swedish Skeptic Awards, how Facebook could be used to prevent disease outbreaks, the ‘Turmeric story’, Psiram the German wiki of irrational believes turns 10, year review of Retraction Watch, a book review on Science Based Medicine, The Conservative Tribune spreading misinformation about migration and ‘aminal brothels’. We finish with an important quote from Galileo Galilei.

Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Farewell; Outro; Outtakes

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings

Edzard Ernst to release two books this year:

Peter Boghossian’s and James Lindsay’s Conceptual penis controversy:

00:20:09 This Week in Skepticism

Creator of LSD Albert Hoffman was born on 11 January 1906

00:27:25 Skeptical News

  • SWEDEN:Macchiarini may be prosecuted after all – twice!

  • SWEDEN:Measles epidemic far from over in Sweden–13-smittad

  • SWEDEN:Swedish Skeptics awards for 2017

  • INTERNATIONAL: Facebook could stop disease outbreaks?

  • UK:“The cancer industry is a medical conspiracy against humanity” (The Turmeric story)

  • GERMANY: Psiram, the German wiki of irrational belief is 10 years old

  • INTERNATIONAL: Retraction Watch in review for 2017

  • INTERNATINAL: (BOOK) Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions

00:55:36 Really Wrong: spreading misinformation about migration

01:03:30 Quote
“I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him.” /Galileo Galilei/

01:06:08 Outro

01:07:22 Outtakes

Episode #106 – Brian Dunning & Science Friction


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On this episode:

This week we are happy to bring you an interview with Brian Dunning, who’s been the producer and host of the massively successful Skeptoid podcast and is currently busy with lots of different projects in skepticism, including a book in the making and the crowdfunded project of showing how media usually distorts the opinions of experts they ask and doing a documentary about that. Find out more on and please consider contributing!
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Intro; Interview; Farewell; Science Friction promo; Outro; Out-takes

Show notes:

INTRO music


Interview with Brian Dunning




Science Friction promo