This week we remember Willem (‘Wim’) Betz, the iconic Belgian physician, researcher and skeptic, co-founder of SKEPP (Belgian Skeptic Organisation) and CSICOP fellow, who sadly passed away on 8 June.
Pontus reports his experiences at the big political event in Stockholm last week (Järvaveckan) and then Jelena talks about the life and times of William Crookes, who was a brilliant scientist, but also a believer in paranormal phenomena.
When Pontus pokes the Pope, we find that Pride month is not for the Vatican, who felt the need to issue a 31-page document to say that trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’. We then enjoy the three remaining SkepKon interviews by Annika Merkelbach.
In the news this week, the German minister of health takes a stand against ‘gay conversion therapy’; we urge scientists, researchers and medical practitioners to sign the manifesto against pseudotherapies and a Swedish on-line casino gets its license revoked for taking unfair advantage of their customers. Zotaro teams up with Retraction Watch to alert people about retracted studies, homeopathy seems about to be losing funding in France, and Snopes debunks the claim that Facebook’s Shake-and-Report function leads to people being banned on Facebook. Anti-abortion sentiments are spreading to Europe from the US and the Italian parents who treated their boy with homeopathy get convicted in court.
To rap it all up, we strongly disagree with the ‘Brilliant Minds’ Foundation that apparently believes that Gwyneth Paltrow has one…
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interviews from SkepKon; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes
Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
We report on the sad passing of Willem ‘Wim’ Betz, the long time Belgian champion of skepticism, activist and fellow of CSICOP and much more. Pontus tell us of Järvavecken, the huge political event in Stockholm which he attended last week with the Swedish Skeptics, along with 53,000 members of the public.
00:06:14 This Week in Skepticism
Sir William Crookes; 17 June 1832 – 4 April 1919. Great british chemist and physicist who attended the Royal College of Chemistry but also was a believer in spiritualism
00:11:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope
First a smaller correction form last week’s report about Cardinal Pell and then a clarification from teh Vatican (as if we ever needed one) about their feeling about trans people and anybody else who don’t fell comfortable with the gender they got assign at birth. Oh, and it’s fine to intervene against children’s rights, even againts the will of their parents.
- Church Times: The outcome of Cardinal Pell’s appeal is expected withing a few weeks
- Gay Star News: Vatican rejects trans people and Francis compares trans people to nuclear weapons
00:16:08 Final SkepKon interviews, by Annika Merkelbach
We get the remaining SkepKon interviews from our marvelous reporter on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. This week:
Gerald Sorko (Active around @sitpkoeln)
Dr. Stephanie Dreyfürst (@SDreyfrst)
Dr. Nikil Mukerji (@nikilmukerji)
- For more about SkepKon: https://www.skepkon.org/
00:29:50 Skeptical News
GERMANY: Minister of Health wants to ban gay conversion therapy
INTERNATIONAL: Spanish manifesto against Pseudotherapies goes international
SWEDEN: License withdrawn for large on-line casino
INTERNATIONAL: RetractionWatch teams up with Zotero and provides retraction alerts
FRANCE: Homeopathy in trouble
INTERNATIONAL: Does Facebook Have ‘Shake-to-Report’ Feature That Lands Users in ‘Facebook Jail’?
NORWAY: Abortion rights under pressure
ITALY: Parents of boy who died because of homeopathy convicted of manslaughter
00:50:48 Really Wrong
‘Brilliant minds’: Barack Obama, Greta Thunberg – and Gwyneth f-cking Paltrow(!)
00:54:21 Quote and Goodbye
“A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth”
/ Albert Einstein 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955, German-born theoretical physicist /