TheESP – Ep. #150 – Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture


This time Claire Klingenberg sits in for Jelena again, who’s out travelling. We bring you updates on the European Skeptics Congress 2019 in Ghent plus the good news that CICAP Fest will be held again in Padova in 2019. We then talk about the Apollo program, Cardinal Pell finally getting in the hands of the judicial system, while Pope Francis is acting like nothing’s wrong. Plus some news about the new Italian government’s support for dubious health claims, a Russian homeopathic product under the name Release Active Drug, Paolo Macchiarini in court, the UK’s Charity Commission publishing guidelines for operating CAM charities, one of Spain’s skeptical organisations, Circulo Esceptico handing out awards for standing up for science, acupuncture applied to babies suffering from colic, and the case of an autistic person euthanised in Belgium now under police investigation.

And a big shout-out to Ovidiu Covaciu in Romania for educating tens of thousands of people into the necessity of vaccinations.

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
  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