TheESP – Ep. #253 – Big Dicks and Aliens


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This week we talk about that alt-med and antivaxxers have been visible on TV and how a town in Austria had to change its rather unfortunate name. We celebrate the anniversary of the Hungarian Skeptics and then we get into the news:

  • New Brexit craze – Vaccine approval sped up because no EU to hold us back
  • Bibliometric analysis of global research into SCAM and COVID-19
  • Former space security chief goes mental about alleged aliens
  • What’s with the phallic symbols everywhere?
  • Swedish health regions have spent 28 MEUR on weighted blankets
  • John Maddox prizes announced TODAY
  • Das Goldene Brett – finalists announced
  • Follow-up: Influencer selling fish oil as covid treatment found guilty
  • New series of videos: A scientist in the supermarket

Then the Really Wrong award goes to all the religious exemptions to covid restrictions.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:28 INTRO

0:00:54 GREETINGS

0:12:26 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM

0:17:22 COVID-19 UPDATE

0:30:14 NEWS

1:04:27 REALLY WRONG

1:13:26 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.”
/ Arthur C. Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008), English science-fiction writer, science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host /

1:16:19 OUTRO

1:17:34 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #254 – Council for Inclusive Capitalism


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This week we start by recommending a German Podcast Christmas Special, we report that Sucharit Bhaktdi won the Goldene Brett award and talk about the Saturn / Jupiter planetary conjunction. Pontus reports the his book “the Dooma” is slightly delayed and then we get into the news:

  • Our friend Martin Moder made a very good video about the safety of the new CoVid vaccine
  • Improved trust in science within Swedish public during 2020
  • Trust in media sources has risen
  • Comment by Swedish king about corona is so way off it’s not even wrong
  • Karaoke bar from Berlin trying to sue virologist Professor Drosten – surely that will stop CoViD?
  • ARP-SAPC publishes a monography on COVID-19 and critical thinking
  • Huge differences in Covid vaccine prizes, but all are cheaper than expected
  • 2020 on track to become one of three warmest years on record
  • Santa apparently is immune to CoViD! We are of course skeptical, not of WHO or CoViD, but of Santa – but the Christmas presents are safe!

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:51 GREETINGS

0:15:42 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM

0:18:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE

The Vatican is bleeding cash but Frankie has nothing to worry about.

0:25:36 COVID-19 UPDATE

0:35:31 NEWS

1:14:27 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”
/ Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27), English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author /

1:16:40 OUTRO

1:17:55 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #249 – Homophobic Orbán


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This week Pontus is a bit under the weather so András and Annika send him their “thoughts and prayers” (don’t worry, he is fine). Then we mention an interesting documentary about SCAM practitioners and give a heads up for next weeks jubilee episode 250. And five years ago this week the ESP made its debut! Then we give a Covid update before we get into the news:

  • The new Pre-Bunking game: Breaking Harmony Square
  • Another science communicator and journalist charged for speaking out against frauds
  • Edzard Ernst’s challenge to all homeopaths in the world
  • Thermographic imaging – a risk to cancer patients
  • Newly emerging issues with climate change actions
  • Measles cases in 2019 at a record high in 23 years

To round off the show, Victor Orbán gets a Really Wrong award for using the pandemic as an excuse for homophobic nonsense.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; COVID Update; 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

0:09:57 COVID UPDATE

0:28:59 NEWS

0:46:00 REALLY WRONG

0:54:50 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Science may be weird and incomprehensible – more weird and less comprehensible than any theology – but science works. It gets results. It can fly you to Saturn, slingshotting you around Venus and Jupiter on the way. We may not understand quantum theory (heaven knows, I don’t), but a theory that predicts the real world to ten decimal places cannot in any straightforward sense be wrong.”
/ Richard Dawkins (26 March 1941 – ), British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. /

0:56:48 OUTRO

0:58:02 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #245 – Lust for Blood

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This week we notice the new I am Greta movie strangely so far is only in theaters and not online. Covid number are going up, especially in Germany where conspiracy theories are growing, but the German speaking community can celebrate that former GWUP Science Council member Dr. Krista Federspiel has been awarded the Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst or the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art. A special call goes out for everyone who can support to SKEPP who needs to defend two of their members who have been sued by a multimillionaire (see Ep #243).

We’re happy to hear that Pontus is making progress with his sci-fi novel and then we dive into the news:

  • World Doctors’ Alliance – WTF
  • Guy claims he can cure COVID with homeopathy
  • Is banning content the way to go? Facebook and Youtube
  • Fitness influencer dies after having denied COVID existed
  • Orban wants to raise children as ‘Homo christianus’
  • Editors refuse to retract intelligent design paper
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020 edition

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:01:20 INTRO

0:01:46 GREETINGS

0:09:48 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:19:48 NEWS

0:45:04 REALLY RIGHT

0:55:08 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
/ Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895), English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. Also known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” /

0:56:41 OUTRO
0:57:56 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #244 – Go Women in Science!

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This week we start by celebrating that several women received the Nobel Prize this year. Well deserved and a good trend! We also look at the latest Global warming news delivered by Copernicus. We may need to find another planet to live on… In this week in history we get nostalgic about QED which was supposed to happen this week, but hey, we have many fond memories from previous years to look back on!

Then we dive into the news:

  • New pre-bunking online game GoViral to be used to counter COVID-misinformation
  • Surveys in different countries reveal many young people lack basic knowledge about the Holocaust
  • Homeopathy no longer exclusive to pharmacies in Norway
  • Latest attempts to legitimize homeopathy in Austria
  • 46% of Hungarians would not get vaccinated against COVID
  • The most compelling evidence for the existence of Nessie yet?
  • Most ambitious climate law voted on by European Parliament
  • EarthShot Prize for solutions to global climate issues

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:52 GREETINGS

0:11:14 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

0:15:01 NEWS

0:53:02 REALLY WRONG

0:59:41 RADIO SPOTS

1:02:00 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.”
/ Leonardo da Vinci (14/15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), Italian polymath of the High Renaissance /

1:03:22 OUTRO
1:04:37 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #242 – Stefanie Handl, the Skeptic Vet


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This week we interview veterinarian Dr. Stefanie Handl from Vienna, Austria. Her special fields are nutrition and diets for pets. She is a member of the “Gesellschaft für kritisches Denken” (“Society for Critical Thinking”) which is the local chapter of the German skeptical organization, GWUP. Stefanie is very actively working to inform the public about nutrition woo and so called alternative medicine, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine. She is the owner of a veterinarian nutrition consultation service called “food ambulance” and helps pet owners with their little friends’ diets.
Veterinary medicine, and the pseudomedicine we often encounter there, are important for pet owners which is why we were so happy to get Stefanie on the show.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:33 INTRO

0:01:00 GREETINGS

0:04:22 INTERVIEW WITH STEFANIE HANDL

0:48:34 FAREWELL

0:52:19 OUTRO

0:53:35 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #236 – Martin Moder of the Austrian Science Busters


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This week we interview molecular biologist, science communicator and overall cool guy Martin Moder, who is one of the Austrian Science Busters and who is also active in the Austrian Society for Critical Thinking. We found ourselves discussing everything from the dangers of farting Coronavirus to GMO, philosophy, designer babies, how to make booze out of toilet paper and the optimal way of cutting a birthday cake. There were unexpected turns at every corner of this interview…
Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:34 INTRO

0:01:00 GREETINGS

0:05:26 INTERVIEW WITH MARTIN MODER

0:51:59 FAREWELL

0:54:44 OUTRO

0:55:59 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #233 – Homeomathematics

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This week starts with the wonderful news that Annika is now a full time ESP member and co-host. We couldn’t be happier!

We start with a minor correction to a story from last week and then chat a bit about the latest astronomy news before we celebrate this week in history: Happy birthday to the great skeptic and parapsychology researcher Susan Blackmore! (Also see our episode #088 when we had her as a guest)

Giving the Pope more or less a pass this week, we then dive into the news:
– Covid-19 update
– Austrian Science Busters
– (Not so) scientific paper on covid and 5G is withdrawn
– Another misleading “letter from a doctor” regarding covid-19 is making the rounds
– How to engage conspiracy theorists
– Climate change CO2 sensitivity
– Heatwave in Siberia melts ice in the Arctic Ocean
– German homeopathy study criticized
– Orbán keeps winning the fight against Hungarian free press
– UK to fight obesity by banning junk food ads
The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the scientific journal “Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice”. They totally failed the peer review process on a study that claims there is “mathematical proof” that homeopathy is effective against covid-19.

Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:56 GREETINGS

0:11:15 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Susan Blackmore, was born on 29 July 1951 and is a British writer, lecturer, skeptic, broadcaster, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. Her fields of research include memetics, parapsychology, consciousness, and she is best known for her book The Meme Machine.

0:14:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
Not much to add this week, except be kind to your grandpa and grandma…

0:15:14 NEWS

1:08:51 REALLY WRONG
“Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice” publishes study that promotes Homeopathy against covid-19

1:16:22 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
/ Karl Popper, Austrian-born British philosopher, academic and social commentator, 28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994 /

1:19:19 OUTRO

1:20:32 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #232 – Assisted Death

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This week we welcome Annika back and first chat a bit about comets and astronomy and about some of the excellent online skeptical events there now is to follow, like the UK Skeptics in the Pub Online, the new Cologne events and Susan Gerbic’s About Time project.

In this week in history we hear about Carl Jung, who was born on 26 July in 1875. Just like Freud he got a lot of things terribly wrong, but his ideas still inspired a lot better psychology later on and they continue to be part of the present-day culture. Then we poke the pope and find that even though Francis appears to want to fight the sex abuse scandals, last week’s new guidelines confirm that the Church continues to get most of their priorities completely backwards.

Lots of corona in the news this week:
– The COVID19 infodemic re Western Europe
– Corona conspiracy myths in Germany
– Andrew Wakefield and other anti-vaxxers mobilising against a future corona vaccine and unfortunately it is working
– Hungarian guy gets convicted for coronavirus misinformation
– Austria’s relaxed rules on masks has bad effect on infection rates
– Google bans ads for conspiracy theories
– the PSA investigates the UK Society of Homeopaths for non-compliance
– Russia wages war on homeopathy
– Good Thinking Society helps the BBC in producing excellent documentary about fake cancers ‘cures’
– BMJ presents study on medical science communication in the age of disinformation
– Is the Russian Dyatlov mystery finally solved?

The prize for being Really Right (perhaps controversially) goes to a Swedish doctor who turned himself in for assisted death.

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:27 INTRO

0:00:57 GREETINGS

0:13:42 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Carl Jung, born on 26 July 1875 continues to be an extremely influential figure in the history of psychology despite that he got most of it wrong.

0:20:08 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – New guidelines against sex abuse misses the point

0:28:58 NEWS

1:11:48 REALLY RIGHT
SWEDEN: Retired professor and MD turns himself in for assisted death

1:22:09 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“The impression that science is over has occurred many times in various branches of human knowledge, often because of an explosion of discoveries made by a genius or a small group of men in such a short time that average minds could hardly follow and had the unconscious desire to take breath, to get used to the unexpected things that came to be revealed. Dazzled by these new truths, they could not see beyond. Sometimes an entire century did not suffice to produce this accommodation.”
/ Charles Fabry, French physicist, 11 June 1867 – 11 December 1945. /

1:23:50 OUTRO

1:25:06 OUT-TAKES

TheESP – Ep. #227 – Thank you, Jelena!

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This week we first learn about how the 1854 cholera outbreak led to advances in the knowledge about diseases and outbreaks thanks to the clever and rigorous work by the physician John Snow, now regarded as one of the founders of modern epidemiology. Pope Francis is getting closer to his vision of “a poor church for the poor”, perhaps just a little bit faster than he bargained for as the pandemic is hitting the Catholic finances. Then Andras delves into how we can begin to measure the success of covid-19 related restrictions.
In the news this week:
– Swedish Snake Oil advertisement is struck down
– Archaeologist sentenced for faking Basque finds
– Climate more sensitive to CO2 emissions than thought?
– Who killed the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme?
– Szekesfehervar budget cuts – nonessential vaccines are first to go
– The Aspen Institute’s ‘Good10 – The Pandemic Issue’ discussing many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic
– The return of the Mayan calendar – some myths refuse to die
– University of Vienna found a way to inoculate medical students about SCAM
The prize for being Really Wrong goes to doctors in Northern Ireland that continue to obstruct abortions even after the recent legalization!

Enjoy!

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

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

0:00:26 INTRO

0:00:49 GREETINGS

0:06:36 THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
John Snow, the father of modern epidemiology, died on 16 June 1858. He is famous for tracking down the source of the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak in London.

0:13:49 PONTUS POKES THE POPE – “The poor Church for the poor”

0:16:25 COVID-19 UPDATE

0:24:27 NEWS

1:00:58 REALLY WRONG
NORTHERN IRELAND: Doctors sabotaging legal abortions

1:04:28 QUOTE AND FAREWELL
“Critical thinking is the only weapon and the only defense that the human being has against the dangers of life. Because if I do not think critically, I will be subject to all influences, to all suggestions, to all errors and to all the lies that are spread, and with which I have been indoctrinated since childhood.”
/ Erich Seligmann Fromm, social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. /

Thank you Jelena, we miss you already!

1:10:05 OUTRO

1:11:21 OUT-TAKES