Tag Archives: ECSO

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. #200 – Two hundred!

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This week we celebrate our 200th episode and that we continue our journey into our fifth year!
We re-unite with our first ever guest, Gábor Hraskó (president of the Hungarian Skeptics) to philosophize a little about Skepticism and what has changed over time. And throughout the show we hear fantastic congratulation greetings from dear friends from across the world!
We go on to bring up the eradication of Smallpox and Pontus Pokes the Pope to examine a potential $4 billion threat to the Catholic Church. And a Catholic Minecraft server sounds intriguing as well…
In the news we talk about reliable climate change models, Etiopathy, the measles epidemic both globally and in Samoa. Polio is still a threat to consider and we revisit the topic of Assisted Death and the Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies.
Finally, András does his very best Master Yoda impression to celebrate that we have lasted this far!
Enjoy!

Segments:
Intro; Welcome with Gábor Hraskó; Greetings from friends 1; This Week; Greetings from friends (2); Pontus Pokes the Pope; Greetings from friends 3; News; Greetings from friends 4; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes

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

0:00:52 Intro

0:01:15 Welcome, with Gábor Hraskó

Gábor Hraskó remembers warning us regarding us starting a new podcast back in 2015. Well, we are happy that we ignored him! We talk about skepticism in general and the difficulties of communicating skepticism to the public and remember highlights from the past.

0:18:34 Greetings From Friends 1:
Annika and Scotty Harrison, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew and Eran Segev of the Australian Skeptics

0:19:52 This Week in Skepticism – the Eradication of Smallpox

On December 9, 1979, the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication signed their names to the statement that “smallpox has been eradicated from the world.” It was a milestone in that it was the first time a disease was eradicated by human effort.

0:22:55 Greetings From Friends 2:
Susan Gerbic from Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, Sean Slater of the Edinburgh Skeptics and Heidi Roberston of Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters

0:24:13 Pontus Pokes the Pope – A New Threat for an Old Pope. Plus: Holy Minecraft 

New laws in in the US have opened up a whole new industry for lawyers who are now advertising to find more abuse victims. Frankie is preparing his 50 anniversary as priest and a Father Roberts has created a Vatican Minecraft server to ‘foster a less toxic community’ on-line.

0:28:00 Greetings From Friends 3:
DJ Maynard, Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg of ECSO and Sisyfos (Czech Skeptics) and Trish Hann of the Skeptic Zone

0:29:09 News

INTERNATIONAL: Climate Models Have Accurately Predicted Global Warming

WORLD: Etiopathy – A SCAM Like So Many Others

INTERNATIONAL: Measles Update – 2019 Three Times as Bad as Last Year, plus Samoa Follow-up

INTERNATIONAL: Update on the Global Polio Situation and Implications for the EU/EEA

BELGIUM: Euthanasia – The Champion Who Picked a Date to Die

INTERNATIONAL: The End of Placebos is in Sight

EUROPE (Spain): Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies – latest update

0:53:40 Greetings From Friends 4:
Skeptics with a K crew from Merseyside Skeptics, Brian Eggo of Glasgow Skeptics and Mandy-Lee Noble of the Skeptic Zone

0:54:45 Quote and Farewell
“Do! Or do not! There is no try!”
/ Master Yoda /

0:57:29 Outro

0:58:44 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #194 – Polio: Two Down, One to Go

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First: A big shout-out to fellow skeptics Claire and Jakub who are getting married on the day of the release of this episode!

This week we learn about William Benjamin Carpenter, an early skeptic and describer of the Ideomotor effect, back in 1870s. Then we ponder the results of the Synod for the Amazon and what decisions Pope Francis will have to make of those. Also, the renewal of the Pact of the Catacombs sounds perfect for the week of Halloween…
In the news we look at a study regarding mandatory vs. voluntary vaccinations, we note that even if you are a Shaman and married to a Princess you may not publish dangerous health advice and we have a look at the latest unfortunate victim of German cancer quackery.
We celebrate that two out of three polio strains are now eradicated and take a look at a new example of how to battle conspiracy theories, and are happy to see the Good Thinking Society help the chief of the NHS put homeopathy awareness on the agenda (and on the front page of the Daily Mail!)
We close the show by handing a Really Wrong Award to Adriano Panzironi, self-proclaimed diet and supplement peddler who promise to help you live to 120 (at a steep fee, of course…)
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

0:00:27 Intro

0:00:51 Greetings

The full team is back together and send all their best to Claire Klingenberg and Jakub Kroulík who get married as this goes out on 31 October! Congratulations, we wish you all the best!
(Claire is of course the President of ECSO (the European Council of Skeptical Organizations) and occasional co-host of theESP)

0:04:09 This Week in Skepticism

William Benjamin Carpenter, born on 29 October 1813, was an English Physician, zoologist, physiologist and a skeptic. He described and named the Ideomotor Phenomenon, sometimes known as the Carpenter Effect.

0:08:48 Pontus Pokes the Pope – the Results of the Synod: Francis has the ball now

The Synod for the Amazon, which will be remembered as part of Francis legacy, votes in approval of married priests, female deacons and special rites in the Amazon (and only there). These are quite novel concepts for the Church and the question is now what Francis will do about it. Also, some bishops sneaked away to the catacombs to sign a pact

0:15:51 News

INTERNATIONAL: Voluntary vs mandatory vaccination policies and how people relate to them under different circumstances

NORWAY: Book of princess’ shaman boyfriend is stopped by publishers

UK: Leah Bracknell (1964-2019): another victim of cancer quackery?

INTERNATIONAL: Two Out of Three Strains of Polio Eradicated

GERMANY: The German Amadeu Antonio Stiftung publishes a new brochure on how to make sense of conspiracy theories

UK: Chief of NHS calls for de-listing of Society of Homeopathy from Professional Standards Authority (PSA)

00:37:00 Really Wrong: Adriano Panzironi claims his diets and supplements cure cancer and make you 120 years old

00:42:25 Quote and Farewell

“Believe what you like, but don’t believe everything you read without questioning it.”

/ Pauline Diana Baynes, 9 September 1922 – 1 August 2008. English illustrator, author and commercial artist /

00:43:07 Outro

00:44:22 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #186 – European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 1

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This week it was Congress time! András and Pontus (unfortunately, no Jelena) spent a wonderful weekend in Ghent, Belgium, at the European Skeptics Congress 2019, where they had a blast!
At the ESC 2019 there were talks by prominent skeptics and plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
The result for the podcast is several interviews recorded on-site, with more to come later on. If you were there and met with us, we thank you for doing so! If not, there will be more opportunities in the future.
Until then, here are this week’s interviews, with even more to come on later episodes.
Enjoy!

Interviews in this episode: Edzard Ernst, Christine Mohr, Ovidiu Covaciu

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

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

00:00:27 Intro

00:00:50 Greetings

00:13:55 Interview: Prof. Edzard Ernst, emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter

Title of ESC presentation: The battle against SCAM. Are we winning?

Abstract: What do governments and health organisations like WHO do against quackery?
Given the common use of quackery in virtually all countries, one would expect that governments and international organisations like the WHO would have developed effective strategies to limit its prevalence and minimise the harm quackery unquestionably does. Sadly, very few such initiatives seem to exist. Those organisations that actively fight quackery tend not to be run by governments but rely on private, altruistic initiatives. The WHO even has been responsible for several actions that arguably are not fighting but promoting quackery. This lecture will review several recent examples. It is concluded that governments and the WHO have, in the past, turned a blind eye to quackery. In the interest of public health, this situation has to change.

His new book: https://edzardernst.com/2019/08/my-new-book-alternative-medicine-a-critical-assessment-of-150-modalities/

00:22:49 Interview: Christine Mohr, professor in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland .

Title of ESC presentation: When using magicians to study how paranormal beliefs come about

Abstract: Humans belief, in many things. Popular are supernatural beliefs, hotly debated by believers and skeptics alike. Psychologists reported on various variables that correlate with such beliefs (e.g., appreciation of chance, more open to experiences). Yet, these latter studies are correlational unable to convey whether existing beliefs predict the appreciation of chance  (e.g., becoming more associative), or whether being more associative predicts the formation or reinforcement of paranormal beliefs. Over the last years, we performed several series in which we investigated the causality of belief change / reinforcement. In these studies, a magician performed a central event (e.g., a medium talking to a dead person, pseudo-scientific mind reading). Therefore, we could compare psychological variables we assessed before and after the event (tackling causality). Also, we could assess which pre-existing variables (e.g., paranormal beliefs, associative processing) predicted paranormal interpretations. Performing all studies in the classroom, we observed an overall high willingness to accept what the persons had just seen. In one study, around 65% considered that they had witnessed a genuine psychic event. Higher paranormal beliefs and affective reactions predicted a higher endorsement of a psychic explanation. Seeing how easily people are convinced by what they see, we are now starting to “debunking” participants in order to test which pre-performance information we have to provide to render participants more critical as to what is presented to their eyes. We assume that once the magician spells the beans, the belief in what one sees should be gone.

Link: https://applicationspub.unil.ch/interpub/noauth/php/Un/UnPers.php?PerNum=1116121

00:34:51 Interview: Ovidiu Covaciu, Activist against anti-vaxxers, Romania

Title of ESC presentation: The antivaccination activists, misinformation and the damage done

Abstract: Europe is facing a resurgence of preventable disease as anti-vaccine movements from across the continent are growing This talk will focus on the tactics the AV movement uses to gain influence, followers and political power. It will also discuss how to approach, counteract and fight against the AV movement, how to recruit experts by your side, turn the tide and save lives.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vaccinuri/

00:55:15 Farewell

00:59:39 Outro

01:00:54 Out-takes

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

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Segments:
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
    • https://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/overaklagaren-fattar-beslut-om-paolo-macchiarini/
  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

Ep. #143 – QED Live Recording with Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella

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

This episode is the first of its kind as it is the live recording from QED 2018 that happened in Manchester in the middle of October. In the unfortunate abscence of Jelena, Pontus and András are joined by Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella to discuss local confectionery, booze and topics like the Shroud of Turin, Leukemia and how a new finding can lead to sensational but untrue headlines, a Danish cancer quack that sites his long deceased patients as his success stories, a couple of good news from Portugal and a student essay competition initiated by the University of Szeged to encourage critical thinking.
Of course, the pope gets poked again and Smirnoff gets the price for being Really Wrong in playing the non-GMO & gluten-free cards…

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

Show Notes:
Greetings

This Week in Skepticism: 14 October 1988 – media conference – Shroud of Turin radiocarbon date revealed and it turned out to be a medieval hoax.

Skeptical News

INTERNATIONAL: A new discovery with the potential to boost sensationalistic headlines

DENMARK: A cancer quack that still cites his patients as his success stories after they had died while he’d been treating them

PORTUGAL: Good and bad news

HUNGARY: Prestigious university calls for short essays written by students 15-18 years of age on a popular quackery and why it doesn’t hold water

Pontus Pokes the Pope

Sir Francis comparing abortion to hiring a trained killer while blaming the devil for church scandals

Really Wrong: Smirnoff advertising gluten-free, non-GMO vodka

Quote and Farewell

“The basics are knowing which small steps to take – you can’t start out planning world salvation from the get go. You have to be ready to do gruelling work. You have to find role models, who will teach you how to think better. You can’t always trust what you believe yourself. Every truth starts off as a delusion. It can only become truth after it is critiqued.”
/Ladislav Hromadka, Czech Philosopher/

Outro

TheESP – Ep. #133 – Malek Tohme

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On this Episode:

We have good news from Ukraine, when we talk to Malek Tohme, who is starting up the Ukraine Humanist, Rationalist, Skeptic Modernists in the city of L’viv!
And a special shout out to James The Amazing Randi who turned 90 on 7 August!

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

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

Show notes:

00:00:07: Intro

00:00:33: Greetings

00:03:14: Interview with Malek Tohme

00:30:42 Radio Spot

00:33:16: Farewell

00:37:22: Outro

00:38:37: 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 https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe

Segments:
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

TheESP – Ep. #113 – Women in Science, measles epidemic, flat Earth and Susan Gerbic’s adventures

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Segments:
Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Quote; Outro; Out-takes

Show Notes:

00:00:26 Greetings

00:12:53 This Week in Skepticism

  • Brian Deer’s landmark investigation into the Wakefield fraud

http://briandeer.com/mmr/st-mmr-reports.htm

00:18:04 Skeptical News

01:00:53 Quote

“The essence of the scientific method is that it deals with problems as such and thus it seeks solutions, without prejudice or chauvinism. The question we ask is not who’s right, but what the truth is.”

/Albert Szent-Györgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel laureate/

01:03:01 Outro

01:04:16 Out-takes

Episode #105 – Smallpox, fake news and the Taoiseach is a coward

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In our final episode for 2017 we look back at a skeptical year in Europe. We talk about smallpox, how measles continues to spread and how a prominent skeptic becomes head of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science. We also look into Facebook’s new attempt to fight fake news, how peer review punishes poor research and how Christmas decorations being removed in Italy has nothing to do with muslims.
Lastly the Taoiseach in Ireland failes to take a stand against Scientology, and for that he is Really Wrong.

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

Show Notes:

00:00:28 Greetings
Review of 2017 in Europe:

00:16:29 This Week in Skepticism: The Smallpox Retention Controversy

21:39 Skeptical News

00:43:21 Quote
“The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions.”
MAX BEERBOHM, British Critic, Essayist, and Caricaturist

00:47:21: Outro

00:48:36: Outtakes