TheESP – Ep. #218 – All Pell Breaks Loose

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This week we bring you news and topics from all over Europe again.
We start by talking about the unfortunate death (probably of Covid-19) of a board member of VoF.
After that we’re looking back at the history of LSD and how 19 April marks a special day in it, before we discuss how Cardinal Pell walks freely after the High Court of Australia overturns the previous verdict on his child abuse case.
In the news: Covid-19 update followed by details of some other stuff related to the pandemic, including: OfCom, the British media authority helping confused media consumers, a Policy Paper of the NHS release a few days after the publication of Sense About Science’s call for transparency over testing. Colloidal Silver seems to be a big sell in Finland these days, while Hungary’s response to the pandamic can only be described as chaotic, something that a petition might not be able to change. Religious liberty restrictions across Europe are also in focus as countries are trying to fight the disease, while British homeopaths “happily promote bogus treatments”. A new Chernobyl scare makes its rounds on social media over a wildfire in the area, but the best news is that Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available.
President Macron gets this week’s Really Wrong Prize for adding weight to an unproven ‘cure’ for the Novel-Coronavirus.
Also, please don’t forget that nominations for the John Maddox Prize are open until 11th May.

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

0:00:50 GREETINGS

  • Terrible news: Swedish Skeptics board member deceased, likely from covid-19
  • “Stay The Fuck At Home” song:

0:05:23 THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICISM
19 April 1943, Albert Hofmann chose to deliberately ingest 250 micrograms of the Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) he had synthesized at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. Three days earlier he had accidentally absorbed some through his skin by touching a container of the drug. From the accidental exposure he experienced restlessness, dizziness and “extreme activity of imagination.” Although he had first made it five years before, as a drug intended to relieve respiratory ailments, it was only on this day that he found the drug was a hallucinogen. The striking experience was one he chose to repeat.

0:14:15 PONTUS POKES THE POPE
What the Pell happened?

Tim Minchin’s song ‘Come Home Cardinal Pell’:

0:24:21 NEWS

  1. INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 update
  2. UK: OfCom gives a helping hand to media consumers
  3. UK: Update on Sense About Science’s call for transparency – Policy Paper issued by ministry
  4. FINLAND: Colloidal Silver sells out via closed Facebook groups
  5. HUNGARY: Chaos around response to Covid-19 and online petition for more comprehensive testing
  6. INTERNATIONAL/EU: Religious liberty restrictions across Europe
  7. UK: Dangerous nonsense spread by homeopaths in the UK
  8. HUNGARY/EU: Chernobyl wildfire stirs up radiation… and social media
  9. INTERNATIONAL: Edzard Ernst’s new book ‘Don’t Believe What You Think’ is now available

1:14:45 REALLY WRONG
The presidential curse(?): Macron adds to the hydroxychloroquine hype

1:19:46 QUOTE AND FAREWELL

“The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesmanlike habits, supplies their demands.”
/Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, Irish poet and playwright/

1:21:06 OUTRO

1:22:21 OUT-TAKES

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. #155 – Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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This week we’re back to bring you news and info about a wide range of topics including Francis Bacon and his importance in the development of #science, how the ‘good pope’ John Paul II was a misogynist, why we admire the works of Sense about Science so much and how they came up with yet another campaign that deserves much attention (the ‘Evidence Hunter Activity Pack’), how facilitated communication is a thing in Sweden despite all the evidence that suggests it does not work at all, why we should be cautious with consuming #probiotics (thanks to Prof. Edzard Ernst for the heads up), plus Skepkon 2019, the German annual conference for skeptics organised by gwup | die skeptiker is coming up, while a Swedish acupuncturist is on trial for almost killing two patients and the county of Killarney in Ireland calls to remove #fluoride from drinking water, despite the lack of any indications that it could be harmful (while its benefits are many).

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

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

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:04:33 This Week in Skepticism

Francis Bacon: English philosopher and Statesman, born on 22 January 1561.

00:09:54 Pontus Pokes the Pope

John Paul II once refused to shake Irish President’s hand because she was not a man, and Cardinal Arborelius threatens to leave Swedish Missionary Council because of abortions.

00:16:28 Skeptical News

UK: New educational material developed by Sense About Science: Evidence Hunter Activity Pack

SWEDEN: Facilitated communication

INTERNATIONAL: Probiotics are not risk free

GERMANY: Tickets released for SkepKon 2019

SWEDEN: Acupuncturist on trial for almost killing two customers

00:38:28 Really Wrong: IRELAND: Killarney Council wants to ban water flouridation

00:41:07 Farewell

00:43:04 Quote
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
/Francis Bacon

00:43:54 Outro

00:45:09 Out-takes

TheESP – Ep. #153 – New year resolutions, dating the World and standing up for Science

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Two weeks into the new year, our first episode of 2019 is finally hear and we can only hope it was worth the wait.
With the whole team together again, we are bringing you topics related to the New Year, including resolutions and hangovers, plus some science history and how James Ussher determined the age of the world (incorrectly), how Pope Francis tries to talk about families when the church is in turmoil over sex abuse scandals, a design company standing up for science in Italy, where the resigning head of the National Institute of Health slams the anti-science government, organ donation becoming opt-out in Ireland, Natalie Grams getting a nomination for the Golden Blogger award with her Twitter account, a new petition to sue French government over inaction on Climate change, Edzard Ernst‘s new book SCAM coming out in German, a new Spanish award for standing up for Science, an update on Measles and Vetenskap och Folkbildning announcing winners of the Enlightener and Bewilderer of the Year awards.

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

Show Notes:

00:00:00 Intro

00:00:27 Greetings

00:16:08 This week in Skepticism

00:24:09 Pontus Pokes the Pope
The (52nd) “World day of Peace”

00:28:01 Skeptical News

00:51:42 Really Wrong

SWEDEN: Bewilderer of the year 2018: Thomas Erikson
https://www.vof.se/blogg/arets-folkbildare-och-forvillare-2018/

00:57:39 Quote and Farewell

00:59:35 Outro

01:00:48 Out-takes

Episode #075

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This week’s episode brings you a lot of news and interesting topics from the world of skepticism across Europe.
Firstly, please, consider helping Hayley Stevens raise money to help others attend QED 2017. Then listen to what we have to say about the Charity Commissions consultations, Evidence Matters EU, Pontus being acquainted to someone with the potential to become pope one day, a fishy vaccine study that circulates widely, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales fighting fake news in his own way, All Trials getting more momentum with major sponsors of clinical trials joining their cause, a follow-up on the Kevin case, the Turkish government’s blocking of Wikipedia over claims of terrorist links, Natalie Grams and Homeopathy Information Network to receive Wikipedia pages, Academia being under attack by Hungarian government and a silly study on female homosexuality.

Segments
Intro; Greetings & Feedback; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Really Wrong; Quote

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:27
Greetings & feedback

  1. Hayley Stevens’ initiative to make free tickets available to QED for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
  2. Civil Society: Hundreds of health charities should be removed, regulator told
  3. Evidence Matters EU
  4. If you’re interested in the events happening across Europe, please visit our calendar page.

00:19:02
This Week in Skepticism
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (born on 22nd May 1859).

00:26:08
Skeptical News

  1. INTERNATIONAL: Vaccine study showing neurological harm to vaccinated children?
  2. INTERNATIONAL: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches a large-scale attack on fake news
  3. INTERNATIONAL: All Trials update
  4. SWEDEN: Follow-up on the Kevin case
  5. TURKEY: Turkish government blocks Wikipedia in the country over allegations about terrorist links
  6. GERMANY: Natalie Grams and INH now have a Wikipedia page
  7. HUNGARY: Academia under fire by government

00:57:49
Really Wrong
Stupid study about female homosexuality

01:03:53
Skeptical Ads

01:04:31
Quote

“You’ll often hear the phrase “science doesn’t know everything.” Well, of course it doesn’t know everything. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean that it knows nothing”
/Stephen Fry, English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist/

01:06:43
Outro

01:07:58
Out-takes

Episode #068, feat. Sofie Vanthournout

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Sofie Vanthournout

The episode was almost entirely dedicated to our interview with the Director of Sense about Science EU, Sofie Vanthournout. We talked about their upcoming project, Evidence Matters EU, the expansion of the Ask For Evidence campaign to European countries, how to elevate public debate about scientific issues to influence legislation, building a European network and a lot more.

Segments

Intro; Greetings & Feedback; Interview with Sofie Vanthournout; Farewell; Out-takes

Show notes:
00:00:00
INTRO music

00:00:37
Greetings & feedback

Please, visit our ‘Events in Europe’ page to see what’s going on across the continent in skepticism.

00:08:26
Interview with Sofie Vanthournout

00:44:06
Farewell

00:47:30
Outro

00:48:45
Out-takes