TWISH – This Week in Skeptical History



    1 Jan, 1762: Cock Lane Ghost mystery

      This started in London first week in 1762 and includes murder allegations, a ghost and a haunted house.
      Ep. #203

    2 Jan, 1860: Planet Vulcan

      The discovery of the planet Vulcan, orbiting between Mercury and the Sun was announced by the French Acadademy of Sciences. It later turned out not to exist.
      Ep. #055

    2 Jan, 1920: Isaac Asimov (birth of)

      Prolific and prominent writer and science communicator
      Ep. #359

    4 Jan, 1581: James Ussher (birth of)

      Prolific Irish scholar and church leader, famous for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation
      Ep. #153

    6 Jan, 1920: Doris Stokes (birth of)

      Self-proclaimed psychic and ‘claireaudient’.
      Ep. #204

    8 Jan, 1823: Alfred Russel Wallace (birth of)

      British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection.
      Ep. #256

    8 Jan, 1981: Trans-en-Provence Case

    9 Jan, 1349: The Basel Massacre

      The city of Basel tried to stop the black plague by killing and deporting the Jews in the city
      Ep. #409

    11 Jan, 1906: Albert Hoffman (birth of)

      Swiss scientist and discoverer of LSD-25
      Ep. #107

    13 Jan, 1404: Act Against Multipliers

      This act made it illegal to create silver or gold using alchemy
      Ep. #005

    15 Jan, 2001: Wikipedia

    16 Jan, 1964: Massimo Pigliucci (birth of)

    20 Jan, 1612: Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (death of)

      Holy Roman Emperor (1576–1612), King of Hungary and Croatia (as Rudolf I, 1572–1608), King of Bohemia (1575–1608/1611) and Archduke of Austria (1576–1608). He was a member of the House of Habsburg.
      Ep. #258

    21 Jan, 1789: Baron d’Holbach (death of)

      French-German philosopher, encyclopedist, writer, and prominent figure in the French Enlightenment
      Ep. #309

    21 Jan, 1807: London Institute

      The London Institution gets Royal Charter
      Ep. #361

    21 Jan, 1854: Eusapia Palladino (birth of)

      Italian spiritualist physical medium
      Ep. #057

    22 Jan, 1561: Sir Francis Bacon (birth of)

      English philosopher and Statesman
      Ep. #155

    23 Jan, 1943: Stanisław Burzyński (birth of)

      Founder of The Burzynski Clinic, is a controversial clinic offering an unproven cancer treatment
      Ep. #109

    24 Jan, 1928: Desmond Morris (birth of)

      British zoologist and anthropologist. He was instrumental in popularizing the Aquatic Ape hypothesis.
      Ep. #206

    25 Jan, 1900: Theodosius Dobzhansky (birth of)

      Ukrainian-American evolutionary biologist
      Ep. #310

    27 Jan, 1950: Derek Acorah (birth of)

    28 Jan, 1884: Auguste and Jean Felix Piccard (birth of)

      The Piccard twins explored both the heavens and the deep sea using the bathyscaphe
      Ep. #362

    29 Jan, 1986: The Height 611 UFO incident

      Known as ‘Russia’s own Roswell incident’.
      Ep. #207

    30 Jan, 1948: Edzard Ernst (birth of)

      Retired academic physician and researcher specializing in the study of complementary and alternative medicine
      Ep. #156

    31 Jan, 1911: Grandmother (“Baba”) Vanga (birth of)

      Bulgarian mystic, clairvoyant, and herbalist.
      Ep. #059

    31 Jan, 1951: József Gyurcsok (birth of)

      Hungarian remote energy healer and tele-evangelist
      Ep. #363

    31 Jan, 2021: INH (Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie, or Information Network Homeopathy)

      INH is a German association of homeopathy critics . The association is part of the GWUP (the German Skeptics).
      Ep. #259


    2 Feb, 1970: Bertrand Russell (death of)

      Bertrand Russell was a British mathematician, philosopher, and public intellectual.
      Ep. #412

    2 Feb, 2010: Andrew Wakefield’s paper

      The Lancet formally retracts Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 paper
      Ep. #311

    3 Feb, 1984: Elizabeth Holmes (birth of)

      American former biotechnology entrepreneur and convicted fraudster, known for the Theranos bluff.
      Ep. #364

    5 Feb, 2011: 1023 Campaign

      The 1023 global homeopathy challenge happened on 5 February 2011.
      Ep. #260

    6 Feb, 1999: Skeptics in the Pub

      The first ever skeptical pub was held this date in London
      Ep. #111

    8 Feb, 1724: Peter the Great (death of)

      Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, despite obvious flaws also happened to be quite a fan on the enlightenment
      Ep. #413

    8 Feb, 1834: Dimitri Mendeleev (birth of)

      Russian chemist and inventor. He is best known for formulating the Periodic Law and creating a farsighted version of the periodic table of elements.
      Ep. #312

    8 Feb, 1855: Devil’s Footprints

      A series of strange footprints was reported from around the Exe Estuary in East and South Devon, England
      Ep. #110

    10 Feb, 1937: Anne Anderson (birth of)

      Reproductive physiologist, forerunner of evidence based medicine
      Ep. #009

    10 Feb, 1947: Oliver Lodge‘s letters

      Oliver Lodge‘s last letter was opened, failing to prove that psychics are real
      Ep. #157

    12 Feb, 1809: Charles Darwin (birth of)

      English naturalist, geologist and biologist.
      Ep. #209

    13 Feb, 1923: Philippe de Cherisey (birth of)

      French writer, radio humorist, surrealist and supporting actor. He is best known for his creation of fake parchments
      Ep. #158

    15 Feb, 1564: Galileo Galilei (birth of)

      the “father of modern science”
      Ep. #061

    16 Feb, 1923: Opening of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber

      This brought ‘the curse of the mummy’ into poular culture
      Ep. #414

    18 Feb, 1930: Pluto

      Pluto day – the descovory of Planet X
      Ep. #365

    19 Feb, 1473: Nicolaus Copernicus (birth of)

      Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic canon. He formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center.
      Ep. #262

    19 Feb, 1846: Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau (birth of)

      French crusader against archeological forgeries
      Ep. #415

    22 Feb, 1997: Dolly the sheep

      Presentation of Dolly to the press.
      Ep. #263

    22 Feb, 2004: Andrew Wakefield

      Brian Deer’s landmark investigation into the Wakefield fraud was published
      Ep. #113

    22 Feb, 2010: Homeopathy

      The British Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee published its damning Evidence Check on homeopathy
      Ep. #159

    23 Feb, 1455: Gutenberg Bible

      First book printed using reusable metal types
      Ep. #314

    24 Feb, 1588: Johann Weyer (death of)

      Dutch physician, occultist and demonologist
      Ep. #011

    24 Feb, 1871: The Descent of Man

      On this day, Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking book was published
      Ep. #366

    27 Feb, 1971: Derren Brown (birth of)


    3 Mar, 1968: Brian Cox (birth of)

      English physicist and former musician who is a professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester and The Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science.
      Ep. #264

    4 Mar, 2002: Bankrupsy of David Irwing

      David Irving, famous holocaust denier, was declared bankrupt on 4 March 2002, after losing a libel suit against a writer who published a book about his “research”.
      Ep. #212

    5 Mar, 1512: Gerardus Mercator (birth of)

      Mercator is famous for developing the most known projection of the spherical Earth onto two dimensional maps
      Ep. #417

    5 Mar, 1616: Decree Against Copernicanism

      The Catholic Church puts a ban on Nicolaus Copernicus’ ‘On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres’, 70 years after Copernicus’ death. The ban was not lifted until 1966, and Galileo Galilei (who defended the view of Copernicus) was not rehabilitated by the Church until 1992.
      Ep. #367

    9 Mar, 1451: Amerigo Vespucci (birth of)

      Vespucci was a cartographer who had no idea that his name in the future would be used to refer to what he called ‘the new world’
      Ep. #368

    9 Mar, 1847: Mary Anning (death of)

      English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist
      Ep. #115

    9 Mar, 1934: Yuri Gagarin (birth of)

      Russian Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, the first human to journey into outer space
      Ep. #013, Ep. #265

    10 Mar, 1969: Massimo Polidoro (birth of)

      Italian psychologist, writer, journalist, television personality, co-founder and executive director of the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudoscience (CICAP)
      Ep. #316

    14 Mar, 1835: Giovanni Schiaparelli (birth of)

      Astronomer who believed he had discovered ‘canali‘ on Mars
      Ep. #162

    14 Mar, 2018: Stephen Hawking (death of)

      English theoretical physicist, cosmologist
      Ep. #117

    15 Mar, 1848: Hungarian Revolution of 1848

      On this day the Hungarian Revolution broke out against Habsburg absolutism. People today have many misconceptions about what happened and why.
      Ep. #317

    18 Mar, 1981: Quark

      Premiere of Italian science program Quark hosted by skeptic Piero Angela
      Ep. #163

    19 Mar, 1992: Hungarian Skeptic Society

      Predecessor the Hungarian Skeptic Society, Tényeket Tisztelők Társasága was founded on 19th March 1992.
      Ep. #266

    20 Mar, 1726: Sir Isaac Newton (death of)

      English mathematician, astronomer and physicist
      Ep. #065

    22 Mar, 1832: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (death of)

      German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic
      Ep. #117

    23 Mar, 1907: Daniel Bovet (birth of)

      Swiss-born Italian pharmacologist who won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
      Ep. #015

    23 Mar, 1919: Italian Fascist Party

      Benito Mussolini, an Italian World War I veteran and publisher of Socialist newspapers, breaks with the Italian Socialists and establishes the nationalist Fasci di Combattimento
      Ep. #318, Ep. #419

    24 Mar, 1897: Wilhelm Riech (birth of)

      Riech was the father of so-called “orgone energy” which is a made up concept
      Ep. #370

    25 Mar, 1811: Percy Shelley

      On this date Percy Shelley was expelled from Oxford Uni for his pamphlet “The Necessity of Atheism”
      Ep. #420

    26 Mar, 1941: Richard Dawkins (birth of)

      British evolutionary biologist and author.
      Ep. #215

    27 Mar, 1845: Wilhelm Röntgen (birth of)

      German mechanical engineer and physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the inaugural Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.
      Ep. #267

    29 Mar, 1824: Ludwig Büchner (birth of)

      Ludwig Büchner was a German philosopher, physiologist and physician who became one of the exponents of 19th-century scientific materialism.
      Ep. #371

    29 Mar, 1939: UK Cancer Act of 1939

      This act was passed, most significantly to regulate advertising claims of cancer cures
      Ep. #164

    30 Mar, 1925: Rudolf Steiner (death of)

    31 Mar, 1596: René Descartes (birth of)

      French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who invented analytic geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra.
      Ep. #268


    1 Apr, 2010: Simon Singh

      Simon Singh wins “fair comment” libel appeal against BCA
      Ep. #319

    1 Apr, 2019: Internet Pranks

    2 Apr, 2008: Rupert Sheldrake was stabbed

      The incident happened after a lecture on April 2, 2008.
      Ep. #216

    5 Apr, 2012: Founding of ComCept

      Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa (English: Portuguese Skeptical Community), is a Portuguese project dedicated to scientific skepticism, created to promote rational and critical thinking about paranormal and pseudoscientific claims from a scientific point of view.
      Ep. #269

    6 Apr, 1956: Chris French (birth of)

      British psychologist specialising in the psychology of paranormal beliefs and experiences, cognition and emotion. He is the head of the University of London’s anomalistic Psychology Research Unit and appears regularly in the media as an expert on testing paranormal claims.
      Ep. #320

    6 Apr, 1961: Jules Bordet (death of)

      Belgian bacteriologist and immunologist
      Ep. #017

    6 Apr, 2009: L’Aquila earthquake

      The earthquake resulted in criminal sentences that what were perceived by many as an attack on science. As is often the case, the truth is a little more complicated than that.
      Ep. #421

    10 Apr, 1755: Samuel Hahneman (birth of)

      German physician, best known for creating homeopathy.
      Ep. #166

    11 Apr, 1903: Gemma Galgani (death of)

    12 Apr, 1888: Premature obituary for Alfred Nobel

      12 April 1888, a French newspaper allegedly published an obituary for Albert Nobel, inventor of dynamite, calling him “a merchant of death”, prompting Nobel to launch his esteemed award.
      Ep. #217

    12 Apr, 1955: Polio

    12 Apr, 1969: Finnish Air Force UFO sighting

      Mysterious UFO sighting, still unexplained
      Ep. #373

    13 Apr, 1728: Paolo Frisi (birth of)

      Paolo Frisi was an Italian mathematician, astronomer and polymath.
      Ep. #422

    13 Apr, 1949: Christopher Hitchens (birth of)

      Journalist and prominent atheist
      Ep. #018

    14 Apr, 1629: Christiaan Huygens (birth of)

      Dutch mathematician, physicist, astronomer and inventor, who is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major figure in the scientific revolution.
      Ep. #321

    14 Apr, 1935: Erich von Däniken (birth of)

      Swiss author of several books which make claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, including the best-selling Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Von Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the “paleo-contact” and ancient astronauts hypotheses.
      Ep. #270

    16 Apr, 1971: Norbert Schobert (birth of)

      Norbert Schobert is an Hungarian fitness guru and serial nominee of the Flat Earth Award
      Ep. #423

    19 Apr, 1934: Surgeons Photograph

      The Surgeons Photograph is a famous fake photo, claiming to show the Loch Ness monster (“Nessie”)
      Ep. #374

    19 Apr, 1943: First deliberate LSD trip

      On this day 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.
      Ep. #218

    20 Apr, 1889: Adolph Hitler (birth of)

    20 Apr, 1902: Radium isolated

      Marie and Pierre Curie isolated radium for the first time on 20 April 1902.
      Ep. #271

    20 Apr, 1959: Wim Hof (birth of)

      Wim Hof, (“the Iceman”), is extraordinarily resistant to extreme cold. His Wim Hof Method (WHM) combines breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation. Hyperventilation has been shown to reduce the body’s response to inflammation, but Hof’s extravagant claims of health benefits are not supported by scientific evidence.
      Ep. #322

    21 Apr, 1932: Iván Almár (birth of)

      Hungarian astronomer and prominent figure of SETI and the Hungarian skeptic movement
      Ep. #167

    23 Apr, 1977: John Oliver (birth of)

      John Oliver is a British and American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host.
      Ep. #424

    26 Apr, 1986: Chernobyl disaster

      The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union.
      Ep. #272

    29 Apr, 1380: Catherine of Siena (death of)

      Mystic, activist, author, and lay member of the Dominican Order
      Ep. #071

    30 Apr, 1777: Carl Friedrich Gauss (birth of)

      Carl Friedrich Gauss was German mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to many fields in mathematics and science.
      Ep. #375

    30 Apr, 1878: Germ Theory

      Louis Pasteur presents his Germ Theory
      Ep. #168


    1 May, 1776: The Illuminati in Bavaria

      Founding of the mythical organisasion
      Ep. #122

    1 May, 1881: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (birth of)

      Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a controversial figure of science and theology
      Ep. #425

    4 May, 1825: Thomas Henry Huxley (birth of)

      Known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his persistent and relentless defence of Darwin’s theory of evolusion
      Ep. #021

    5 May, 1813: Søren Kierkegaard (birth of)

      Danish theologian, philosopher, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
      Ep. #273

    5 May, 1925: Scopes Monkey Trial – the arrest of John Scopes

      The ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ was provoked by science minded forces to demonstrate the absurdity of prohibiting the teaching of evolution in schools in Tennessee. Even though the verdict went the other way, the trial succeeded in swaying the public and the so-called ‘Butler Act’ was never again used to procecute somebody.
      Ep. #376

    6 May, 1983: Adolf Hitler

      Stern Magazine admitted that they had spent 19 million marks on fake Hitler diaries
      Ep. #169

    8 May, 1926: David Attenborough (birth of)

      English broadcaster, biologist, natural historian and author
      Ep. #324

    8 May, 1980: Smallpox

      WHO general assembly announces eradication of smallpox
      Ep. #426

    10 May, 1978: UFO abduction in Poland

      An alleged alien abduction in Poland on May 10, 1978 is now commemorated with a stone memorial.
      Ep. #221

    12 May, 1364: Jagiellonian University

      The founding of the most prestigious university of Poland, the Jagiellonian University in Kraków
      Ep. #377

    12 May, 1820: Florence Nightingale (birth of)

      English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing
      Ep. #073

    13 May, 1917: Apparitions of Our Lady of Fàtima

      The first of several apparitions of the virgin Mary in Fàtima, Portugal
      Ep. #325

    14 May, 1796: First Smallpox inoculation

      On this day, Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox inoculation
      Ep. #274

    15 May, 1859: Pierre Curie (birth of)

      Pierre Curie was not just a brilliant scientist, but also intrigued by spiritualism.
      Ep. #427

    15 May, 2009: Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij (VTDK)

    18 May, 1959: Ranga Yogeshwar (birth of)

      Luxembourgish physicist and science journalist.
      Ep. #275

    19 May, 1941: Heinz Oberhummer (birth of)

    19 May, 1962: Colin Fry (birth of)

      English television personality, entertainer and self-proclaimed medium
      Ep. #124

    20 May, 1974: Ben Goldacre (birth of)

      Ben Goldacre is a prominent science communicator
      Ep. #378

    20 May, 2010: Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

      Event in support of artists threatened with violence for drawing representations of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
      Ep. #023

    21 May, 1911: Peter Hurkos (birth of)

      Dutchman who allegedly manifested extrasensory perception (ESP) after recovering from a head injury and coma.
      Ep. #223

    22 May, 1859: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (birth of)

    23 May, 1734: Franz Mesmer (birth of)

      Franz Anton Mesmer was a German physician with an interest in astronomy. He theorized the existence of a process of natural energy transference occurring between all animate and inanimate objects; this he called “animal magnetism”, later referred to as mesmerism.
      Ep. #428

    26 May, 1897: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

      First publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
      Ep. #276

    28 May, 1807: Louis Agassiz (birth of)

      Swiss-American biologist and geologist, founder of glaciology – and creationist.
      Ep. #224

    30 May, 1431: Joan of Arc (death of)

      Joan of Arc (never known by that name in her life time) believed her divine inspiration told her to fight on the side of Charles VII of France in the Hundred Years’ War. Falling into enemy hands, she was burned at the stake by the English side in the war.
      Ep. #429

    31 May, 1725: Fake fossils

      Fake fossils accepted as genuine by Johann Beringer
      Ep. #172


    2 Jun, 1739: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

      the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was established
      Ep. #328

    2 Jun, 1740: Marquis de Sade (birth of)

      Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade was a French nobleman, revolutionary politician, philosopher and writer famous for his libertine sexuality.
      Ep. #277

    3 Jun, 1726: James Hutton (birth of)

      James Hutton is known as “the father of modern geology”
      Ep. #430

    3 Jun, 1873: Otto Loewi (birth of)

      German-born pharmacologist and psychobiologist
      Ep. #025

    5 Jun, 1921: Gérard de Sède, baron de Liéoux (birth of)

      French author, writing under the nom-de-plume of Gérard de Sède, and a member of various surrealist organizations
      Ep. #225

    6 Jun, 1975: European Common Market

      UK referendum to join European Common Market
      Ep. #173

    7 Jun, 1195: Ball lightning

      The first sighting of a ball lighting in England
      Ep. #329

    8 Jun, 1916: Francis Crick (birth of)

      British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist. He, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin played crucial roles in deciphering the helical structure of the DNA molecule.
      Ep. #278

    9 Jun, 2014: Creationism

      Teaching creationism as science was banned in public schools in the UK.
      Ep. #226

    10 Jun, 1895: Immanuel Velikovsky (birth of)

      Russian, Israeli, and American scholar, known as the author of a number of controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history
      Ep. #126

    12 Jun, 1922: Margherita Hack (birth of)

      Italian astrophysicist, activist and was also a co-founder of CICAP
      Ep. #174, Ep. #431

    12 Jun, 2023: Silvio Berluconi (death of)

    15 Jun, 1941: Evelyn Underhill (death of)

      English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice
      Ep. #077

    16 Jun, 1858: John Snow (death of)

      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.
      Ep. #227

    16 Jun, 2002: Padre Pio

      Padre Pio gets canonised. Also known as Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Italian: Pio da Pietrelcina; 25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968), Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan Capuchin, friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic, now venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.
      Ep. #330

    17 Jun, 1603: Joseph of Cupertino (birth of)

      Italian Conventual Franciscan friar, Christian mystic and saint
      Ep. #027

    17 Jun, 1832: William Crookes (birth of)

      Great british chemist and physicist who attended the Royal College of Chemistry but also was a believer in spiritualism.
      Ep. #175

    19 Jun, 1623: Blaise Pascal (birth of)

      French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer and Catholic theologian.
      Ep. #279

    19 Jun, 1795: James Braid (birth of)

      Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”
      Ep. #128

    22 Jun, 1633: Galileo Galilei was forced to revoke his views on planetary motion.

      Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath
      Ep. #383

    24 Jun, 1374: Medieval Dancing Plague

      The strange “Medieval Dancing Plague” broke out this day in Aachen, Germany
      Ep. #228

    25 Jun, 1961: Ricky Gervais (birth of)

      Ricky Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, and writer.
      Ep. #331

    26 Jun, 1943: Karl Landsteiner (death of)

      Austrian biologist, physician, and immunologist.
      Ep. #280

    30 Jun, 1860: The Oxford Evolution Debate

      Best remembered for Thomas Henry Huxley telling Bishop Samuel Wilberforce that he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth (the exact wording is debated).
      Ep. #079

    30 Jun, 1894: Tower Bridge

      Opening by the Prince of Wales. The story about how Robert P McCulloch was conned into buying London Bridge thinking he actually paid for Tower Bridge in 1968 is just an urban myth.
      Ep. #176

    30 Jun, 1908: The Tunguska event

      The Tunguska event is the largest meteor impact event on Earth in recorded history
      Ep. #384


    1 Jul, 1646: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (birth of)

      Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat.
      Ep. #332

    1 Jul, 1818: Ignaz Semmelweis (birth of)

      Ethnic German-Hungarian physician and scientist born in the Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. He discovered that doctors washing hands drastically drove down deaths in maternity wards.
      Ep. #229

    1 Jul, 1976: Anneliese Michel (death of)

    2 Jul, 1946: Peter Popoff (birth of)

      German-born American televangelist and debunked clairvoyant and faith healer. He was exposed in 1986 for using a concealed earpiece to receive radio messages from his wife, who gave him the names, addresses, and ailments of audience members during Popoff-led religious services.
      Ep. #281

    5 Jul, 1687: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica

      Newton’s ‘Principia’ lay the ground for much of modern science, over three hundred years ago.
      Ep. #333

    5 Jul, 1817: Carl Vogt (birth of)

      German scientist, philosopher, popularizer of science, and politician.
      Ep. #385

    6 Jul, 1885: Rabies vaccine

      On 6 July 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully demonstrated a working Rabies vaccine.
      Ep. #230, Ep. #177

    8 Jul, 1857: Alfred Binet (birth of)

    10 Jul, 1856: Nikola Tesla (birth of)

      Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.
      Ep. #282

    14 Jul, 1933: Eugenics

      The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring in Nazi Germany was made into act
      Ep. #130

    14 Jul, 1951: Photo of Loch Ness

      The most iconic and known supposed picture of the mythical creature
      Ep. #081

    15 Jul, 1834: The Spanish Inquisition

      After several years of attempts to end it, it was finally abolished by Royal Decree
      Ep. #031

    15 Jul, 1975: Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

      First international space collaboration, signifying the end of the space race
      Ep. #334

    17 Jul, 1954: Angela Merkel (birth of)

      German politician and scientist.
      Ep. #283

    18 Jul, 1950: György Egely (birth of)

      Hungarian engineer and self-proclaimed alternative energy solutions expert, propent of ‘life energy’, UFOs and ball lightning ‘researcher’
      Ep. #387

    19 Jul, 1936: David Colquhoun (birth of)

      British Pharmacologist and prominent skeptic.
      Ep. #179

    20 Jul, 1804: Sir Richard Owen (birth of)

      English biologist and comparative anatomist. Founder of the Natural History Museum in London.
      Ep. #335

    20 Jul, 1822: Gregor Mendel (birth of)

      Meteorologist, mathematician, biologist, Augustinian friar and abbot.
      Ep. #284

    25 Jul, 1920: Rosalind Franklin (birth of)

      British chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
      Ep. #388

    26 Jul, 1875: Carl Jung (birth of)

      Carl Jung continues to be an extremely influential figure in the history of psychology despite that he got most of it wrong.
      Ep. #132, Ep. #232, Ep. #285

    28 Jul, 1902: Karl Popper (birth of)

    29 Jul, 1862: Eduard Brückner (birth of)

      German geographer, meteorologist, glaciologist and climate scientist
      Ep. #033

    29 Jul, 1951: Susan Blackmore (birth of)

      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.
      Ep. #233

    31 Jul, 1831: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (birth of)

      Russian author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875
      Ep. #035


    1 Aug, 1744: Lamarck (birth of)

      Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck, or ‘Lamarck’,  was born. He was a French naturalist with not entirely correct ideas about the evolution of species and although he was wrong about how it works, he still set the stage for Darwin, who was born about sixty years later.
      Ep. #181

    6 Aug, 1881: Alexander Fleming (birth of)

      Scottish physician and microbiologist, best known for discovering the world’s first broadly effective antibiotic substance, which he named penicillin.
      Ep. #389

    7 Aug, 1928: James ‘the Amazing’ Randi (birth of)

    7 Aug, 1948: Lysenkoism

      Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced that from that point on Lysenkoism would be taught as “the only correct theory”.
      Ep. #234

    7 Aug, 1987: Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim (birth of)

      German chemist, science communicator, television presenter and YouTuber.
      Ep. #286

    10 Aug, 1940: Peter Atkins (birth of)

      Professor of Physical Chemistry and outspoken atheist
      Ep. #338

    12 Aug, 1967: Sea Org Day

      Sea Org Day marks the founding of the Sea Organization in Scientology
      Ep. #390

    13 – 14 Aug, 1956: The Lakenheath-Bentwaters Incident

      A series of radar and visual contacts with unidentified flying objects over airbases in eastern England
      Ep. #085

    15 Aug, 1248: Foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral

      The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral was laid to become the resting place of the “Three Wise Men”
      Ep. #391

    15 Aug, 1977: the Wow! signal

      the Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States.
      Ep. #235

    17 Aug, 2006: ‘Orbo’ free energy device

      The company Steorn published their claims on its ‘Orbo’ free energy device. They got financing to the tune of 23 million Euro, but strangely the device never materialized…
      Ep. #183

    18 Aug, 1503: Pope Alexander VI (death of)

      Pope 1492 to 1503. Issued several Papal bulls that legitimized the oppression of North and South America
      Ep. #339

    18 Aug, 1932: Luc Montagnier (birth of)

      Nobel Laureate and proponent of pseudoscience
      Ep. #287

    19 Aug, 2001: Sylvia Millecam (death of)

      Dutch actress and comedian. Her death of breast cancer in 2001 could possibly have been avoided if she had not taken advice from Dutch healing medium Jomanda.
      Ep. #134

    25 Aug, 1835: The Great Moon Hoax

      This series of articles has been regarded as the first modern fake news event
      Ep. #392

    25 Aug, 1850: Charles Richet (birth of)

      French physiologist at the Collège de France, who coined the term ectoplasm
      Ep. #087

    26 Aug, 1743: Antoine Lavoisier (birth of)

    26 Aug, 1910: Mother Teresa (birth of)

      Probably the best known modern saints of all, still in fact pretty mean and cruel
      Ep. #340

    29 Aug, 1632: John Locke (birth of)

      English philosopher and physician and one of the first British “Empiricists”
      Ep. #185

    29 Aug, 1967: UFO Sighting at Cussac, France

      The famous UFO Sighting at Cussac in France took place on 29 August 1967.
      Ep. #237, Ep. #393

    30 Aug, 1797: Mary Shelley (birth of)


    1 Sep, 1964: Pontus Böckman (birth of)

      Podcaster and skeptical activist
      Ep. #341

    4 Sep: San Roslia Feast

      The Yearly Feast and Pilgrimage of Santa Rosalia in Palermo
      Ep. #394

    5 Sep, 1996: Holocaust denial

      Libel suit filed concerning Deborah Lipstadt’s book ‘Denying the Holocaust’
      Ep. #137

    8 Sep, 1774: Anne Catherine Emmerich (birth of)

      Catholic Augustinian Canoness who inspired Mel Gibson’s “the Passion of the Christ”
      Ep. #089

    10 Sep, 1713: John Needham (birth of)

    10 Sep, 2008: Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

      At CERN in Switzerland the Large Hadron Collider (LCH) was powered up on 10 September 2008.
      Ep. #239

    11 Sep, 1822: Heliocentrism accepted by Vatican

      College of Cardinals finally accepts heliocentrism
      Ep. #342

    11 Sep, 2001: 9/11 attacks in the US

      Starting point for modern conspiracy theories online
      Ep. #290

    14 Sep, 2011: Ask for Evidence campaign

      The Ask for evidence campaign was launched 14 September 2011
      Ep. #187

    15 Sep, 1530: The portrait of Saint Dominic in Soriano

    15 Sep, 2008: International Day of Democracy

      In 2008 the UN created the International Day of Democracy, 15 September
      Ep. #395

    18 Sep, 1819: Léon Foucault (birth of)

      French mathematician and astronomer who is best known for his invention of a pendulum which demonstrates the rotation of the earth.
      Ep. #343

    18 Sep, 1895: Chiropractic

    20 Sep, 1863: Jacob Grimm (death of)

      Linguist and a fairy tale collector
      Ep. #292

    23 Sep, 1939: Sigmund Freud (death of)

      Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis
      Ep. #091

    25 Sep, 1994: ECSO

      The European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO) was founded on 26 September 1994.
      Ep. #241

    26 Sep, 1897: Pope Paul VI (birth of)

      Initiator of the Second Vatican Council, implemeting many reforms.
      Ep. #041

    27 Sep, 1989: The Voronezh UFO incident

      UFO sighting in former Soviet Union
      Ep. #345

    28 Sep, 1994: Estonia ship disaster

      Surrounded by many conspiracy theories
      Ep. #293


    2 Oct, 1958: Marie Stopes (death of)

      British author, palaeobotanist and campaigner for eugenics and women’s rights
      Ep. #093

    2 Oct, 1991: Ig Nobel Prize

      The first Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
      Ep. #141

    5 Oct, 1713: Denis Diderot (birth of)

      French philosopher and writer, author of ‘The Skeptic’s Walk’ and main contributor of the Enyclopedia
      Ep. #346

    7 Oct, 1885: Niels Bohr (birth of)

      Danish physicist and Nobel Laureate
      Ep. #294

    9 Oct, 768: Coronation of Charlemagne

      There is a myth that this never happened at all.
      Ep. #243

    10 Oct, 1816: Sir John Simon (birth of)

    Friday the 13th

      Commonly referred to as an unlycky day, possibly worse in October(?)
      Ep. #399

    13 Oct, 2018: QED conference

      QED 2018 was the latest QED week and we now prepare for 2022
      Ep. #347

    14 Oct, 1988: Shroud of Turin

      Radiocarbon date analysis revealed that the shroud is a medieval hoax
      Ep. #143

    14 Oct, 2016: QED conference

      This week in 2016, 2017 and 2018 the QED Conference took place in Manchester.
      Ep. #244

    16 Oct, 2002: Dark Side of the Moon

      Mockumentary release on this day.
      Ep. #192

    18 Oct, 1881: Max Gerson (birth of)

      Max Gerson created the alternative ‘Gerson-diet’ or ‘Gerson-therapy’ which he claimed could cure cancer and more. It has no scientific base and is to be considered dangerous quackery.
      Ep. #400

    18 Oct, 1922: Founding of the BBC

      The BBC is the largest public service media company in the world
      Ep. #348

    20 Oct, 1882: Bela Lugosi (birth of)

      Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula.
      Ep. #245

    22 Oct, 1996: Evolusion recognized by the Papacy

      Pope John Paul II famously admitted that evolution makes sense on 22 October 1996. Better late than never!
      Ep. #193

    24 Oct, 1601: Tycho Brahe (death of)

      Danish astronomer, astrologer and alchemist
      Ep. #349

    24 Oct, 1611: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (birth of)

    28 Oct, 312: The battle of the Milvian Bridge

      The Milvian Bridge is a bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy. It was an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire and was the site of the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, which led to the imperial rule of Constantine.
      Ep. #246

    29 Oct, 1813: William Benjamin Carpenter (birth of)

      English Physician, zoologist, physiologist and a skeptic. He described and named the Ideomotor Phenomenon, sometimes known as the Carpenter Effect.
      Ep. #194

    31 Oct, 1912: János Szentágothai (birth of)

      János Szentágothai was an anatomist, Professor, Member of Parliament, and President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He also initiated the Hungarian Skeptics movement.
      Ep. #402

    31 Oct, 1926: Harry Houdini (death of)

      Hungarian-born American escape artist, illusionist, stunt performer and mysteriarch, noted for his escape acts
      Ep. #097

    31 Oct, 1992: Galileo Galilei

      Vatican admits that Galileo was right
      Ep. #144


    5 Nov, 1459: The Council of Constance

    7 Nov, 1867: Marie Curie (birth of)

      Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist
      Ep. #047

    9 Nov, 1938: Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass)

      This was a pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazi Party’s Sturmabteilung (SA) paramilitary forces along with civilians throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938.
      Ep. #248

    10 Nov, 1793: Festival of Reason

      The ‘Festival of Reason’ was a failed and misguided attempt to get rid of religion during the French revolution.
      Ep. #403

    10 Nov, 1895: József Öveges (birth of)

    10 Nov, 2009: Glasgow Skeptics

    14 Nov, 1797: Charles Lyell (birth of)

      Charles Lyell was a Scottish scientist and is considered one of the fathers of geology
      Ep. #404

    14 Nov, 1929: Mihály Beck (birth of)

      Hungarian chemist and skeptic, one of the founders of the skeptical movement
      Ep. #352

    14 Nov, 1948: Prince Charles (birth of)

      Heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II
      Ep. #099

    18 Nov, 1900: George Kistiakowsky (birth of)

    20 Nov, 1976: Trofim Lysenko (death of)

      Trofim Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist and pseudo-scientist. He was a strong proponent of Lamarckism, and rejected Mendelian genetics in favour of his own idiosyncratic, pseudoscientific ideas later termed Lysenkoism.
      Ep. #405

    21 Nov, 1694: Voltaire (birth of)

      French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher
      Ep. #049

    21 Nov, 1907: Josef M. Issels (birth of)

      German physician known for promoting an alternative cancer therapy
      Ep. #147

    21 Nov, 1953: the Piltdown Man

      The Piltdown Man, a skull regarded as one of the most important missing links between apes and man, was publicly announced to be a hoax on this day.
      Ep. #197

    24 Nov, 1859: On the Origin of Spieces

      The first publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
      Ep. #301

    28 Nov, 1908: Claude Lévi-Strauss (birth of)

      Claude Lévi-Strauss developed a structuralist theory of mythology
      Ep. #406

    29 Nov, 1989: Belgian UFO wave

      Beginning of several months of UFO reports. It lasted until April 1990
      Ep. #101


    2 Dec, 1936: Peter H. Duesberg (birth of)

      German-American molecular biologist and HIV/AIDS denialist
      Ep. #002

    2 Dec, 2010: Decision to build a memorial to fallen aliens

      On 2 December 2010 the Ukrainian newspaper “Бердичiв дiловий” (“Business Berdichev”) announced that group of UFOlogists decided to build a memorial to fallen aliens.
      Ep. #251

    3 Dec, 1933: Paul J. Crutzen (birth of)

    4 Dec, 1873: Ghost Ship Mary Celeste

      The Ghost ship Mary Celeste was found on this day, abandoned by all crew. A couple of years later a promising young author called Arthur Conan Doyle (later Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) published a fictionalized account of the event , changing the spelling of the name of the ship slightly. This was taken as a true story and was the start not only of a brilliant writing career but also a legend and a myth that has intrigued and inspired ever since.
      Ep. #199

    4 Dec, 1893: John Tyndall (death of)

      Prominent 19th-century Irish physicist who discovered the molecular basis of the greenhouse effect
      Ep. #148

    4 Dec, 1982: Vetenskap och Folkbildning

      VoF was founded! Happy 40th birthday!
      Ep. #355

    5 Dec, 1952: Great Smog of London

      Severe air pollution event started that affected London in December 1952
      Ep. #051

    9 Dec, 1979: 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.
      Ep. #200

    9 Dec, 2009: Norwegian Spiral Anomaly

    11 Dec, 1972: Apollo 17

      Apollo 17 lands on the moon, the last time humans walked on the moon
      Ep. #150

    12 Dec, 1901: First radio signal across the Atlantic

      Marconi sent first radio signal across the Atlantic
      Ep. #408

    12 Dec, 1916: Rasputin (death of)

      Russian mystic with great influence on Russian Royal house, murdered
      Ep. #004

    14 Dec, 1503: Nostradamus (birth of)

      French astrologer, physician and reputed seer
      Ep. #103

    15 Dec, 2006: Founding of Hungarian Skeptics

      The Hungarian Skeptic Society (HSS) (Hungarian: Szkeptikus Társaság Egyesület) is a skeptic organisation based in Hungary.
      Ep. #253

    16 Dec, 1594: Allison Balfour (death of)

    16 Dec, 1917: Arthur C. Clarke (birth of)

    18 Dec, 1957: Jonathan Cainer (birth of)

    19 Dec, 1956: John Bodkin Adams

      Arrested on this day in connection with the suspicious deaths of more than 160 patients
      Ep. #053

    20 Dec, 1946: Uri Geller (birth of)

      Israeli-British illusionist, magician, television personality, and self-proclaimed psychic
      Ep. #357

    22 Dec, 1839: John Nevil Maskelyn (birth of)

      He was a stage magician, skeptic and the inventor of the pay toilet.
      Ep. #201

    22 Dec, 1928: Piero Angela (birth of)

      Italian television host, science journalist, writer and pianist.
      Ep. #254

    25 Dec, 1: Jesus (birth of)

    25 Dec, 1642: Sir Isaac Newton (birth of)

      English mathematician, astronomer and physicist
      Ep. #151

    27 Dec, 1571: Johannes Kepler (birth of)

      German astronomer, mathematician and astrologer.
      Ep. #202

    30 Dec, 1993: The Smallpox Retention Controversy

      The last remaining samples of smallpox virus in lab environment was planned to be destryed. This was not executed
      Ep. #105

    31 Dec, 335: Saint Sylvester (death of)

    End of Dec 1476 (or early Jan 1477): Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) (death of)

      Cruel medieval warlord whose patronymic name Dragulya inspired the name of the fictional Count Dracula
      Ep. #358