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

    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 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 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

    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

    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 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

    24 Mar 1897: Wilhelm Riech (birth of)

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

    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

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    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 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)

    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

    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 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

    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)

    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 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 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 1895: József Öveges (birth of)

    10 Nov 2009: Glasgow Skeptics

    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)

    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

    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, 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