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The European Skeptics Podcast Profile

The European Skeptics Podcast

English, Sciences, 1 season, 432 episodes, 2 days, 22 hours, 36 minutes
About
The European Skeptics Podcast is a project in support of the skeptic movement across Europe, by providing a forum for all national and international organisations and initiatives, relevant to science and skepticism.
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TheESP – Ep. #427 – Beware the Trolls!

Meeting up with fellow skeptics is always a blast. We recommend reading the recent article in Skeptic UK about the history of European skepticism and ECSO – the ESC (European Skeptics Congress) is only two weeks away! Pontus reports from last week’s annual meeting with VoF (the Swedish Skeptics) and in TWISH we hear about Pierre Curie who, apart from being a brilliant scientist also was intrigued by spiritualism. Then, it’s time for the news:SWEDEN: Fake news during Eurovision Song ContestGERMANY: German Medical Association wants to ban homeopathySWEDEN: SD and the troll factoryUK: Whooping cough surgingTadusz Wojda is the head of the Catholic Church in Poland, and he proves again that the Church has no morals. For that, he receives this week’s award for being Really Wrong.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 Intro0:00:51 Greetings0:12:55 TWISH0:20:15 News0:37:46 Really Wrong0:42:17 Quote And Farewell0:44:04 Outro0:45:19 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
5/17/202446 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #426 – Educational Malpractice

Tickets for QED in Manchester (19-20 October) are now on sale and don’t forget Skepticamp on the day before! If all goes to plan, both András and Pontus may be among the speakers. But first we are looking forward to the European Skeptics Congress 2024, less than a month from now, 31 May – 2 June in Lyon, France! In TWISH we hear about how smallpox was announced eradicated this week in 1980 and then we take a look at the news:INTERNATIONAL: Big data reveals true climate impact of worldwide air travelSWEDEN: Swedish Skeptics’ awards for 2023INTERNATIONAL: Scottish Medical Journal retracts 13 papers due to concerns over potential paper mill activityFRANCE / INTERNATIONAL: Didier Raoult vs. Elisabeth Bik – case dismissed!The Really Wrong Award goes to the UK for two cases of educational malpractice regarding allowing religious indoctrination.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-TakesShow notes: https://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-426.html0:00:27 Intro0:00:51 Greetings0:07:02 TWISH0:15:16 News0:37:39 Really Wrong0:41:56 Quote And Farewell0:44:57 Outro0:46:12 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
5/10/202446 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #425 – Millions of lives saved

Every Swede has celebrated Valborg (Walpurgis / Walpurga) this week although no one really knows why, and András reports from Sicily on volcanic activities. In TWISH we hear about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a theologian so controversial that popes nowadays still cannot agree on what to think of him. Then it’s time for this week’s news:INTERNATIONAL: How local communities shaped ‘Cranky Uncle Vaccine’ gameSWEDEN / UK: Computer game in school made students better at detecting fake newsUK: The role of religion in COVID-19 vaccine uptakeUK: SCAM diet almost killed a former modelEU: Investigations of misinformation on Meta platforms ahead of June EP electionsVaccination efforts have saved over 150 million lives over the last 50 years, and therefore Maurice Hilleman gets a Really Right Award as a representative of those who dedicate their lives to the cause.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 Intro0:00:53 Greetings0:08:45 TWISH0:14:10 News0:34:02 Really Right0:37:38 Quote And Farewell0:39:49 Outro0:41:04 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
5/3/202441 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #424 – Flat Earth Homeopathy

It is European Immunization Week! Get your boosters and jabs folks, and make you and the people around you are safe! In TWISH this week we hear about John Oliver, British comedian who (whether you like him or not) understands science and the need for healthy skepticism. Then we of course take a look at the news:ITALY: Italy passes measures to allow anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinicsHUNGARY: The Flat Earth Award goes to the Hungarian Association of Homeopathic DoctorsEUROPE: ‘Extreme heat stress’ pushing temperatures to record highs and numbers of deathAUSTRIA / GERMANY: The Heinz Oberhummer Award for Best Science Communicator goes to Methodically Incorrect!EUROPE: EU elections in times of propaganda, misinformation and spiesUK: Creating sexually explicit images to be made illegal in UKThe Really Wrong Award this week goes to NutriLight with their silly “Red Light Therapy”Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 Intro0:00:51 Greetings0:08:01 TWISH0:12:56 News0:35:09 Really Wrong0:43:28 Quote And Farewell0:45:42 Outro0:46:57 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/26/202447 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #423 – Public Reiki

The report on DISC analysis and Thomas Erikson from last week generated some good feedback, it’s time for the John Maddox prize again and Susan Gerbic has a new YouTube channel that you should definitely check out. Don’t forget to book your ticket for the European Skeptics Congress in Lyon! In TWISH we hear about Norbert Schobert, the Hungarian fitness guru that seems to keep asking for a Flat Earth award. Then, we look at the news:SCOTLAND: NASA asked to help find Loch Ness monsterUK: Sense About Science asks people to show parliament they care about evidenceBack to Hungary for the Really Wrong Award, where a public Hungarian Hospital in Orosház is offering Reiki treatment to patients.Enjoy!0:00:27 Intro0:00:51 Greetings0:15:28 TWISH0:21:12 News0:32:59 Really Wrong0:38:30 Quote And Farewell0:40:36 Outro0:41:51 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/19/202442 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #422 – Surrounded by lies

A bit of a correction first, regarding earthquakes. Then we get some Vatican news with speculation about a Swedish ‘papabile’, plus idiotic statements about genders. In TWISH we hear about Paolo Frisi, an Italian university dropout who in the 18th century went on to become a polymath. Then we have a look at the news:EUROPE: Whooping cough on the rise – due to covidBELGIUM: Alternative medicine and god hindering willingness to vaccinate?FRANCE: Didier Raoult and his unethical researchLong time charlatan Thomas Erikson finally gets his dues when he receives a Really Wrong Award as his latest book on nonsense personality types is published.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 Intro0:00:51 Greetings0:12:20 TWISH0:18:19 News0:29:16 Really Wrong0:41:31 Quote And Farewell0:43:24 Outro0:44:39 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/12/202445 minutes, 23 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #421 – Wishful Thinking

There are two great European skeptical events to sign up for this year – European Skeptics Congress in Lyon (30 May- 2 June) and QED in Manchester (18 – 20 October) – there is still time to catch the Early Bird discounts for both! In TWISH we hear about the earthquake in L’Aquila in Italy in 2009, that not only shook the ground but also the trust in science. Of course, we also give our take on the news:UK: Rumours about King Charles III’s illness on the riseRUSSIA: Russia linked to ’Havana Syndrome’. We’re not convinced…NETHERLANDS: New study may help us understand wishful thinkingThis week we hopefully hand out our last PiS related Really Wrong Award. More specifically it goes to Polish president Andrzej Duda who did a doo-doo and vetoed access to women’s health care.Enjoy!Segments:0:00:27 Intro0:00:49 Greetings0:06:36 TWISH0:16:35 News0:40:22 Really Wrong0:45:54 Quote And Farewell0:46:58 Outro0:48:12 Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/5/202448 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #420 – Happy vikings

Who knew that Hungarian intellectuals where numerologists – András reveals all! We have correction from last week and also reflect over the illness of Princess Kate, naturally we wish her well. In this weeks TWISH we hear about Percy Shelley and how his atheism ruined his academic career – to the benefit of mankind. Then, it’s time for the news:INTERNATIONAL: Nordic people are the happiest in the worldRUSSIA / UKRAINE: Russian TV channel using deepfake to blame Moscow attacks on UkraineICELAND: Did Iceland ban covid 19 vaccinations?UK: It’s Acupuncture Awareness Week!This week’s Really Right goes to the EU parliament though we until the last minute we thought they had messed up.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 INTRO0:00:49 GREETINGS0:10:45 TWISH – THIS WEEK IN SKEPTICAL HISTORY0:17:58 NEWS0:41:10 REALLY RIGHT0:46:43 QUOTE AND FAREWELL0:47:58 OUTRO0:49:12 OUT-TAKES Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/29/202450 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #419 – London Eye is falling down

Flying unicorns exist in Portugal and you can vote for your favorites on the Portuguese Skeptics’ web site (COMCEPT) before 1 April. By coincidence this is also the deadline for getting the Early Bird discount for the European Skeptics Congress in Lyon, so sign up in time! On a sadder note, Annika will have to take a few months off from the podcast, but she promises to return in June. But before that, we have a whole lot of news to go through:INTERNATIONAL: AI will increase energy use and climate misinformationINTERNATIONAL: Is rapamycin a cure for old age?GERMANY: Arson attacks against Tesla Giga factory driven by misconceptions regarding electromobilityUK: Helpline for people leaving faithINTERNATIONAL: Are there any benefits to the Wim Hof method?UK: London Eye moving to Scotland?For a change we have a Really Weird Award to hand out – the man who got hundreds of covid shots just to be on the safe side (we suppose). Luckily he seems to be OK.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Weird; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes0:00:27 Intro0:00:52 Greetings0:12:42 TWISH0:22:23 News0:49:49 Really Weird0:56:34 Quote and Farewell1:00:51 Outro1:02:06 Out-takes  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/22/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #418 – Fake cancer cures with Brian Eggo

Brian Eggo is certainly bo no stranger to this podcast. Relentless in his quest to spread the skeptical world, he is known as the main force behind the Glasgow Skeptics, one of the great people behind Skeptics in the Pub - Onlin and a frequent speaker and guest on several podcasts. This week we interview him about the time when the big C came to his family and he decided to find out what the internet would have to recommend someone in his position. While a lot of the advice he got was likely given in good faith, it was nevertheless pretty bad. Hear him tell all about everything from totally ineffective "cures" like homeopathy to downright dangerous modalities like black salve and MMS.Enjoy! (if that's the word)Segments:  0:00:26 INTRO0:00:49 GREETINGS0:02:19 INTERVIEWBrian Eggo: The Eggman himself tells all about his adventures in woowoo land when it comes to alternative cancer cures. He is also head honcho over the Glasgow Skeptics and a wellknown speaker, as well as occational co-host of the ESP.0:46:02 FAREWELL0:47:03 OUTRO0:48:03 OUT-TAKES Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/16/202449 minutes, 17 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #417 – Mercator flattened the Earth

We start with some listener feedback and corrections regarding Tridentinosaurus Antiquus – the origin of its name was wrong and despite what we said, it wasn’t a a dinosaur. In TWISH we hear about Gerardus Mercator, the man behind most world maps. Then we get to the news:SWEDEN: Companies exploit fear of war to sell pretty useless and expensive “emergency equipment”RUSSIA: Rumors surrounding the death of Alexei NavalnyINTERNATIONAL: How harmful are ultra-processed foods?UK: Cochrane UK closing shopThe UK government gets this week’s Really Wrong Award for covering up the statistics about the deaths of homeless people.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/8/202447 minutes, 47 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #416 – The Science of Weird shit

This week we have the great pleasure to interview our friend Prof. Chris French! We hear a lot about his research into the paranormal – or Anomalistic Psychology as he prefers to call it.Chris has a new book coming out on 19 March. It’s called “the Science of Weird Shit” and we cannot recommend it enough! (we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek)Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/1/202456 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #415 – Artifact or Arti-fiction?

This week we’ve had some feedback regarding AI – always glad to hear from our listeners! In TWISH we hear about Charles Clermont-Ganneau, famous French archeologist with a flare for spotting fake artifacts. Then we turn to the news:INTERNATIONAL: Fossil forgery – famous specimen shown to be fake, and it is not aloneFRANCE: Experts identify Moscow-based disinformation networkGREECE: Legalization of same sex marriageGood news for once! The French National Assembly has adopted a new law aimed at charlatans, and sects or sect leaders who tries to influence their followers to reject science based medicine. We think that is worth a Really Right Award!Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
2/23/202439 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #414 – The Curse of King Tut

Luna sits in for András(!) and we talk about conspiracy theories regarding the earthquake in Turkey last year, a new study about peoples worldview and in TWISH we get into the curse of Tutankhamun – what really was going on? Then we have a look at the news:UK: Sexual harassment anyone? Chiropractic council is there for chiropractors, not for patientsEU: EU won’t use dental amalgam anymoreEU: EU parliament votes to ease regulation of gene edited cropsGERMANY: Tiktok proves harmful againINTERNATIONAL: Paper rejected for using ChatGPT – author says it’s not true, and what if it was?The German Federal Ministry is funding the SCAM institute ARCIM and for that they are Really Wrong.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
2/16/202444 minutes, 23 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #413 – Don’t make up the data!

King Charles III is ill and although we seldom agrees with him we still whish him a speedy recovery. Marcus Wandt, the Swedish astronaut, took time off his busy schedule and gave a called via link with students at a Swedish school – the teacher setting it up is active in VoF, the Swedish skeptics. Well done, Philippe! Marcus has been stuck on the ISS for several days but as this episode comes out he is finally on his way back to Earth. We remind everyone to sign up for the European Skeptics Congress in Lyon, France, 30 May – 3 June! Speakers include Massimo Polidoro, Karolina Lisslö Gylfe and Edzard Ernst! In TWISH we hear about Peter the Great who despite obvious flaws also happened to be quite a fan on the enlightenment. Then, it’s time for the news:SWEDEN: No data? No problem! Just ask Excel to make something upIRELAND: The Constitution, the Catholic Church and the role of womenUK: House of Lords committee pushes back on EV related misinformation and urges government to do that, tooEUROPE: European Commission wants to target vaccine-preventable cancersThe NHS in Kent is supporting unscientific alternative treatments and gets this week’s award for being Really Wrong, and to round up the episode we go to Iceland for the Word of the Week. Who can guess what ‘Bóluefni’ means? Tune in to find out!Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Word of the Week; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
2/9/202453 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #412 – Teapots in space

We start with some listener feedback and ponder the wonders of European languages before we turn to TWISH, where we hear about Bertrand Russell and his teapot. Then we go into the news:INTERNATIONAL: Measles updateSWITZERLAND: Homeopathy in SwitzerlandAUSTRIA: The Austrian Medical Academy exposed for peddling pseudomedicineINTERNATIONAL: Funding, not talent, is the problem in the skeptical sphereUK: Dragons’ Den: BBC defends show after ME criticism of Acu SeedsScotland keeps burning as much peat as ever despite the climate crises, and for that they receive this week’s Award for being Really Wrong.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
2/2/202446 minutes, 25 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #411 – The Collaborative Library

This week we interview the fabulous Anja Harrison (no relation to any of the hosts) about a great initiative – The Collaborative Library. Having met Anja at QED last year, we decided we just had to get her on the show. The ambitious plan of the Collaborative Library is to make scientific research much more accessible for the public, by making sure that there is a lay summary of as many papers as possible.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
1/26/202451 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #410 – Retract homeopathy!

By the time this episode comes out, Sweden hopefully has its third and latest astronaut in space! Marcus Wandt is schedule for launch on Wednesday, (nope) Thursday evening, European time. For a little more down-to-Earth skeptical fun, sign up for the European Skeptics Congress, 30 May – 2 June, in Lyon, France. Registrations are now open! No TWISH today in this slightly shorter than usual episode, but we still take a look at the news:SWEDEN: Family awarded damages for covid vaccine deathINTERNATIONAL: RETRACTIONS 1: Studies claiming Islamic practices protect against disease and sexual harassment retractedINTERNATIONAL / FRANCE: RETRACTIONS 2: Several studies by Didier Raoult has been retracted for ethics violationsKarl Lauterbach, the German Health Minister, seems finally to ramp up for withdrawing homeopathy from state funded health care, and for that he is Really Right!Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takeshttps://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-410.html Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
1/19/202429 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #409 – Horoscope Humbug

Sorry for the delay guys, but we’re back! We have a host of tips for our listeners to get engaged in in the new year. In this week’s TWISH we hear about the Basel Massacre in 1349, gruesome stuff. Then we look at the news:ROMANIA: Measles declared an epidemic after infant deathINTERNATIONAL: Large language models validate misinformationUK: King Charles’ “Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence” turns out to be an embarrassing failureGERMANY: Nikil Mukerji appointed CSI FellowGERMANY: Zeit Online reveals there’s nothing behind newspaper horoscopesThe Really Wrong aware goes to so-called “Energy Healer” Jean-Maurice Latsague, not just an alt-med scammer but also a sex abuser.Happy new year!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
1/12/202452 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #408 – A miracle for the season?

Suddenly Poland emerges as a possible example against populism in Europe – strange times indeed. In TWISH we hear about Marconi‘s groundbreaking radio transmission over the Atlantic – not very long ago when you think about it, and pretty cool since he didn’t really know how radio waves work! In the news this week we look at these items:SWEDEN: Supreme Court awards damages to persons exposed to PFOSEU: EU regulating AIHUNGARY: Nutrivigilancia – a new site to collect side-effects of food supplementsDENMARK: No more burning the QuranUK: Daily Mirror reporting a Christmas miracle?INTERNATIONAL: Developing inoculation strategies to fight climate misinformation in 12 countries – with limited successEnjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/15/202351 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #407 – Big Exorcism

First we mention that the prestigious Heinz Oberhummer Award has just been given to Die Sendung mit der Maus which we recently called out for being Really Wrong. Annika puts that into perspective for us. It is time to plan the trip to next year’s European Skeptics Congress, this time in Lyon France, 30 May to 2 June. We then ask if Pope Frankie is planning his ‘Endgame’; some things point in that direction. After that we take a look at the news:GERMANY: Exorcism in GermanySWEDEN: Does Sweden have the second worst problem with gun violence in Europe?INTERNATIONAL / UK: What Doctor Who gets wrong about climate changeINTERNATIONAL: PISA 2022 results just outRussia’s Supreme Court is rewarded with this week’s Really Wrong Award for classifying the ‘International LGBT movement’ and an extremist ‘organisation’. The Word of the Week is ‘Vrăjitoare’. Tune in to find out what it means!Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word of the Week; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/8/202351 minutes, 30 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #406 – The Charlatan Super-surgeon

In TWISH this week we hear about Claude Lévi-Strauss who put together a structuralist theory to analyze myths. We also hear that Pope Frankie is sick but still plans to attend the COP-28 meeting in Dubai – we cannot help wondering why. Then it’s time for the news:ISRAEL: Most common rumors related to the Israel-Hamas warGERMANY: Court dismisses lawsuits over alleged coronavirus vaccination damageINTERNATIONAL: Things you can do to make the world a better placeSWEDEN: Macchiarini update – the charlatan super-surgeonThe Word of the Week is Dobhar-Chú. No spoilers! You’ll have to listen to find out what on Earth that means!Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Word of the Week; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/1/202347 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #405 – Political shenanigans

In this week’s TWISH we hear about Trofim Lysenko before we look into the news:EU: Glyphosate updateINTERNATIONAL: Nostalgia in politicsUK: The Good Law Project supports the General Medical Council taking action against harmful misinformationNORTHERN IRELAND: ‘The Hum’ is back!Naturopaths selling Miracle Mineral Supplements (MMS) are promoting a life threatening substance with no possible benefit. This came to a class call recently when a toddler coudl have died as a result. We hand out a Really Wrong Award for this completely irresponsible action. In Word of the Week we looking into how to talk about scams and frauds in Finnish.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Word of the Week; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/24/202350 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #404 – The world is really old

Despite the numerology, this episode CAN be found wherever you get your podcasts. We will give you tips about The Conspiracy Test, the Humanist UK 2024 Convention, the latest Skeptical Inquirer interview and Skepticon 2023 in Australia – all good things to check out! In TWISH we hear about one of Darwin’s buddies, the groundbreaking (pun intended) geologist Charles Lyell, born this week in 1797. Pope Frankie has been given a free pass for too long and therefore gets poked before we get to the news:GERMANY: Nutrition companies are preying on people and ignore health adviceUK: Humanists UK welcomes Private Member’s Bill to ban conversion therapyHUNGARY: Team of debunkers and educators develops online educational material to help young people detect false informationUK: The British public largely supports strong climate policiesThe Antivaxx movement gets a Really Wrong award for trying to exploit the tragic death of Matthew Perry and in Who’s Quacking? we hear about Norbert Schobert, Hungarian spreader of disinformation.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Who’s Quacking?; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-TakesShow notes here: https://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-404.html Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/17/202351 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #403 – Retract homeopathy!

After the normal meet and greet, we have an interview with Norbert Aust – German skeptic and one of the initiators of INH, Information Network Homeopathy. He brings us up to date on what’s going on and reports on the fight to get fraudulent and incorrect ‘scientific’ papers retracted. We later get a ‘TWISH’ about the ‘Festival of Reason’, a failed and misguided attempt to get rid of religion during the French revolution. Then, it’s time for the news:TURKEY: Did archeologists find Noah’s Ark?UK: ‘Conversion therapy’: UK government kicks ban down the road?GERMANY: Esoterics prey on people with fertility issuesINTERNATIONAL: Global survey finds 85% of people worried about online disinformationThis week’s Really Wrong Award goes to the BBC and to Michael Mosely for spreading nonsense on the ‘Just One Thing’ podcast.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/10/202359 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #402 – Crime and Punishment

– with Paula Dahlberg Full length episode, plus an interesting interview this week. We first note that science has discovered the “Pontus plate” (much to our liking) and also that if you are quick you can still apply to give a talk at SkepKon in Augsburg in May. Then we hear about the sad passing of Peter Olausson, prominent skeptic and former president of VoF.After that we have our interview with Paula Dahlberg who takes us through the most common myths about the legal system. Then, we take a look at the news:SWITZERLAND: SCAM doesn’t work against diabetesWALES: Cancer patient dead after taking herbal mixture containing mistletoeFRANCE: Negative correlations between conspiracy beliefs and the use of conventional medicineTo round off we present Apple TV (of all services) with this week’s Really Right Award for putting out a factual documentary about the Enfield Poltergeist. We also have a tongue twisting Word of the week from the Netherlands.Enjoy!Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/3/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 48 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #401 – Dr. Cara Santa Maria

Starting off our next 400 episodes, we interview the amazing Cara Santa Maria of Talk Nerdy and Skeptic Guide to the Universe fame. We get into things about her that you may not be aware of – how she rebelled against her Mormon upbringing, her passion for social injustices, and why she cannot always be allowed to speak her mind on the Skeptics Guide. A brilliant science communicator with a background in television, podcasting, and more, Cara is also a clinical psychologist and recently received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Social Justice and Diversity. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
10/27/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #400 – A Degree in Magic and the Occult

The band is back together for episode 400! Watch out for Gerson therapy, confusing Synods and of course, this week’s news: UK: Phones in schools POLAND: End of the PiS party reign(?) BELGIUM: Catholic University of Leuven stops UFO ‘conference’ SWITZERLAND: Another tumor ‘treated naturally’ UK: ‘Relaxed’ climate change policies in the UK, but also elsewhere UK: University of Exeter offers degree in Magic and the occult The Reichsbürger movement get (another!) Really Wrong Award for creating fake Jewish communities to get government funding and hide their terrible agenda. Then we have the Word of the Week, in which we try to take the confusion out of the word ‘Synod’. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
10/20/20231 hour, 1 minute, 21 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #399 – Globuli mit der Maus

SkepKon 2024 is coming up in May 2024! It will be held in Augsburg and there is a call for papers out, see link in the show notes. This episode comes out on Friday the 13th, so in TWISH we explore where this superstition comes from. We have an interview with Dr Holm Hümmler who tells us what really went down at the presentation of Das Goldene Brett Award in Vienna last week, and then we take a look at the news: SWEDEN: Macchiarini found guilty of falsified research – again! GERMANY: Raids with Reichsbürger SWEDEN / ESTONIA: Estonia disaster – renewed interest in conspiracy theories due to new documentary and coming TV drama GERMANY: New video by Janos Hegedüs about Sucharit Bhakdi UKRAINE: Does Ukraine supply Hamas with American weapons? – New conspiracy theory from US Republicans The German children’s TV-show ‘Sendung mit der Maus’ gets this week s Really Wrong Award for promoting homeopathy and anthroposophy to kids. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
10/13/202350 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #398 – QED 2023, part 2

This is the second part of our reporting from QED 2023. Before we get into the interviews we comment on the brand new Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Physics and Chemistry, all awarded for fascinating progress in science! Then we have four new interviews to share from QED. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Additional Interviews; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
10/6/202337 minutes, 30 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #393 – Frankie goes 50/50

…and Nessie goes ‘gloop’ We’re happy to announce that the ESP Shop is now available in the US, Canada and Australia. We also want you to know that nominations for Das Goldene Brett is still open. In TWISH we hear about an encounter of the third kind and Frankie insists India don’t look the congregation in the eye more than half of the time. Then we get into the news: SCOTLAND: Nessie hunters hear sounds but fail to record them UK: Full Fact study – Hundreds of hoax posts circulating in Facebook groups INTERNATIONAL: Scientific journal retracts article that claimed there is no evidence of climate crisis INTERNATIONAL: Study reveals connection between support for SCAM and vaccine hesitancy among physicians in four European countries We award Swedish activist Ia Anstoot a Really Right for calling out the unscientific stance of Greenpeace when it comes to nuclear power. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
10/1/202348 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #397 – QED 2023, part 1

Last week was QED, and boy did we enjoy it! Fantastic talks, great happenings and wonderful people! This episode is part 1 of our interviews with some of the people we met. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; About Qed; Additional Interviews; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
9/29/202338 minutes, 7 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #396 – Florian Aigner

…science communicator extraordinaire! This week we are talking to Florian Aigner, an Austrian physicist, science editor, author, science communicator and skeptic. He lives in Austria and works at the TU Vienna (Technical University). He is also on the jury of Das goldene Brett. He has written three popular science books and held the keynote speech at the European Skeptics Congress in 2022 in Vienna titled “Why we can trust in science”. He is also a member of GWUP (the German Skeptics) where he was a board member from 2012 to 2016. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Outro; Out-Takes
9/22/202350 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #395 – Correr es mi destino

Annika has been to the esoteric fair and gives a report and dowsing is apparently used by employees at Scottish Water. In TWISH we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, and boy do we need it. And then there is the news: INTERNATIONAL: Toddlers can reason! SWEDEN / UK: Believing in personal gut feelings and falling for conspiracy theories GERMANY: New developments regarding Satanic Panic SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: Thousands marching against mandatory reporting of paperless persons CrossRef and Retraction Watch do great work and for that they share this week’s award for being Really Right. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
9/15/202346 minutes, 59 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #394 – Pax Mongolica

Several awards and gatherings to be on the look-out for: the Ockham Award, the Rusty Razor, the Bent Spoon and Das Goldene Brett. The feast of Santa Rosalia is the topic for TWISH and Pope Frankie is nostalgic about the Mongolian invasion (wtf?). Then, we have this week’s news: GERMANY: Follow-up on the Reichsbürger movement INTERNATIONAL: Prediction of 1 billion+ deaths related to climate change by 2100 SCOTLAND: Issues with science publishing – Researcher finds his name on editorial boards of journals he hasn’t even heard of SWEDEN / INTERNATIONAL: New measles cases in Stockholm UK: Country can no longer be considered christian Swedish science journalist Maria Gunther gets the award for being Really Right and in Word of the Week Carl Sagan get translated to Norwegian: ‘påstander’ means ‘claims and ‘bevis’ means ‘evidence’. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
9/8/202359 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #392 – Flying Bat-people on the Moon

…sleep restriction for insomnia? A lot of great talks are coming up for Skepticamp at QED in September – with András, Pontus and Claire among the speakers! In TWISH we hear about an almost 200 year old fake news about the moon and then we take a look at the news: UK: Asparagus fails to predict the future SCOTLAND: Loch Ness might be ‘home to spirit entity’ that can be disturbed by search UK: Meghan Markle wears ‘miracle antistress patch’ INTERNATIONAL: WHO promotes alternative medicine (again!) INTERNATIONAL: Where skeptics go wrong Medical journal the Lancet gets this week Award for being Really Wrong a new article about insomnia. Word of the Week is the Danish word vrøvl. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
8/25/202347 minutes, 12 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #391 – Proof of Aliens!

…Uri Geller strikes again… There are now streaming tickets for QED! In TWISH we hear about the three wise guys, sorry, the three wise men, and how they ended up in Cologne in Germany. No pope this week, so we head right in for the news: UK: Voter databank hacked and according to experts can potentially be used to target voters with disinformation INTERNATIONAL: YouTube starts mass takedowns of videos promoting ‘harmful or ineffective’ cancer cures UK: Classroom environmental education doesn’t seem to change attitudes… UK: Infertility clinics exploiting patients with SCAM SWEDEN: MD who helped patient to end his life wants his license back INTERNATIONAL: BBC broadcast – the terrible abusive practices of spiritual healers INTERNATIONAL: Uri Geller shares ‘proof’ that aliens exist – a photo from X-Files HUNGARY: Government spends taxpayer’s money on a catholic educational centre The Italian Prime minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, wants to commemorate fascists and for that she receives this week’s prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
8/18/202353 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #390 – No need for Nessie Nonsense

…and the deep fakes grows deeper We start with listener feedback regarding burning the Quran and the best ways to boil a frog… We also announce our newly created merch store and there is still time to get your ESP t-shirt before QED. 15% off if you hurry!. In TWISH we hear about Sea Org day celebrated by scientologists and the pope gets poked for his “excluded but-not-excluded policy” towards women and the LGBTQ+ community. Then, it’s time for the news: INTERNATIONAL: Happy birthday, Retraction Watch UK: Humans unable to detect over a quarter of deepfake speech samples INTERNATIONAL: How the World Federation of Chiropractic introduces new guidelines, but fails to make sense of it FRANCE: Link between belief in alternative medicine and vaccine hesitancy SCOTLAND: Plan to find Nessie using drones UK: Government shits on their own climate goals The Really Wrong Award goes to Irish conspiracy nut Gemma O’Doherty. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
8/11/202348 minutes, 59 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #389 – Playing footsie with the King

…might get you pregnant? Another record with July being the hottest month ever. It may not matter since AI is here to finish us off before the climate crisis does… But the show must go on and in TWISH we hear about Alexander Fleming who was born this week in 1881, Pope Frankie is in Portugal for his own Woodstock, hoping that no one talks too much about sex. Then it’s time for then news: RUSSIA / GERMANY: ‘Heil Zelenskiy’: Russian actors identified in purported German video against Ukraine aid DENMARK / SWEDEN: Burning holy books: Denmark considers law change UK: Humanists UK releases concerning info on faith schools UK: Sense About Science and UK parliament holds Evidence Week 2023 UK: King Charles’ holistic fertility course NETHERLANDS: Ferry on fire INTERNATIONAL: So, will the Gulf Stream collapse? POLAND: PiS party pushes through ‘Russian influence law’ – EU says it can be used to ban political opposition GB News presenter Neil Oliver gets this week’s Award for being Really Wrong due to his baseless claims about the BBC falsifying heat wave temperatures. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
8/4/20231 hour, 1 minute, 21 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #388 – It’s climate ‘crisis’, not ‘change’

…BTW, a ‘rutgängare’ uses a ‘slagruta’ in their profession This week in TWISH we hear about Rosalind Franklin and Pope Frankie is on a diplomatic mission from God. In the news, we hear about: SWEDEN: Greta Thunberg gets fined for disobeying police, goes back to protest and confront police the same day AUSTRIA: Wanted holocaust denier gets stopped by the police – with the body of his wife in the trunk SWEDEN: Estonia sinking: Ramp from ferry recovered raised after 29 years ITALY: Climate Crisis: Italy wildfires encircle Palermo as temperatures hit 47C EUROPE: Heatwaves ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change Putin gets a new Really Wrong Prize for his collection and we have two words of the week: slagruta and rutgängare. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
7/28/202345 minutes, 15 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #387 - The Board in front of the Head

This week, as we are finally all back together to record, we start by lamenting on the latest heatwaves and why we might be doomed, especially when we consider the current political stage in countries like Germany. We then interview Stefan Uttenthaler about the yearly 'Das Goldenes Brett' satirical award, before moving on to TWISH, in which we commemorate the birthday of Hungarian engineer and promoter of all things UFO and weird energies György Egely... After Pontus Pokes the Pope for trusting the inquisition with a perv, we move on to the news, where: In ITALY, the government is doing close to nothing to tackle climate change, while downplaying its severety. A new conspiracy on the rise claiming that sunscreens are toxic and should not be used. In GERMANY, anesthesiologist leads the board in retractions with 184 of them to his name. WHO puts aspartame into the possible carcinogen category after all. German Heilpraktiker gets 4 years 3 months in prison for scamming people. While the New York Times gets this week's Really Wrong prize for their puff piece on Uri Geller, we bring the Hungarian word 'Kamu' to the Word of the Week. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
7/22/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 37 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #386 – Furfy and Fairdinkum

…holiday on Crimea? This war is no vacation Sweden seems clear for NATO, but there is still time for Erdogan to trip things up. Two Skeptical awards are coming up, das Goldene Brett and the Ockham Awards. We have a special interview with international skeptic extraordinaire, Adrienne Hill! After that, we hear how Pope Frankie is packing the papal court, and then we take a look at the news: SWEDEN: Millions of views for fake videos concerning Sweden UK: British GP-homeopath’s statements on vaccines amounted to misconduct – so, she was struck off the register RUSSIA: Russia still advertizes holidays on Crimea. SWEDEN: Major criticism against homes for the elderly Irish psychic Debbie Paget gets a jail sentence as well as this week’s Really Wrong Award, and then we have two Australian Words of the Week: Furfy and Fairdkinum. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
7/14/202348 minutes, 48 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #385 – It's getting hot out there

…plus Nicola Throp tells all about QED! This week we’re saved once again by Brian Eggo, as we suddenly find ourselves very short on staff. What a guy! Some initial info is followed by an interview with Nicola Throp, one of the brilliant members of the QED organizing team. In TWISH we hear about Carl Vogt, the German scientist, philosopher and, not least, politician who was born this week in 1817. In Pontus absence, Brian Bashes the Bishop (luckily, not exactly what it sounds like), after which we turn to the news: SWITZERLAND: Alternative medicine on the decline? INTERNATIONAL / UK: June is hottest month on record, in the UK and globally INTERNATIONAL: Aspartame to be feared and avoided? Yet another Heilpraktiker, this one known only as Torben K., receives a well deserved Really Wrong Award as well as penal consequences due to his penile and lethal mistreatment of a customer. We end by a quote by Jane Marcet, a feminist and a science advocate who were at least a century before her time. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Brian Bashes The Bishop; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
7/7/202359 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #384 – Bishops out!

…and someone is quacking in Latvia This week we start by commenting on the strange developments in Russia and the Titan submersible. We call for speaker at QED SkeptiCamp recommend the work of Skeptical Science. And if anyone wants to meet up with András in the Baltic states, get in touch! In TWISH we hear about the Tunguska event and then as usual Pontus has some news about the Catholic Church. After that, we dig into the news: UK: House of Commons to debate presence of bishops in House of Lords SWITZERLAND: New cases of conspiracy theories as part of treatments GERMANY: Investigations ongoing against Heilpraktikers who helped issued false covid vaccination certificates (and more) LATVIA: Plagiarism scandal blows up in domestic science circles EU: EU’s new ways of securing the online space from disinformation – starting with Twitter INTERNATIONAL: Deforestation is also worsening (not only carbon dioxide emissions) SWEDEN: Macchiarini jail sentence increased to 2.5 years The European Commission get a Really Right Award and then Jānis Pļaviņš from Latvia is the topic for this week’s “Who’s Quacking?” Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Who’S Quacking?; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/30/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #383 – Nanotech and quantum dots

…be mindful of Māņticība We see signs of climate change all over the place and it’s worrying. Taking bus 666 to ‘Hel’ is not even an option anymore, but thankfully going to QED is still possible! Check out the link for the QED attendance fund if you cannot afford your ticket… In TWISH we hear about how it really went down when Galileo Galilei was forced to denounce that the Earth in not the center of the universe. A short update of Pope Frankie’s latest adventures and then it’s time for the news: FRANCE / SERBIA: ‘Novaxx’ Djokovic is at it again…! UK: New study shows less than half of Britons believe in God. NETHERLANDS: Dutch university can revoke PhD for fake data after court ruling SPAIN: Homeopathy on the decline in Spain? EU: Laws regulating AI activities to be passed GERMANY: Heilpraktiker sent to jail for fraud We are happy to hand out a Really Right to Estonia that just legalized same-sex marriages and then we get to know this week’s Word of the Week which is from Latvia: ‘Māņticība’ literally means ‘false-faith’ and could be translated as ‘superstition’. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/23/202349 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #382 – Don’t Smoke your Students!

…anthroposophy on fire? Full episode this week folks, with the premier of a new segment to boot (see below). We talk about Hvaldimir the Russian spy whale and remind you of Annika’s SITPO talk on 5 July and comment on feedback from last week’s interview. In TWISH we hear about the recent passing of Silvio Berlusconi and then demonstrate that the Catholic Church has not change one bit when it comes to how they handle sex abuse scandals. After that it’s time for the news: GERMANY: New poster about Bach flower remedies RUSSIA / UKRAINE: Ukrainian children abducted by Russia GERMANY / AUSTRIA: The Heinz Oberhummer Award goes to The Show With the Mouse SWEDEN: Tongue web cut procedures has drastically fallen EU / UK: Sense About Science teams up with the European Commission and comes up with new guidelines for assessing policies UK / UKRAINE: Ukraine built more onshore wind turbines in past year than England GERMANY: Pharmacy students also distancing themselves from homeopathy This week’s Really Wrong Award goes to a teacher in a French Steiner school who “smoked” their students and still seemes to think that was a good thing. Then we have our first installment of Who’s Quacking, Romanian member of parliament Diana Iovanovici Șoșoacă – anti-vaxxer and Russian apologist. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Who’S Quacking; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/16/20231 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #381 – Brian Deer and Andrew Wakefield

This week we have a real treat for you – an interview with Brian Deer, the journalist who more than anyone showed the world how fraudulent Andrew Wakefield was when he claimed that there could be a link between the MMR vaccine and autism (spoiler – there isn’t). Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Outro; Out-Takes
6/9/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #380 – Susan Gerbic on skeptical activism

We start by commenting on the sad passing of Tina Turner – even sadder since she at one point turned to homeopathy. That was a choice that she later regretted and it most likely made her condition much worse than it had to be. On a brighter note we have good news about QED in Manchester 23-24 September: first of all there is a QED Attendance Fund that you can either apply or contribute to, all depending on your financial situation. Secondly, it is now confirmed that QED Skepticamp will take place on the day before so you should arrive a day early and possibly apply to speak yourself – link is in the show notes. Then it is interview time – we had an interesting talk with the fantastic Susan Gerbic who always has so many interesting skeptical projects going on. Listen and be inspired! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/2/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #379 – WHO’s giving sweet advice?

…plus interviews from SkepKon Please support Oliver Rautenberg in his defence against a SLAPP-suit! What’s up with the Turkish presidential elections? Annika delivers short interviews from SkepKon with Maximilian Doeckel and Rebecca Wismeg-Kammerlander and then we look into Pope Frankie‘s obsession with negotiating peace in Ukraine. After that, it’s time for the news: BELGIUM: Prizes from SKEPP INTERNATIONAL: Is WHO right about artificial sweeteners? We are not convinced INTERNATIONAL: Almost 50% of all animal species in decline SWEDEN: School grades inflated in private schools GERMANY: Video about SkepKon by Dr. Janos Hegedüs Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interviews; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
5/26/202337 minutes, 30 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #378 – Heilpraktiker rubbish

…FYI, that’s not James Randi talking This week we reflect a bit on the Eurovision Song Contest and how people misunderstand the news about a baby “with three parents”. In TWISH we wish Ben Goldacre a happy birthday and then Pontus brings us up to date with Pope Frankie. And then, of course, the news: GERMANY: The Golden Board Award is back! IRELAND: AI is here to stay: Fake article about fake tanning in the Irish Times UK: Retractions should not take longer than two months, says UK Parliament committee GERMANY: The schools that train ‘Heilpraktiker’ in Germany: no standards and no control UK: Lost in the mall: Are the results of the classic false memory study not valid? “Voices from the Void” maybe hearing things, but the voices in their head do not include James Randi. Hear this instead: you are Really Wrong! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
5/19/202346 minutes, 29 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #377 – the So Called Alternative Monarch

…or “SCAM”, if you will This week we have lots of catching up to do, with sad news from Hungarian Skeptics, but also good news regarding skeptical meetings and activism in Germany, Hungary and Sweden. In TWISH we remember the founding of the Jagiellonian University over six hundred years ago this week. Then we dig into the news: INTERNATIONAL: WHO declares pandemic to be no longer a threat GERMANY: Homeopathic cold medicine Meditonsin no longer allowed to advertise with certain statements EUROPE: Russia behind anti-Ukraine and anti-Erdogan demonstrations all over EU UK: Propagator of SCAM now heads the Royal Medical Household GERMANY: Association of Midwifery distances themselves from Homeopathy UK: Measles on the rise SWEDEN: Paranormal beliefs remarkably high A very sad Really Wrong this week as a 14 year-old girl dies in Austria due to alternative practitioners. We trust you still enjoy the episode! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
5/12/202357 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #376 – So much German nonsense

…BTW, there was not a single monkey at the Scopes Monkey trial Brian Eggo is back to save the day once again! as András and Annika couldn’t make it. But we hope that just like them and us, you will all make it to QED in Manchester on 23-24 of September. We will certainly be there! Tickets are now out and they’re selling like, well, QED-tickets after a pandemic. Get yours now! In TWISH we hear about the arrest of John Scopes of the Scopes Monkey trial fame. (No monkeys were hurt in the making of this episode). Then, it’s time for the news: GERMANY: Homeopathy company Heel reported to authorities for false advertising of product UK: On the power of objects, as the country is preparing for the coronation of The Alternative Prince INTERNATIONAL: WHO pseudoscience INTERNATIONAL: How medical decisions are really made? The Charité school in Berlin gets this weeks prize for being Really Wrong as they for no apparent reason pay for a professorship in anthroposophy. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
5/5/202348 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #375 – We’re Science Hooligans!

…we also have a ‘defrogging’ for Pope Francis to look into We have Claire Klingenberg onboard this week and it means a packed show! We talk about the new interview with Claudia Preis, European immunization week and the Hungarian Flat Earth Award. Claire gives us a report from the growing anti-abortions movement in Czechia and we hear about several upcoming skeptical events, among them that Pontus is going to give a talk in Prague next month. In TWISH we celebrate the birthday of Carl Friedrich Gauss and then we hear how pope John Paul II posthumously is in the news for possible misdeeds in the night. Then it’s time for the news: GERMANY: So-called alternative medicine in Bavarian hospitals INTERNATIONAL: Cranky Uncle wins award UKRAINE: Blinding flash over Kyiv was probably meteor, says Ukraine space agency HUNGARY: More than 1 on 4 Hungarians have seen a UFO at least once HUNGARY: UFOs – Investigating the Unknown to be released April 28 POLAND: Special hospice for pregnancies with nonviable fetuses AUSTRIA / GERMANY: New book out by Florian Aigner AUSTRIA / GERMANY: What the Fact by ZDF Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
4/28/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 47 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #374 – The Miracle of the Gnocchi

…and it’s easy to lose you perpective of Loss Ness We remind everyone to sign up for SkepKon in Frankfurt 18-20 May. In TWISH we revisit the story of “the Surgeon’s photograph”, which was supposed to convince us that the Loch Ness monster was a thing. The pope gets a poking for supporting exorcism which is in the news due to Russell Crowe‘s latest Hollywood venture, “The Pope’s Exorcist” – the Vatican is not amused… Then we have a look into the news: Vatican: New observatory created to investigate possible apparitions of the Virgin Mary Italy: Madonna of Trevignano Romano – the miracle statue with tears of blood Germany: Acupuncture as new homeopathy? Podcast episode with Udo Endruscheit and Natalie Grams Hungary: List of Flat Earth Awards finalists sparks debates Germany: Dangerous nonsense healing Sweden: The new nationwide census is not a census The Vienna Medical Association has lost its mind and want their doctors to get into nonsense homeopathy. That earns them a Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
4/21/202346 minutes, 14 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #373 – We don’t know, but that’s fine

…but we do know that hyper-electrosensitivity is not a thing In TWISH we hear about a Finnish UFO sighting and later Pope Francis get to answer some very tough questions in a new documentary. In the news this week we have: SWEDEN: Five years after saying it won’t retract Macchiarini paper, journal finally does so INTERNATIONAL: So, lab leak theory down the drain? AI: Bing easily tricked to repeat neo-Nazi talking points as if they were facts IRELAND: New research focusing on reducing belief in conspiracy theory SWEDEN: Researchers pessimistic about reaching climate goals Two German cities go all pseudoscience and switch off their WLAN to “protect the citizens” and for this they are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
4/14/202346 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #372 – Doctrine of Discovery

…and UK politicians orders police to go full on racist There are several skeptical events to look forward to! In chronological order we recommend Skeptics in the Pub in Cologne, SkepKon in Frankfurt and QED in Manchester. No TWISH this week, but we look into Pope Francis‘ latest health problems and how the Vatican after more than five hundred years still refuses to own up on its role in the terrible conquest and enslavement of the Americas. Then, it’s time for the news: SWITZERLAND: Swiss court case ties human rights to climate change INTERNATIONAL: People who lie use less details and that can reveal them, study says UK: The trust in scientists has increased after the COVID-19 pandemic EUROPE: AI chatbots making it harder to spot phishing emails, expert says GERMANY: Verdict coming up regarding the naturopath trial in Ingolstadt SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: SD says that wind turbines are harmful for humans Suella Braverman and Rishi Sunak receive this week's Really Wrong Award for supporting that UK police should track ethnicity (read Pakistani background) in the fight against grooming gangs, although we know they mostly consist of white males. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
4/7/202341 minutes, 19 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #371 – Fake Poutine?

… please don’t eat like Gwyneth Paltrow The IPCC is out, but of course we all new it would be bad. We have listener feedback about acupuncture, SkepKon 2023 is announced and both Pontus and András are out there talking to the public. In TWISH we hear about Ludwig Büchner and the Pope has trouble getting heard. After that, we look into the news: GERMANY: Reichsbürger extremist sentenced to 10 years in prison RUSSIA: Russian whose daughter drew anti-war picture flees jail term PORTUGAL: Voting for the Flying Unicorn Award open until the end of the day GERMANY: Edzard Ernst has a new book out UK: Genetic Technology Act now passed into law RUSSIA: Does Putin have fake body doubles? After all that, we have our first Word of the Week segment and Gwyneth Paltrow gets yet another well deserved Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Word Of The Week; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
3/31/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #370 – Acu-punctured!

… also, Orgone energy is utter nonsense Fancy a coffee in Singapore with András? If you are quick you may get lucky! In TWISH this week we hear about Wilhelm Reich, infamous for his so-called “orgone theory“. No pope today, so we dive right into the news: INTERNATIONAL: New DNA find points to raccoon dogs as potential covid origin NORWAY: Norwegian footballer gets her lung acu-punctured GERMANY: Private TV channel tries to produce a show with an antisemitic Covid denier and fails SWEDEN: Confounderer of the year awarded €9000 compensation for being exposed in documentary GERMANY: Trust in homeopathy is sinking SWEDEN: Sales of organic food dropping fast To finish off, we hand out a Really Wrong Award to Bishop John Sherrington who insists he has a right to harrass people at abortion clinics. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
3/24/202343 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #369 – A Pedophile-Protecting Pope

… and it’s time to start planning your QED trip! We are in the latest issue of the Australian Skeptics Magazine – thanks again dear friends for inviting us to Skepticon last year! New adventures are waiting in the new year with QED dates just announced, so it’s time to start planning for a trip to Manchester in September. We renew our call for Word of the Week and Who’s Quacking, please send in your contributions. In addition we note that the ISS astronauts made it back OK to Earth and that popes absolutely have known about the sex abuse scandals for a long time but found it more important to cover it up than to stop it. Then it’s time for the news: FINLAND / DENMARK / NORWAY: Rumors of babies kidnapped by authorities now also in the other Nordic countries GERMANY: Record low number of breastfed babies INTERNATIONAL: Cochrane statement clarifies recent review on masks INTERNATIONAL: High Seas Treaty of the UN SWEDEN: New recommendations as of 1 March re covid vaccination Believe it or not but the Polish PiS party rakes in yet another Really Wrong Award which make it their sixth so far. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
3/17/202343 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #368 – How is this, really?

… also, maybe “the Swedish Experiment” wasn’t such a bad idea after all This week we start by acknowledging two skeptical initiatives: András is part of the new Hungarian podcast “Hogy is van ez?”, and SkepKon 2023 is coming up in Germany in May. Then we have two challenges for our listeners – please send in you contributions for the new segments “Word of the Week” and “Who’s Quacking?”. In TWISH we hear how “America” got its name via a cartographer born in 1451, and then Pontus wishes Pope Francis would put his money where his mouth is. After that, it’s time for the news: AUSTRIA: Politician’s move to selling snake-oil INTERNATIONAL: COVID-19 Origin still not known UK: Prince Harry and Gábor Máté team up to promote weird shit together SWEDEN / EUROPE: Sweden had the lowest excess mortality in Europe during the pandemic Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
3/10/202348 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #367 – Viktor Orbán strikes again

… and German bishops openly defies the pope We’re all back together again and urge you to help out with translations and nominate people for the John Maddox Prize. In TWISH we learn about the Index and how you’re not supposed the challenge the Catholic Church. Speaking of which, pope Francis interferes with the Trial of the Century and also gets totally ignored by the German bishops. Then we take a look at the news: INTERNATIONAL: CFI doubles international Paranormal Challenge Prize to $500k SWEDEN: Follow up – person behind disinformation against social authorities regrets it UK: Google ads direct pregnant people to anti-abortion groups UK: Children’s Rights Alliance for England report calls on government to end compulsory collective worship SWEDEN: Funmed – Not so fun as it sounds, and very expensive FRANCE: Well known journalist suspended in suspected planted misinformation scandal NORWAY: Old sea creature might have been tricky whales after all BELGIUM: Lavish Flemish epic – is it history or propaganda? SWEDEN: Pontus pokes the politicians – lumping environment into “super-ministry” has already cost billions of SEK Viktor Orbán gets his fourth(!) Really Wrong Award, this time for butchering the Hungarian health care system. Enjoy!
3/3/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 57 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #366 - The frontline of disinformation

We start this episode with talking about why earthquakes can not be predicted then ponder on the issues of resigning female leaders, before we move on to TWISH where this week we commemorate the 152nd anniversary of the publication of Darwin's The Descent of Man. Because Pontus is away, Pàpa Francesco (AKA Frankie) gets another week off the hook. On the news this week: UK - The first woman appointed the government's chief science adviser UK - Treasury takes back £ 1.6 billion previously promised for science GERMANY - INH publishes new article on "the memory of water" INTERNATIONAL - Cranky Uncle translation project calls for contributors in various languages AUSTRIA - Massive HPV vaccination campaign on the way INTERNATIONAL - EDMO report "From the Pandemic to the War in Ukraine: One Year and a Half of Disinformation" comes out GERMANY - The Münster Circle publishes memorandum with call for pharmacies to drop Homeopathy ISRAEL - Disinformation squad revealed by international group of undercover investigative journalists This week's Really Wrong Price goes to the German Homeopathic Doctors Association for recommending alternative products as a solution to stock shortages of real medicine. Enjoy!
2/24/202353 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #365 – Planet X

… and religious zealot insists he’s needed at school This week we have some listener feedback and hear about Annika’s WTF project before we dive into the history of planet X. No pope today, so then we get into news: INTERNATIONAL: Macchiarini earns “expressions of concern” from the Lancet TURKEY: False images of the earthquake shared online SWEDEN: No FOIA for free schools GERMANY: Money is more important than science communication Enoch Burke, aka the Irish school teacher zealot, comes back from prison and gets his second Really Wrong Award. Will it be his last? Stay tuned! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/17/202338 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #364 – Turkish tragedy

… and Francis strikes against the rebel nuns of Ravello This week Brian and Pontus takes the lead and talks about the Turkish-Syrian earthquake as well as looking forward to Annika’s new WTF adventure (stay tuned!). In TWISH we look at the shenanigans of Elizabeth Holmes who was born this week in 1984, while pope Frankie is busy fighting rebels nuns(!). Then we also have the news: FRANCE: Naturopathy under fire TURKEY: Did someone on Twitter predict the earthquake? INTERNATIONAL: Do face masks work? AUSTRALIA / UK: Vitamin IV drips is an expensive SCAM UK: Brexit causes collapse in European research funding for Oxbridge TURKEY: Lausanne treaty conspiracy Lots of news outlets (Euronews, Skynews, and even CNN) reported that the Earth’s core has stopped spinning and for that they share this week’s the Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/10/202359 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #363 – Televised remote healing

… and Frankie stands firm: no sex for gay people This week the three hosts are finally back together. We start by congratulating Edzard Ernst on his 75th birthday, yippie! In TWISH we hear about the first tele-evangelist / remote healer of Hungary before diving into pope Francis’ terrible take on gay sex which for some reason is being hailed as very progressive (it is not). Then we get into the news: UK: Medical tribunal ends with 9 months ban from practicing for doctor Sarah Myhill spreading falsehoods about COVID-19 UK: Hocus Pocus – Richard Wiseman‘s new book out SWEDEN / FINLAND: Different takes on burning the Quran INTERNATIONAL: Nominations for the John Maddox Prize 2023 now open INTERNATIONAL: Transparency International finds Hungary worst for corruption in all of EU, Denmark world’s best The Bnois Jerusalem Girls School in North London gets this week’s Really Wrong award for teaching creationism(!) and at the same time no sex education to its students. Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/3/202351 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #362 – Wild pregnancies

– but all’s well that ends Pell This week we start by recommending that you check out Annika’s Skeptical Inquirer’s article about our trip down under, we hear about the Swedish Skeptic’s annual awards, the Hungarian Skeptics appearance on radio and a little bit about the fascinating art of art forensics. In TWISH it’s all about the high flying ancestors of Jean Luc Piccard – August and Jean Felix Piccard and the invention of the bathyscaphe and then Pontus catches up with the state of affairs in the Vatican, including the death of Cardinal Pell. After all that, it’s time for the news: POLAND: Internet hoax suggests country’s territorial claims live on SWEDEN: Dangerous trend of unassisted home births (aka. “freebirthing”) UK: An institution in Oxford (?) starts veterinary chiropractic course SWEDEN: Linda Karlström, antivaxxer and Confounderer of the Year 2019, sues the Swedish Government A Really Right award goes out this week to the Norwegian Authorities that very sensibly declares that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not worthy of the label ‘religion’ – not a day too early. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/27/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 47 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #361 - Unite behind the science!

... and nobody puts Greta in the corner! We start this week by commemorating Harriet Hall AKA "The SkepDoc" and talk about what a great loss her passing is for the international skeptic movement. On TWISH András talks about the London Institution, a major body for the public understanding of science in the 19th century, then with the Pope remaining un-poked this week, we are turning over to the news: - In the UK the British False Memory Society not to be dissolved after all - In HUNGARY, Hungarian-Canadian physician and author Gábor Máté spreads his dubious claims regarding cancer and autoimmune disease allegedly caused by childhood trauma and oppressed memories - In GERMANY a (mostly) peaceful demonstration at a coal mine site near Lützerath leads to police arrests (including Greta Thunberg) and violence, likely in coordination with energy giant RWE. This week's Really Wrong Price goes to Tory MP Andrew Bridgen who got expelled from the party for likening covid vaccinations to the Holocaust. Enjoy!
1/20/202328 minutes, 54 seconds
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The ESP - Ep# 360 - Praise be to Wikipedia

... and someone please tell Prince Harry to act more responsibly. This week we start by lamenting over the launch failure of Virgin Orbit from Cornwall Spaceport, then praise Wikipedia that soon turns 22 and we also have a lot to thank Susan Gerbic, the "Wikipediatrician" for. Then in Pontus' absence we leave the pope alone and turn to the News: NETHERLANDS: Alleged nazi treasure map keeps people excited HUNGARY: Far right MP appears on the pseudodocumentary 'Died Suddenly' and antivaxers promote the movie ferociously UK: Information about weird shaped waves could be yet another nail in Nessie's coffin SPAIN: Researches find correlation between conspiratorial thinking and weird myths about the causes of cancer This weeks Really Wrong Prize goes to Prince Harry for actively promoting a questionable psychotherapy and consulting a psychic to help him cope with the loss of his mother, then advertising it on his autobiography. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
1/13/202343 minutes, 51 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #359 – The Death of Senator Palpatine

– also, never think with your royal penis! This week start with some listener feedback regarding the new Swedish Spaceport Esrange, look at the value of New Year’s resolutions and discuss the crazy weather situation. In this week in Skepticism we celebrate the birth of Isaac Asimov who was born on 2 January 1920 (or was he?) and then Pontus reflects on the life and death of Joseph Ratzinger, aka. Pope Benedict XVI, aka, Senator Palpatine. Then we go through the news: INTERNATIONAL: European Humanist Federation merges into Humanists International SWEDEN: The spread of rumors of Swedish authorities kidnapping babies from all over the world RUSSIA: Russia is afraid of western psychic attacks DENMARK / RUSSIA: Danish military intelligence suggests drug-induced megalomania may have influenced Putin to invade Ukraine The Swedish King, Gustav XVI Gustaf, gets a well earned Really Wrong Award for thinking that monarchs shall have a penis. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/6/202353 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #358 – Vlad the Impaler

– also be prepared for next year’s Christmas! We start by reflecting on Putin’s “war” against Ukraine now that he (by accident?) admitted that that is what it is. In TWISH we hear about Vlad the Impaler (aka Vlad III or Dracula) and to what extent Bram Stoker used him as inspiration for his famous book. Also, some recent pseudohistory is making the rounds about Vlad III “Dragulya”. Pope Frankie has a new legal issue now that the Italian Senate has grown tired of his lack of action in the Orlandi case. Then we take a look at the news: NETHERLANDS: No ritual satanic abuse in NL SWEDEN: Svante Pääbo gets strange criticism INTERNATIONAL: After Christmas is before Christmas: tips for recycling SWEDEN: The King to inaugurate Europe’s first launchpad for satellites We end the year by issuing a big Really Right and our deep thanks to all our listeners, patrons and supporters on Paypal. A very happy new year to you all! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/30/202245 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #357 – Psychic predicted death of 96-year-old

– however, the other 1063 predictions failed This week all the hosts are back from their adventures in foreign lands to record just before Christmas. We revisit the topic of Twitter and we hear about Pontus’ trip to New Zealand. After a few short interviews with skeptics in Australia we go to TWISH for the birth of Uri Geller and to the Vatican for the latest mishaps of pope Frankie. Then we turn to the news: GERMANY: Fortune teller was right – the Queen passed away SWEDEN: Woman suffers paralysis and brain damage after seeing alternative quack masseur HUNGARY: Shops of health guru closing down SWEDEN: Prison for inventor of heater that supposedly generated more energy than was put in British politicians are notoriously nuts these days, and to illustrate this fact MP Andrew Bridgen receives this week’s Really Wrong Award for his covid vaccine denial. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interviews; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/23/202254 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #356 – Homeopathy works by law

This week in Pontus' absence we lament overt the possible future of Twitter and the stupidity behind the Reichsbürger movement before being joint by Ralf Neugebauer who enlightens us about the legal situation of homeopathic remedies in Germany with special regard to Meditonsin. We commemorate the birthday of the late British star astrologer (pun intended)Jonathan Cainer before moving on to the news: SWITZERLAND/UK: Springer publishes Edzard Ernst's new book that lists 202 modalities of SCAM. FRANCE: A large chunk of Didier Raoult's scientific work marked with expression of concern by the publisher PLOS. INTERNATIONAL: Fact-checkers in USA, UK, Germany and Australia under scrutiny over assessing climate-related claims. EU: Terrible mess around vaccination schedules and how health ministers and the WHO try to solve the problem. AUSTRIA: Survey shows osteopaths don't seem to be bothered by legal and ethical considerations. EU: Dengue vaccine approved for use by European Commission. This week's Really Wrong prize goes to the Reichsbürger movement for trying to overthrow the German government and trying to instate a king.
12/16/202257 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #355 - Live from down unda!

- with the Bent Spoon Award & a happy birthday to VoF! We start by exploring the anthroposophic connections of the Griffins, the founders of Canberra, then move on to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Swedish skeptical organisation Vetenskap och Folkbildning. Then Pontus Pokes the Pope for all the mess his minions like Becciu have caused in the Vatican Bank before we turn to the news: GERMANY: Court prohibits homeopathic manufacturer from advertising product with false health claims RUSSIA: The Duma passes law banning ‘LGBT propaganda’ among adults INTERNATIONAL: Witchcraft beliefs in Europe (and around the world) surprisingly high UK: Graham Hancock rages war against the whole field of archaeology INTERNATIONAL: With Twitter's end of enforcing policy against misinformation, EU raises prospect of big fines or ban INTERNATIONAL: Measles is ‘imminent threat’ globally, WHO and CDC warn This week's Really Wrong prize goes to the NHS in the UK for supporting quackery in midwifery. Finally, you can listen to two of the interviews conducted at the convention with Executive Officer of Australian Skeptics In. Tim Mendham and chief organiser of SkeptiCon 2022 Kevin Davis. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Interviews; Farewell; Outro
12/9/20221 hour, 3 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #354 – Down unda, part 2

– Brisbane Skeptics in the Pub! Our two-week long tour to Australia is soon coming to an end, but we have been lucky enough to be welcomed by lovely people in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast. On this week’s episode we are releasing a recording we made before a lovely audience in Brisbane, where we had a panel discussion about our thoughts on the present and future of the skeptic movement, based on our experiences and actives as skeptics in our respective countries. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Brisbane Skeptics; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/2/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 48 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #353 – Down unda, part 1

– Sydney Skeptics in the Pub! Our two-week long tour to Australia has begun, the main event of which will be the Australian Skeptics National Convention (SkeptiCon) in Canberra between 3rd and 4th December. But beforehand, we will have a few stops along the way where local branches organised events for us that we can’t wait to attend. The first event of our tour has now concluded. It was a Skeptics in the Pub event in Sydney, with short talks as well as an interview with Australia’s most popular science communicator, Dr Karl, and host of The Skeptic Zone, Richard Saunders. This week, instead of a regular show, we are releasing a special recording of the whole evening. Enjoy!
11/25/202257 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #352 – COP27, is it worth it?

– plus, the Princess who will never be Queen – and why that’s a good thing Should we all abandon Twitter and move to Mastodon? Call us contrarians, but we’ll wait and see! Preparing for our Australian trip to Skepticon we may need an umbrella or two due to the severe weather, but if you are based in Europe and like to go to a great conference, why not head down to Leiria in Portugal for ComceptCon 2022 that opens this weekend! In TWISH we hear about another great Hungarian skeptic, Mihály Beck, born this week in 1929. Pope Frankie is worried about those porn watching nuns, while we just move on to take a look at the news: INTERNATIONAL: How screwed are we – any results on COP27? GERMANY: The Golden Aluminium Hat awards ceremony now online NORWAY: The Shaman’s Princess leaves all her royal commitments LISTENBURG: How a fictive country was born and became viral SWITZERLAND: Nathalie wasn’t a victim of ritual satanic abuse SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: Environment budget a disaster The Russian TV host Andrei Norkin shows how to protest without saying anything and for that he is Really Right. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
11/18/202250 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #351 – Camilla’s Queenly Cleanse

– Czech / Slovak Skeptical TV-series ‘Investigátori’ renewed for second season! The gang is reunited and there’s so much to talk about – memories of QED, the Ockham Award, the Rusty Razor and our upcoming Australian Tour. With sadness we note the passing of Kendrick Frazier and then we talk to Claire Klingenberg and Peter Pokorný regarding the second season(!) of their skeptical TV series ‘Investigátori‘ (‘The Investogators’). In TWISH we remember the Hungarian scientific communicator and TV personality József Öveges and then Frankie gets a poking for the latest Cardinal scandal. Then it’s time for the news: INTERNATIONAL: COP27 now on! UK: Earthshot Prize announced INTERNATIONAL: Is Google funding climate change disinformation? INTERNATIONAL: Public more likely to support climate action if other countries commit as well EUROPE: Europe’s unvaccinated children GERMANY: INH press Release SWEDEN: New book out by Greta Thunberg FINLAND: Change to abortion laws in Finland POLAND: Tomasz Witkowski’s new book Queen Consort Camilla goes to India to cleanse her chakras and for that she is Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
11/11/202259 minutes, 49 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #350 – Live at QED!

– Claire and Brian joins us, while Luna fills in for András As we are joined by Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg and Brian Eggo, Luna steps up to fill the shoes of András who to everyone’s deep disappointment had to cancel at the last minute. To celebrate our 350th show and enjoy our live recording at QED in Manchester, we take some liberty with the normal format. So, brace yourself for mythical tales of papal pasts as well as the long awaited Eurovision WRONG Contest: GERMANY: Annika – ‘Riceburger lady’, 75, plots to kidnap Karl Lauterbach SCOTLAND: Brian – Scottish archbishop: Euthanasia pushes message that some lives ‘aren’t worth living’ RUSSIA: Pontus – Patriarch Kirill: Love for the Fatherland is what keeps the global apocalypse at bay CZECH REPUBLIC: Claire – Charter 2020 – National propaganda hijacking Charter 77 HUNGARY: Luna – All good things done by Orbán this week A big thank you to all who came to see us and said hello at QED! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; TWICH; Eurovision Wrong Contest; Quote And Farewell; Outro;
11/4/202242 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #349 – All about Skepticon Australia!

– and BTW, Elvis really has left the building – no matter what psychic mediums say This week we first chat about a “psychic medium” who is friendly with Elvis and touch on the Tories in the UK who apparently is friendly with no one, not even themselves. Then Kevin Davies of the Canberra Skeptics joins us and tells all about the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022 where we will be in December! In TWISH we hear about Tycho Brahe and his achievements and Pope Frankie is still infallible and does not take kindly to criticism. Then it’s time for the news: INTERNATIONAL: Edzard Ernst‘s blog just turned 10 years old GERMANY: Cybersecurity chief turns out to have Russian ties SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: – What the experts say would solve the murder cases – Danish warning about prison places abroad: Don’t! Swedish MD Elsa Widding of the Sweden Democrats is an antivaxxer (and not a little stupid) so she gets the prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/28/202243 minutes, 55 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #348 – Beware the ‘Rice Burger’ Movement

– and get your flu shot, people! This week the full crew is back and we urge you to take the flu seriously. We recommend a video of a presentation by Germany skeptic Amardeo Sarma about critical thinking, find out how to pronounce ‘that town’ in the Netherlands and feel sad that Robbie ‘Hagrid’ Coltrane passed away. In TWISH we celebrate 100 years with the BBC, and then it’s time for the news: RUSSIA: The online guide Russians use to escape Putin’s war GERMANY: 75-year-old conspiracy theorist woman planned to kidnap Lauterbach SWEDEN: Pontus pokes the politicians – New Government lets Sweden Democrats dictate immigration SWEDEN: Study of media use and trust during the COVID-19 pandemic shows consistency of messages is key INTERNATIONAL: Survey shows even thought threat is getting worse, concern about climate change is shrinking RUSSIA / SWEDEN: Chamber of commerce bombarded with fake Russian mails To round off, Dutch MP Thierry Baudet gets a Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/21/202256 minutes, 1 second
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TheESP – Ep. #347 – The beginning of the end for German homeopathy?

– Lauterbach takes on pseudoscience Brian Eggo steps in to save the day as he covers for both András and Annika this week. We talk about listener reactions to last week’s episode and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the last of this year’s Nobel prizes in the natural sciences. In TWISH we reminisce about QED 2018 as we prepare attending the next one. Pontus Pokes the Pope for his failure to handle the relations to Russia but give’s him a broken clock award for taking a stand for refugees. Then it is time to look at the news: EUROPE: ECDC gets extended mandate to tackle emerging future epidemics NETHERLANDS: Court rules that Twitter has done enough to stop conspiracy theory about satanic paedophiles SPAIN: No matter what social media giants promised, Spanish disinformation is rampant RUSSIA: Russia’s financial monitoring agency adds Meta to list ‘terrorists and extremists’ GERMANY: Münster Circle issues Memorandum Integrative Medicine German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach gets a Really Right Award together with Edzard Ernst and Nikil Mukerji for taking a stand against homeopathy. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/14/202258 minutes, 46 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #346 – Baby hatches

– we’re back in the Dark Ages We start this week with commenting on the winners of the two first Nobel Prizes this year – Svante Pääbo who won the prize in Medicine or Physiology and the trio of Aspect, Clauser and Zeilinger who shares the Physics prize. We also celebrate the first ever female European commander of the ISS, Samantha Cristoforetti, before we travel back in time with our TWISH-machine and acknowledge this week’s birthday bay, Denis Diderot. Then we dig into the news: UK: The dark side of social media? The Molly Russell case UK: Children’s digital resilience to be approached as a collective effort to prepare young people for the future SWEDEN: MD who assisted man to die loses his license GERMANY: Voting now open for the ‘Heroes of Facts Awards‘ UKRAINE: Four regions of the country annexed by Russia following sham referendum POLAND: New-born babies are handed over through a hole in the wall The Prize for being Really Wrong goes to Jacob Rees-Mogg, British minister of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who has no clue about the physics of energy. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/7/20221 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #345 – Turbo Cancer?

– don’t listen to the fish and chips physician This week we have several things to get through before the actual show – the Swedish Skeptics at the international book fair in Gothenburg, the Hungarian Skeptics at the upcoming HungaroCon, the new book from the SGU (The Skeptic’s Guide to the Future), a listener question about organic farming and reactions to the Italian elections. In TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) we hear about the Voronezh UFO incident. Then it’s time for the news: CONFLICT IN EUROPE: Sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines – watch out for the conspiracy theories GERMANY: SkepKon 2023 – Call for papers UK / GERMANY: UK and German politicans behind American counterparts in tweeting misinformation GERMANY: Eurocom press release for the promotion of quackery SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: The new second vice speaker of the parliament is a science denier – do we need to name her party? UK: As was expected: government lifted ban on fracking The Award for being Really Wrong goes to German-Swedish head physician Ute Krüger, who ‘feels’ that covid vaccines cause ‘turbo cancer’ and the head of the medicinal region, Johan Rosenqvist, who thinks that’s quite OK. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/30/20221 hour, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #344 – Krajewski. Cardinal Krajewski

– Frankie has found his own 007! This week we reveal further plans about our travels and about Skepticamp at QED. We also have listener feedback about air quality in planes regarding last week’s Really Wrong. No TWISH this week, but Pope Frankie has found a super Cardinal to drop behind enemy lines for covert operations. And then we look into this week’s news: GERMANY: Honorable mention of HomöopaTea UK: Charles feels vindicated for going organic. He is wrong. UKRAINE: UFOs above Kiev SWEDEN: Pontus Pokes the Politicians: Winning parties of the election advocate irrational actions in fighting criminality The WHO gets another Really Wrong Award for their failed logic around NSS (non-sugar sweeteners) Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/23/202239 minutes, 2 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #343 – King of Homeopathy

– but at least the bees were informed of the death of their queen We’re back from ESC in Vienna! Thanks to all who came up and said hi to us, that was a blast! This week we reflect on what Charles III, the king of SCAM, may mean for skepticism and what there is to say about the Swedish election results. For TWISH we get to learn about Foucault and his pendulum, a simple but brilliant demonstration of the rotation of the Earth. We leave the poking-of-the-Pope for next week and dig into the news: GERMANY: Prominent figure of New Germanic Medicine Helmut Pilhar dies UK / INTERNATIONAL: Madness around the Queen’s death UK: Celebrity Russel Brand admits spreading falsehoods EUROPE: Europe’s hottest summer on record RUSSIA: Anti-censorship tool lets Russians read Blocked News GERMANY: Study shows behavioral studies got the sampling all wrong FRANCE: Didier Raoult‘s lab under investigation German party FDP and airlines get the Really Wrong Award for campaigning against masks on planes. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/16/202251 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #342 – Is the Earth moving for you too?

– a carnival of Cardinals says it’s permitted This week we are packing our bags for the ESC Vienna – hope to see you there! But we also have plans for QED – András and Pontus will both talk at Skepticamp, and BREAKING NEWS! – live recording of the ESP has now been announced! In TWISH we celebrate 200 years of “cardinal” permission of the heliocentric model and in more current Vatican news, Pope Frankie elevates a predecessor who is now on his way to full sainthood. Then there is the news: GERMANY: New book out – Science Matters! INTERNATIONAL: Cranky Uncle Game now available in Spanish and Portuguese, too (Swedish soon out as well) UK: New prime minister on the Horizon… Or not so much. RUSSIA: Die for the Motherland – Indoctrination in Russian schools FRANCE: Medical service Doctolib under attack for promoting SCAM UK: Kate Moss – yet another supermodel who turns to selling bogus products A Really Wrong Award goes to an Irish transphobic teacher who doesn’t know when to quit. Enjoy!
9/9/202246 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #341 – Fake or real

– and Francis flips the bird András is back and we chat about next week’s upcoming European Skeptics’ Congress in Vienna – the ESC, and we’re looking forward to go! Mikhail Gorbachev died and we comment a bit on what he meant for Russia and the contrast Putin is compared to him. Going back to the autumns events there is also QED where the winners of the Ockham Award and the Rusty Razor will be announced. Listeners can now put in their nominations for the best Skeptical activism and the most prominent promoter of unscientific ideas, respectively. There is more developments in to last week’s Really Wrong Award to cover, and breaking news! Annika has got a book out of short stories for children! (in German). In TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) Pontus is in for a surprise, and Pope Frankie seems to have had it with Kirill’s shenanigans. Then it’s time for the news: ISRAEL: Antivax doctor’s medical licence gets revoked SLOVAKIA: Study shows 41% of students cannot tell true online health information from fake UK: Researchers trying series of videos for inoculation against misinformation on YouTube INTERNATIONAL: Google airbrushes out emissions from flying German Green Party leader in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lena Schwelling, thinks that homeopathy is the subject to a ‘Crusade’ which makes her Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/2/202245 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #340 – Ivermectin is a cult

– speaking of cults, Mother Teresa wasn’t much of a saint Turns out the “hunger stone” found in Elbe is not a photo from this year. It’s almost like you cannot trust the internet any more… Climate change is here to stay, regardless. In TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) we hear about Mother Teresa, probably the best known modern saints of all, and we learn that she was in fact pretty mean and cruel. The guy who made her a saint (Francis) gets a poking for messing with the on-going “trial of the century” when he suddenly makes up with the main suspect Cardinal Becciu – or did he? Not even the Vatican seems to know. Also, Pontus predicts that Kirill may back out of meeting with Frankie. (BREAKING NEWS! Confirmed by orthodox official the day after the recording). Then it’s time for the skeptical news: INTERNATIONAL: The cult of Ivermectin refuses to die SWEDEN: More science denial from Sweden Democrats UK: NHS Fund looking for Reiki healers RUSSIA / UK: The assassination of Darya Dugina: Which conspiracy theory to believe? The Hungarian government is at it again and their Innovation minister, Laszlo Palkovics, gets a Really Wrong Award for sacking weather chief over a storm that didn’t happen. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
8/26/202246 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #339 – Papal bull through the ages

– nepotism, bribes and orgies in the Vatican! We start the episode with some listener feedback that led us to look a bit deeper into Mindfulness and find that it’s worse than we thought. We share the sad news that the great Italian science communicator and skeptic super hero, Piero Angela, has passed away at the respectable age of 93. In TWISH we take a look at pope Alexander VI who was an intriguing figure and who also has a legacy that pope Francis has to deal with to this day. Speaking of Frankie, he really demonstrates appalling lack of leadership when it comes to the ongoing scandal in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Then we have the news: UK / US: Polio in London (and New York) POLAND / CZECHIA / GERMANY: What is killing the fish in river Oder? SWEDEN: Sweden Democrats wants to rename The Prison and Probation Service to “the Agency for Punishment” FRANCE: Homeopathy in France is in steep decline Anthroposophs in Germany gets today Prize for being Really Wrong after trying to sue critics and taking them to court. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
8/19/202248 minutes, 4 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #338 – Religion is big business

– a look into the Vatican’s hidden finances We start by revisiting last week’s sad news about Dr Kellermayr and explore the reactions of other skeptical activists. In TWISH we learn about Peter Atkins, professor extraordinaire in physical chemistry. A deep dive this week in the busines of Pope Francis, both regarding his recent apology and trip to the indigenous peoples of Canada (did he do enough?), and also then into the hidden finances of the Vatican which we suddenly know much more about than before. Then we have a look at the news: US / UK: Harriet Hall‘s children’s book promotes critical thinking (with illustrations by a fan from the UK) UK / US / AUSTRALIA: Olivia Newton-John dies at age 73 – another victim of SCAM? UK: School-based Mindfulness training proves not beneficial compared to teaching-as-usual RUSSIA / UKRAINE: Anti-vax Twitter accounts pushing food crisis disinformation To round off, Viktor Orbán and his regime gets the Really Wrong Award for allowing clear-cutting of native forests in Hungary. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
8/12/202255 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #337 – Chief Franciscus

– also, climate change is a ‘total meltdown’ More confusion regarding the collaboration between Roscosmos and NASA, Tantra is back on the menu and (on a not so skeptical note) today marks the release of the Beatles ‘Revolver’ album. Pope Frankie finally went to Canada, which was a literal ‘feather in is cap‘. Then we have a look at the news: DENMARK: Russian oil and gas supply issues could drive green transition UK: Heatwave basically impossible without climate change INTERNATIONAL: Total climate meltdown cannot be stopped AUSTRIA: Austrian medical doctor and science communicator commits suicide after relentless bullying from anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theorists A number of companies sells totally unnecessary blood tests to healthy people and for that the are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
8/5/202237 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #336 – From the mouths of children

– student writes bill for UK Parliament re climate change education This week we mention that Eurovision will be held in UK next year, that Steven Pinker makes clear that ESP is not real (but WE are!) and Annika clarifies how the police system is organised in Germany. No TWISH or Pope this week so we skip right into the news: UK: TikTok is fastest growing source of news for adults UKRAINE: Google to be banned in Donetsk and Luhansk GERMANY: Manual on climate communication published UK: Students write bill on climate change education The UK National Lottery gets the Really Wrong award for funding homeopathy. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
7/31/202228 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #335 – Looking forward to QED 2020!

– with special guests Alice and Marsh This week we have celebrity company in the form of Alice Howarth and Michael “Marsh” Marshall of Skeptics with a K fame! Before they tell all about QED in October, we chat a bit about the LHC firing up again, EU law suits against Hungary, homeopathy against the heath wave and the brand new interview with Claire Klingenberg on Skeptical Inquirer conducted by Annika. In TWISH we here about Sir Richard Owen and his role in in founding the Natural History Museum in London. Pope Frankie is going to Canada next week to make his apologies, but we suggest he bring a big bag of money as well. Then it’s time for the news: INTERNATIONAL: Record child vaccinations setback, due to covid INTERNATIONAL: Stronger democracies have seen fewer excess deaths SWEDEN: Anti-vaxxer site publishes names of 800 covid-vaccinated children GERMANY: The ‘Europol ploy’ that scammed thousands of Germans UK: Tory leadership contestant supporter of homeopathy SPACE: More info on space collaboration between Russia and the US Some geniuses in Switzerland called “Safe Blood” have started a campaign for people that want access to “unvaccinated blood” and for that they are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
7/22/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #334 – Space is for science!

– propaganda is for petty dictators This week we celebrate the news of the return of QED Skepticamp, courtesy the lovely SITP online team. Space is fascinating as demonstrated by the new images from the James Webb telescope. In TWISH we also talk about space and the Apollo – Soyuz Test Project, which launched this week 47 years ago. It made us think that space was out-of-bounds for politics (ah, we were naïve…). Pope Frankie cannot help hinting that he may resign some day while still being busier than ever. Then we take a look at the news: GERMANY: Freilerner group are opening illegal schools SWEDEN / INTERNATIONAL: Conversion therapy promoted by religious global network SPAIN: Research shows that gender identity is not something that you choose UK: Nature’s true value is overlooked UK: Recycling plastic doesn’t work UK: BMJ article issues Vitamin D overdose warning Germanic New Medicine is both pseudoscientific and antisemitic and for that its practitioners get the week’s Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
7/15/202250 minutes, 11 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #333 – Burnout, depression and death threats

How was your day, fellow Skeptic? We’re half-way to hell (666), but not only is Pontus back, but we also have that lovely Queen of European Skeptics Claire Klingenberg with us, so what’s to complain about? Pontus explains why he has been absent lately and Claire talks about a very disconcerting incidence at a recent science fair. In TWISH we celebrate Newton’s ‘Principia’ which lay the ground for much of modern science, over three hundred years ago. The Pope gets a poking for not knowing his DNA from his ABC and then we have a look at the news: UK: One in six adults doubt human link to climate change GERMANY: Thousands could have died because of heat waves in Germany UK: Legislation aims to shield UK internet users from state-backed online disinformation NORWAY: Steep decline in the trust towards alternative medicine SWEDEN: Macchiarini gets off scot-free. Prosecution has appealed INTERNATIONAL: ECDC and WHO team up to tackle the public communication and engagement tasks related to monkeypox for health authorities Three cosmonauts get the Really Wrong Award for waving the Donetsk flag on the ISS, which should be about science and not about stupid and bloody human conflicts. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
7/8/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 17 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #332 - Frankie goes to... (Holyrood?)

Nope. But he gets a Really Right! We have a rare third host today! Luna is part of this episode. Starting with sad news about the Oslo shooting, we then talk about Scotland's discussion about independence. This week's TWISH congratulates Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to his birthday on the 1st of July 1646. They discuss what a Staffelwalze is (aptly named Leibniz wheel) and András mentions important facts about the mathematician's life. The news this week were the following: GERMANY: Could Sucharit Bakhdi's professorship be revoked? INTERNATIONAL: ECDC launches online course into how to address online vaccine misinformation UK: New study into why people hear voices of the dead Today's prize for being Really Wrong would go to the US Supreme Court if we were US-based, but instead we keep up the good mood and give out a Really Right- award! Pope Francis ordered for Pope Pius XII.'s archive to be made accessible online. Pius is often referred to as the "War Era Pope" and was reluctant to interfere on behalf of persecuted people. So, for doing the right thing for once, Frankie receives this week's prize for being Really Right. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
7/3/202230 minutes, 35 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #331 - Bullshit all around!

What is humour allowed to do? Despite us still missing a cheery Hejsan Hejsan, we are back with a new episode! We talk about Nikil Mukerji (interviewed in Episode 252), who wrote a paper about Bullshit with his colleague Adriano Mannino. If you want to meet skeptics like Nikil Mukerji, then European Skeptics Congress in Vienna is the right place for you. Early bird prices still apply until the 30th of June! Another ESC we talk about is the Eurovision Song Contest, which will not take place in Ukraine in 2023 after all. This week's TWISH celebrates Ricky Gervais' birthday on the 25th of June 1961. András and Annika discuss what jokes and humour can do to not discriminate against minorities without being censored and hence talk about the comedian's jokes in particular. (Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons; Raph_PH 2019). The news this week were the following: INTERNATIONAL: European researchers are critical about UN sustainable development goals INTERNATIONAL: Only 1 in 20 medical treatments have clear benefits supported by evidence ITALY: Weird consequence of climate change: stuff emerging from the depth of Po River HUNGARY: Former performer, who sells food supplements gets investigated by Competition Authority We have criticized Prince Charles before. For his blatant promotion of So Called Alternative Medicine, he receives this week's prize for being  Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/26/202235 minutes, 25 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #330 - "Outside the EU, we can follow the science!"

András and Annika are back and tell us all about upcoming events! The European Skeptics Congress in September in Vienna is sure exciting to go to, as is QED in October in Manchester! To round our number of conferences up, we have also been invited to go to Australia! Check your drop bears! To celebrate this momentous chain of events, we issue a competition: If you can meet us at all three conferences, we will give you a beer (or beverage of your choice)! Come see us! In TWISH András tells us all about Padre Pio (Picture credit: Manfrediona // After Elia Stelluto), who got canonised on 16th of June 2002. Then, we hop over to the news: UKRAINE: A polio outbreak further threatens the war-stricken country INTERNATIONAL: EP fails to pass key climate proposal INTERNATIONAL: Covid-19 conspiracy theories associated with depression INTERNATIONAL: Documenting and responding to climate dis- and misinformation at COP26 UNITED KINGDOM: Scotland and UK government split over GM food AUSTRIA: The real dangers of homeopathy - a case study! To talk more about So Called Alternative Medicine we talk about lobbying for quackery and hand out a Really Wrong Award to EUROCAM. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
6/17/202239 minutes, 8 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #329 - Don't be afraid of the light!

An unusually short episode this week brought to you by Annika and András, featuring the first record of a ball-lightning observation in the English speaking world from 1195 AD, then we talk about a prison sentence over a fake diagnostic tool in Germany. And of course, we finish on a fitting quote from Plato.
6/12/202217 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #328 – Erratic Boulders

Frankie appoints a carnival of Cardinals András is back and tells us not how to stand on a volcano, we have some listener feedback about YouTube banning videos and the QED conference release their tickets on 13 June. Mark you calendars for 28-30 October! We then interview Jelena Lenka Příplatová from the Czech Skeptics (Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos) about their Erratic Boulders Awards the was announced on 27 May. In TWISH we celebrate the founding of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences way back in 1739(!). Pope Frankie breaks the rules and elevates 21 of his closest cronies to be cardinals. Then, we look into the news: INTERNATIONAL: Is monkeypox a Covid vaccine side effect? POLAND: Country offers free vaccinations to Ukrainian refugees, but uptake is low GERMANY: More bad news for homeopaths INTERNATIONAL: Humanity faces a new era of risks GERMANY: Fake doctor sentenced to life in prison INTERNATIONAL: New tool: Retraction Watch Hijacked Journal Checker UK: Edzard Ernst appointed member of the Academy of Europe We feel all positive for once and hand out a Really Right Award to the plans of reducing Sweden’s CO2 emissions by 3% by 2030. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
6/3/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 51 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #327 – Don’t let the doomers get to you

We need to fight for abortion rights – again Monkeypox is coming – is that the new pandemic? Our favourite ESC is the European Skeptics Congress in Vienna in September and we’re counting on seeing you there. The DA! Awards are coming and if you live in Germany you should register your nominations. Then we have an error correction from last week regarding horses and snails… No TWISH today so we jump right into Pope Francis meeting with Bono (of U2 fame) and a pretty remarkable exchange between the two. Then it’s time for the news: SWITZERLAND: Climate Doom SPAIN: Facebook fails to stop Spanish language anti-abortion disinformation EU: Lobby group for ‘integrative medicine’ in the EU UKRAINE: YouTube removes more than 9,000 channels relating to Ukraine war UK: Gene edited tomatoes could soon be sold in England Anthroposophic quack doctor Harald Matthes gets his second Really Wrong Award this month, tune in to find out what he has been up to this time! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
5/27/202245 minutes, 4 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #326 – The truth needs you!

Nessie is back – unless the camera is on Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest and Putin is not happy about it. On the other hand the other ESC – the European Skeptics Congress – should make everybody happy! Register now! Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, GSOW, is a great thing and Annika celebrates five years on the team. In TWISH we learn about Heinz Oberhummer who was born this week in 1941 and the Pope has a bunch of cardinals in trouble so he has replaced the communion wine with tequila. We instead stay sober and check out the news: UK: Wanna expose liars? Get them distracted SCOTLAND: Daily Mail report on the latest ‘sighting’ of Nessie? GERMANY: Hygiene Museum in Dresden dedicates exhibition to Fake News SL, the Stockholm local train service, is in cahoots with Scientology and for that they are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
5/21/202241 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #325 – Salmon in Space!

Covid death toll is more likely 15 million according to WHO Annika is back! and after discussing stupid Putin and his failed war a little, we turn our focus to space. We look towards the black hole in the Milky Way to get as far away as possible and yes, Norway really has this very special space programme about fish in space. In TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) we revisit the legend of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fàtima since it all started this week in 1917. No pope today, so instead we travel on right into the news: INTERNATIONAL: European populism linked to vaccine hesitancy, but more research is needed INTERNATIONAL: Almost 15 million excess deaths due to covid HUNGARY / V4: Coordinated online troll activity detected in relation to the war in Ukraine HUNGARY: Fidesz supporters prefer Putin to western political leaders – Survey EUROPE: WHO to bring the Europe region closer to a cervical cancer-free future – with HPV vaccines UK: Why girls don’t necessarily choose to pursue studies into physics This weeks Really Wrong Award goes to ‘Antroposophian’ Harad Matthes who went on television claiming to ‘prove’ severe risks with covid vaccines when in fact he is just a crank. The TV network MDR also gets a prize for giving him a platform. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
5/13/202248 minutes, 14 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #324 – The sky is green with purple elephants

Russia takes post-truth to new levels Mostly bad news this week, but on the bright side we have The Skeptic’s Guide soon to come out with their new book The Skeptic’s Guide to the Future (pre-order it now!) and the upcoming European Skeptics Congress in Vienna. See you there! This week we celebrate Sir David Attenborough‘s 96th birthday and we take a look at Pope Francis and his dealings with the other “Pope”, Patriarch Kirill, also known as Putin’s altar boy. Then we go through some news: RUSSIA: Russian long-term recruitment programme disguised as education INTERNATIONAL: Measles is the new-old threat UKRAINE: The fake news factory on this side of the fence… SPAIN: Families in despair over IM Academy: ‘The crypto-sect has kidnapped our children’ INTERNATIONAL: Hepatitis cases cause for concern – and the disinformation factory keeps rolling SWEDEN: Macchiarini trial started this week – Procecution says surgery was experimental, cruel, and against all science and evidence UK: GCSE in Natural History announced and brings hope for environmentalism Pontus gets really angry with Putin’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov this week and hands him a hard Really Wrong Award. There’s also a “Bonus Bad Award” to the Russian propaganda machine that implies that Swedes are Nazis. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
5/6/202259 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #323 – Péter Krekó

Social Psychology and conspiracy theories In quick news the Hungarian Skeptics has announced Gábor Varga as their Flat Earth Award winner for 2022 and also we keep reminding all listeners to sign up for European Skeptics Congress in Vienna in September. This week we interview Péter Krekó who is a social psychologist and an expert in conspiracy theories. We talk about everything from state propaganda and the pandemic to how social media has changed the environment for all of us and how and why it has increased the polarization in politics. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
4/29/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 39 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #322 – Russian warship is finally f–d

In other news, don’t leave a mark on your pyjamas In Hungary they are busy preparing for the flat Earth awards and András will be one of many excellent speakers at SkeptiCal in California. Here in Europe you should still sign up for the European Skeptics Congress! This week sees the birthday of “the Iceman”, Wim Hof. Don’t fall for his pseudo-nonsense. Nonsense is also rampant in the Archdiocese in Cologne but Pope Frankie is saying ‘la-la-la’ and looking the other way. Then, of course we have the news: GERMANY: Radical covid antivaxxers planned to kidnap German health minister GERMANY: EU survey of attitudes towards vaccination UKRAINE: So, what happened to ‘the Moskva’? UK / ITALY: Guy doesn’t believe shroud of Turin is forged, willing to pay £1 million for proof INTERNATIONAL: Boiron sued by the Center for Inquiry Danish so-called ‘politician’ Rasmus Paludan stirs up riots in Sweden by burning the Quran and for that he, as well as the rioters, are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
4/22/202251 minutes, 4 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #321 – Huygens!

Zelensky is not Soros’ cousin We remind you again to sign up for the European Skeptics Congress! It’s going to be great! In other news, Darwin’s iconic ‘evolution as a tree’-notebook has been mysteriously returned which is good news in a pink bag. Our notes on conversion therapy last week got some terfs really upset on Twitter, but of course they get it all wrong. For TWISH we celebrate the birth of Christiaan Huygens, a true spirit of the enlightenment already in the 17th century. No poking this week, so we then dive into the news: INTERNATIONAL: Homeopathy Awareness Week UKRAINE: Zelensky not related to Soros INTERNATIONAL: Pinterest to ban climate misinformation UK: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic offering MSc course To round off, the charity organisation ‘Thinking Autism’ promotes CEASE therapy and anti-vaxx nonsense and so they get his week’s Really Wrong award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
4/15/202245 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #320 – Propaganda

Tickets released for the European Skeptics Congress! Sign up! The Hungarian elections did not go well and that’s not a political statement but a skeptical one. Propaganda is everywhere, but we put our hopes in the European Skeptics Congress in Vienna in September. We will be there and we count on all of you to be there too! Chris French is the topic for TWISH (happy birthday, Chris!) and the Flat Earth award is coming up in Hungary. Pope Francis makes a decent apology but the legal stuff is yet to come. Then we have a look at the news: UKRAINE: Russia ‘allegedly’ guilty of massacre in Bucha? RUSSIA: Does Putin use alt med? INTERNATIONAL: Study – mitigating climate change wouldn’t hurt economies UKRAINE: Chernobyl – Russian troops on a suicidal mission? PORTUGAL: And the Flying Unicorn flies to… PORTUGAL: Nominations for next year’s award are now open UK: Conversion therapy in the UK banned – but not for all INTERNATIONAL: Snopes’ plans for the year ahead Meta seems to be out to collect as many Really Wrong Awards they can get theirs hands on and we are here to please. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Charities For Ukraine; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
4/8/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 51 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #319 – It’s always aliens!

Blast from the past: Nobody Silences Simon Singh! The Hungarian election is coming up, with a lot of Russian propaganda polarizing the public. In TWISH we remember the legal decision that cleared up how “happily promoting bogus claim” was a fair statement by Simon Singh against the British Chiropractic Association. Pope Francis will finally meet up with Canadian Indigenous delegations this week, but will they finally get their apology? Then we have the news: RUSSIA: Country’s scientists are to stay put HUNGARY: Pre-election state propaganda worsened by anti-Ukrainian sentiment INTERNATIONAL: Low vaccine uptake in Ukrainian population might be risk factor with refugees RUSSIA: People turning to VPNs to access band websites and content on the internet RUSSIA: New developments in support of accident theory regarding Dyatlov Pass Incident GERMANY: Homeopathy contracts cancelled in Bremen The Heilpraktiker system in Germany gets this week’s Really Wrong award. Come on, Karl Lauterbach, you can fix this! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
4/1/202251 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #318 – Cruciatus Curse against Russia

Don’t stare into the Sun! Both of the Earth’s poles are going through extreme weather at the moment. Does that mean the end of the planet is already here? In TWISH we hear about Mussolini’s rise to power and potential parallels to current world events. Pope Francis is said to take a stand against Russia, but we are not convinced. Then we have the news: EUROPE / SPACE: Russian cosmonauts dressed in colours of Ukrainian flag? – European Mars mission on hold as a result of cutting ties with Roscosmos – OneWeb turns towards Space-X RUSSIA: TikTok directs users to fake news about Ukraine war RUSSIA: Putin’s war propaganda becomes ‘patriotic’ lessons in Russian schools SCOTLAND: Late apology for witch-hunt cases PORTUGAL: Voting is open for the Flying Unicorn Awards INTERNATIONAL: BMJ paper assesses publication bias in Homeopathy-related articles There are a lot of anti-abortion nuts in Poland ready to harass Ukrainian refugees and all of them share this week’s Really Wrong award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
3/25/202255 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #317 – Doomscrolling

Don’t lose yourself in the bad news Lots of bad news out there at the moment but try to not let it get to you. A Ukrainian drone flies all over Hungary undetected, some European leaders take the train to Kyiv and even in space, tension is mounting. This week is the celebration of the Hungarian revolution of 1848 but there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Francis tries to do good but fails to impress. After that, we take a look at the news: INTERNATIONAL: Doomscrolling is becoming a serious concern RUSSIA: The power of state-controlled media RUSSIA: TV employee’s attempt to let people know the truth RUSSIA: Family members go head to head over different views on war against Ukraine RUSSIA: What do Russians think of the war? INTERNATIONAL: Estimating excess mortality from COVID-19 UK: Homeopathy as protection from radioactivity? INTERNATIONAL: The biggest increase in CO2 emissions ever FRANCE: French skeptics’ questionnaire to presidential candidates answered The Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill thinks “Ukrainian Nazis” deserve what they get because they do not discriminate enough, and for that he is Really Wrong. Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
3/18/20221 hour, 11 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #316 – Profiteers of disinformation

War and anti-vaxxers We comment on some aspects of the war and also how you can best send help. In TWISH we celebrate good skeptic Massimo Polidoro and then we poke Pope Francis, whose buddy was just sent to jail for sex abuse. After that, we have the news: UKRAINE: The latest disinformation trends RUSSIA: Why has the letter Z become the symbol of war for Russia? RUSSIA: Lawmakers approve decision to imprison anyone contradicting government propaganda UKRAINE: Putin’s denazification campaign ends up destroying holocaust memorial INTERNATIONAL: Lancet study of 300 million administered doses: mRNA vaccines are safe and side effects mild HUNGARY: Centre for Social Research – Study on vaccinated vs unvaccinated population reveals interesting facts HUNGARY: New study estimates just how profitable being and anti-vaxxer can be Danderyd Hospital in Sweden gets this week’s Really Wrong Award for allowing nonsense in their post-covid treatment program. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
3/11/20221 hour, 1 minute, 5 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #315 – ‘Shche ne vmerla Ukrainas’

The first line of the Ukraine national anthem translates to ‘Ukraine is not dead yet’ This episode is a special about the Russian war and invasion of Ukraine. No TWISH, no Pope and no surprise as to who gets the Really Wrong award*). We do urge anyone who can to support the people of Ukraine, and provide links to some of the charities you can donate to. Topics we discuss are: UKRAINE: DW Fact Check – Do any of Putin’s claims hold water? INTERNATIONAL: Media giants clamp down on Russian state-own propaganda channels, RT and Sputnik RUSSIA: Partial restriction on access to Facebook to Protect Russian media RUSSIA: Thousands of people arrested at anti-war protests CZECHIA: Chief prosecutor warns against public support for Russian aggression (what about free speech?) UKRAINE: Fake videos showing Russian invasion UKRAINE: Chernobyl radiation levels increase significantly after heavy fighting around the area UKRAINE: Is the Ghost of Kyiv real? UKRAINE: World’s heaviest aircraft confirmed destroyed SPACE: Franklin Mars rover likely not a go this year due to Russia’s war SPACE: UK satellite company OneWeb cancels all Russian launches after dramatic fallout with space agency *) Spoiler, it’s Putin. Segments: Intro; Greetings; News; Really Wrong; Charities For Ukraine; Quote And Farewell; Outro;
3/4/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 8 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #314 – Meta says and Meta does

Also, Benedict works in mysterious ways We talk about the great new CFI fellows announced, wonder what happens to Ukraine (please note that we recorded this episode one day before the invasion…) and welcome the fact that the Philippines plan to roll out production of Golden Rice. In TWISH we hear about Gutenberg and his bible that was published this week way back in 1455. Pontus pokes both popes and then we look at the news: FRANCE: Djokovic keeps being wrong… GERMANY: Association of Catholic Doctors and homeopathic conversion therapy INTERNATIONAL: Scientists call for science collaboration to be put before politics INTERNATIONAL: New study: The Einstein Effect – how people believe weird shit if they think it was said by scientists EUROPE: Black death not as devastating all over Europe as previously thought? UPDATE FROM LAST WEEK: Great response to call for skeptical translators! Join them! Meta gets today’s Really Wrong Award for keep saying that they don’t allow misinformation when in fact they promote it, and the Swedish authorities gets a Really Right for regulating health claims on supplements and food. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Popes; News; Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/26/202259 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #313 – Bärbel Winkler

Translating the works of Skeptical Science Bärbel Winkler is the project coordinator for the translation projects at Skeptical Science and has been organising the translation of documents like the two consecutive versions of The Debunking Handbook, the Uncertainty Handbook, The Conspiracy Theory Handbook and the COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook, to mention only a few. And now she’s busy coordinating the translation of the Cranky Uncle game, an awesome tool, which we have mentioned on several occasions on this podcast. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/18/202248 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #312 – Charles, the Alternative Prince

Edzard Ernst joins us to tell all about his new book. Before we get into the interview with Edzard Ernst we are a bit nostalgic about hearing that the end of the ISS is getting closer. András has an update to the Favipiravir controverse from last week and then we get to hear from the horses mouth how Prince Charles became the ‘Alternative Prince’. IN TWISH we learn about Dmitri Mendeleev and his periodic table. After that, we get into the news: SWEDEN: Agency to tackle foreign misinformation re-established ROMANIA: 2/3 people believe COVID was imposed on the world by global elite for control, 1/3 thinks microchips are being implanted with vaccination SWITZERLAND: Man in Geneva hears God after antibiotic treatment INTERNATIONAL: Cranky Uncle game now available in Dutch and German Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; TWISH; News; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/11/202248 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #311 – Two years of Covid in Europe

We are all animals Annika is back in Europe and for unclear reasons we may all move to an uninhabited island in Sweden (don’t hold your breath). The German Informations­-Netzwerk Homöopathie (INH) is sending an open letter to the new German health minister Karl Lauterback – we should all retweet about this to make sure he reads it! In TWISH we hear about how one of the worst fraudulent scientific(?) papers ever, authored by Andrew Wakefield, was finally retracted in 2010. No pope to poke today, so we then head for the news: EUROPE: WHO – 732 days in 15 figures EUROPE: WHO – End of pandemic in sight? FINLAND: Biodiversity-loss denial is the new craze? HUNGARY: The Hungarian Medicines Agency files official complaint over misleading claims about Favipiravir GERMANY: The bright side of having pseudosciences around? UK: Measles warning for children as jab rate falls in England UK: People’s preference for honesty is key for a working democracy Several awards to hand out today: Eric Clapton gets a dishonorable mention, the Polish PiS-party get a repeat prize and the German Catholic Church gets a brand new Really Wrong Award for persecuting and harassing their own people for their sexual orientation. Journalist Hajo Seppelt gets a Really Right Award Award for his documentary “Wie Gott uns Schuf”. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
2/4/202252 minutes, 15 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #310 – Double Fault

Djokovic wrong again, and both popes get poked We start with the fact that everyone and his uncle seems to have covid nowadays, and access to testing is hard. As mentioned last week, the episode of the Skeptic Zone with Pontus is now out. In other news anti-restriction demonstrations are all around and the Nazis somehow always seem to show up. In TWISH we learn about the birth in 1900 of Theodosius Dobzhansky, who was very important for the field of evolutionary biology. Double whammy for the popes this week, both Benedict and Francis have some explaining to do as Pontus Pokes the Popes. Then we look into the news: CZECH REPUBLIC: Folk singer Hana Horka dies after catching COVID intentionally UK: Link found between trust in public figures and vaccine hesitancy GERMANY: Many lost faith in God over pandemic UK: Prof Sir Paul Curran Award for Excellence in Academic Journalism 2021 goes to Caitjan Gainty We end with another double hitter when Novak Djokovic gets the first ever twice-in-a-row Really Wrong Award. His friend Zlatan Ibrahimovic share in on the shame. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Popes; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/28/202253 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #309 – It’s a ‘League’ of Homeopaths

No mercy for No-vaxx Djokovic Sweden had some unusual northern lights last weekend (which Pontus missed) and the Tonga volcanic eruption had an impact on Annika’s plans. Don’t miss Pontus on next week’s Skeptic Zone with Richard Saunders! In TWISH we hear about Baron d’Holbach who created an important encyclopedia and organised great Skeptics in the Pub meetings back in the 1700s. Pope Francis hates that people are getting pets instead of generating new baby Catholics, totally missing the irony of himself opting out of parenthood. Then we take a look at the news: EUROPE: Increase in attacks against journalists for reporting on COVID ITALY: Nurse in Palermo arrested for administering fake jabs WORLD: 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record INTERNATIONAL: YouTube called on by factcheckers to tackle misinformation INTERNATIONAL: Homeopaths urging WHO to begin training homeopaths SWEDEN: Tik Tok – Children get bombarded with news of imminent Russian invasion SWITZERLAND: Publisher Frontier in crisis? UK: Edzard Ernst did it again… new book coming! Novak Djokovic is this week’s Really Wrong Award winner for his covid pass shenanigans and anti-vaxx nonsense. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/21/202253 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #308 – Elisabeth Bik

Watch out researchers! This week we have a special treat for you – we’re joined by the one and only Elisabeth Bik! Our interview with her takes us into the wonders of how to expose fraudulent (or just sloppy) science. Elisabeth Bik is a Dutch-American microbiologist, whose specialty is spotting photo duplications in scientific publications. As a result of her efforts, hundreds of papers have been retracted due to evidence of misconduct. She’s a founder of the Microbiome Digest Blog and the Science Integrity Digest Blog. Her work is also frequently featured on Retraction Watch and she’s a regular contributor at PubPeer. She has received several prizes for her outstanding work in science popularisation and science integrity. In November 2020 she received the the Peter Wildy Prize by the Microbiology Society for communication of microbiology in education and to the public. In 2021 she was awarded two prizes, both very highly regarded by skeptics, the John Maddox Prize and the Ockham Award, both of which we reported on here on the ESP. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/14/202249 minutes, 14 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #307 – What do people believe?

Special report: Large Study Released by the Swedish Skeptics (VoF) We start out welcoming the new year and chatting about the James Webb telescope, Omicron and that the Swedish King and Queen just tested positive. Also, András got caught on tape singing on New Year’s Eve! In TWISH we hear about a famous (but not too convincing) UFO encounter in Trans-en-Provence in France. No pope today, so we go directly into the news: INTERNATIONAL: Retraction statistics show an increased rate of publishing questionable content INTERNATIONAL: Vaccine hesitancy and how to deal with it AUSTRIA: The level of education is a booster for the willingness to vaccinate EU: Some gas and nuclear to be listed as green energy Instead of a Really Wrong we get a Special Report about a Swedish study conducted by VoF. The VoF-study presents all about what the Swedish public actually believes in, from ghosts and homeopathy to 911 conspiracy theories and racism. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Special Report; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
1/7/202255 minutes, 37 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #306 – Happy Hogmanay!

With Eggman at the helm, we close the year. We hear about Brian’s adventures at “Scotland’s most haunted hotel“, hear about the passing of biologist E O Wilson and rejoice at the (so far) successful journey of the James Webb telescope. In TWISH we learn why New Year’s Eve is known as “Sylvester” in many countries and then we look into truth behind Pope Francis’ families values. Then it is time for the year’s last news round: GERMANY: Covid demonstration strolls INTERNATIONAL: WHO weighs in on plant-based nutrition issues INTERNATIONAL: Aliens and what we learned about them in 2021? GERMANY: Natalie Grams latest fellow of CSI SCOTLAND: Scottish Independence / SNP conspiracy theories. Most notably, the ongoing conspiracy theories about the death of Willie Macrae A young dealer called Jack Finney illustrates just why you should never buy diet pills on the dark web and gets a Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/31/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #305 – Merry Christmas!

Who was that Jesus-guy anyway? We get into the holiday season even as Sweden, Italy and other countries implement new covid measures. In TWISH we try to sort out if and when Jesus was born and Pope Francis comes back for a poking, one week after turning 85. Then we dig into the news: GERMANY: How did fortune-tellers do in 2021? GERMANY: Hundreds of ineffective corona vaccinations administered by homeopath NETHERLANDS: 5G protection necklaces could be potentially harmful La Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE), the Spanish Bishops Conference, is Really Wrong for taking no action against child abuse scandal. The Italian President Sergio Mattarella on the other hand, takes a stance against false balance and for that he is Really Right. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/24/202149 minutes, 12 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #304 – There’s an octopus in my vaccine

Also, Santa is not real and Annika pokes Christmas trees The Ockham Awards have been announced, ESA helps a Chinese rover and the Belgian Skeptics, SKEPP, finally wins against a SLAPP*) suit filed by a multimillionaire. In TWISH we hear of the gruesome death of a Scottish witch and then we dig into the news: INTERNATIONAL: Time magazine names vaccine scientists Heroes of the Year 2021 FRANCE: Swedish artist Anna von Hausswolff harassed by Catholic fundamentals INTERNATIONAL: Tackling COVID disinformation with empathy and conversation SIBERIA: WMO confirms highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic: 38C ITALY: Noto’s bishop tells children Santa doesn’t exist INTERNATIONAL: Buying guide for christmas trees? The German “Corona Ausschuss” spreads dangerous nonsense about the vaccine and pandemic and gets today’s award for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! *)SLAPP = Strategic lawsuit against public participation Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/17/202155 minutes, 51 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #303 – ‘Armed’ against the jab

Also, Pope Francis is a heretic It’s farewell to Jens Spahn and welcome to the new German health minister Karl Lauterbach – will he be the one to defund homeopathy? Let’s hope so! The a new European space telescope Ariel will help us look for other planets (if we grow tired of this one), but before we go we should learn how to pronounce the name of the Polish Health Minister – listener Przemek shows us how! Also if you missed us on the Skeptic Zone you should check out their episode #685. TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) teach us about the Norwegian Spiral Anomaly and Pope Francis is told he should stay out of Greece. After all that, we get into the news: GERMANY: Homeopaths promote vaccinations? SLOVAKIA: Ivermectin overdose leads to serious intoxication SWEDEN: Expert group: Sweden should have face mask requirements HUNGARY: COVID-related conspiracy theories continue to rise ITALY: Italian man wears fake arm to dodge vaccination GERMANY: Virologist gets the title Man of the Year 2021 in survey commissioned by… Playboy! ITALY: Gynaecologist arrested for claiming having sex with him is the special cure against HPV SWEDEN: Lund University researchers found link between belief in astrology and intelligence Finally, if you want a Really Wrong Award of your own, just start injecting thousands of people with your own homemade untested covid-vaccine. That worked for millionaire Doctor(!) Winfried Stöcker. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/10/202156 minutes, 7 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #302 – Dangerous denial

Conspiracy theories are hazardous to your health In this episode we first reflect a little over the new governments in Germany and Sweden. Pontus had Richard Saunders (of the Skeptic Zone fame) at a Swedish Skeptics in the Pub Online event this week and the talk is available on Youtube. In the newly renamed TWISH (This Week in Skeptical History) we celebrate the birth of Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul J. Crutzen. Pope (aka Primate) Francis is not happy with the Italian bishops and he forms a commission to keep them in line. Then we look into the news: AUSTRIA: Vaccination denier fails to cure himself of coronavirus AUSTRIA / INTERNATIONAL: The weird history of a photo shows how fake news spread SWITZERLAND: Swiss voters back law behind Covid vaccine certificate NETHERLANDS: Study shows conspiracy beliefs predict health behavior and well-being during the pandemic SWEDEN: Christian foundation not allowed to take over free school GERMANY: New study about Querdenker movement UK / RUSSIA: Empress Catherine the Great’s letter on smallpox vaccination up for auction The Polish PiS Party get their fourth(!) Really Wrong award when their health minister Adam Niedzielski doesn’t want to implement any covid restrictions, because protests are bad for business. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; TWISH; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
12/3/202147 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #301 – mRNA vaccines are NOT gene therapy

We’re back in the saddle for another 300! Before we start today we reflect on the COP26 fiasco, celebrate the recent golden thin-foil hat award and the Russians’ latest adventures in space. Also don’t miss next week’s SiTP Online with Richards Saunders! (Pontus to moderate). This week marks the 162nd anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origins of Species and Joe Biden can still it the holy crackers. Then we go into the news: AUSTRIA: Country goes on a nationwide lockdown and announces the coming of vaccine mandates GERMANY: Covid numbers soaring GERMANY: Jens Spahn says Germans will be ‘vaccinated, cured or dead’ by the end of winter GERMANY: Bayer president wrongly calls mRNA vaccines GeneTherapy, feeding new avalanche of misinformation SWEDEN: Cough syrup is hocus-pocus according to researcher AUSTRIA: Ivermectine is sold out in Austria ITALY: Homeopath dies after refusing vaccination FRANCE: French couple wins legal fight over wind ‘turbine syndrome’ INTERNATIONAL: Warning against fake shops during Black Week INTERNATIONAL: Measles outbreaks to be expected with vaccination schedules lagging UKRAINE: Ukrainians like to spend their money on non-proven products The Waldorf School in Freiburg gets today’s Really Wrong Award for faking mask exemptions which led to over 100 covid cases. Enjoy!
11/26/20211 hour, 1 minute, 30 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #300 – Special Listener Q&A

And if you didn’t know, Luna can be a bit of a Drongo For six years and 300 episodes we’ve been doing this, and we won’t stop anytime soon! In this week’s special Listener Q/A episode you will learn all you need to know about us and about skepticism in general. From serious to silly, we do our best to tell you everything you ever wanted to know, and then some. Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Listener Q&A; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
11/19/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #299 – Petra Schling

“If it looks like medicine, but it has ‘supplement’ written on it, it’s fraud!” In the episode we interview Petra Schling who is a biochemist and a teacher at the “Biochemie Zentrum” of the University of Heidelberg. We talk about how so-called “natural plants” are actually out to hurt us, how food supplements are normally a waste of money, the misconceptions about “superfoods”, and how important it is to teach critical thinking in schools. In other news, if you are a listener living in the UAE you could catch up with András, just send us a mail! And also, please send us your questions for episode 300 by 15 November! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
11/12/202143 minutes, 2 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #298 – Susan's 100 million!

Also, it's time for some #Metoo in the Vatican… This week we catch up with the fabulous Susan Gerbic whose Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia has hit a fantastic milestone. But we also have a full episode, so we start out by mentioning the Australian and New Zealand Skeptics joint annual convention and then look back at what happen this week in 1459 and Pontus pokes the Poke and his meeting with Joe Biden and the need for him to start believing the abuse victims. Later we get into the news: • EUROPE / INTERNATIONAL: Record summer impossible w/o Global Climate Change • FRANCE: Fossil fuel giant Total has known about climate change since 1971 • GERMANY: Report about conspiracy theories ready to download • ROMANIA: Harder corona restrictions • SWEDEN: Is Sweden “the most dangerous country in Europe”? • AUSTRIA: Homeopathy excluded from reimbursed health care treatments • RUSSIA: Anti-evolution paper finally retracted, 25 years after being debunked We end with a Really Wrong Really Right combo regarding a midwife who tried to bring her religion into the workplace. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; This Week; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong / Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
11/5/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 44 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #297 – Iris Hinneburg

Which pill would you take? We start this week with handing Pontus a Really Wrong award for something he said last week. András is back and among other things he describes his experience with the green pass in Italy. QED has been moved to October next year, but what hasn’t moved is our determination to be there. And please send us your questions for episode 300! This week’s interview with Iris Hinneburg is all about trying to communicate the importance of distinguishing the good from the bad. How can we educate the public on which “medicines” you can trust? Turn to your latest copy of Gute Pillen – Schlechte Pillen, i.e “Good pills – bad pills”! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/29/202149 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #296 – Mandatory vaccination

How hard can it be to get people to do the right thing? We start out with some exiting news about Annika’s upcoming online talk, a huge milestone for Susan Gerbic and Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia and a good legal ruling for Snopes. And our friend Holm Hümmler doesn’t only have a new book out, he also one of the select guests at FerngesprächCon last week, together with Martin Moder and many others. A special feature this week is our interview with Ovidiu Covaciu about the vaccination situation in Romania and Eastern Europe Then, we get into the news: • GERMANY: Homeopathy is out for Bavarian health education system (not supported anymore!) • ITALY: Big protests over mandatory covid green passes • INTERNATIONAL / GERMANY: Natalie Grams in English media • RUSSIA: Population crises worse, due to covid deaths • RUSSIA: Huge methane gas leak discovered by European Copernicus satellite Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; News; Really Wrong; Patreon And Episode 300; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/22/202153 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #295 – Leo Burtscher and Climate Change

In this episode we interview the German astronomer and climate activist, Dr. Leonard (Leo) Burtscher. Leo is a staff scientist at the observatory of Leiden University as well as active in the German skeptics, GWUP. He studies active galactic nuclei in Leiden since 2017 and communicates his research to younger and older audiences. He is also informing the public about the climate crisis in his spare time as a co-founder of the grass-roots movement Astronomers for Planet Earth. Enjoy!
10/15/202144 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #294 – Race to Space

Sixty years later, Captain Kirk is finally taking off We’re happy to report that a special meeting of ESP hosts took place in Frankfurt this week. In other news, the film industry is heading for the final frontier with Russian actors going to ISS and William Shatner going where no nonagenarian has gone before. Looking back at this week in history Niels Bohr was born in 1885, and apart from describing the atom he also took a stand against the Nazis. Pope Francis, on the other hand, is “sad” because hundreds of thousands of abuse victims have been identified in France. Poor him! Then, of course, there’s the news: EUROPE: EMA approves Covid booster shots (third jab) WALES: UFO sighting FRANCE: Mont Blanc keeps shrinking INTERNATIONAL: Diet supplement sales through the roof due to the pandemic EUROPE / INTERNATIONAL: Trust in scientists have dropped during the pandemic 120 years after the fact Alfred Nobel gets his own Prize – this week’s Really Right Award! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week In Skepticism; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/8/202143 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #293 – Where the Sun Don’t Shine

Put it up your bum! Are people losing their wits as covid restriction are lifted? Elections and referendums are happening and András goes beyond spacetime in an upcoming book and this week marked 20 years since the Estonia disaster. Pope Francis may be losing it too, since the Vatican Secretary of State has to publicly contradict him. Then we dive into the news: • DENMARK: The trend of sticking nicotine up your ass • UK: Doctor jailed for exorcism that almost turned into murder • INTERNATIONAL: Mesotherapy – Not safe and no evidence that it works • SWEDEN: Fire health staff that refuse to get the vaccine? • SPAIN: Spanish skeptical organisation’s ‘Explaining Logical Fallacies’ selection now translated to Italian • SPAIN: Talks of 11 Sept Congress now available with subtitles Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week In Skepticism; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
10/1/20211 hour, 1 minute, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #292 – Querdenker terrorists

Radicalized anti-covid activists. After recent events in Germany and Italy we worry that anti-maskers now may be a terrorist threat. In This Week in Skepticism we hear about Jacob Grimm and the possibility that some of the Grimm stories are based on real events(?) Pope Francis seems to have totally lost it regarding the facts about pregnancies, but science has never been the strong side of the Catholic Church. We then dig into the news: • GERMANY: Are Querdenkers terrorists? • ITALY: Covid terrorists also in Italy • GERMANY: New brochure about vaccinations out • SWEDEN: Are confessional schools on their way out? • INTERNATIONAL: We’re fucked – big time. Climate change, UN warns politicians • UK / ISRAEL: Homeopathic treatment of Covid works! Wait, no… A Swedish priest gets this week’s prize for being Really Right, who could have guessed? Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week In Skepticism; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Right; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/24/202147 minutes, 4 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #291 – Broken System, Broken Neck

In this episode we catch up on last weekend with Hungaro Con and SkepKon. We also mention last week’s Ig Nobel Prizes and how the ISS do not seem to agree with the Russians any more. The upcoming German election gets a mention and in This Week in Skepticism we discuss the miraculous portrait of Saint Dominic in Soriano and then we briefly discuss the Pope’s latest adventures. After that we dig into the news: - EUROPE: Failure to follow routine vaccination schedules - INTERNATIONAL: Hundreds of medical journals unite to urge climate action - GERMANY: No, the government did not stop using COVID-vaccines - ICELAND: Largest carbon capture device ever built just became operational - ARGENTINA: German MMS salesman arrested The General Chiropractic Council (the GCC) in the UK gets today’s prize for being Really Wrong, since they think killing a patient is “good practice”. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week In Skepticism; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes;
9/17/202145 minutes, 8 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #290 – Trypanophobia

In this episode we first mention that Sweden just announced an end to Corona restrictions as per the end of this month and we question if that’s that really wise. This week marks twenty years since 9/11 and the repercussions are still with us. The pope has been saying some strange things lately, and is he really well? Then we get into the news: - UK: Four Met Police officers injured in anti-vaccine protest - SWEDEN / GENERAL: Why people wait to get vaccinated - GERMANY: Two cool things to watch for German speaking people; on climate crisis and on Rothschilds To round off the Italian communications project “Comminicare Il Cancro” gets today’s prize for being Really Right! Enjoy!
9/10/202137 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #289 – Herd Immunity

In this episode we first have a few events to plug: The launching of the book Fake! in Budapest, Congreso Esceptico in Spain, Skeptics in the Pub Online about 9/11 and the upcoming Ig Nobel ceremony. In This Week we discuss Mary Shelley who was born this week in 1797 and then we skip the pope and instead plunge into the news: Continued demonstrations against the vaccine passports Researchers in UK: We probably shouldn’t use the word ‘Infodemic’ Do not take Ivermectin! What exactly did Martin Luther say about life in times of plague? Snopes is asking for help The Swedish authorities get this week Really Wrong for allowing Steiner schools to ruin the lives of thousands of children. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
9/6/202153 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #288 – Fake! with Annemarie Bon

In this episode we interview Dutch writer, science populariser and educator Annemarie Bon, who’s many works focus on helping children understand the world around us. Having started her career as a biochemical engineer, she later turned towards writing for children and she was editor-in-chief of the children’s magazine Taptoe until 2001. The Hungarian translation of her latest book Fake! is just about to get published and we thought it would be a good idea to have her on the show to talk about the book and what it has to offer to kids and adults alike. Enjoy!
8/28/202147 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #287 – What’s Wrong with a Little Tantra?

In this episode we first plug the upcoming Skeptics in the Pub Online about 9/11, Luc Montagnier is the topic This Week in Skepticism and the Pope gets poked for nepotism and corruption. Then we dig into the news: - Grandma directed healthcare fraud through Black Magic - Sixth IPCC report on climate change – we’re screwed - July warmest month on record – ever - Increasing covid cases in Iceland despite high vaccination rates - Covid test scams - Society of Homeopaths withdraws from the Accredited Registers programme of the Professional Standards Authority The recent Swedish Tantra Festival was a Really Wrong idea! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week In Skepticism; Pontus Pokes The Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote And Farewell; Outro; Out-Takes
8/20/202141 minutes, 35 seconds
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The ESP - Episode 286Plus - One Of Those Weeks…

Sorry, we missed our schedule for last week. But we'll be back soon!
8/17/20211 minute, 54 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #286 – What Happened to Measles?

In this episode we first chat about the Pegasus project and what implications it might have. We also note that the Russian Nauka module was a little trigger happy when joining with the ISS, turning it around 45 degrees for no good reason. In This Week we salute Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim, the excellent science communicator before we have a well-needed Covid-19 update. Then we dig into the news: - Measles follow-up: what became the 2016-2019 epidemic? - Covid-denier‘s Hungarian Chamber of Doctors’ membership suspended - Social media giants criticized for being a ‘safe space for racists’ - Massive melting event in Greenland - 14000 scientists warn world about ‘untold suffering’ as result of ignoring climate change - German court faults Facebook‘s past handling of hate speech - Systemic Agro-Homeopathy – the latest craze -86-year-old Basque woman first to get assisted death in Spain To round off, we hand out a Really Wrong award to Advanz Pharma and a Really Right award to the CMA, all concerning unreasonable pricing of medication. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/7/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 20 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #285 – Grow Up and Be a Skeptic!

In this episode we note that skeptics in Germany has raised a lot of money to support victims of the floods. Formidable Dutch skeptic Frits van Dam passed away on 26 July and we want to honor his memory. Listener Marcel-Jan has written a great blog post about his experience with growing up in a woo-family and eventually finding skepticism, and then we get a Polish lesson from listener Max. In This Week we hear about Carl Jung, and then we dig into the news: - Emerging fake news regarding catastrophic floods: - Querdenker fake ”official” car in flood area - Greta Thunberg sticker on flooded car - Climate change scientists call for better computers to work on forecasts - Galileo project to look for UFOs - Vaccine passport rules approved in France despite protests - Chiropractor found professionally liable for harming patient with bogus therapy - Follow-up: Doctor who sold fake covid test results gets prison sentence - New info on the Spanish skeptical congress We have a double whammy and a bonus for the Really Wrong segment: First for rasist health care in Sweden and then Eric Clapton and Nena demonstrate why artists should never voice their view on covid restrictions. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/31/202154 minutes, 19 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #284 – After the Flood

In this episode we open up by discussing the terrible floods in Germany, the claims made by esoterics and how you can help. We also note that covid misinformation numbskull Sucharit Bhakdi has lost his publisher for being an anti-Semite. In the This Week we talk about Gregor Mendel and then we hear that Pope Francis is now openly challenging his predecessor Benedict. The we go through the news: - Vaccine protests in Cyprus - Organized tour of Sweden by anti-vaxxers - Multidrug-resistant bacteria found in dog raw-food - Greenland suspends oil exploration because of climate change - Man behind one of the Muhammad caricatures dead - Macchiarini follow-up – whistle-blowers file complaint with the Strasbourg Court Polish researcher Harald Walach gets today’s prize for being Really Wrong after trying to say that masks and covid vaccinations are dangerous. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/23/202147 minutes, 7 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #283 – Pavel Šmejkal

In this week’s episode we start with an update on the successful Virgin Galactic flight and congratulate Natalie Grams for getting married(!), and also comment on the Euro 2020 final won by Italy. We then have a chat with Czech GSOW member Pavel Šmejkal, a prolific member of Susan Gerbic‘s Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project. In This Week in Skepticism, Angela Merkel was born 17 July 1954. Then we dig into the news: - Death of 17 year-old girl used by antivaxxers - Teaching handbooks and leaflets to teach and understand CoViD and conspiracy theories - Trust in mainstream news sites up from last year - Amazing verdict regarding homeopathy - Latest craze – Snow White and her skin colour - New book about pseudomedicine Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/16/20211 hour, 59 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #282 – Stupid Ideas

This week Annika is back making sure we don’t run out of dad-jokes, András’ travel guide work is resuming while Pontus is just playing golf (and not very well). We discuss the new development in space tourism before we get into this week in skepticism with Nicola Tesla. We hear how the pope is coming after Cardinal Becciu, how he still won’t apologies for the Canadian school scandals and how he needed to get his rear end adjusted (insert butt joke here). Then we go into the news: - Tricking the covid-test with orange juice - Promotion of pseudoscience by the UK government - Female Ukraine soldiers made to march in heels - A ruined village is for sale – no inhabitants, but a ghost - Warmest June in Stockholm in 265 years - Spanish congress on conspiracy theories on 9/11 Vladimir Putin and the Russian government get a Really Wrong for creating a culture and laws that make it impossible to show an ad depicting a family with two moms. Food company VkusVill gets a Really Right for at least trying to be rational. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/9/202158 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #281 – Schools of horror

This week we’re joined by Brian Eggo who sits in for Annika. We talk about the Edinburgh Science Festival, skeptical events and the recent ESA astronaut recruitments. In This Week we “celebrate” the birthday of debunked fraudster Peter Popoff and then we are horrified by the discoveries of even more graves at the Canadian Catholic Schools. We then go into this week’s news: - Alternative medicine is losing popularity in the pandemic - Manipulated video featuring Greta Thunberg - Scam texts about package deliveries - Health organizations publish free book The Vaccination Book for Everyone - EU Climate Law confirmed by European Parliament Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/2/20211 hour, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #280 – No Gays, Please! We’re Catholic

This week we chat a bit about Madeira, covid scares and rainbow flags in Germany. In this week we highlight Karl Landsteiner who discovered the human blood groups and Pope Francis asks Italy if his schools could please be allowed to bully anyone who does not fit in to the binary man – woman template. We then head for the news: - Attacks against journalists calls for special measures - Did the WHO tell women to not drink alcohol? - Homeopathy update, France - Healing practitioner in court - Information portal to tackle vaccine misinformation launched - Heatwave with surface temperatures of 48°C - Sense About Science comes out with new tool to help communication about COVID conspiracies Enjoy!
6/25/202145 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #279 – On the Ark to Nowhere

This week summer is here (but András is not) and we get a tip from Bob on about good vaccine tracker. Blaise Pascal was born almost 400 years ago this week (how times fly) and Pope Francis gives Cardinal Marx some good PR while proving he still knows how to play the dictator card. Then we dive into the news: ‘Unseaworthy’ Noah’s Ark replica detained at Ipswich Waterfront Waldorf / Steiner school scandal in Sweden New law against ‘promotion of homosexuality’ Follow-up: Doctor behind fake covid-19 tests and travelers’ certificates to stand trial To round off, a gross pseudotreatment for babies gets the prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
6/18/202145 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #278 – Whatever It Is, I'm Against It

This week we get a well deserved correction from listener Cyril on how to pronounce Marquis de Sade’s full name and we hear about German teenagers party dangerously in secret in strange locations. Vaccinations in Sweden are picking up but in Hungary there is considerable hesitation against Chinese and and Russian vaccines. The Pope continues to have problems with Germany and also refuses to take responsibility for the tragedies of Canadian Catholic boarding schools. Francis Crick, important but controversial figure contributing to the discovery of the DNA molecule, was born this week in 1916. After that, let’s have a look at the news: - Counseling for conspiracy victims - Didier Raoult takes legal action against misconduct consultant - Right wing party with Sucharit Bhakdi - New book out: Maladie de Lyme by Eric Caumes Lastly, the conspiracy mongers in the “Freedom for Sweden” movement are Really Wrong. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
6/11/202156 minutes, 57 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #277 – Climate Toddlers

This week we find out what Pontus was up to last week, we honor the passing of the great skeptic Kees de Jager and note that covid vaccination for teenagers is coming. Listener Carlos helps us out with Portuguese pronunciation and we urge you to nominate someone for the John Maddox Prize before 14 June. We acknowledge that Marquis de Sade was born this week in 1740 and that the Pope thinks Brazilians are too drunk to deserve salvation. After that, it’s time to get a covid-19 update and to check out the news: - Influencers offered money to spread Pfizer misinformation - EC proposes tougher rules and more factchecking to tackle misinformation - Climate Skeptics are not easily persuaded by evidence - World may hit 1,5 degrees warming within five years In addition, prioritizing the EUFA Champions League football final over covid safety is Really Wrong. Enjoy! The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
6/5/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 56 seconds
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The ESP - Ep. #276 - Magnetically drawn to vaccines

This week we first explore the magnetic properties of covid-19 vaccines and ponder the political meltdown of Alexander Lukashenko's Belarus. Then we celebrate the first publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula, published this week in 1897. We strongly recommend you check out Deborah Hyde's Dracula video on Youtube! After that it's time to check out the news: Portugese MD in need of help from skeptics around the globe Healing practicioner certificate was done on government level The problem with non replicable papers being cited more often CoViD denier makes song For continuing to spread misinformation about COVID-19, Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier gets today's prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy!
5/28/202140 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #275 – Edzard Ernst Strikes Again

This week Swedish vaccinations are not too well organised, András has debated homeopaths and the Swedish Skeptics have some cool events coming up. Ranga Yogeshwar (check him out!) celebrates his birthday and then we check out the news: - Looks like we’re very selfish after all… Personal benefit is better driver than greater good - Virtual exhibition in Nuremberg - Edzard Ernst strikes again: Paper on ‘energy medicine’ retracted after reader complaints - Hungarian Competition Authority fines snake oil salesman’s firm - Long-lost letter by Einstein reveals his special insight, making him the predictor of something cool - Accelerated climate change - What’s going on in Chernobyl? The Danish People’s Party think that mandatory prayers in schools and Danish meatballs are something that will “save Danish culture” and for that they are Really Wrong. Enjoy!
5/21/202155 minutes, 2 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #274 – A Buffet of Vaccines

This week we wish Annika all the best in recovering from her first vaccine shot, we learn how to properly pronounce Cardinal ‘Becchiu’ and hear about this week’s birthday boy, Edward Jenner. Pope Francis tries to fight the pandemic with a totally pointless marathon and then we proceed on to check out the news: Instead of a Covid update: watch the latest episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Counterfeit covid-19 certificates – digitally signed without doctor’s knowledge The Heinz Oberhummer Award goes to… Facebook to warn you when you’re about to share something you haven’t read ASA: Homeopaths are not suitably qualified health professionals and claims for homeopathy are improper Before we go, we hand out an unusual Really Right to members of the German Catholic ‘Leibe Gewinnt’ initiative. Enjoy!
5/15/202145 minutes
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TheESP – Ep. #273 – Monsters of the Sea

This week we get to hear Marie Curie’s birthname properly pronounced, curtesy of listener Max (thanks!). One more of us are getting the vaccine and so do pregnant women in Germany. We hear about Pope Francis’ battle against corrupt cardinals and then we get into the news: - Discussions about rules for vaccinated and vaccination jealousy - Ferngespräch – Shirt for charity! - Priest gives school lesson on “treating” homosexuals with electroshock therapy and more - The Risks of Thread Embedding Acupuncture - Whale penises behind sea monster stories? To wrap things up the ‘Schloss-Apotheke’ in Koblenz gets this week’s prize for being Really Wrong after marketing homeopathic Pfizer vaccine. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
5/7/20211 hour, 16 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #272 – Flat Earth Award

This week we first chat a bit and celebrate that we finally have new dates for QED, the fantastic skeptical conference in Manchester, before we mark that it is 35 years this week since the Chernobyl disaster. We hear about Pope Francis’ impossible gig and then we have a Covid-19 update before we dig into the news: - Study explores AstraZeneca vaccine disinformation on Twitter - German actors protest against CoViD rules with weird satire - Pfizer confirms fake versions of vaccine in Poland and Mexico - First ever Flat Earth Award goes to… - Anthroblogger nominated for Grimme online award - Think like Da Vinci and understand the world’s problems better The Tobacco Industry gets this week's award for being Really Wrong for continuing to pay for fake science. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
5/1/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #271 – The Harmful Episode

This week we first celebrate the flight of Ingenuity on Mars, the first ever powered flight on another planet. In This week in Skepticism we hear about how Pierre and Marie Curie isolated radium for the first time and what a significant achievement that was. Then we have a Covid-19 update before we dig into the news: Adverse events in children linked to SCAM Researchers investigating AstraZeneca vaccine side effects had undisclosed ties to Pfizer Herbal product behind Salmonella outbreak, three dead 5G does not present “any new risks” according to ANSES The Norwegian self-appointed “independent health researcher”, Hans Kristian Gaarder, gets the first ever posthumously award for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
4/23/202138 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #270 – Ancient Astronauts

This week we start by reflecting on the death of Prince Philip and just can’t help mention languages again since a listener sent us sound files to help us with the pronunciations of last week’s Polish names. In This week in Skepticism we hear about the ancient astronaut fantasies of Erich von Däniken, followed by a Covid-19 update before we dig into the news: Popular marionette theatre targeted for COVID test explanation video Tendency to take up vaccine is really high We are fucked – carbon-dioxide levels at all time high despite lockdowns ECHR rules obligatory vaccination may be necessary Online hatred against Jews are up Clare Relton, senior lecturer in clinical trials at Queen Mary University of London, teaches homeopaths how to cheat in randomized control trials. For that she gets this week’s prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
4/16/202155 minutes, 54 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #269 – Spiders from Mars

This week we first continue to ponder the strange topic of language and we congratulate the Portuguese Skeptics on the anniversary of founding their organization ComCept. Then we have a Covid-19 update before we dig into the news: Analysis of excess mortality in Europe in 2020 NEW BOOK: Missing Minimum Distance Spooky Martian spider shapes explained First helicopter on another planet to go on first mission soon The 2020 Flying Unicorn Award goes to… Doctors for Truth (Nominations open for 2021) Nominations for the 2021 Maddox Prize now open The success story of pharmacy students bringing vaccine science to classrooms The veterinarian Geert Vanden Bossche gets a Really Wrong for discrediting covid-vaccines using pseudoscientific misinformation. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
4/10/202154 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #268 – Papal Pay-cuts and Cheap Wine

This week Pontus is still mad at English spelling but we hope our listeners will forgive him. In history René Descartes was born this week, the pope cuts the payroll for his cardinals and we have a Covid-19 update before we check out the news: - Court case against SCAM practitioner - NEW BOOK – the Cheaters, about Macchiarini and fraudulent research - NEW BOOK – The great bazaar of irrational - Cheap wine tastes better with a higher price tag - Old-growth forest effect in climate mitigation overestimated The Czech Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka gets a Really Wrong this week using the pandemic as an excuse to peddle anti-abortion propaganda. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
4/2/202138 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #267½ - Short Update

Just a quick update to give you three extra news items: - Darwin was a misunderstood fantasy author - The famous drop bears in Austria not extinct after all - Skepticism has won and is no longer needed Thanks for everything!
4/1/202111 minutes, 49 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #267 – No rights for Turkish women

This week we we mention the Icelandic volcanic eruptions and then a bit randomly reflect upon languages and spelling. Pontus asks people to check out the VoF web site and András informs us about the Hungarian Skeptics’ Flat Earth-prize. In history Wilhelm Röntgen was born this week the pope gets poked for congratulating the Philippines for being so gloriously invaded and oppressed 500 years ago. We take a new look at the covid vaccine situation, before we check out the news: - Middlesex University gets rid of homeopathy training - Spain adopts euthanasia law despite conservative opposition - Follow-up: Doctor who facilitated death may lose his license, although he was aquitted - Russian scientists looking for the tiniest particles (from under Lake Baikal) - Adverse effects of low level mm wave radiations could not be found (5G) - Conspiracy theories in small print on soda bottles - New lawsuit against Facebook for being a hub of misinformation - New book (available online for free in Spanish): The Office of Doubt (about science and philosophy) We also hand out both a Really Wrong and and a Really Right award this week, to Turkey and a Polish writer, respectively. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/26/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 15 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #266 – Is AstraZeneca safe?

This week we we start by checking out some science: travel faster than speed of light(?) and the wonderful 3D-model of the Antikythera mechanism. We look back at the birth of the Hungarian Skeptic Society and we poke the pope for being a bigot about gay marriage. We look at the covid vaccine situation and especially if the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine appears safe, before we check out the news: New book: Fake news a threat to democracy? New tool to help students detect fake images and videos People with high emotional intelligence less susceptible to fake news? Water ‘vitalizer’ banned for possible interference with radio devices Social media watchdog: Instagram highly responsible for the spreading of misinformation? New book out: ‘Don’t get mixed up with food’ Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid-19 Update; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/19/202158 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #265 – Eva Fernandez

This week we geek out some more about space, mention the demonstrations in Stockholm and the upcoming Cologne virtual skeptics in the pub. Some German children’s stories from the past are absolutely horrible and then we celebrate the birthday of Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space. Pope Francis went to Iraq endangering the public and himself and reported back that there was “a woman on the plane”. Then we have a covid-19 update before we get into the news: Order of Physicians sanctions doctors who spread antivax misinformation New book: Fact-checking vaccinations Facebook struggles with checking non-English content Electric cars do not produce more particle pollutants Latest study reveals more about the placebo effect The Good Magic Award 2021 winner announced Skeptiker Schweiz changes name to Kritisch Denken The UK General Chiropractic Council gets the prize for being Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid-19 Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/12/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #264 – Frankie’s Faulty Finances

This week we first marvel at the on-going Mars missions, mention Germany’s need to get a new haircut and are fascinated by the Mount Etna eruptions. If you want to know where to find the French skeptics or the Observatoire Zététique, we tell you how, before we celebrate Brian Cox’ birthday. Pope Frances have double troubles with his trip to Iraq and that the Vatican finances are bleeding. Then, of course, we take look at the news: - COVID-19 – So, are we gonna win this? - -Cancer and cardiovascular diagnoses missed during pandemic - Wodarg (CoViD denier) is filing a lawsuit against Volksverpetzer - Vaccines scams emerge as rollout continues - Over 60% of Russians do not want the Sputnik vaccine – virus is created as biological weapon - Conspiracy theories start to take hold at age 14? - All the talks of ESC 2019 are now on YouTube - Freshwater fish in catastrophic decline - Swedish MD not charged for assisted death - Edzard Ernst shares some of the content from his latest book in English Gwyneth Paltrow claims she knows how to handle long-term covid effects which is Really Wrong. Luckily the NHS knows better and are Really Right. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong and Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/6/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #263 – This Podcast Cannot Be Shared

This week we geek out a bit about the landing of Perseverance on Mars, we (again) ponder the chances to become an ESA astronaut. Facebook stupidly believes Europe is a place in Australia and takes it out on this podcast. Idiots. (Speaking of Downunder, you should check out the Skeptic Zone and their logical fallacies series). We talk about Dolly the sheep who was presented to the public this week 24 years ago, and then Pontus reluctantly admits that the Pope did something good, sort of. Then, of course, we look at the news: Early results show an 85% drop in symptomatic cases after first vaccine dose Excess deaths in Sweden lower than European Average Study says: Everyone believes at least one conspiracy theory Viral video doesn’t show what it says Vitamin D-COVID-19 preprint removed from Lancet server The COVID Cube – to help you make the right decision about a COVID vaccine Homeopaths’ hardships abound Are Extremists less able to do complex mental tasks? Fake medicine – New book out Well, Facebook definitely needs a geography lesson, and for that they are Really Wrong. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/26/20211 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds
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The ESP - #262 - A Little Room to Cry In

This week we are happy that the Covid-19 Communication Handbook have been translated into German. A Swedish translation is underway and hopefully many more. We then celebrate Copernicus birthday before we look at the news: Secret Facebook group of academics, researchers and opinion-formers spreads misinformation about Swedish corona response Researchers study the link between practicing alternative medicine and attitude towards vaccinations Facebook finally bans misinformation about all vaccines Marketer of alkalizing drops could go to jail for potentially dangerous fraud Guy launches GoFundMe campaign to launch his flat-earther friend into space The guy (Edzard Ernst) is not just sitting around – publishes a book every few months now Polish women should have “a room to cry in” in Church after abortion Apostolic remains lying in Rome? To round off the episode the Romanian Orthodox Church gets the Really Wrong Award for continuing to kill people in the name of religion. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/19/202156 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #261 – the COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook with Philipp Schmid

This week we talk to Philipp Schmid about the COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook. Philipp is a behavioural scientist at the Psychology and Infectious Diseases Lab at the University of Erfurt in Germany. He is also an Interim Lecturer for Statistics and Methods at the university’s Department of Psychology. Philipp is an expert in the psychological background of vaccine hesitancy, which is one of the hot topics for skeptics due to the ongoing pandemic. He has worked a lot with the World Health Organization and other intergovernmental institutions like the Robert Koch Institute. He recently took part of the international team behind the brilliant and extremely important booklet, The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook, but he also worked on the updated version of the Debunking Handbook. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/12/202144 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #260 – A little bit of Zeneca in my life

This week we note that Martin Moder (see ep. #236) are making videos so well that anti-vaxxers want them taken down. The Swedish Skeptics has a great video up from their (English-speaking) Skeptics in the Pub on-line. Pope Francis keeps absolutely quiet regarding the abuse scandals in Spain and then we get a Covid-19 update before we look at the news: Facebook still making money out of anti-vax sites New book out in Portugal: ‘Caught by the virus’ Eustoquio Molina award for standing up for science Largest global opinion poll yet shows great support for climate emergency actions Europe created more energy from renewables than fossil fuels last year There might not be phosphene in Venus’ atmosphere after all… Dyatlov Pass incident put in new context thanks to latest snow dynamics study Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne gets the Really Wrong Award for fueling sentiments against covid restriction . Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes The Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/5/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #259 - Fake Covid Certificates

This week we get nostalgic about the days when we could travel. We marvel over the fact that some people still thinks it is okay to do so, since the Swedish ski resorts report they are as busy as ever. Nothing new about the pope today, we get a Covid-19 update and then it's time for us to look at the news: Study wants to show who is turning to the Covid-denying Querdenker movement Backlash for French Covid19 vaccines The Good Magic Awards are back Study shows the neccessity of big visual signs to warn people about fake news Colloidal silver and other pseudoscientific therapies potentially dangerous Hungarian media using a hoax about the Netherlands Study on the use and confidence in therapies not based on science It has come to light that a Swedish company has sold fake covid-19 certificates to unknowing customers and of course that earns them a Really Wrong Award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
1/29/202153 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #258 – Small Evil vs. Big Evil

This week Annika has got some real nutty advice in the mail. She has also made a cameo on the Skeptic Zone, check it out!. Things are flying in the air, in Norway it was a meteor (landing as a meteor-ite, thank you very much) and in Sweden it was a real(?) UFO! Rudolph II (“Holy Roman Emperor, Batman!”) died in 1612, but his contribution to our understanding of the universe lives on. Pope Francis’ bishops are dropping like flies as if God doesn’t exist, we get a Covid-19 update and then it’s time for us to look at the news: The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook by S. Lewandowsky Antivaxxers minority but very loud The journal Nature retracts paper linking BMI with honesty Talk to me – Corona Edition, App launched in English and German Wikipedia just turned 20 EFSA approves mealworms as human food Consultation launched over gene edited food in England Our forests on track to reaching a tipping point Fake doctor withdraws from lawsuit We finish with a Really Wrong Award going to the Irish Commission to investigate the infamous Mother-and-Baby homes. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/21/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 15 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #257 – “No! YOU’RE stupid!”

This week Annika is back! We hear that Pontus apparently is the new Confounderer of the Year and that UK Skeptics in the Pub Online is back after the holidays. Check out the calendar for the new events! We congratulate renowned skeptic and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci on his birthday, note that the Pope has misplaced billions of dollars and then we have a look at the news: College of Medicine and Integrated Health launches the Integrated Medicine Alliance Natalie Grams honoured with Prize for Civil Courage Update on warmest year contest Vaccine hesitancy among medical staff Polio update PSA suspends accreditation of Society of Homeopaths Guitar pedal circuit shared as COVID 5G chip diagram. Radiation protection stickers are useless, study finds We finish with a Really Wrong Award going to the German health care system for using tax money to fund anthroposophical nonsense against Covid-19. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/14/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 17 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #256 – Bring On the Vaccines

This week we start the new year with an update on the Swedish pandemic laws and recommend you check out the speech that András gave at Monterrey Skepticamp 2021. In skeptical history we celebrate the birth of Alfred Russel Wallace and Pontus pokes the Pope for ‘firing’ a Cardinal and an Archbishop. We get a Covid vaccine update and then we look at the news: Swedish Skeptical Awards for 2020 – Enlightener and Confounderer of the year Latest book by Edzard Ernst – in German Edzard Ernst’s challenge unanswered by homeopaths German pilot draws syringe on the map to remind everyone of the COVID-vaccine Dramatic change in opinion – 71% of Swedes say they will vaccinate against covid Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/7/20211 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #255 – Happy New Year 2021!

We are extremely happy to welcome the first ever ESP Skepti-baby! Annika and her newborn girl are doing very well and they send their regards to the listeners. Whoohoo! We spend the episode to look back at the very strange year of 2020. Lots of bad news of course and not just pandemic related, we will for one thing always miss the grandfather of modern skepticism, James the Amazing Randi. But there were good things too, like the many great people we had the fortune to interview and the 250th episode live stream with all our special friends. We and look forward to seeing the new year and there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic, like the new vaccines. We hope all our listeners are ready to follow us into 2021, and who knows, we may even get to meet some of you at QED, because this year it has to happen, right? And speaking of good news, we also hand out a Really Right Award for the Anti-vaxx Playbook. Happy New Year! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Covid Update; Ups and Downs of 2020; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/31/202052 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #254 - Council for Inclusive Capitalism

This week we start by recommending a German Podcast Christmas Special, we report that Sucharit Bhakdi won the Goldenes Brett award and talk about the Saturn / Jupiter planetary conjunction. Pontus reports that his book “the Dooma” is slightly delayed and then we get into the news: Our friend Martin Moder made a very good video about the safety of the new CoVid vaccine Improved trust in science within Swedish public during 2020 Trust in media sources has risen Comment by Swedish king about corona is so way off it’s not even wrong Karaoke bar from Berlin trying to sue virologist Professor Drosten – surely that will stop CoViD? ARP-SAPC publishes a monography on COVID-19 and critical thinking Huge differences in Covid vaccine prizes, but all are cheaper than expected 2020 on track to become one of three warmest years on record Santa apparently is immune to CoViD! We are of course skeptical, not of WHO or CoViD, but of Santa – but the Christmas presents are safe! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/26/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #253 – Big Dicks and Aliens

This week we talk about that alt-med and antivaxxers have been visible on TV and how a town in Austria had to change its rather unfortunate name. We celebrate the anniversary of the Hungarian Skeptics and then we get into the news: New Brexit craze – Vaccine approval sped up because no EU to hold us back Bibliometric analysis of global research into SCAM and COVID-19 Former space security chief goes mental about alleged aliens What’s with the phallic symbols everywhere? Swedish health regions have spent 28 MEUR on weighted blankets John Maddox prizes announced TODAY Das Goldene Brett – finalists announced Follow-up: Influencer selling fish oil as covid treatment found guilty New series of videos: A scientist in the supermarket Then the Really Wrong award goes to all the religious exemptions to covid restrictions. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Covid Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/17/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #252 – Philosophy and Ethics w. Nikil Mukerji

This week we talk to Nikil Mukerji, a German author, philosopher and skeptic. He has a position at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and academic director of philosophy, politics and economy. He studied economy, philosophy and theory of science and wrote his PhD thesis about consequentialism. He is an academic instructor and teacher, as well as a researcher of philosophy and ethics. He is also a very active skeptic, as he is head of the scientific board of GWUP (the German Skeptics) and a regular speaker at SkepKon. He also often writes for the German skeptics magazine “Skeptiker” Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/11/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 44 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #251 – 1st of the Next 250

This week we reflect a on the new vaccines that are coming. Annika sings(!) to celebrate the quiz performance of Pontus, Brian and Claire last week and then she tells us about a memorial for fallen aliens, announced ten years ago this week. Pontus Pokes the Pope for a whole lot of serious things and for liking a sexy butt on his Instagram account. Then we get into the news: Patriarch Irinej and his Darwin-Award worthy story New book out about teaching biology in schools with health education and skepticism The Debunking Handbook 2020 – German translation now available French debate about making covid-vaccination mandatory Darwin’s notebooks reported stolen from Cambridge University Library German Green Party no longer backs homeopathy World Wild Web – A new critical thinking game Spanish Government to decide what is harmful fake news Portuguese court rules based on misunderstanding science of covid tests Surprisingly, acupuncture is useless for people recovering from breast surgery No, Danish study doesn’t show masks are useless Also, the stupid (and very expensive) “Qi-tech” devices get this week’s Really Wrong award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/4/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 9 seconds
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TheESP - Ep.#250 - United Federation of Skeptical Podcasts

This week we celebrate 250 episodes and five years on the road with the ESP. We invited all guest hosts who ever have sat in for a show and they all joined us for our first ever live stream episode! With us we had Brian Eggo, Deborah Hyde, Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg, Jelena Levin, Jay Novella, Richard Saunders and of course our normal(?) hosts, András, Annika and Pontus. There was also The Awesome Quiz of Europe, Skepticism and Everything Else, prepared by the one and only Annika Harrison! Enjoy! You can also enjoy the unedited live video version on our Youtube-channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJH065e1lnc Segments: Intro; Live stream; Outro Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/26/20201 hour, 51 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #249 – Homophobic Orbán

This week Pontus is a bit under the weather so András and Annika send him their “thoughts and prayers” (don’t worry, he is fine). Then we mention an interesting documentary about SCAM practitioners and give a heads up for next weeks jubilee episode 250. And five years ago this week the ESP made its debut! Then we give a Covid update before we get into the news: The new Pre-Bunking game: Breaking Harmony Square Another science communicator and journalist charged for speaking out against frauds Edzard Ernst’s challenge to all homeopaths in the world Thermographic imaging – a risk to cancer patients Newly emerging issues with climate change actions Measles cases in 2019 at a record high in 23 years To round off the show, Victor Orbán gets a Really Wrong award for using the pandemic as an excuse for homophobic nonsense. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; COVID Update; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/19/202058 minutes, 14 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #248 – Skepti-baby Alert!

This week we first chat a bit about Trump, having covid in your family and an opportunity to talk to Swedish MPs. We also mention the Vienna terror attacks and the Hay Winter Festival. Annika has an exciting announcement regarding increasing the number of skeptics in the world. In history news we acknowledge the anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass and then Pontus Pokes the Pope for disciplining a Cardinal so old that he does not know what happened. After a Covid-update we then get into the actual news: Chiropractors don't like informed consent Does article 61 of Magna Charta allow citizens to disobey COVID-19 regulations? Grandmothers sue government over climate challenge failure How COVID-19 is reshaping the way people trust politicians MedWatch wins federal Consumer Protection Award Update on the last five years of RCTs about homeopathy Enjoy!
11/13/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #247 – Stephan Lewandowsky

This week we talk to Stephan Lewandowsky,professor of cognitive psychology and one of the drivers behind the Debunking Handbook 2020, the recently published follow-up to the previous debunking handbook from 2011. A great resource for anyone, it summarises the current state of the science of misinformation and its debunking. It was written by a team of 22 prominent scholars of misinformation and its debunking, and it represents the current consensus on the science of debunking for engaged citizens, policymakers, journalists, and other practitioners. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/5/202053 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #246 – RIP, James “the Amazing” Randi

This week we remember James “the Amazing” Randi, a great skeptic and generous person who like no one else influenced the skeptic movement. His legacy lives on. We also reflect a bit on daylight saving before we go further back in time than usual in this week in history and look into the importance of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge for early Christianity. Then Pontus looks into if Pope Francis really has changed his and the Church’s position on gay rights, before we get into the news: COVID-19 update No evidence contact tracing helps tackle COVID WHO and Wikipedia team up to combat pandemic misinformation United Nations turns 75 Iris Hundertmark and her pharmacy – update ARP-SAPC news Patents on homeopathic products IPSOS – Trust in news sources by country Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/29/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 15 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #245 - Lust for Blood

This week we notice the new I am Greta movie strangely so far is only in theaters and not online. Covid number are going up, especially in Germany where conspiracy theories are growing, but the German speaking community can celebrate that former GWUP Science Council member Dr. Krista Federspiel has been awarded the Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst or the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art. A special call goes out for everyone who can support to SKEPP who needs to defend two of their members who have been sued by a multimillionaire (see Ep #243). We’re happy to hear that Pontus is making progress with his sci-fi novel and then we dive into the news: World Doctors’ Alliance – WTF Guy claims he can cure COVID with homeopathy Is banning content the way to go? Facebook and Youtube Fitness influencer dies after having denied COVID existed Orban wants to raise children as ‘Homo christianus’ Editors refuse to retract intelligent design paper The Debunking Handbook 2020 edition Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/22/202058 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #244 – Go Women in Science!

This week we start by celebrating that several women received the Nobel Prize this year. Well deserved and a good trend! We also look at the latest Global warming news delivered by Copernicus. We may need to find another planet to live on… In this week in history we get nostalgic about QED which was supposed to happen this week, but hey, we have many fond memories from previous years to look back on! Then we dive into the news: New pre-bunking online game GoViral to be used to counter COVID-misinformation Surveys in different countries reveal many young people lack basic knowledge about the Holocaust Homeopathy no longer exclusive to pharmacies in Norway Latest attempts to legitimize homeopathy in Austria 46% of Hungarians would not get vaccinated against COVID The most compelling evidence for the existence of Nessie yet? Most ambitious climate law voted on by European Parliament EarthShot Prize for solutions to global climate issues Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/15/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #243 – Belgian Skeptics Sued!

This week we start by urging you to register nominations for the Ockham Awards, handled by The Skeptic. The deadline is 31 October. That’s the same date that Skepsis in the Netherlands will hold their full day ‘Skepsis Congress 2020’, check it out! Then we chat to Patrick Vermeren, who together with fellow skeptic Bart Van de Ven, is sued for defamation(!) by Carl Van de Velde, the multimillionaire behind the ‘Opleidingsinstituut’. Despite losing in the first instance Van de Velde has appealed and there is a fundraiser in support of our friends. No on Poking of Francis this week in Pontus’ absence, instead move directly to the news: Extinction denial is the new thing. UN Summit on biodiversity addressed that, too German Order of Merit goes to… New prosecution in Macchiarini case Landmark study of 1.7 million women – HPV vaccine better at preventing cervical cancer than previously thought Is the EU cheating in net-zero emissions plans? Dutch Cancer Society gets Master Kackadoris Prize Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; This Week; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro
10/8/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 59 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #242 - Stefanie Handl, the Skeptic Vet

This week we interview veterinarian Dr. Stefanie Handl from Vienna, Austria. Her special fields are nutrition and diets for pets. She is a member of the “Gesellschaft für kritisches Denken” (“Society for Critical Thinking”) which is the local chapter of the German skeptical organization, GWUP. Stefanie is very actively working to inform the public about nutrition woo and so called alternative medicine, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine. She is the owner of a veterinarian nutrition consultation service called “food ambulance” and helps pet owners with their little friends’ diets. Veterinary medicine, and the pseudomedicine we often encounter there, are important for pet owners which is why we were so happy to get Stefanie on the show. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/1/202054 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #241 – One Million Unanswered Prayers

This week we first chat about András lending his voice acting skills to a sketch in the Skeptic Zone, Pontus teases the coming release of his sci-fi novel the Dooma and then we talk about the upcoming Italian CICAPFest. This year the conference takes place online for the three weeks(!) between 25 September and 18 October. There will be over 150 meetings and 185 speakers, and it will all be for free! After that we get into the news: No, dozens of countries didn’t order COVID-19 tests in 2018 Life on Venus? Warmest summer ever for Northern hemisphere The world’s troubling hotspots of vaccine hesitancy NHS issued 2,000 homeopathic prescriptions in 2019 despite ban A healthy diet more important than weight? Ig Nobel Prizes 2020 The prize for being Really Wrong goes to Richard Gamble for “the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer” near Birmingham, England. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: https://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/24/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #240 – SARS-CoV2 Virology w. Gábor Kemenesi

This week we interview Hungarian researcher and virologist Gábor Kemenesi. He is a research fellow at the Virological Research Group within the Szentágothai Research Centre of the University of Pécs in Hungary, specializing in zoonoses, or viral diseases that spread from animals to humans. He’s also a member of Hungary’s COVID-19 Task Force for the research of the virus and in the last few months. He has become the number one go-to expert in the field for the country’s media, working hard to educate the public, debunking myths and fighting misunderstandings along the way. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/17/202056 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #239 – “Gossip is Worse than Covid”

This week we start off with having a quick chat with our old buddy Michael (“Marsh”) Marshall regarding the relaunch of the UK magazine called the Skeptic. In this week’s history segment we talk about the LHC that powered up 12 years ago this week without the world vanishing into a black hole, and then Pope Francis gets poked for several things, including his claim that gossip is worse than covid. Speaking of covid-19, the pandemic gets a separate segment about the latest developments, before we get into the news: The 1st randomised clinical trial of a Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19 Medical Chamber issues statement condemning COVID-19 denier members University of Kiel distances itself from infamous COVID-19 denier professor Sucharit Bhakdi 30% of people in Spain have doubts about covid-19 vaccine So, are women leaders really doing better in tackling COVID-19? Survey – Young adults tend to take food supplements as replacement for drugs Danish advocacy group against heart disease ends program involving healer Grapefruit seed product that has everything in it but grapefruit seed extract Latest book of Edzard Ernst ‘Chiropractic: Not All That It’s Cracked Up to Be’ published New study shows difference in nerve cells before birth for autistic people The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the bigoted Bishops in Poland who wants to start Church sanctioned conversion therapy clinics, fully aware that they do not work. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Short Interview; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/10/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 15 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #238 – Brian Deer and The Doctor Who Fooled the World

This week we interview none other than Brian Deer, the investigative journalist that spent years digging up how the discredited ex-doctor Andrew Wakefield misled the public about the safety of vaccines. We dig deep into how Wakefield through dishonesty and deceit became the poster boy of the anti-vaxx movement and how his misinformation made it as big as it is today. Deer’s new book “The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Andrew Wakefield’s war on vaccines” is out this week! Make sure to check it out! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/3/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #237 - Plandemic II - worst movie ever

This week András returns to the mothership to hear us discuss the UFO sighting in Cussac in France. Francis gets a pass this week and then we dive into the news: - Covid-19 update - Children in Germany are falling behind their vaccination schedules - Does flu claim more deaths the covid-19? - People who react negatively to rules and recommendations use more SCAM (so-called alternative medicine) - Does homeopathy “also” work for women (spoiler: it does not work, period) - Why is there a priest in the Swedish Corona commission? - Unprecedented levels of CO2 rise caused by humans - European Commission's educational page tackling conspiracy theories The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the producers and distributers of the dangerous and misleading (and idiotically named!) film “Plandemic: inDOCTORnation”. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/27/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #236 - Martin Moder of the Austrian Science Busters

This week we interview molecular biologist, science communicator and overall cool guy Martin Moder, who is one of the Austrian “Science Busters” and who is also active in the Austrian “Society for Critical Thinking”. We found ourselves discussing everything from the dangers of farting Coronavirus to GMO, philosophy, designer babies, how to make booze out of toilet paper and the optimal way of cutting a birthday cake. There were unexpected turns at every corner of this interview… Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/20/202056 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #235 - Show Me a Real Acupuncturist

This week Brian is back(!) as András has gone missing(?) We chat again about the wonderful online events out there: you should definitely check out the Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe productions. We then talk about the Wow! signal that was recorded this week in 1977 and also find that Francis seems to have done something good for once. In this week’s news: - Two outbreaks in Mamming, Bavaria - Danish abattoir closed over COVID-19 cluster - Disinformation not only consumed by young or uneducated - Countries with mandatory BCG vaccination might actually be better off in the fight against COVID-- 19 - 10 Coronavirus scams to be weary of - WHO calls for caution about Russian vaccine roll-out - No need to celebrate: 0.01 degrees less global warming by 2030 due to the pandemic - NHS hiring a spiritual healer - No positive outcomes at all from having free-schools in Sweden - UK government may intervene to curb dangerous 'cancer cure' propaganda The prize for being Really Wrong goes to NICE in the UK (the National Institute for Health Care Excellence) for recommending acupuncture, despite any evidence or science. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/13/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #234 - Lysenkoism, science and BS

This week we first chat about some of the great current skeptical online events, like NECSS and Skeptics in the Pub. We also enjoy the good news that the worlds largest fusion reactor is now being assembled in the South of France. In this week in history we learn about “Lysenkoism” which Stalin decided should replace all other science. In current affairs Pope Francis has issues with Chinese infiltrators and French women who demands to be bishops. In this week’s news: - What’s the truth about face masks and covid-19? - What lies behind conspiracy theories - Misleading claims on pre-existing conditions and Covid-19 deaths go viral - Hungarian company selling bogus 'pro-insulin c-peptide' product banned from advertising - COVID conspiracy theories skyrocket in Romania and number of cases increase - Use of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) by French cancer patients - Update - Retraction Watch gets a response from editor-in-chief of journal that published worst paper of 2020 - Chronic back pain and spinal manipulation - is it a good treatment? - Stonehenge's long-lived mystery solved The prize for being Really Wrong goes to all the German demonstrators that marched in Berlin last weekend, spreading crazy ideas and endangering the public and themselves. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/6/20201 hour, 20 minutes, 6 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #233 - Homeomathematics

This week starts with the wonderful news that Annika is now a full time ESP member and co-host. We couldn’t be happier! We start with a minor correction to a story from last week and then chat a bit about the latest astronomy news before we celebrate this week in history: Happy birthday to the great skeptic and parapsychology researcher Susan Blackmore! (Also see our episode #088 when we had her as a guest) Giving the Pope more or less a pass this week, we then dive into the news: - Covid-19 update - Austrian Science Busters - (Not so) scientific paper on covid and 5G is withdrawn - Another misleading “letter from a doctor” regarding covid19 is making the rounds - How to engage conspiracy theorists - Climate change CO2 sensitivity - Heatwave in Siberia melts ice in the Arctic Ocean - German homeopathy study criticized - Orbán keeps winning the fight against Hungarian free press - UK to fight obesity by banning junk food ads The prize for being Really Wrong goes to the scientific journal “Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice”. They totally failed the peer review process on a study that claims there is “mathematical proof” that homeopathy is effective against covid-19. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/30/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 44 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #232 - Assisted Death

This week we welcome Annika back and first chat a bit about comets and astronomy and about some of the excellent online skeptical events there now is to follow, like the UK Skeptics in the Pub Online, the new Cologne events and Susan Gerbic’s About Time project. In this week in history we hear about Carl Jung, who was born on 26 July in 1875. Just like Freud he got a lot of things terribly wrong, but his ideas still inspired a lot better psychology later on and they continue to be part of the present-day culture. Then we poke the pope and find that even though Francis appears to want to fight the sex abuse scandals, last week’s new guidelines confirm that the Church continues to get most of their priorities completely backwards. Lots of corona in the news this week: - The COVID19 infodemic re Western Europe - Corona conspiracy myths in Germany - Andrew Wakefield and other anti-vaxxers mobilising against a future corona vaccine and unfortunately it is working - Hungarian guy gets convicted for coronavirus misinformation - Austria’s relaxed rules on masks has bad effect on infection rates - Google bans ads for conspiracy theories - the PSA investigates the UK Society of Homeopaths for non-compliance - Russia wages war on homeopathy - Good Thinking Society help the BBC in producing excellent documentary about fake cancers ‘cures’ - BMJ presents study on medical science communication in the age of disinformation - Is the Russian Dyatlov mystery finally solved? The prize for being Really Right (perhaps controversially) goes to a Swedish doctor who turned himself in for assisted death. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/23/20201 hour, 25 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #231 – How to Argue with a Racist, with Adam Rutherford

This week we are joined by the brilliant British geneticist, broadcaster, science journalist and author, Dr Adam Rutherford. He’s written several books of international acclaim like “Creation: The Origin of Life and the Future of Life”, “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived”, “The Book of Humans: The Story of How We Became Us” and “Humanimal: How Homo Sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature”. Avid podcast listeners might know him from the BBC Radio 4 shows ‘Inside Science’ and ‘The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry’, but he also frequently appears on TV both as presenter and as an expert in genetics. Adam frequently appears as a speaker at Skeptics in the Pub events and on the same day this interview goes out he will be giving a talk on Skeptics in the Pub Online that bears the same title as his latest book, How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science and Reality. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/16/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #230 - Tinfoil hats against nonsense

This week Europe has lost a star in the sky and we hear about how Louis Pasteur managed to create a rabies vaccine back in 1885 (he wasn’t even a medical doctor). Pope Francis seizes even more control about the Vatican’s finances and appoints an “extraordinary commissioner” to raid the entity looking after St Peter’s Basilica. Apparently, someone has been cooking the books. In the news this week: – After a new outbreak the German authorities suggest people stay at home for vacation – Was SARS-CoV-2 really present in Barcelona in March 2019? – WHO stops Hydroxychloroquine tests – WHO launches new podcast - Health in Europe – High risk for polio outbreak in Ukraine – Russian disinformation operations revealed – Swedish actor from "Fargo" creates documentary TV-series promoting bogus rune stone in Minnesota – What's happening with Facebook? - 5G towers burning in Limassol - Climate change denier loses bet - has to pay up - National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition bans most homeopathic products from claiming specific therapeutic effects - Our friend Holm Hümmler airs a documentary about conspiracy theories To end the episode secondary school students in Germany gets today’s Really Right Award for not backing down from their “tinfoil hat” project Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/9/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 9 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #229 - Reality vs politics, lies and fairy tales

This week we can't help but mention the Polish presidential elections and Susan Gerbic's latest interview with Pontus. We commemorate Ignaz Semmelweis on his birthday before moving on to deliberating over the future of the papacy. In the news: - Was the Tönnies incident with COVID19 due to a church service - Didier Raoult doubles down on hydroxychloroquine - Hungary's new curriculum and history textbooks full of folk legends and misleading claims - Measles update - The latest and most sophisticated fake of the Loch Ness Monster - Large wildfires in Sibera as reminder of climate change - ARP-SAPC's Sergio Lopez Borgonoz research grant now open for applications This week's Really Wrong Price goes to a Swedish elementary school for investing in bogus "protective equipment" against Wi-Fi. Enjoy!
7/2/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #228 - Let Science Take the Lead

This week Pontus and András bring you the latest from all over Europe mixed with some history and a little bit of Poking the Pope(s). This week marks the 646th anniversary of the onset of the Aachen Dancing Plague. After exploring that phenomenon, we move on to how Pope Francis regards women and weather Palpatine is up to no good on his visit to his homeland Germany. Then, in the news: - COVID-19 superspreading centre in Gütersloch, Germany now in lockdown - Swedish coronavirus quack bites the dust - The Guardian's article on revised climate models deemed misleading by experts - Spanish authorities finally publish COVID-19 statistics - ARP-SAPC's Skeptical Magnifier Award announced - Novartis stops Hydroxychloroquine study for lack of participants - New survey in University of Oxford's Digital News Reports shows how much people care about climate change - Political consensus in Norway to remove VAT exemption status for SCAM practitioners - European Commission identifies Russia and China as origins of disinformation campaigns - Almost half of Italians would not get a COVID-19 vaccine The Swedish Food Safety Agency gets this week's Really Right price for stepping up against illegal food supplement ads. Enjoy!
6/25/20201 hour, 12 minutes
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TheESP - Ep. #227 - Thank you, Jelena!

This week we first learn about how the 1854 cholera outbreak led to advances in the knowledge about diseases and outbreaks thanks to the clever and rigorous work by the physician John Snow, now regarded as one of the founders of modern epidemiology. Pope Francis is getting closer to his vision of “a poor church for the poor”, perhaps just a little bit faster than he bargained for as the pandemic is hitting the Catholic finances. Then Andras delves into how we can begin to measure the success of covid-19 related restrictions. In the news this week: – Swedish Snake Oil advertisement is struck down – Archaeologist sentenced for faking Basque finds – Climate more sensitive to CO2 emissions than thought? – Who killed the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme? – Szekesfehervar budget cuts – nonessential vaccines are first to go – The Aspen Institute’s ‘Good10 – The Pandemic Issue’ discussing many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic – The return of the Mayan calendar – some myths refuse to die – University of Vienna found a way to inoculate medical students about SCAM The prize for being Really Wrong goes to doctors in Northern Ireland that continue to obstruct abortions even after the recent legalization! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
6/18/20201 hour, 12 minutes
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TheESP - Ep. #226 - Credo, ergo sum

A bit less COVID-19-heavy episode this week with the news that May 2020 saw the highest concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere ever recorded and it was also the hottest May ever. 6 years ago, creationism as science in schools was banned in the UK and hallelujah, the Vatican is launching their new channel 'VatiVision' and a documentary series 'The Great Popes'. In the news this week: - Nicotine replacement therapy is the new craze among possible COVID-19 treatments lacking evidence of efficacy - The bad science story of Hydroxychloroquine that shook the world - Millions seem to believe the Treaty of Trianon expires after 100 years - People fall for the story of dozens of give-away TVs by Curry's - The German Medical Student Association issues a declaration against homeopathy - Let's see behind the curtain regarding the 'Swedish Model' once again - Massimo Polidoro launches his Patreon page - with a twist. This week's Really Right price goes to Dutch anaesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee for publishing a free book 'Anesthesia and the Soul' that helps us understand out-of-body-experiences (OBE). Enjoy!
6/11/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #225 - Evidence of homeopathic proportions

On this week's episode we celebrate the new era of commercial space flight brought about by SpaceX, then a bit of skeptical history, talking about Gérard Sède and the Priory of Sion hoax. After poking the Pope we bring you an update on the latest issues with COVID-19, including vaccine hesitancy on the rise, the fear from the second wave versus those who deny the existence of the pandemic, survaillence making people suspicious, how the development of a vaccine is doing and France banning the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. In the news this week: - A new craze lacking any evidence and called "Lightning Process" - The truth revealed about the 5GBioShield USB key - "What Doctors Don't Tell You" off the shelves in the UK - New study to show how confidence drives confirmation bias - Austrian homeopaths trying to build distrust in GWUP - A low quality study into the role of alternative medicine in the advance of vaccine hesitancy Italian doctor Alberto Zangrillo gets this week's Really Wrong price for claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 virus no longer exists Enjoy!
6/4/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #224 - An AntivaxxiNational crisis

This week Pontus and Andras try their best to keep your spirit up while talking about the saddening advent of conspiracy theories and an ever growing antivaccination sentiment. We talk about the great and controversial scientist, the father of glaciology, Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, try to make sense of the Pope's latest actions as part of the Vatican's financial reform, bring you a bit of the latest analyses of the COVID-19 situation and lots of news: - A church congregation in Frankfurt becomes a virus hotspot - Sweden's approach looks very different when under the microscope - Are we loosing against the antivaccination movement? - Homeopathy International sneakily advises people to take homeopathic products - Italian MP calls for the arrest of Bill Gates - Nearlf half of tweets about COVID-19 likely come from bots - "5GBioShield" hits the market - WHO report says 80 million children not vaccinated because of COVID-19 - Hungarian snake oil salesman under scrutiny by Competition Authority The Romanian Ministry of Health gets this week's Really Wrong Price for failing to provide the necessary vaccination information and immunize the public against measles.
5/28/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #223 - Conversation therapy in the time of Plandemic

On this week's episode we start by the funny PA of Deutsche Bahn then turn towards the story of psychic Peter Hurkos who was born on this day. The latest from the Catholic Church reveals conspiracy theories and Pope Benedict XVI. trying to influence current affairs. We talk about how grounded aeroplanes mean less reliable weather forecasts, the Czech government trying to outrun COVID-19 by themselves under the leadership of a homeopath and how Stephen Lewandowsky's team helps all of us identify and fight conspiracy theories. In the news: - Russia fails to provide measles vaccines during the COVID-19 crisis - Sweden's health minister admits failure to keep elderly citizens safe - Hungarian government subsidises a TCM unit at Semmelweis University - Multiple legal cases shaking European countries amid 5G concerns - Good Magic Awards winners announced - Germany bans conversion therapies for minors - Homeopathy not found to be effective for psychiatric disorders The Swedish company marketing the bogus product 'Mendi' gets this week's Really Wrong prize. Enjoy!
5/21/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 24 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #222 - Susan Gerbic, Wikipedia & changing the world page by page

This week our team welcomes Susan Gerbic back to the show to talk about her and Mark Edward's sting operations to reveal psychics and their techniques in conning people and why Wikipedia is probably the most important asset in the hands of skeptics in the never-ending fight against pseudoscienc and quackery. And this is also a call for new editors from around the world to join the international team she leads, Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia. Enjoy!
5/14/20201 hour, 1 minute, 26 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #221 - Thou shalt not bleach the beach

The three of us are back to bring you the latest from Europe. We're saddened by the (not so surprising) news that QED 2020 is now postponed to 2021, but whenever it is, we are looking forward to it. In the meantime check out Christian Lehmann's series of guest posts on Edzard Ernst's blog about the hydroxychloroquine controversy. Jelena tells us the story of an alleged alien abduction in Poland more than 40 years ago, now commemorated with a stone memorial. Pontus delves into the question of whether Pope Pius XII was indeed "Hitler's Pope" and then a selection of news from Europe: - A scientist in the UK allegedly dies in a COVID-19 trial - Follow-up on David Icke's YouTube channel - now suspended - Countries faced with challenges in immunization programs while in lockdown - Spanish beach sprayed with bleach to prevent coronavirus infections - A patent from the Pasteur Institute that does NOT prove the alleged artificial origin of SARS-CoV-2 - The Heinz Oberhummer Award goes to German science populariser Mai Thai Nguyen-Kim - German High Court rules that doctors can not selectively get rid of bad ratings - Logical fallacies in easy-to-share format on ARP-SAPC's website This week's Really Right Prize is given to the NHS UK for an excellent information page about homeopathy. Enjoy!
5/7/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #220 - A crazy world of COVIDcidences

This week, in the absence of Jelena, Annika Harrison joins us to bring you news and curiousities from all over Europe. We start by mentioning Pontus guest-hosting The Skeptic Zone with Richard Saunders, then move on to discuss what an idiot Trump is and how Satanic Ritual Abuse is on the rise in Germany. Annika then investigates whether women are indeed better leaders with special regards to how they cope in the time of the pandemic. Then the Vatican's Rosary App is looked into as a tool to engage catholic believers while the church has really nothing to offer in this crisis. In the news: - Some businesses to reopen in Germany, including churches while schools remain closed - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) warns people not to self-medicate with chloroquine and its derivatives to avoid serious side effects - YouTube seems incapable of keeping 5G-Corona conspiracy theory videos at bay - A new survey suggests UK public supports a long lockdown - Yet another crucial WHO action as experts assess the situation in Belarus - ARP-SAPC in Spain offers Sergio Lopez Borgonoz Research Grant for paranormal investigators - Destorted reports of a survey commissioned by the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors - 5G tower burnings and halts to rollout of new systems all over Europe - Wind turbine noise shown not to cause any adverse health effects in Finland - New book by Spanish author Ramon Nogueras 'Why We Believe in Shit' out (in Spanish) - Edzard Ernst shares a story of a homeopathy-induced rib fracture. The UK Ministry of Defence gets this week's prize for being Really Wrong for buying lemon eucalyptus oil insect repellant as COVID-19 protection. Enjoy!
4/30/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #219 - Wining about COVID-19 (cheers!)

This week Deborah Hyde joins us to bring you news and interesting topics to cover with us. We start by mentioning how VoF (Sweden), the GWUP (Germany), ComCept (Portugal) and ARP-SAPC (Spain) make efforts to provide their readers with accurate and reliable information in the times of COVID-19. Then Deborah gives us a brief overview of the history of quarantines, before we turn into discussing Cardinal Pell's Right-Wing conspiracy coockoo and the Pope being useless. A separate segment of COVID-19 update is followed by the news that include a UK holistic doctor recommending homeopathy against the novel coronavirus, a somewhat questionable study that claims to show the prevalence of TCM in different countries in the fight against the pandemic, how the Spanish Science Network Programme 2020 goes completely online, Danish researchers finding no benefit from treating asthma patients with homeopathy and reflexology alongside conventional treatments, how Facebook aims to warn users about coronavirus hoaxes, Swedish doctors and scientists selling stuff after preliminary results and naming it 'Anoroc', John Ioannidis comparing 100 best selling books on nutritional health with no surprising results, Natalie Grams going back to practiting medicine and doing less of educational work in the future, the Spanish prize offered for theatrical works criticising pseudotherapies and CICAP Live being launched on YouTube bringing Italian audiences a whole lot of science and critical thinking. Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier gets this week's Really Wrong prize for claiming that SARS-CoV-2 was manufactured from HIV and thus feeding conspiracy theories. Enjoy!
4/23/20201 hour, 37 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #218 - All Pell Breaks Loose

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.
4/16/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP - Ep #217 - Online skepticism vs politics and miracles

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!
4/9/20201 hour, 20 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #216 - Look WHO's talking

This week an old friend of ours Brian Eggo from Glasgow Skeptics joins us to bring you a show packed with news, thoughts and curiousities. We talk about how Skeptics in the Pub events are going online, that one time Rupert Sheldrake got stabbed and how Pope Francis has nothing to offer to help with the pandemic. After the usual COVID-19 update we talk about how Sweden takes a different approach to the disease than most, why the Royal Astrologer should not be trusted, and how a German consumer reported homeopaths for offering sugar pills to avoid infection. We also talk about Massimo Polidoro's new video series, "OK Scienza", Britt Marie Hermes' law suit and the Skeptics Legal Defence initiative by the Australian Skeptics Inc. We mention how French skeptics at AFiS respond to a fake treatment Trump and Bolsonaro both promote, Fullfact brings you a list of guidelines to fact-checking and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences translates the mythbusting site of WHO. Unfortunately, the WHO also gets the prize for being Really Wrong for removing the advice not to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) against Covid-19.
4/2/20201 hour, 29 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #215 - Snippets for the time of quarantine

We are bringing you a selection of topics this week, some Corona-related and some aren't: QED organisers ask you to hold your travel arrengements at this time... The Vatican issues a decree that makes confessions obsolete, the Good Thinking Society convinces the PSA to impose strict conditions on the Society of Homeopaths, they also team up with Richard Wiseman to support magicians with the Good Magic Awards. A new project aiming at spreading the word of science in the Spanish speaking communities, how the global fight against disinformation is doing, Snopes and their need for help in keeping up their fact-checking work, a Hungarian foundation running an online course to teach children critical thinking skills in the times of COVID-19, GWUP pledging to stay on track with science in their reportings, quacks in the time of Corona, a possible connection between blood type and COVID-19 infections, and Spanish skeptics providing you with enough to read while you're in quarantine. The VtdK and the Royal Dutch Medical Association countering a bogus therapy.
3/26/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #214 - Don't Panic!

The three of us finally reunite for yet another show featuring an update on the COVID-19 situation and the GWuP cancelling SkepKon 2020. Then, after an interview with Annabel Bligh of the Anthill Podcast, we return with Pontus poking the Pope again for worsening the pandemic with his irrational approach to church-going. Our news segment covers all sorts of topics including a distant world where it's raining iron, the Strasbourg Court rejecting case of anti-abortion midwives, homeopathy suggested as a valuable asset in times of crisis and Boiron closing down 13 sites, firing a quarter of their employees in the process. If you want to help ongoing research into fighting SARS-CoV-2, you can try Folding@Home, then you can turn your eye towards Sweden where the acupuncturer who killed a client is back to court after having been acquitted. And finally, we mention a few social media awards that went to skepticism related contents in Germany. Our Really Wrong award goes to Andrzej Dziega, Archbishop of Szczecin-Kamien for claiming that holy water and the holy communion can not spread the virus. Enjoy!
3/19/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #213 – Double feature – Lithuanian Skeptics plus Parlia.com

This week we have no less than two separate interviews, both of which we’ve been looking forward to for some time. First, we talk to Šarūnas Bačiliūnas, the founder of the rather new “Lithuanian Skeptic Youth” Organisation. Started from scratch in 2018 they organize events, workshops international exchanges and educate both the public and even teachers on critical thinking. Impressively they have already had the Lithuanian health minister as speaker on one of their skeptics in the pub and on top of that they are also doing charity work and are setting up a play about Polish-Lithuanian 17th century atheist Kazimieras Leščinskas (aka Kazimierz Łyszczyński), perhaps the first enlightenment man in Europe. In our second interview we catch up again with Turi Munthe, founder of Parlia, “the Encyclopedia of Opinion”. Formerly known as Parli (see episode #154), Parlia is a wiki-type of database and website which aims to cover all existing opinions and all arguments for and against those opinions. During the Brexit debate, Turi came to the realization that the actual number of pros and cons to a position is surprisingly few and it is quite possible to map all of them in a structured way. The website is fully in place and all that is needed now is to increase the number of contributors and moderators to form a large enough community to create and maintain the content. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview with Šarūnas Bačiliūnas; Interview with Turi Munthe; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/12/202054 minutes, 24 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #212 - Corona Corona Corona

This week it cannot be helped that a lot of the episode is about different aspects on the Coronavirus and Covid-19. But we also want to remind everyone about our SkepKon raffle where we have one ticket to hand out to the conference in Berlin 21 - 23 May! Just send us an email to participate. After the greetings we hear about holocaust denier David Irving, who was declared bankrupt This Week in History in 2002 after he sued a writer for libel and lost the subsequent trial. Pontus Pokes the Pope and tells about the new papal “task force” that will try to get all local and national Catholic organizations to handle sex abuse scandals better. In the news, nonsense Coronavirus information is peddled by Hungarian authorities, a TV channel in Norway says that you will be protected if you donate to them while in other places, homeopaths think empty sugar pills are better. We discuss why the outbreak is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and hear that in the UK, the PSA reaccredits the Society of Homeopaths but under strict conditions. Further on the subject, a German court says homeopathy may be totally ineffective, but that is not their concern. We finish with another Corona related item and hand out a Really Wrong award to Durek Verrett, the self-proclaimed shaman and the boyfriend of the Norwegian Princess Märtha Louise. He recently published a homemade “cure” for the covid-19 disease. Spoiler: the vodka is optional! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/5/202056 minutes, 8 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #211 - Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden

This week we talk about the John Maddox Prize, the BBC’s new show series about Greta Thunberg and about Darren Brown, born on this day in 1971. Pontus Pokes the Pope and finally we get Francis’ take on celibacy in the Amazon (or do we?), and of course the highlights from the latest sex abuse scandals. In the news we hear the latest regarding the CoViD-19 Coronavirus, more details about dangerous measles complications and check how much of the climate change debate that are driven by twitter-bots. The latest mass shooting in Germany shows that conspiracy theories are not something to take lightly, the Hungarian government sponsors creationist nonsense, Jeff Bezos finally announces some philanthropic activity and Scandinavian tele company Telenor launches HiperSchool in Hungary, a tool to teach young people how to handle Internet misinformation. We end by handing a Really Right Award to the DA! art competition, arranged by Giordano Bruno Foundation and Natalie Grams. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/27/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 46 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #210 - Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change with John Cook

On this episode we interview Australian cognitive scientist and founder of the Skeptical Science website John Cook about his upcoming book 'Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change' that showcases typical climate science denial situations in a cartoon format. We also talk about other projects John has been busy with, including the Cranky Uncle app, The Debunking Handbook and a lot more. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/20/202059 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #209 - Heart-o-puncture™

This week before we get into the meat of the show, we talk Corona, Greta Thunberg and look forward to Adam Rutherford’s new book, “How to Argue with a Racist”. We also have two good news for our German friends: Natalie Grams have launched her podcast “Grams’ Sprechstunde” and we have a ticket raffle for SkepKon 2020 in Berlin. Tune in to find out how you can win a free ticket! In this week in history we celebrate Charles Darwin who was born on 12 February 1809. Pontus Pokes the Pope for hypocritically telling others how to reduce poverty when he personally has misplaced tens of millions of Euro from the Peters’ Pence charity. Also Cardinal Barbarin get off scot-free for covering up a child molester. In the news we report that the BBC launches “My World”, a show to teach young audiences to spot fake news, that the WHO fights the “Infodemic” of fake Coronavirus rumours and that they get help from Factcheck.org and Fullfact.org. Climate change reaches new heights with the warmest January on record for Europe and Ryan Air hypocritically wants us to believe that their flights are carbon friendly (we don’t buy it). We end by given a Really Wrong Award to the Swedish legal system which allows acupuncturists to ram needles into the hearts of cancer patients. That’s right, heart-o-puncture™ is apparently legal. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/13/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 55 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #208 - The Nuclear Option with Iida Ruishalme

This week we interview Finnish activist Iida Ruishalme and talk about nuclear power and green energy. Iida is a biologist specialised in biomedical research, an environmentalist, a writer and a science communicator. She also a mum, taking the future of her children very seriously. She blogs at Thoughtscapism.com. We first met her at the 2019 European Skeptics Congress in Ghent where she gave a fascinating talk about the importance of critical thinking when it comes to green energy and decarbonisation. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
2/6/202050 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #207 - Coronavirus Misinformation

This week we first get the record straight and correct our position on Ocean Cleanup - while we appreciate the sentiment, the whole idea is both damaging and unscientific. Two great Skeptical events are coming up this spring Skepkon 2020 in Berlin 21 - 23 May and the 4th Conference on Science and Pseudoscience 13 -1 4 March in Alicante. In this week in history we hear about Russia’s own Roswell incident, the Height 611 UFO crash. Pontus Pokes the Pope and gives us the latest on the celibacy controversy, the first female high-ranking appointment in the Vatican and how Father Robert, aka the Digital Jesuit, invited Francis for a D&D session in the crypt. All news sources are full of Coronavirus stories at the moment, but how does one separate the facts from fiction? Swedish Schools keeps patronizing known Scientology organisations and the Spanish Manifesto against Pseudotherapies gets momentum abroad. Greenpeace wants a piece of the action on the Green party’s recent success in the Hungarian election, but they are more ideologically driven than they should be. Can we afford to mitigate climate change effects? In fact, it is uneconomical NOT to do so, according to a new study and again we point out that homeopathy of course cannot replace antibiotics. We end by shaming Corriere Della Sera for promoting pseudoscience and hand them a Really Wrong Award. Enjoy!
1/30/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #206 - From Peter’s Pence to Francis' Pants

This week we note that the Swedish Skeptics’ article from last week concerning Thomas Erikson’s nonsense personality book “Surrounded by Idiots” has gotten some attention from other skeptics, among other things Pontus was a guest on the last episode of the Skeptic Zone podcast to talk about it. In history this week we talk about Desmond Morris and his role in the Aquatic Ape hypothesis and then Pontus Pokes the Pope about the fact that the two living popes are at odds regarding celibacy and also that the charity money from Peter’s Pence goes straight into the coffers of the Vatican. In the news this week: Contrary to what you may have heard, Finland does not plan to go to a four-day working week, in Russia 800 science papers have been retracted and the Eurobarometer shows that EU citizens are concerned about climate change. Andrew Wakefield will screen the new film Vaxxed II at a public venue in Notting Hill, the Goop Lab will feature the Dutch “Iceman” Wim Hof, an Italian court has against scientific consensus ruled that mobile phones cause brain tumours and John Cook is publishing a comic book about climate change denial. We hope Skeptics will help translate it! We end by handing a Really Wrong Award to the UK Home Office and the Ministry of Justice for believing in lie detectors. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/23/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 49 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #205 - Surrounded By Idiots

This week we note that at the time of recording, American-Swedish astronaut Jessica Meir is busy preparing and conducting the second ever all-female spacewalk. In history this week in 1964, Italian philosopher, author and skeptic Massimo Pigliucci was born, and we discuss some of his contributions and influences. Pontus Pokes the Pontus to note that old Benedict comes out of retirement to fight for celibacy, potentially creating a headache for poor Francis, who is supposed to say the final word on the matter shortly. In other papal news, disgraced former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick goes missing to avoid the wrath of the Holy See. In the news, the Spanish Catholic Church inexplicably thinks that celibate priests constitute the best expertise in preparing young couples for marriage while Uri Geller reminds us that he’s no more crazy than the UK Government and so, applies for a job there. Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab is soon coming to a Netflix near you, trying to convince us that spending a fortune on utter bullshit is the way to female empowerment. Luckily the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project (GSOW) with Susan Gerbic has already launched an excellent Wikipedia page pointing out the stupidity of that. A Swedish MP spreads conspiracy theories on the Australian wildfires and we try to set the record straight. A Danish study shows what the harm really is with HPV anti-vaccination propaganda and the Swedish Skeptics (VoF) wants to alert the world about bogus personality tests that’s makes the rounds internationally. Beware of the book ‘Surrounded by Idiots’! We end by handing a Really Wrong award to the College of Medicine that, backed by Prince Charles, wants to teach GPs and alt med quacks Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), despite that it clearly is pseudoscientific nonsense. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/16/202043 minutes, 44 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #204 - The Fallible Pope

This week András is back and we start by philosophizing a bit about what a new decade really means and look forward to a few nice skeptics meetings coming up. We also talk about the future for Golden Rice and why it is so important despite what Greenpeace and EU politicians think. From history we hear about the so-called ‘psychic’ Doris Stokes who was born this week in 1920 and Pontus Pokes the Pope for telling others to show restraint while he himself lost his temper just a few days ago. Should he be the one who negotiate peace in the Middle East? We think not. In the News this week: MedWatch.de turns into full online magazine, the people behind the Manifesto Against Pseudotherapies are getting sued by homeopaths and Prince William starts the ‘Earthshot Prize’ to fight the climate crisis. We look back on a decade of Edzard Ernst, praise Hayley Stevens for continuing to spread light over ghost hunting and look forward to Natalie Grams new book coming out in February. Also, the ‘El Esceptico’ magazine has recently examined the pharmaceutical industry in an excellent way. We end by handing another Really Right to the Daily Mail(!), this time for taking a critical look at the New Year’s diet recommendations. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/9/202052 minutes, 41 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #203 - How Much to Bribe a Pope?

This week Brian is back again and we look forward to the new year. One thing to note about 2020 is the Ratio conference in Sofia in Bulgaria in June and that the super early bird tickets already are released. Chris French is going, so why don’t you? Then Jelena tells us a ghost story from this week in 1762 that took place in Cock Lane, believe it or not. In Pontus Pokes the Pope we hear about shady monetary shenanigans involving two sitting popes and how the Catholic church is now struggling to live up to the recent changes regarding so-called Papal Secrecy. In the news we talk about the resignation of the Italian education minister, how the NHS in the UK is trying out ‘prehab’ for cancer patients and we check back on the Samoan measles emergency. Further news takes us to Russia who has appealed the sanctions imposed because of doping scandals, and we go to Spain where homeopaths are trying to sue the government and then we are happy to hear that the charlatan John of God has been sentenced to 19 years in jail, albeit for rape rather than quackery. We close the show by handing out a Really Wrong Award to the archbishop of Krakow who believes that Greta Thunberg is the antichrist since she will not let him subdue the Earth. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
1/2/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #202 – 2019 Wasn’t All Bad

This week we wrap up the year and wish all our listeners a Happy Holiday. We revisit something we got wrong about Das Goldene Brett last week and celebrate the birthday of Johannes Kepler. For Pontus Pokes the Pope we examine what the Pontifical Secret is all about and what it may mean when Francis now has declared it cannot be used to hide sex abuse. We also deliver our first ever film review, on the rather nice but totally fictional movie ‘The Two Popes’. In the news we talk about Chemophobia, HPV vaccinations for boys and again marvel at the stupidity of the Prince of Wales. We also discuss doctors paying for positive on-line reviews, the measles situation in Turkey (it’s bad) and how anti-vaxxers and making millions from ‘natural supplements’ goes hand in hand. Also, the supreme court in the Netherlands has upheld a ruling against the government for not doing enough to fight climate change. We end the episode and the year by looking back to find that several good things happened too in 2019, even if they sometimes go unnoticed or are quickly forgotten. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/26/201956 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #201 - HPV vaccines are safe!

This week we start our journey towards episode 300 and first reflect on climate change with Greta Thunberg as Time Magazine’s person of the year and Australia heading for a sever heatwave just in time for Christmas. Johan Nevil Maskelyne, skeptic, magician (and inventor of the pay toilet) was born on 22 December 180 years ago. Pontus Popes the Pope who has been very busy over the year and seems to have big plans also for 2020. Then there is some more climate change news, with the European Green Deal proposed by the European Commission, we see a trend of apps trying to tell us what to eat and then a scumbag from episode 51 back in December 2016 finally gets well deserved jail time. Das Goldene Brett (the Golden Board) has been awarded to homeopathy manufacturer Hevert by the GWUP in Austria and the CFIIG increase their paranormal challenge reward to $250,000. Will anyone ever win it? We close the show by explaining why new research into HPV vaccines show that it’s perfectly safe, but still have to issue a Really Wrong award to a Danish doctor who denies it all via some unusually creative logical fallacies. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/19/201949 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #200 - Two hundred!

This week we celebrate our 200th episode and that we continue our journey into our fifth year! We re-unite with our first ever guest, Gábor Hraskó (president of the Hungarian Skeptics) to philosophize a little about Skepticism and what has changed over time. And throughout the show we hear fantastic congratulation greetings from dear friends from across the world! We go on to bring up the eradication of Smallpox and Pontus Pokes the Pope to examine a potential $4 billion threat to the Catholic Church. And a Catholic Minecraft server sounds intriguing as well… In the news we talk about reliable climate change models, Etiopathy, the measles epidemic both globally and in Samoa. Polio is still a threat to consider and we revisit the topic of Assisted Death and the Manifesto Against Pseudoscientific Therapies. Finally, András does his very best Master Yoda impression to celebrate that we have lasted this far! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Welcome with Gábor Hraskó; Greetings from friends 1; This Week; Greetings from friends (2); Pontus Pokes the Pope; Greetings from friends 3; News; Greetings from friends 4; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/12/201959 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #199 – Life’s too fun!

This week Claire Kroulik-Klingenberg joins Jelena and Pontus for the 199th episode – we’re into our fifth year, folks! In This week in Skepticism, Jelena tells the story of how a young pre-Sherlock-Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle fictionalized the real story of a ghost ship, creating a modern legend. Pontus Pokes the Pope and goes through some of the main on-going abuse scandals, while Francis himself celebrate with lasagne. In the news we learn about good news for Skeptic Pepijn van Erp, we also hear that institutionalized sex abuse happens also in the Church of England and that an American church causes two deaths in Latvia. The Good Thinking Society scores two wins this week, both regarding ear candling and homeopathy and we again establish that the Swedish Free School system very often is a front for religious indoctrination. Measles may be on the decline in Europe, but is continuing to create disasters with thousands of deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a state of emergency declared in Samoa, where 1.5% of the total population has been infected, a number that is rising exponentially (as we release this it is more like 2%). A recent Swedish court case renews the discussions about assisted deaths. Despite some serious topics in this episode we finish off with a bit lighter Really Wrong Award that we hand out to Dr Cameron Sepah, who for some reason believes we all need to make our lives more boring. It’s called Dopamine Fasting. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Radio Spot; News; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
12/5/201957 minutes, 23 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #198 - Jehovah’s Witnesses w Lydia Finch

This week we have a very interesting interview with Lydia Finch, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness turned skeptic. As a sort of a follow-up from two weeks ago, we felt we wanted to dive a little more into what it really means to grow up as a JW and then eventually leave. Leaving voluntarily is difficult enough, but in Lydia’s case she was kicked out for “behaving badly” and for a long while she lived in fear, convinced that she had brought eternal damnation on herself. Eventually she managed to figure out that it was all BS and got in contact with the Skeptics movement. In our interview she takes us through that journey and also gives us a unique insight into how JW works and how dishonestly they try to portray themselves to the outside world. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/28/201936 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #197 - Deadly Chiro-Practices

This week we welcome Brian back for an unprecedented two-weeks-in-a-row appearance and then we dive into how the Piltdown-man hoax went undetected for many years, but was revealed this week 66 years ago. Then we poke the pope for trying to put the blame for his sex abuse scandals on Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, while Cardinal Pell, believe in or not, may get one more day in court. In the news we find we still have to explain why you should NOT go to a chiropractor because not only is chiropractic total pseudoscience, it’s also occasionally deadly. In happier news an Ebola vaccine is finally here and has been approved in the EU, where coincidentally, being it due to vaccinations or not, the measles epidemic finally shows signs to be receding. Nevertheless, the measles vaccine is now mandatory in Germany. In Venice the recent floods are devastating but is it climate change or is it just that building a city out in the water is a bad idea? Speaking of water, did holy water from Lourdes save Shakira’s voice? And will Golden Rice finally be approved in Bangladesh? So many questions, and only the ESP experience to sort it all out! Finally, the State Government of Bavaria is taking stupid to a new level when trying to fight multi-resistant bacteria with homeopathy and that earns them a place in the Really Wrong hall of fame. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week, Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/21/201957 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #196 - 99.9% of All Scientists

This week it’s the return of Brian as we have sent András on a field trip to Malaysia. We celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Glasgow Skeptics and then explore signs that some bishops in the Catholic Church at least seem to be trying do the right thing regarding the abuse scandals, however without much help from Francis. He may instead worry that he has opened Pandora’s box by allowing discussions about married priests and female deacons. In the news ‘Trick or Treatment’, the book by Edzard Ernst and Simon Sing, has received an award and a study indicates that organic farming may actually be worse for the environment in some cases, something that leads to protests from organic defenders filled with logical fallacies. WHO is getting hard criticism for its inclusion of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, which is also illustrated by a study the shows that TCM is causing a growing number of cases of fatal liver failure. A French study shows that MD’s who receives gifts from pharmaceutical companies prescribe too much of the wrong drugs, the 500 not-so-qualified ‘experts’ who denied the climate change emergency are challenged by over 11,000 real scientists and Lidl has a silly solution to too much sugar in your coffee. Finally, the Swedish government gets a Really Wrong award for their decision to subsidize the abusive Jehovah’s Witnesses. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week, Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/14/20191 hour, 1 minute, 1 second
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TheESP – Ep. #195 – EU rules on GMO are bananas

This week pope Francis is all talk and no show, there was a secret love affaire between a Cardinal and a Queen of Sweden in 1654 and Massimo Polidoro’s book Il Mondo Sottosopra is now in the shops. New study finds that measles resets your whole immune system in a very bad way, homeopathic nonsense should absolutely not have a Royal warrant of appointment and Swedish CAM proponents claim CAM is safe despite obvious examples that it is not. Facebook and Twitter have totally opposite views in political ads on their platforms and Facebook employees points out to Mark Zuckerberg that he is wrong. Finally, we demonstrate how the EU rules on GMO and CRISPR are totally bananas. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
11/7/201946 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #194 - Polio: Two Down, One to Go

First: A big shout-out to fellow skeptics Claire and Jakub who are getting married on the day of the release of this episode! This week we learn about William Benjamin Carpenter, an early skeptic and describer of the Ideomotor effect, back in 1870s. Then we ponder the results of the Synod for the Amazon and what decisions Pope Francis will have to make of those. Also, the renewal of the Pact of the Catacombs sounds perfect for the week of Halloween... In the news we look at a study regarding mandatory vs. voluntary vaccinations, we note that even if you are a Shaman and married to a Princess you may not publish dangerous health advice and we have a look at the latest unfortunate victim of German cancer quackery. We celebrate that two out of three polio strains are now eradicated and take a look at a new example of how to battle conspiracy theories, and are happy to see the Good Think Society help the chief of the NHS put homeopathy awareness on the agenda (and on the front page of the Daily Mail!) We close the show by handing a Really Wrong Award to Adriano Panzironi, self-proclaimed diet and supplement peddler who promise to help you live to 120 (at a steep fee, of course...) Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
10/31/201944 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #193 - Global Vaccination Summit w Ovidiu Covaciu

This week we have a very interesting catch up with Ovidiu Covaciu who attended the International Global Vaccination Summit organised by the European Commission and the WHO. But before that we celebrate that Jelena singlehandedly (not really) made sure that the new Center for Population Health in her home city of Seattle was dedicated to Dr. Hans Rosling, the Swedish professor and science communicator. We also talk about how Pope John Paul II this week in 1996 admitted that evolution probably has some merits to it after all. That doesn’t necessarily mean he liked it much. After the interview we poke the pope with some more Amazon news and the hilarious innovations of the Vatican to make use of modern technology. Yes, it’s the eRosary™, that nifty device we’ve all been waiting for! It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and send those Hail Marys to the heavens above at the flick of the wrist (literally). In the news we find another win for the Good Thinking Society against Peter Popoff, we anticipate the yearly ComceptCon skeptical event in Portugal and go through how the Swedish Skeptics was invited by the government to give their opinion on the coming CAM-regulations. Then we go to Spain where the Spanish Skeptics at ARP-SAPC join others to fight the dangerous idea of Bio-Neuro Emotion. We finish off with handing out a Really Wrong award to the Polish ‘Law and Justice’ party that has passed a law that says sex education for kids is a form of paedophilia. Really, they said that. Oh, and there’s a surprise coming for our most faithful patrons – you can join them if you want to! Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Interview; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/24/201955 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #192 - Dark Side of the Moon

This week we first have a look to see if it was really the President of Finland who said he preferred reindeer to Trump before we congratulate the Spanish Skeptics for ceasing the opportunity of the Nobel week to point out what the ‘Nobel decease’ is in the mainstream media. We also remember the mockumentary ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ that premiered this week 17 years ago. Social media is tough to handle, as pope Francis discovered when accidentally tagging an NFL football team on Twitter, much to the delight of all the fans. Meanwhile his synod on the Amazon is fully underway, and we report on the latest developments. In the news, we report on the Global Vaccination Summit on-line, discuss the anti-gay sentiments in France, Flat Earthers in the Netherlands and the rising homeopathy resistance in Germany. We also discuss illegal circumcisions in Sweden, a new skeptical book from CICAP in Italy and the start of a huge medical lawsuit in France. We end by handing yet another Really Wrong for covering up sex abuse in the Catholic Church, this time to Swedish Cardinal Anders Arborelius. Give it a listen! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/17/201944 minutes, 36 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #191 - No dick, no vote

This week we declare that we’re fans of Brian Cox and we deliberate some more on the book ‘Shoot for the Moon’ by Richard Wiseman (see ep. 190) and how we can apply the lessons learned from Apollo in our skeptical endeavors. We then look into the soap opera that is the currently ongoing Synod in Rome that has created a big controversy for Francis, even before it has begun (and in addition he insists you need a dick to vote on the outcome). That is a developing story that we absolutely will come back to in the upcoming weeks. Massimo Polidoro (see ep. 189) has yet another new book out AND has launched a new YouTube channel. Does the man never sleep? We take a look at why Greta Thunberg is constantly attacked, and our message is that if she gets on your nerves you should listen to what she says, not how she may make you feel. The Swedish liberal Centre Party takes a very controversial stand against male circumcision and the World Health Organization has issued new recommendations regarding flu vaccinations. We end the show with a deep dive into the climate change debate, handing out both a Really Wrong Award to the Climate Intelligence Foundation and a Really Right to the site Climatefeedback.org. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong and Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/10/201949 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #190 - Richard Wiseman and Shoot for the Moon

This week we first have a brief follow-up on German Health Minister Jens Spahn’s failure do defund bogus homeopathy and how the IHN (Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie) has published an open letter to the minister explaining why he is wrong not to chance the rules. You can all go sign it! We also mention the Swedish Skeptics’ (VoF) successful participation in the Gothenburg International Book Fair. The main segment of this episode is an interview with the marvelous Richard Wiseman, where he tells all about his latest book Shoot for the Moon. András was fortunate enough to catch up with him in Edinburgh and the book tells the fascinating story about how a very young, but passionate team, came together under Apollo 11 and were instrumental in putting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Richard has coined the phrase ‘Apollo Mindset’ to describe how the team spirit they developed was key in making sure that Apollo 11 was the fantastic success it was. The book also discusses how we may all learn from the Apollo program to apply a little #ApolloMindset of our own, more down-to-earth projects. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
10/3/201935 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #189 - with Massimo Polidoro

This week we first hear from the fantastic Massimo Polidoro who tells all about CICAP Fest from two weeks ago. We look forward to a new film which is a fictional tale about the relationship between pope Benedict and Francis and there is a new book is out which brings attention to the brewing schism within the Catholic church (this makes Francis rather unhappy). In the news, Russia is not very successfully trying to cover up the fire in the smallpox lab (ouch!), Sweden extends the HPV vaccinations to ALL kids (not just girls) and the Hungarian Skeptics scores a win for kicking out alt med quackery from a medical university. Russian bot farms spreads both anti and pro vaccination memes in order to undermine people’s trust in information in general and we again get confirmation that the climate change is escalating. The ‘fake’ city of Bielefeld did not manage to find anyone to prove its non-existence and Swedish politicians try to score populist points with crime fighting proposals that will be totally ineffective or even counterproductive. We end the episode by being deeply disappointed in the German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who totally failed to end homeopathy funding. For that, he receives this week’s Really Wrong award. Enjoy! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/26/201954 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #188 – European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 2

This week the team is all together at last! András us tells a bit about his adventures at the incredibly exiting CICAP Fest in Padua, more on this to follow next week. In the main part of the episode we release the next set of interviews recorded at the European Skeptics Congress 2019! This time you will hear from participants and activists as well as get a sneak peek behind curtain from some of the organizers and volunteers. Oh, and we have a new logo, thanks to Matt Kemp (@kemp_matt)! Thank you so much! Enjoy! Interviews in this episode: Jozef van Giel, Dieter Byttebier, Élisabeth Feytit, Paul de Belder Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interviews; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/19/201950 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #187 - Antibiotic Resistance Worse Than Climate Change?

This week we celebrate the birthday of the ‘Ask for Evidence’ campaign, the Pope gets stuck in an elevator and we debunk three myths about the Amazon forest fires. Counterfeit Medicine is a growing threat to society, even more European countries lose their status a s ‘measles free’ and there are still repercussions in Sweden of the Macchiarini scandal in 2015. Yoga may be good for preventing cardiovascular problem (but there are many questions still), what used to be the highest peak in Sweden has melted and is now number two and some say antibiotic resistance could be worse than climate change. We finish off by awarding the BBC a Really Wrong award for thinking scientists believe Nessie could be a big eel. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
9/12/201938 minutes, 42 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #186 - European Skeptics Congress 2019, part 1

This week it was Congress time! András and Pontus (unfortunately not Jelena) spent a wonderful weekend in Ghent, Belgium, at at the European Skeptics Congress 2019, where they had a blast! At the ESC 2019 there were talks by prominent skeptics and plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The result for the podcast is several interviews recorded on-site, with more to come later on. If you were there and met with us, we thank you for doing so! If not, there will be more opportunities in the future. Until then, here are this week's interviews, with even more to come on later episodes. Enjoy! Interviews in this episode: Edzard Ernst, Christine Mohr, Ovidiu Covaciu Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interviews; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
9/5/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 48 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #185 – Rain dance for the Amazon

This week it is true that the Amazon (Amazonas? Amazonia?) is burning and glaciers are dying, but misinformation is still everywhere. Especially, meditation and rain dances will not help. Instead we should learn from John Locke, born this week in 1632, and who taught us the benefits of empiricism. Even though the Cardinal Pell story seems to be all over for him, the Vatican still faces a giant dilemma on how to handle it. There’s a 1 million Euro award for you if you can prove that a German city doesn’t exist, Nobel laureates are sometimes cranks, but you can learn key concepts for making informed choices if you read Nature Magazine. Edinburgh hesitates in kicking out non-elected religious school board members, Valigia Blu gets Italian Skeptic award from CICAP, the UK loses status as “Measles free” and study from Australia suggest that political views are perhaps not so much of a factor in vaccination resistance. Finally, we conclude that no matter what they think in Turku University in Finland, climate change is definitely man-made and whoever says differently are Really Wrong. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe To listen and see show notes go to: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-185.html
8/29/20191 hour, 25 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #184 - Not well for Pell

This week we start by noting that the measles numbers in Serbia from last week must be nonsense (it’s much worse) and again urge you to support Retraction Watch. We then report on Cardinal Pell’s failed appeal in Australia and the pope’s totally misguided efforts to help the people of Syria. Brexit spells disaster for science in the UK, a British ‘Grief Vampire’ is touring in Sweden, but on a positive note, the Homeopathy Information Network provides help on fighting homeopathy in all of EU. A Lithuanian man wants you to sleep with bees (don’t try this at home), Spanish Skeptics (ARP-SAPC) team up with the authorities to educate teachers on how to spot pseudoscience, and the Swedish government wants to implement a national digital register to keep track of vaccination rates. Finally, we hand out a Really Wrong award to a private hospital in Finland for charging lots of money for an unproven cancer treatment. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe To listen and see show notes go to: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-184.html
8/22/201947 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #183 - Free Energy, 'Flygskam' and hard numbers on Measles

Pontus was interviewed by Richard Saunders on The Skeptic Zone this week, check it out at http://skepticzone.libsyn.com/the-skeptic-zone-564-11august2019 In this episode we hear about free energy devices, about Pope Francis’ friend who stands accused of sex-abuse, and that Metro in Sweden is closing down taking with it their ‘Viral Examiner’ that has corrected and explained internet myths for almost five years. We hear about the first publicly known (but certainly not only) victim of Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘vagina steaming’, how to sign up for Shaman Summer School and of ‘Flygskam’, the Swedish flight shaming that now goes international. We also do another deep dive into the disastrous measles epidemic, including publishing a unique spread sheet we have created to give an overview of the European situation as of the first six months of 2019. Finally, we hand out a Really Right award to the Lancet for their efforts to fight gender bias in science. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe To listen and see show notes go to: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-183.html
8/15/201940 minutes, 19 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #182 - Anthroposophical Ups and Downs

This week we reflect on the current heatwave and on climate change, we give a shout-out to James Randi who turned 91 this week(!) and Pontus pokes the pope for letting his Archbishops lash out against vulnerable minorities. In the news it’s confirmed (again) that vaccinations have nothing to do with autism, we hear how Anthroposophy nuts has managed to weasel their way into the University of Basel and how pseudoscience for children is fought by good people in Spain. Retraction Watch is turning nine years and you should support them and again in Spain there are good forces working against pseudoscience by cleverly promoting policies regarding homeopathy. Finally, we deliver a Really Right award to the Swedish government who as of 1 September has rendered the Anthroposophy-nonsense history in Sweden. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Radio Spots; Quote and Farewell; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/8/20191 hour, 48 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #181 - Medical Misinformation

This week and from now on, you can now listen to us on Spotify too! If you do, this episode will tell you about how Lamarck, born today 275 years ago, got it wrong about evolution but also was somewhat on the right track, more than 60 years before Darwin. Pope Francis is starting to sound more and more like this week’s quote supplier, George Orwell, and in EU the fight may be forming against the bad rules about CRISPR. Facebook and Twitter want to fight bogus medical cures, but it seems that some quacks are already using that fact to their advantage. In Italy, new numbers tell us that they do not seem to be able to get to grips with their low vaccination rates. Finally, there’s a tragic story in progress concerning the current miss Europe who is promoting made-up treatments for her cancer. She is claiming that it works, which of course is bound to mislead lots of others to make the same mistake. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
8/1/201945 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #180 - Sander van der Linden on Bad News and prebunking

This week Andras interviewed Sander van der Linden, who is a social psychologist and has done extensive research into how we should approach the fight against fake news and the spreading of misinformation about climate change, vaccinations and all sorts of popular social issues by applying prebunking instead of debunking. He and his team at Cambridge have developed a tool that can be used to inoculate people against psychological manipulations and it goes by the name 'Bad News'.
7/28/201953 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #179 – Religious Liberty?

This week we celebrate Britt Hermes’ lawsuit victory and that Annika got married (yay!) and urge everyone top make plans for ESC in Belgium – there’s still time to get your tickets! We hear about celebrated scientist and skeptic David Colquhoun and we get into how the term ‘Religious Liberty’ is so misunderstood and misused by the church. András gives us a special interview with Heather and Mark Pentler of the Edinburgh Skeptics who reveal all about the upcoming Skeptics in the Fringe in August. In the news it is formally confirmed that France is stopping public funding for homeopathy and there are signs that Germany may go the same way. HPV vaccinations get included also for boys in the UK, same sex marriages and abortions get allowed in Northern Ireland (upon time). The WHO releases a report that shows that we have not improved global vaccination rates in the last 8 years, but we learn in other news at least that measles vaccinations will now become mandatory in Germany. Finally, ‘psychic healer’ Jeanette Wilson gets a Really Wrong award for her current tour of the UK and for her stupid nonsense in general. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interview; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
7/19/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 57 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #178 - Camp Quest with Andreas Kyriacou, plus IQ testing and killing science

This week while Pontus is away, we talk to Andreas Kyriacou from Switzerland about Camp Quest Switzerland before moving on to other events, IQ testing and a lot more, including a German petition to hold CAM practices to the same standards as real medicine, how the Hungarian Academy of Science is being killed off by Viktor Orban's government, legal action against a science writer in Ireland, the situation of SCAM in Switzerland and Facebook trying to tackle the ever-growing issue of deep fake videos.
7/14/201955 minutes, 2 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #177 - Monarchy is stupid!

This week Jelena discloses the location of her new place to live - and it's far away! Then we hear about how Pasteur would not have been even close to pass today’s ethical guidelines when he tested his rabies vaccine, that the Catholic Church will discuss marriage for priests but rather walk out of the game than play football against pro-choice opponents. A huge meta-analysis covering 60 million people clearly shows the benefits of HPV vaccinations, the Good Thinking Society needs our help in challenging the PSA over homeopathy accreditation and France will stop funding homeopathy which directly hits the finances of Boiron. A much-publicized study is very premature in claiming that there is a link between microbiomes and autism, Iceland recognizes the need to allow for gender neutral names and absurdly under the legal system in Sweden, your man gets a milder sentence for beating you, if it turns out you have "provoked him" by being unfaithful. Finally, apropos Prince Charles’ latest endorsement of homeopathy, Pontus goes on a rant against monarchy and hands him a Really Wrong award. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; GSOW Radio Spot; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe To listen and see show notes go to: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-177.html
7/4/201938 minutes, 32 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #176 - Fighting Pseudo-therapies

This week we clarify the difference between a ‘skeptic’ and a ‘denier’ when it comes to climate change and plug the Rationalist International Conference (Cambridge, 27-28 July) before Jelena debunks the myth that an American businessman once got tricked into buying Tower Bridge in London. In a special interview we talk to Fernando Cervera, one of the founders behind the European manifesto against pseudo-therapies. Pontus pokes the pope for the way the Catholic Church keep screwing (pun intended) their congregations. Then we get a new segment, ‘Annika Reports!’, where she interviews speaker and archaeologist Mirko Gutjahr at Cologne Skeptics in the Pub. In the news this week, we have the results from the world’s biggest study of vaccine attitudes, UK holidaymakers are warned to get vaccinated before visiting Europe and a Spanish doctor is suspended for promoting the old myth that vaccines cause autism. Finally, we hand out over a million Really Wrong awards(!) to everyone that have signed Boiron’s desperate petition to keep public funding in France for useless homeopathy. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interview with Fernando Cervera; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Annika Reports!; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-176.html
6/27/201948 minutes, 44 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #175 - The Brilliant Mind of Gwyneth Paltrow

This week we remember Willem (‘Wim’) Betz, the iconic Belgian physician, researcher and skeptic, co-founder of SKEPP (Belgian Skeptic Organisation) and CSICOP fellow, who sadly passed away on 8 June. Pontus reports his experiences at the big political event in Stockholm last week (Järvaveckan) and then Jelena talks about the life and times of William Crookes, who was a brilliant scientist, but also a believer in paranormal phenomena. When Pontus pokes the Pope, we find that Pride month is not for the Vatican, who felt the need to issue a 31-page document to say that trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’. We then enjoy the three remaining SkepKon interviews by Annika Merkelbach. In the news this week, the German minister of health takes a stand against ‘gay conversion therapy’; we urge scientists, researchers and medical practitioners to sign the manifesto against pseudotherapies and a Swedish on-line casino gets its license revoked for taking unfair advantage of their customers. Zotaro teams up with Retraction Watch to alert people about retracted studies, homeopathy seems about to be losing funding in France, and Snopes debunks the claim that Facebook’s Shake-and-Report function leads to people being banned on Facebook. Anti-abortion sentiments are spreading to Europe from the US and the Italian parents who treated their boy with homeopathy get convicted in court. To rap it all up, we strongly disagree with the ‘Brilliant Minds’ Foundation that apparently believes that Gwyneth Paltrow has one… Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interviews from SkepKon; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-175.html
6/20/201958 minutes, 55 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #174 - Eating beaver

This week András sticks his neck out, announcing that he will give a talk at the upcoming CICAP Fest in Padua in September - in Italian! We then learn about Margherita Hack who was a formidable Italian astronomer, skeptic and co-founder CICAP, we hear more interviews from SkepKon, curtesy of special correspondent Annika Merkelbach and hear how Cardinal Pell is trying to get out of his legal problem while Francis are creating new ones. Meanwhile the Vatican has spent a fortune to stop legal protection of child abuse victims in the US. Britt Hermes has won her court case (yay!), Sweden has a big public debate regarding the future of religious free-schools and there is a promising Hungarian initiative to get critical thinking into the education system. Several UK papers foolishly repeat nonsense from social media about a young woman’s death in the Netherlands, we push for the Fight-the-Fake campaign and celebrate that a fellow skeptic has been elected into the Danish parliament (‘Folketinget’). Finally, the Polish minister of Agriculture promotes eating beaver, which sounds so much better than it is… Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interviews from SkepKon; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-174.html
6/13/201946 minutes, 7 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #173 - The ‘Tender Pope’, Homeopathy and SkepKon interviews

This week we catch up a bit regarding VoF (the Swedish skeptics) and talk about a new Manifesto against pseudoscientific treatments. We also get a bit nostalgic about a UK referendum about Europe - in 1975. Then we get two interviews from SkepKon by our special correspondent on the ground, Annika Merkelbach. We check in with Francis who has been in Romania and also apparently is happy to cultivate his future legacy as the ‘tender’ pope. Sense About Science calls for volunteers for their Evidence Week, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube take a stance against MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) and other dangerous nonsense, and University of Vienna makes an effort to repair its past endorsement of homeopathy. More news about Natalie Grams and the (totally bogus) legal threat she is facing and also that her organisation, Information Network on Homeopathy, has launched a repository of excellent information in English. The fake cancer drug Rigvir has now been de-registered by the State Agency of Medicines (ZVA), but some forces are still pushing for future distribution. In Belgium a consumer protection organisation speaks up against homeopathy, before we end by giving a Really Wrong award to Keele University for keeping a an anti-vaxxer and bad researcher on their payroll. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Interviews from SkepKon; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-173.html
6/6/201957 minutes, 14 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #172 - The Measles Disaster, Abortions and Lying Stones

In this week’s episode we have some remarks about the EU Elections, before we hear about the Beringer hoax and his lying stones. The pope has outrageous views on abortions and thinks that women and unborn foetuses must suffer for God. The measles situation is getting even worse than we could imagine with cases more than tripling in the EU. The EU elections predictably brought a new high to fake news on social media and we find yet another example that proves that religious schools is a really bad idea. We have an update on last week’s Rigvir interview with Austra, Natalie Grams is threatened by legal attack and yes, we were right – the Voynich manuscript is still a mystery. When end with more abortion news when we give a Really Wrong award to Swedish Christian Democrats. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/theesp-ep-172.html
5/30/201946 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #171 - Rigvir with Austra Muizniece

This week we welcome back Latvian activist Austra Muizniece, fearless fighter against the fake 'cancer treatment’ Rigvir. Shamelessly and corruptibly approved in Latvia just two days before Latvia joined the EU, Rigvir is claimed to be a cure at first for melanoma, and later for virtually any kind of cancer. Austra, herself a cancer survivor, has together with fellow skeptics lobbied for years to get Rigvir off the market as there has never been any evidence presented to support its efficacy. Litigation and harassment have been their reward, but finally now, it seems like this fraudulent substance is being withdrawn from the market after 15 years of providing nothing but false hope to cancer patients. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
5/23/201938 minutes, 12 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #170 - Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Nonsense

In this week's episode we talk about ‘kwakzalverij’, the Pope’s new Olympic ambitions (and female football team) and other papal adventures. There are steep fines coming for German vaccination dodgers and a study finds that absence of evidence is evidence on non-sense. MedWatch gets the Carl Sagan award, there is another example of vegan parents that jeopardize the lives of their children and French authorities are stepping up the fight against homeopathy (Boiron Is not happy). We also look into whether the code of the Voynich manuscript really has been broken and how another populist right wing party tries to score points by questioning climate change. We end with awarding a Really Right to a football player for not wanting to take advantage of how hard it really is to understand the odds of gambling. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes
5/18/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #169 - SkepKon Raffle, MSSX, Hitler's diaries and Papal Heresy

In this week's episode we announce the winner of our SkepKon raffle! We also invite you to take GapMinder's test to see how well you know the state of the world before we catch up with Alice and Laurie from the Merseyside Skeptics who tell us all about their upcoming 10 year celebration: MSSX on 6 July. You should go! This week 36 years ago, Stern Magazine had to admit that the Hitler diaries they had spent 19 million marks on were fake. Pope Francis is being accused of heresy by Catholic priests and Pontus is trying to see the papal future. In the news we report that GWUP's skeptical Heinz Oberhummer award goes to "No Such Thing as a Fish", that Sweden has NOT banned mandatory vaccinations and that you can already now start nominating candidates for the Flying Unicorn Awards in Portugal. We also learn from a study by Glasgow University just how bad it is to take diet and health advice for Twitter (just don't!). Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes
5/9/201954 minutes, 37 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #168 - Vaccinations, Electric Cars and Greta Thunberg

This week we first discuss the scientific method and remember Louis Pasteur, plus we anticipate Pope Francis’ upcoming Vatican revolution. Then in the news we talk about Ukraine election results, a homeopathic remedy that got “The Mom’s Choice Award” and how 170 million children lack protection from measles. A Portuguese pilot project gets flu vaccinations a boost (pun intended), we welcome a new German speaking Skeptic Youtube channel, look at the trend of religiousness going down in Spain and how electric cars are the future even though some people want you to believe otherwise. We close by shaming old people who get their knickers in a knot because of Greta Thunberg. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
5/2/201952 minutes, 57 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #167 – Notre-Dame, Measles quadruples and Hungary wants to control Facebook

This week we discuss the Notre-Dame fire before we celebrate this week’s icon, the Hungarian astronomer and skeptic Iván Almár. The Measles epidemic is getting even worse with the WHO showing a 300% global increase so far this year, Metabiota has launched a new website for tracking epidemics, Anthroposophs claim to be for vaccinations but they’re really not and the Hungarian government wants to control Facebook. Also, the “Finns party” switches to a new conspiracy theory when the old one is not attractive enough, MMR vaccine does NOT cause diabetes and Brussels thinks 5G testing is using people as Guinea pigs. We learn (again) that stop eating sugar does not cure cancer and we give a shout out to Portuguese skeptics ComCept that are now on Patreon. We close the show by saluting one of the champions of keeping the Internet a little bit saner: Snopes.com
4/25/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #166 - A Black Hole, Two Popes and HPV vaccination works

This week we celebrate the first picture of a black hole, Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday and the fact that we can poke two Popes in one week. HPV vaccination is shown to really work, a Spanish Bishop sells gay ‘cure’ courses, babies cannot live on sunshine and laughter and in Hungary you better follow the vaccination schedule for your child. Also: Fines for Jehovah's Witnesses, Edzard Ernst goes to a SCAM conference, Norwegian government anonymizes job applications and NHS in the UK takes further steps against homeopathy. Finally, it turns out that Scotland has some strange rules that give the church a bypass on democracy.
4/24/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 19 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #165 – April fools, Rigvir Scandal and Unicorn Awards

This week we talk about some great April Fools’ pranks, we look at the Vatican’s new child abuse law, mumps outbreak in Madrid, climate change models being validated in new observations. We get a first report on why the fake cancer cure Rigvir is being banned (look out for more Rigvir news in the future), we look at how Catholic priests are burning books in Poland, how there’s a battle between Russian homeopaths and skeptics and whether the recent Swedish CAM inquiry is good news or not. The French academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have suddenly discovered that homeopathy is not a thing, Portuguese Skeptics COMCEPT has presented this year’s Unicorn Awards and the new Italian government again demonstrates that they are anti-science.
4/9/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 12 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #164 - Annika @ SkepKon, ESC, HPV, climate change & Jehova's witnesses in schools

This week we welcome Annika Merkelbach from Germany back to the show to talk about the upcoming skeptical convention SkepKon, GSoW and her series of interviews on Skeptical Inquirer's website. We also talk about the European Skeptics Congress to be held in Ghent the end of August, plus lots of news items and topics to mention include: The Cancer Act 1939 of the UK, the latest wrongdoings of the Vatican, an Italian politician who's been opposing mandatory vaccination being hospitalised with chicken pox, the death of HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennen and how her campaign must have saved a lot of lives, plagiarism made illegal in Montenegro after a long and interesting battle with the problem, an email by a listener bringing hope in the fight against bogus claims asking for support on Indiegogo, students in Oxford petitioning for climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum in the UK, Holm Gero Hümmler's new book on conspiracy theories and Jehova's witnesses being under attack by authorities in both Sweden and the US for child indoctrination and sexual abuse.
4/1/20191 hour, 11 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #163 - Hitler's Pope, vaccine hesitancy, clinical trial reporting and blasphemy laws

This week we bring you topics and news about SkepKon in Germany and the 38th Anniversary of the premier of Quark, Italy's most famous science show hosted by Piero Angela. Plus we talk about abuse in Poland by catholic priests and Pius XII being referred to as Hitler's pope, how the supplement market is full of bogus claims, the Swedish National Library publishing the cost of accessing scientific studies, how the rise of both vaccine hesitancy and populism might be connected, an update on the state of the measles epidemic in Europe, the UK government promising a national strategy to tackle the lack of clinical trial reporting. Plus, blasphemy laws accross Europe discussed after Femen protesters' case hits the news in Spain.
3/24/201952 minutes, 6 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #162 - Canali on Mars, Pell in jail and the Daily Mail gets it right

No shortage of interesting topics after two interview episodes in a row!In this episode: ‘canali’ on Mars (or rather not), we catch up on the Pope and especially Cardinal Pell, a huge study that disproves the link between vaccines and autism, Amazon and Facebook take a stand against anti-vaccers, successful Swedish fights against colloidal silver and anthroposophy, the Hungarian government stabs science in the back, Elsevier gets further pushback on their outrageous pricing models and Hungarian pharmacies will inform all customers that homeopathic preparations have not effect.Plus, by mistake or divine intervention, The Daily Mail publishes a scientifically correct article!Leonardo da Vinci sends us off by reminding us that even 500 years ago, some people realised how necessary it is to conduct experiments. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; News; Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes Events Calendar: http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe
3/14/201954 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #161 - Pixie Turner: No need to Diet

We catch up with Pixie Turner who has just released "The No Need to Diet Book". She tells us all about the book, how most people has an unhealthy view on food and how we can become a little more relaxed about this. The book explains the reasons why diets and over exercising don't work; the problems with eating for aesthetic goals; the science behind orthorexia, food anxieties and emotional eating, and other unhealthy habits formed by misinformation.
3/10/201944 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #160 - Jay Novella & The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

This week we're joined by Jay Novella for an interview in which we talk about his new position as a full-time employee of SGU Productions, what it means for the movement and The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe project, how to approach podcasting and other ventures, stuff about writing a skeptical book that hits best-seller lists and a lot of other things including Star Trek and the crew's fun-filled side project, Alpha Quadrant 6.
3/4/20191 hour, 16 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #159 - Fake News by Orban, German court vs Heilpraktiker 1-0 & Brian Bashing the Bishop

In the abscence of Pontus, Jelena and Andras are joined by Brian Eggo to bring you a new show full of news and interesting topics including two events coming up (SkepKon 2019 in Germany and the 3rd Symposium on Science and Pseudoscience in Elche). We also talk about the British Parliament's Science and Technology Committee's milestone Evidence Check documents that is now part of skeptical history, then we move on to discussing Hungary's PM Viktor Orban and how EU leaders now simply call his anti-migration and anti-Soros propaganda "Fake News" while he continues to break down the institutions of science in the country. We also chat about Edzard Ernst's recommendation for a skeptical analysis in general and then bring the good news of a German court ruling against a SCAM practitioner for using false claims in their advertisements. The Really Wrong price goes to the Catholic Church for being sloppy in their investigations regarding miracles performed by their saints.
2/24/201958 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #158 - Rosalind Franklin, Goop on Netflix and age-old drinking myth debunked

We bring you news and stories from the world of skepticism again this week, including: Rosalind Franklin's namesake rover to go to Mars to look for traces of life, Philippe de Cherisey and the Priory of Sion hoax, a lying pope, a German court rejecting a claim for CAM to be offered as part of a benefit system, Goop to come to Netflix, causing outrage among skeptics, "Vaxxed II - The People's Truth" on its way to make things even worse, while the measles epidemic goes truly global. Meanwhile, German researchers prove that it doesn't matter whether you drink wine or beer first, the result is the same (if you drink enough). And finally, fanatically religious Spanish citizens stopping the setup of a statue of the devil...
2/17/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #157 - Oliver Lodge, 10 years of Merseyside Skepticism and more Macchiarini

The band is back together for a new week of skeptical reports. On this week: Oliver Lodge did not manage to prove psychics right, Pope Francis still believes in celibacy (although his priests do not seem to), Natalie Grams is awarded Die Goldenen Blogger Prize, PSIRAM starts a skeptical blog series, Merseyside Skeptics celebrates 10 years in July and Spanish researchers (nobody expects the Spanish researchers!) tries to convince us about homeopathy. Meanwhile, nobody has noticed(!) that the Macchiarini investigation has gone missing. Enjoy!
2/8/201949 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #156 - Edzard Ernst, Click to Pray, deaths by pseudotherapies and vaccination news

This week we bring you lots news and topics from across Europe including Annika Merkelbach's interview on Skeptical Inquirer's website with Natalie Grams, whose book has just been published in English, Edzard Ersnt' birthday, a praying application issued by the Vatican called "Click to Pray", the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to deal with reported non-reportings of clinical trials, a great achievement by Ben Goldacre and the AllTrials campaign (one of the great projects of Sense about Science), how 1 on 20 adults in Britain do not believe the Holocaust actually happened, a Spanish report estimating deaths by pseudotherapies, BARF - special food for your pets as part of the raw food movement, a dangerous book just published with the title 'Healing Cancer: A Homeopathic Approach', the Ministry of Health in Ukraine finally taking action to tackle the measles epidemic in the country and the Swedish government deciding to finally include Chicken pox vaccinations in the national program.
1/31/201956 minutes, 24 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #155 - Bacon, probiotics, the danger of acupuncture and the rise of anti-fluoridation

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 ('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, plus SkepKon, the German annual conference for skeptics 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).
1/24/201946 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #154 - Parli.co, with Turi Munthe

We interview Turi Munthe, the creator of a new web site aiming to "map the World's opinions". In 2008, Turi launched Demotix - born as a global free-speech platform, it became the largest network of photojournalists in the world and exited to Bill Gates’ Corbis. He now runs a Venture Capital with a focus on media and media tech, and sits on the boards of Index on Censorship, OpenDemocracy and The Signals Network.
1/17/201941 minutes, 8 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #153 - New year resolutions, dating the World and standing up for Science

On the first episode of the year 2019, with the 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 VoF announcing winners of the Enlightener and Bewilderer of the Year awards.
1/13/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #152 - Year End 2018

A bit of a different episode this week, released on the last day of the year to remind the listeners (and ourselves) of the most important things that happened in 2018. Lots of interesting stuff and also what to look forward to in 2019. We wish you all a really Happy New Year, and we’ll be seeing you! Segments: Intro; Greetings; Checking in with András; Woo in 2018; Skeptical initiatives 2018; Skeptical Awards 2018; QED; The ESP highlights of 2018; Outro; Out-takes
12/31/201837 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #151 - Newton's birthday, the Pope's promise, CICAP's new chapter & Xmas in Sweden

Pontus and Andras host this slightly Christmas-themed episode with the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton and the New Style Calendar, Pope Francis promising no more sexual abuse cases covered up by the catholic church, CICAP launching a new chapter in Pordenone, although reality somewhat better than previous estimates, measles still being on the rise in Europe, Spanish chiropractors reacting to new government plan to tackle pseudoscience and how there is no need to fear for Christmas being renamed in Sweden.
12/26/201834 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #150 - Antivax Italian politicians, Russian homeopathy and baby acupuncture

This time Claire Klingenberg sits in for Jelena again, who's out travelling. We bring you updates on the European Skeptics Congress 2019 in Ghent plus the good news that CICAP Fest will be held again in Padova in 2019. We then talk about the Apollo program, Cardinal Pell finally getting in the hands of the judicial system, while Pope Francis is acting like nothing's wrong. Plus some news about the new Italian government's support for dubious health claims, a Russian homeopathic product under the name Release Active Drug, Paolo Macchiarini in court, the UK's Charity Commission publishing guidelines for operating CAM charities, one of Spain's skeptical organisations, Circulo Esceptico handing out awards for standing up for science, acupuncture applied to babies suffering from colic, and the case of an autistic person euthanised in Belgium now under police investigation. And a big shout-out to Ovidiu Covaciu in Romania for educating tens of thousands of people into the necessity of vaccinations.
12/20/201850 minutes, 4 seconds
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TheESP - Ep #149 - Julia Offe

This week Pontus and Jelena talks to German Science Communicator and Skeptic Julia Offe. Julia Offe has a PhD in molecular biology and is active within GWUP, the German Skeptics. We talk about the recently announced "Das Goldenes Bretts"-awards and other GWUP activities, as well as the Science Slam events that Julia is promoting in many different places with huge turnouts. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview with Julia Offe; Closing remarks; Wikipedia spot; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
12/12/201849 minutes, 38 seconds
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TheESP - Ep #148 - Antonia de Oñate, Psuedoscience and Brexit fake news

This week we first hear about John Tyndall who understood climate change over a 100 years ago and talk about how Francis get things wrong while in Poland. We then have a short catch up with Spanish skeptical activist Antonia de Oñate, before we dig into the regular news. In here we lean about homeopathy getting a beating in both Hungary and Austria, about a Swedish quack who is also a sex offender, a pro-vaccine campaign in Italy and a rather depressing measles update. At the end the Daily Mail gets a Really Wrong Award for spreading fake Brexit news. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Pontus Pokes the Pope; Interview with Antonia de Oñate; News; Really Wrong; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes
12/5/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 22 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #147 - Frankie eats lasagna, heroes of science comm & Spanish government fighting CAM

This week our three hosts discuss a great number of things including how a delusional German physician got away with killing people, and how Pope Francis thinks right to tackle poverty. Loads of good news this week: The John Maddox Prize goes to Britt Hermes and Terry Hughes this year, ARP-SAPC reaches 20 years of activity, the Spanish government moves against pseudo-therapies in health care, the BBC upholds the Good Thinking Society's complaint about a homeopathy-related phone-in and ComCept awards journalist Vera Novais for advocating science as opposed to nonsense. Also, on the less positive side, we report on child marriages no longer being recognised in Sweden, no matter what the culture of the country of origin is, authors of a paper based on a national survey into CAM use in the UK suggest NHS funding for bogus therapies and christian parents threatening legal action for something that wasn't what it looked like. And the Norwegian Labour Party gets this week's Really Right prize for suggesting the revoking of VAT excemption for alternative medicinal practices.
11/27/20181 hour, 1 minute, 3 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #146 - Pixie Turner

On this week's episode Jelena and Andras interviews British biochemist, nutritionist, blogger, author and public speaker Pixie Turner, to talk about the science-based approach to healthy eating, dietary and lifestyle choices and how she turned from a person suffering from orthorexia to a public figure educating people into following the science instead of falling for popular, but absolutely useless diets.
11/21/201853 minutes, 53 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #145 - Elsevier Monopoly?

Andras and Pontus join ranks to talk about Massimo Polidoro, Elsevier vs. open access and a film that drives Polish disapproval of the Catholic Church. Plus why people don't trust science and other news and tidbits from across Europe and the world.
11/11/201836 minutes, 17 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #144 - No Zero Tolerance for Abuse

Join us to hear about Pope Francis' failing October synod, Galileo and how homeopathy is getting a really hard beating in Spain. In other news the Good Thinking Society fights Goop, EU tries (but fail) to get statistics about the anti-vaxx movement and how science is hard: Contrary to what you have heard humans have not wiped out 60% of all vertebrates and an organic diet has not been proved to prevent cancer.
11/4/201844 minutes, 45 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #143 - QED Live Recording with Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella

This episode is the first of its kind as it is the live recording from QED 2018 that happened in Manchester in the middle of October. In the unfortunate abscence of Jelena, Pontus and András are joined by Claire Klingenberg, Brian Eggo and Jay Novella to discuss local confectionery, booze and topics like the Shroud of Turin, Leukemia and how a new finding can lead to sensational but untrue headlines, a Danish cancer quack that sites his long deceased patients as his success stories, a couple of good news from Portugal and a student essay competition initiated by the University of Szeged to encourage critical thinking. Of course, the pope gets poked again and Smirnoff gets the price for being Really Wrong in playing the non-GMO & gluten-free cards...
10/28/201855 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep #142 - Aron Ra

On this week's episode Jelena interviews Aron Ra - atheist activist, former president of Atheist Alliance of America, host of Ra-Men podcast. He is a current regional director of the American Atheists and founder of the phylogeny explorer project.
10/19/201848 minutes, 58 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #141 - Ig Nobel Prize, Rosaries, Factfulness and the WHO making a big mistake

This week we look at the history of the Ig Nobel Prize, try to find out (Spoiler alert: without success) why pope Francis thinks rosaries are the best way to defend the church from the "Great Accuser" and bring you a ton of news, including: the Romanian referendum on the inclusion or exclusion of same sex marriage in the constitution, a Hungarian cancer quack who boasts likely made-up qualifications, Hans Rosling's 'Factfulness' to become available for free to Swedish students, hundreds of Spanish scientist appeal to Health Minister for action against 'pseudoscience that kills', Natalie Grams' highly anticipated English book on homeopathy to come out in December, what The Croydon Cat Killer might actually be, Informationsnetzwerk Homöopathie's new cool educational material published, investigation into a possible link between measles cases and health-related budget cuts in Italy. Also, we are sheding some light on how wrong the WHO is for legitimising Traditional Chinese Medicine.
10/10/201856 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #140 - Massimo Polidoro and CICAPFest 2018

This week we welcome Massimo Polidoro back to our show. This time he tells us about how the latest edition of CICAPfest went (it was a great success in Padova, Italy). We also asked him about his upcoming books and more. We also announced our participation in QED where we will record our first ever live show on the Podcast Track in Manchester. Stay tuned!
9/29/201842 minutes, 18 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #139 - Fake Cancer Cures in Trouble and the Discoverer of Pulsars Gets Revenge

Claire Klingenberg sits in for András on this episode where the Pope blames the devil for revealing all the bad stuff he is responsible for. This week in 1895: The birth of Chiropractic Also, fake cancer cures take several hits, an overlooked astrophysicist finally gets the recognition she deserves and a brave pharmacist in Germany takes a stand against homeopathy. We learn that cannibalism is bad for you and then celebrate the newly announced Ig Nobel prizes. Short random announcement: Please note that it must be parasite season, but that reason and logic will always prevail. We conclude this unusually positive episode by a Really Right award concerning CRISPR research. Enjoy!
9/20/201845 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #138 - Darren McKee and Effective Altruism

This week's episode features an interview that Andras recorded in Budapest with Canadian skeptic and host of The Reality Check podcast Darren McKee, who talks about Effective altruism and why it's the real thing for skeptics.
9/17/201858 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #137 - Coconut oil, public health, the pope and the photo encyclopedia of bogus claims

This week we talked about Susan Gerbic's new interview with Massimo Polidoro, a court case over calling someone a Holocaust denier, new teams doing science communication, coconut and the undecided public enemy state, homeopathy and whether it's unethical for pharmacies to sell it, HPV vaccination for boys, 'Inoculated', a new movie in Germany that might be twice as dangerous as Vaxxed, SkepKon 2019, fake Twitter accounts, an Austrian photographer's encyclopaedia of bogus claims and how religion ruins everything.
9/10/20181 hour, 19 minutes, 34 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #136 - Jay Novella

QED in Manchester is drawing closer! We speak to Jay Novella of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (the SGU) whose total cast will be there in October. Hear about what we can expect from the SGU in Manchester, what they will be up to in the future and about their book which is due to be released on 2 October. We also get into our views on lobbying, children's education and about being a parent. Enjoy! Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
8/30/201841 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #135 - ET healing, first contact in Germany, wet cupping, plus religion

While unfortunately Jelena is not present, this week we talk about an ET healer in the Netherlands before we share the latest updates on measles. The comes the outrageous fact that Germany has no official plan for a first contact situation and how religious taboos can cause trouble. El escéptico's 50th issue is out now, while wet cupping is gaining ground in Amsterdam. Also, the pope gets poked again while pastafarianism doesn't get recognised as a religion.
8/27/201844 minutes, 20 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #134 - Psychic Taxes, Homeopathy and One Hell of a Bus Ride

As Eggman (Brian Eggo) sits in for Andras we examine the latest news which includes Psychic Sally's taxes, the end to NHS funded homeopathy in England, Russian attitudes to conspiracy theories, the latest measles situation and more. Also the Pope gets poked about his upcoming Irish visit and Brian gets on bus 666 to Hel (sic). Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Radio Ad; Farewell and Quote; Outro; Out-takes
8/16/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 5 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #133 - Malek Tohme

We have good news from Ukraine, when we talk to Malek Tohme, who is starting up the Ukraine Humanist, Rationalist, Skeptic Modernists in the city of L'viv! And a special shout out to James The Amazing Randi who turned 90 on 7 August!
8/8/201839 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #132 - Science in trouble, educating politicians & finding pseudoscience

On this episode you'll hear some updates on the Hungarian government's attack on science, how the antivax movement causes a lot of trouble in different countries and what we can do to counter them. We also talk about the educational projects that Spanish skeptics run, the NHS landing credit to bogus treatments, a new study showing the negative effects of taking alternative therapies, the journal Homeopathy gaining on their impact factor and the UK parliament aiming to see clearly with regards to scientific misconduct. Terminally ill Laura Brennen campaigns for vaccination that could have saved her.
7/31/20181 hour, 46 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #131 - Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe

We talk with the fabulous and twice Ockham's Award winning Edinburgh Skeptics Society! Heather Pentler and Sean Slater tell us all about the upcoming Skeptics on the Fringe when there will be 23 skeptical events, every day, starting 4 August. If you have chance you should go!
7/19/201838 minutes, 50 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #130 - Eugenics, GSoW and the pope solves the crisis in the middle east

This week we bring you stuff to think about like Eugenics, plus news and updates on the Hungarian government's attack on the freedom of science, GSoW reaching a new level of activism, legislative changes to occur in Germany regarding Heilpraktiker, Humanist weddings getting a green light in Ireland, Facebook shutting down Hungarian fake news sites, homeopaths offering their "solutions" to the problem of antibiotic resistance, nominations open for John Maddox Prize at Sense about Science, CICAPfest tickets now available and how wrong the Daily Mail is for reporting questionable claims of a non-existant disease. Pontus pokes the pope for being silly about his way of solving the crisis in the Middle East
7/13/20181 hour, 4 minutes, 40 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #129 - Amina Manzoor

We talk to leading science and medical reporter Amina Manzoor at the largest Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN). Amina Manzoor fights the good fight in the media to spread an objective and fair view on health myths, alternative "medicine" and she reports on new scientific studies in a popular way. And it works! The readers are interacting and interested! Together with her colleague Maria Gunther, Amina recieved the Swedish Skeptics' "Enlightener of the Year" award for 2016. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
7/3/201851 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP – Ep. #128 – 50K€ Homeopathy Challenge, News and Climate Therapy

On this one we talk to Norbert Aust about the GWUP and Homeopathy Information Network 50K€ Challange. We also have lots of Skeptical news from around Europe and the Pope gets Poked (naturally), James Braid and Climate Therapy for those who feels the Climate Change is a bit depressing. Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview with Norbert Aust; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong; Quote; Outro; Out-takes
6/26/201849 minutes, 27 seconds
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TheESP- Ep. #127 - Annika Merkelbach, SkepKon and GSoW

This week we interviewed Annika Merkelbach, who told us what’s new in Germany, how the greatest German skeptical convention SkepKon went and why the country need native speakers to join Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.
6/21/201845 minutes, 52 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #126 - Colliding worlds, more measles and Poking the Pope

We're getting our release schedule back on track, just two days after the previous episode(!). We talk about Worlds in Collision, how the infamous Andrew Wakefield study has had consequences for a whole generation borne in the late nineties / early 2000s, plus how treating cancer with homeopathy is criminal and that Hans Rosling is commemorated with an annual day. We also introduce "Pontus Pokes the Pope" as a new segment and hand out both a Really Wrong and a Really Right award. Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; News; Pontus Pokes the Pope: Really Wrong / Really Right; Quote; Outro; Out-takes
6/10/201837 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #125 - Pepijn van Erp

This week we interviewed Dutch mathematician and skeptical activist Pepijn van Erp to talk about his blog, his work at Stichting Skepsis and the Dutch skeptical magazine Skepter and all the topics that he likes to blog about.
6/8/201853 minutes, 33 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #124 - Full Fact, vaccinations, intravaginal manipulations, Rigvir & plants vs bullies

On this episode we start by talking mediums and frauds through the example of Colin Fry, then move on to our news items, including: - Full Fact's survey into how and why people fact-checking - A new book in Portugal to equip readers against the antivax movement - EU actions on vaccine preventable diseases - NHS West Midlands asking parents to vaccinate - The Hungarian Academy of Sciences finally taking a stand against pseudoscience - The new nonsense of intravaginal manipulations done by osteopaths - A fraudulent researcher in Sweden spreading misinformation about HPV vaccines - Former president of Medical Chamber of Slovenia performing "Rigvir" treatments in Latvia - The new minister of Human Capacities in Hungary claiming that following the Ten Commandments can save you from illnesses - The Daily Express claiming that eating blackberries prevents skin cancer The Really Wrong Price goes to IKEA for a shitty experiment on how plants can't stand bullying.
5/28/20181 hour, 11 minutes, 59 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #123 - Enrico Zabeo

This week we interviewed Italian skeptic and podcaster Enrico Zabeo, who's one of the founders and hosts of Radio CICAP, the official podcast for the Italian skeptical organisation CICAP.
5/15/201842 minutes, 28 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #122 - The Illuminati, vaccination news, exorcism, bad doctors and nutrition myths

Andras is back to talk about CICAPfest and Massimo Polidoro's book, then Jelena brings on the topic of the Illuminati before we move on to news items including: CEASE, a collection of therapies offered by homeopaths to "cure" autism, bad journalism raising new issues with vaccination, the European Commission's proposed actions to fight preventable diseases, how dog's can not get autism, but are in danger of falling ill due to their owners' actions, Ukraine having more than 9000 measles cases in the first quarter of 2018, the Vatican offering exorcism courses, anti-abortion demonstrations banned in Ealing, survey showing link between being a bad doctor and prescribing homeopathy, Bill Gates promoting ideas expressed in Hans Rosling's book 'Factfulness'. Finally, Pontus presents Jacob Gudiol from Sweden, who breaks down myths about artificial sweeteners.
5/4/201856 minutes, 55 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #121 - Dan Katz and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We talk to Swedish renowned Psychologist and skeptic, Dan Katz. Dan specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and has a very cool book out which is on its way to be translated into several languages: "The Lizard in Your Head". He is also a member of the Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF) Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe member of the Swedish Skeptics (aka VoF) Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Segments: Intro; Greetings; Interview; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
4/26/201852 minutes, 21 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #120 - Homeopathy Awareness Week, anniversaries, awards and Fact-checking Day

It was Homeopathy (and Chiropractic) Awareness Week, but wee had a lot of other stuff like anniversaries and awards to talk about on this episode, including 2 years of Information Netzwerk Homeopathie with Natalie Grams, 6 years of both ComCept running skeptical activism in Portugal and Spanish Skeptics running the show Pensando Críticamente. Also, ComCept just announced their Flying Unicorn Awards, whilst CICAP has announced that there would be a CICAPfest held this year in Padova. In France, physicians appeal to get rid of alternative medicine, and in Italy, Massimo Polidoro recently launched his new video series on YouTube! Let's go nuts and follow Virgin Galactic on their journey to space tourism, but don't forget Mark Zuckerberg's promises to keep fighting against false information and brainwashing with Facebook.
4/20/201844 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #119 - Polio, Hungarian Election, and BS Statistics

This week Brian Eggo sits in for Jelena as we talk about Hungarian elections, a medium who is shocked to discover that people someimes lie, HIV deniers in Russia, Hans Rosling's last book and how Swedish authorities have been using bullshit data for years without having a clue. And of course the Pope gets a mention for getting rid of hell (or did he?). Plus, we celebrate that QED in Manchester is announced for October with The Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew, George Hrab and Helen Arney! Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Segments: Intro; Greetings; This Week in Skepticism; Skeptical News; Really Wrong; Quote; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
4/8/201848 minutes, 13 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #118 - Marko Kovic: Problems in the Skeptical Movement?

This week we talk to Marko Kovic, social science researcher and former President of Skeptiker Schweiz. We discuss his recent blog post "Some problems of the skeptic movement" and talk about possible ways of addressing these issues. See the show notes at: http://theesp.eu/podcast_archive/episode-118-marko-kovic.html
4/2/201843 minutes, 19 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #117 - Attack on our website, great minds, MMS, apitherapy and other quackeries

This week we are talking about how our website got attacked by Russian users, then touch on politics before we get on to discuss great minds like the late Stephen Hawking and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. News items include those about MMS and how the Netherlands banned it, a Dutch company offering bogus bioresonance diagnostics and therapy, religion losing ground all across Europe, Doctor of Homeopathy requested to be made obsolete in Germany by Edzard Ernst et al, Spanish quacks promoting apitherapy, and homeopathy on the NHS​ over and done with in London thanks to the efforts of the Good Thinking Society​. Former president of Ireland Mary MacAleese gets this week's Really Right prize for being progressive amongst catholics.
3/28/201850 minutes, 47 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #116 - Diana Barbosa on the latest in Portugal

Diana Barbosa is back to the show after two years to bring us up to date with skepticism related issues in Portugal. She talks about regulations regarding alternative medicine, the advance of the antivax movement, the upcoming Flying Unicorn Awards and a lot more.
3/21/201855 minutes, 26 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #115 - Books and app for skeptics, exorcism, vaccinations and INH gone international

Pontus is finally back and goes on a rant about Lawrence Krauss' reported behaviours then we turn towards the much happier topic of new books coming out for skeptics (Steven Novella and the SGU rogues' 'The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe' and a book in Portugal bearing the title 'Science and Its Enemies'). Jelena brings up yet another woman in science before we move on to Deborah Hyde's article on a rising exorcism. Also, Information Netzwerk Homöopatie goes international thanks to Edzard Ernst et al. Italy introduces mandatory measles vaccinations starting this March and the Skeptic Club Sysifos in the Czech Republic launches the Pro Vax Challenge campaign. Finally, András talks about an online application developed by a Dutch team as an education tool to tackle fake news.
3/12/201848 minutes, 3 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #114 - Ovidiu Covaciu and vaccination in Romania

This week we had Ovidiu Covaciu back on the show to talk about his assessment of the situation in Romania regarding vaccinations and the spread of vaccine preventable diseases as well as things we can do to educate people into vaccinating. He also talks about his massive hit of a Facebook group where they spread correct information on vaccinations.
3/6/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 10 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #113 - Women in Science, measles epidemic, flat Earth and Susan Gerbic's adventures

With guest host Claire Klingenberg sitting in for Pontus, who's on a skiing vacation, this episode brings you updates on ECSO, women in science and skepticism, how Andrew Wakefield's unveiled fraud did not stop the antivaccination movement, why fake news work and debunkings usually don't, what it would be like to have a flat Earth, Massimo Polidoro launching a YouTube series, Susan Gerbic's adventures in Europe written up as a series of articles on CSI and Albert Szent-Györgyi praising science.
2/26/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 16 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #112 - Slovenian Skeptics

This episode features Slovenian skeptics Maja, Nejc and Mark who run the monthly Ljubljana Skeptics in the Pub and the website skeptik.si.
2/20/201853 minutes, 28 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #111 - Radio CICAP, Sitp & governments tackling measles, holocaust and burkas

With this week's episode we bring you Sharon Hill's new book 'Scientifical Americans' and give you more information on Radio CICAP, the new podcast out there for Italian speaking listeners. You can also find that Skeptics in the Pub started 19 years ago and Poland now has a so-called 'Holocaust bill', surpressing open discussion about sensitive topics, Michael Marshall and Prof. Chris French writing about Facilitated communication on The Guardian, and you can also find out that there might be a cure for Acute Respiratory Tract Infections that medicine has struggled with lately, in the form of a herbal treatment. You'll hear about the measles situation in the UK, a group of MMS proponents deleted on Facebook and why banning burkas is a terrible idea.
2/11/201853 minutes, 47 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #110 - Devil's Footprints, Irish Cancer and The Backfire Effect

Lots of news this week, the Devil's Footprints Legend and a new take on the Backfire Effect. Plus as usual a priest has been Really Wrong
2/3/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 55 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #109 - Burzynski, measles, an anti-vaxxer in court and science in the Parliament

This week we bring you some good news about Britt Hermes' crowd funding campaign run by the Australian Skeptics, a bit of an update on LSD and what a good trip is then move on to news from Hungary, Sweden, the Ukraine, Spain and Germany with a food supplement producer being fined for false advertisement, a major anti-vaxxer and flat-earther being prosecuted for letting his own child die, measles spreading wildly both in Sweden and in the Ukraine, the launch of a project called "Science in the Parliament" in Spain, the latest issue of Escepticos out now and the first major article on the website of the German Homeopathy Information Network (run by Natalie Grams) released in English. Well, the Pope has also become a record holder with getting our Really Wrong prize for the third time...
1/28/201856 minutes, 35 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #108 - Britt Hermes and Eran Segev

This week we bring you an interview with Britt Marie Hermes and Eran Segev regarding the lawsuit against Britt Marie. Britt Marie has been taken to court in Germany by US-based naturopath ‘Dr’ Colleen Huber, claiming that Britt has defamed her. This concerns statements Britt Marie made in a blog, in which she was critical of the medical and fundraising practices of the Naturopathic Cancer Society and the Nature Works Best Cancer Clinic (Huber is associated with both). Please also check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe Segments: Intro; Interview; Fundraiser promo; Farewell; Outro; Out-takes
1/17/201849 minutes, 24 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #107 - Memories & predictions, LSD, disease outbreak prevention & animal brothels

This week we make predictions regarding upcoming books by Edzard Ernst, talk about the future of fact-checking, discuss the works of Peter Boghosian, remember the father of LSD Albert Hofmann, then go on to our news items including the wrong-doings of Paolo Macchiarini, the measles epidemic in Sweden, the latest Swedish Skeptic Awards, how Facebook could be used to prevent disease outbreaks, the ‘Turmeric story’, Psiram the German wiki of irrational believes turns 10, year review of Retraction Watch, a book review on Science Based Medicine, The Conservative Tribune spreading misinformation about migration and ‘aminal brothels’. We finish with an important quote from Galileo Galilei.
1/12/20181 hour, 8 minutes, 56 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #106 - Brian Dunning & Science Friction

This week we are happy to bring you an interview with Brian Dunning, who's been the producer and host of the massively successful Skeptoid podcast and is currently busy with lots of different projects in skepticism, including a book in the making and the crowdfunded project of showing how media usually distorts the opinions of experts they ask and doing a documentary about that. Find out more on http://sciencefriction.tv and please consider contributing!
1/5/201849 minutes, 24 seconds
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theESP - Ep #105 - Smallpox, fake news and the Taoiseach is a coward

In our final episode for 2017 we look back at a skeptical year in Europe. We talk about smallpox, how measles continues to spread and how a prominent skeptic becomes head of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science. We also look into Facebook's new attempt to fight fake news, how peer review punishes poor research and how Christmas decorations being removed in Italy has nothing to do with muslims. Lastly the Taoiseach in Ireland failes to take a stand against Scientology, and for that he is Really Wrong. Segments: Intro; Greetings; The Week in Skepticism; News; Farewell; Outro; Outtakes
12/29/201749 minutes, 20 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #104 - Pre-Holidays show with Gleb Tsipursky and David Fitzgerald

On our pre-holidays show we welcome Jelena back after a bit of a hiatus, then Pontus corrects himself before we turn our skeptical ears towards fellow skeptics Dr. Gleb Tsipursky and David Fitzgerald who talk about the Pro-Truth Pledge and why Jesus probably never existed, respectively. We then finish with possibly the most relevant song about Christmas, written and performed by George Hrab. Hope you'll enjoy the show. Happy holidays, everyone!
12/22/20171 hour, 21 minutes, 47 seconds
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TheESP - Ep. #103 - Vaccinations, threats over glyphosate, the John Maddox Prize & the Nobel-disease

We start with some corrections this week before we turn towards things like Nostradamus, vaccination rates in Romania, Peter Boghossian touring Europe, German Minister of Agriculture getting threats over glyphosate, the John Maddox Prize going to HPV vaccine promoter and what happens if Portugal loses net neutrality. Unfortunately, this week's Really Wrong goes to Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier for turning antivax...
12/14/201748 minutes, 43 seconds
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TheESP Ep. #102 - More Superheroes!

We could not possibly fit everything into epsiode #100, so here come some more interviews from those recordings: We talk to Andreas Kyriacou, Antonia de Oñate and João Monteiro!   As always, make sure you check out our event page at http://theesp.eu/events_in_europe