Skeptics presenting at STAVCON 2011

By Don Hyatt
The Victorian Skeptics were out in force again this year at the Science Teachers’ Association annual conference STAVCON.

The display attracted a steady stream of interested teachers including, in one case, a former student. Teachers weren’t just attracted by the free Stuff for Teachers DVD or the Skeptics pens, although the new 2012 Skeptics Calendar was a highly prized item. Clearly debunking Kinesiology and the effect of the placebo power wrist band was popular as were fielding the range of “What do you think about ….” questions expertly and wisely addressed by the Vic Skeptics assistants.

The Skeptics also presented a workshop on Real Science for the Real World. Ken Greatorex designed and conducted a unique double blind dowsing experiment, the statists of which matched that of guesswork rather than an ability to dowse. Participants had to ‘dowse’ 5 hidden jars containing water or gravel after ‘calibrating’ their dowsing rod. None of the teachers got all correct, so the $110,000 challenge is still safe! Don Hyatt also covered topics such as homeopathy, power wrist bands, the AVN and SensaSlim. It is fair to say that there was a fair bit of interest in the topics raised.

Don demystifies the trick of Kinesiology to a STAVCON participant. The placebo power wrist band is exposed as a fraud.

Ken, Charles and Peter hard at work promoting healthy Skeptism.

Ken explains his double blind dowsing experiment to an admiring group of interested teachers. The flower pots (one visible) carefully conceal the jars of water or gravel used for the experiment. In order to ensure experimental integrity an unknown passer-by was roped in to ensure that no one in the room knew the contents of the jars under the flower pots.

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