Skepticon 2019 – Messages from the presenters

18 September, 2019

Hear from and read about some of our presenters. CLICK on the main headings.

Skeptics’Guide to the Universe


JAY NOVELLA video
https://www.facebook.com/theskepticscafe/videos/766998480384608/
STEVE NOVELLA video
https://www.facebook.com/theskepticscafe/videos/1083614942029593/

Susan Gerbic

Susan will be talking about the Guerilla Skeptics Wikipedia Project as well as “Grief Vampires“.
SUSAN GERBIC video
https://www.facebook.com/AustralianSkepticsInc/videos/2347595002149221/

Jo Thornely


Jo is an Australian presenter that will be appearing at Skepticon2019. She is the host of Zealot, a podcast about cults, and author of a book by the same name.
JO THORNELY video
https://www.facebook.com/AustralianSkepticsInc/videos/472968326888337/

Professor Fiona Fidler

Brendan O’Brien

Dr Brad McKay

Bookings and information:

https://skepticon.org.au/


SKEPTICON 2019 update

14 August, 2019


The Skepticon2019 speaker lineup now includes:

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe

Susan Gerbic

Jo Thornely

Professor Fiona Fidler: The Replication Crisis in the Social Sciences

Dr Sue Ieraci: Medical Anti-Science Bingo

Ross Balch: Of Microbes and Monsters

Dr Brad McKay: Home Remedies That Work?

Tina Hanigan: Should Darwin have been surprised at the spread of Skeptism in Europe following his publication ‘On the Origin of Species’?

Brendan O’Brien: The Explosion of Citizen Science

Matt Nurse: Motivated numeracy – why smart people reject the facts they don’t like

and “Australia’s Honest Con Man” Nicholas J Johnson: Bullshit For Skeptics

SKEPTICON 2019’s dedicated website for information and booking is at https://skepticon.org.au

Important SKEPTICON 2019 dates:

5th December: Skeptics Trivia Night at The Clyde Hotel. Hosted by Tony Pitman and Ken Greatorex, this is a fund-raiser, at $15 per head. It’s not strictly a Skepticon event, and not just for Skepticon visitors. However, with our regular locals and regional, interstate and overseas visitors participating, this fifteenth annual Vic Skeptics Trivia night should be fun. Meal from 6:00 pm, eyes down at 7:15.

6th December: Conference commencement and “meet and greet” at The Dan O’Connell Hotel.

7th December: Two Day conference commences at Carrillo Gantner Theatre, University of Melbourne Swanston Street

7th December: Conference Dinner (sold out!)

8th December: Final day of conference


With Leo at The Dan

16 April, 2019

By Ken Greatorex

Vic Skeptics recently moved Skeptics Café to the new venue of The Dan O’Connell Hotel (a.k.a. “The Dan”) in Carlton. We’ve been fortunate in the past with long tenures at good venues.

I arrived chez Dan with a few misgivings:

Could I park within a comfortable distance of the venue?

Would the venue suit us?

Would enough people turn up?

Would the topic be sufficiently relevant and interesting for such a “landmark” Skeptics event? Read the rest of this entry »


For Schools: Darwin Day February 12

22 January, 2019

THE DARWIN DAY SUITE of CLASSROOM EXERCISES

Celebrate February 12 (Charles Darwin’s Birthday) in your classroom!

charles_darwin_statue_natural_history_museum_londonCharles Darwin Crossword Years 9 to 12

Darwin Web Sites

Darwin Day poster

Darwin Day poster 2

Darwin bio Read and answer

Charles Darwin Wordsearch Years 5 to 8

Charles Darwin Cryptogram Years 7 to 10

Dr.APIS.12.February@Darwin

charles_darwin_by_grichmond [Colouring in}



Complementary Medicines, Advertising Reform and the TGA

21 November, 2018

by Dr Ken Harvey, with an introduction by Ken Greatorex

To set the scene for those not familiar with the glacial machinations of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration: Until recently in Australia we had a complaint process whereby if you wanted to complain about the advertising of a particular listed medicine, you submitted. to the Complaints Resolution Panel. It was woefully under resourced, but it did its job, carried out inquiries then reported established breaches in conduct to the TGA. The TGA acted – sometimes.

Then things changed. Against the urging of such groups as The Australian Skeptics, Friends of Science in Medicine, Choice and other consumer advocates, the TGA became the body which dealt directly with such complaints. 

As one who attended and absorbed the excellent review from Professor Harvey and three of his students, the result of this change has been:

  • totally predictable
  • disappointing

 

(left to right: Mal Vickers, Kithmini Cooray, Mary Malek, Ken Harvey)

Speakers:

Discussion:

The audience did not agree that the ongoing advertising of ‘Bright Brains’, illustrated by Kithmini, had achieved compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015. In short, they disagreed with the TGA outcome statement about this complaint. Read the rest of this entry »


Vyom Sharma, Doctor, Magician and Mentalist

17 July, 2018

     Dr Vyom Sharma

After gaining his medical degree in 2008, Vyom Sharma completed specialist training and currently works in Melbourne as a General Practitioner. However alongside his clinical work, he has carved out a career in show business.

As a magician and mentalist, he has performed live stage shows at the Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and was a grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent.

His knowledge of medicine, combined with his experiences with the psychology of deception have afforded him a rare insight into the human experience of truth and persuasion. He explores the neuroscience of deception and beliefs as a regular Guest Lecturer at Monash University’s school of biological sciences.

He has debunked pseudoscientific therapies in the media, including Fairfax newspapers, Triple R radio and medical trade magazines.

Vyom Sharma will be our featured speaker at next Skeptics Café  (Monday August 20)

He will also appear at Australian Skeptics Annual Convention in Sydney over the weekend of October 13 & 14


At May Skeptics Café

22 May, 2018

We’re pleased to have been visited by Dr Pauli Ohukainen from Finland. He’s a cardiovascular research scientist from Finland working in Melbourne (Baker Institute) until June 1st. He’s also an avid skeptical activist with his own blog in Finnish with 7000 followers on Facebook, (which is not too bad in a small country of 5M), and he’s also active on Twitter, which is his international forum: https://twitter.com/POhukainen. He was keen to meet some skeptics while in Melbourne, and took “selfies” at May Skeptics Café with two of our distinguished members, Francesca Folk-Scolaro (L) and Elida Radig (R).