Our regular monthly event, Skeptics Café happens on the third Monday of each month at La Notte Restaurant, 140 Lygon Street Carlton. (nearest intersection – Pelham Street). We commence with a drink and a meal from about 6pm, and there is usually a talk from 8pm. Skeptics Cafés are public events – everyone is welcome.

October 19 2015 Skeptics Café


Dr David Vaux

More Scientists Behaving Badly

‘In the Netherlands, the highest body in charge of research integrity is the National Board for Research Integrity (LOWI). Its members are all members of the Netherlands National Academy of Science. They handle about 30 cases per year, but only those cases that are difficult, where there has been an appeal, or where the institution does not appear to be doing a good job. LOWI has helped manage some high profile cases, such as those of psychologists Diederik Stapel and Jens Forster.

Australia’s population is about 25% greater than the Netherlands’, but we don’t have any national office for research integrity, and the reports of misconduct findings from Australian institutions are very rare. One possible explanation for the difference is that Australian researchers are much more honest than the Dutch. But there are other, less savoury explantations…

In this talk I will provide some examples of why we should learn from other countries, so that we can manage research integrity better.’

Dr Vaux is Assistant Director at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Head, Cell Signalling and Cell Death Division. He’s also Senior Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

He graduated in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1984, and after spending an intern year at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, commenced a PhD at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Here he showed that the function of the putative oncogene product Bcl-2 was to inhibit cell death. After obtaining his PhD in 1989, he was a post-doctoral fellow in Irv Weissman’s lab at Stanford, where together with Stuart Kim he made transgenic C. elegans worms that expressed human bcl-2. He returned to Australia in 1993, and has mainly focused on the IAP family of proteins, and their antagonists, such as Smac/Diablo and HtrA2/Omi

Dr Vaux presented Scientists Behaving Badly at Skeptics Café in January 2010. His talk prompted the following article:

November 16 2015 Skeptics Café

7:15 pm Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) AGM

8:00 pm

ross finlay framed

Ross Finlay: Science doesn’t know everything …,

but this talk may save your life

A counter to people who want there to be mystery and magic in “their universe” and choose to believe in Woo because it feels nice. We cover some of the mysteries and “magic” already available in the known science surrounding us that many people are not aware of.

Specifically we cover the amazing story of how we came to know our place in the universe and how a little knowledge of the solar system could indeed save your life.

Ross is an Electronics Engineer originally from Glasgow. He has worked in research & industry in fibreoptic telecoms. He has a business teaching fibreoptics courses for Engineers, Installers or anyone who will pay.

In the last decade he has worked for Marconi, Ericsson & Telstra Learning, has invented a postable fold up water tank and is the proud disorganiser of Rocketfest Melbourne, where he has flown model rockets ranging from 42mm to 10.7m tall.

Currently, he is Quality Manager & Calibration Officer at Vicom Australia, a NATA approved test lab where he has two Rubidium clocks to play with and he is paid to quantify uncertainty.

Special Event – Ross Balch

President, Brisbane Skeptics; scientist; science populariser; podcaster; musician



Monday 14th December 2015


December 21 2015 Skeptics Café


Dr Mick Vagg

Consultant in rehabilitation and pain medicine in the Geelong area. Supporter of Friends of Science in Medicine, blogger

(topic to be announced)

January 18 2016 Skeptics Café

roger francey

Dr Roger Francey

(topic to be announced)

February 15 2016 Skeptics Café

kieran lim

Kieran Lim

Associate Professor Deakin University; chemist; educationalist; winner of the Australian Award for University Teaching in 2014

(topic to be announced)


Calendars of Free Public Lectures. 

(Link to lecture programs of ANZAAS, the University of Melbourne, the Royal Society of Victoria, and the Atheist Society)

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