Past Events

April 15 2019 Skeptics Café

Lana Bavykina

Why was Tolstoy excommunicated by the Orthodox Church? 

Tolstoy didn’t believe in any supernatural aspects of religion and used certain techniques and tools in his writing that got him in trouble with Orthodox church.
As skeptics we don’t want to be told how to think, instead we like to have tools that help us analyze and be aware of patterns of our thinking.
Tolstoy was a promoter of humanism and nonviolent resistance. His motto was “Be kind and do not fight evil with violence”.
So, what tools did he use?

Lana is a Software Developer, reading enthusiast and orchid grower.
She lives in Melbourne and likes to improve Wikipedia (mostly Russian) in her free time.

NEW VENUE: DAN O’CONNELL HOTEL, 225 Canning St, Carlton

March 18 2019 Skeptics Café

“Farewell to the Clyde”

Dr Richard Collmann (Senior Researcher, University of Melbourne)

Green Clyde – Urban Forestry

Dr Collmann will discuss the Urban Green Spaces Initiative.

“Green Clyde” is an acknowledgement that The Clyde Hotel, our Skeptics Café venue for the last two years has been an active collaborator in this project.


Dr Pauli Ohukainen 

(visiting from Finland)

What if everything you’ve been told about cholesterol is… right?

Details: pauli ohukainen details . The link to the Scottish Sun on-line article has been supplied as an example of terrible science supported by a very dubious “scientific review”.

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

February 18 2019 Skeptics Café

Emily Vicendese
Souls, Star Signs and Gender Identity: Skepticism and Gender Critical Feminist Philosophy

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

February 12 2019 DARWIN DAY

Darwin Day Barbecue: For all free-thinkers

(Skeptics, Humanists, Rationalists, etc etc)

From 5 pm Tuesday February 12

Studley Park Boathouse area

BYO everything

All Welcome


January 21 2019 Skeptics Café

Nicholas J Johnson

State Library Secrets: Exploring the WG Alma Conjuring Collection

Nicholas J. Johnson is a professional speaker, magician, author and educator who specialises in improving the public’s understanding of deception, and helping them to identify scams, hoaxes and suspect science. For the past 20 years, Nicholas has worked with businesses, law-enforcement agencies and universities to uncover the tricks behind the tricks.
Nicholas is currently curating an exhibit of magic books and resources for State Library Victoria. The WG Alma Conjuring Collection is one of the largest collections of magic resources in the world. In this talk, Nicholas will explore some of the secrets of the collection including fascinating tales of the clairvoyants, psychics and snake oil salesmen found within the collection.

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

December 17 2018 Skeptics Café

Kathryn Harries

A skeptical journey through my career in water, sanitation and hygiene

Come to hear Kathryn Harries, a global expert in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as she talks about skeptical highlights and common misconceptions in the area of water, development and international humanitarian response. The talk will follow Kathryn’s career, which has included being a plant manager of sewage treatment and water filtration plants in Australia, leading the UNICEF WASH team in Rajasthan, India (2007-10) and coordinating 180 WASH organisations in response to the Somalia famine (2010-12), and cover topics including fluoridation and voluntourism.

Kathryn has worked for over 20 years in the area of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). This has included Sydney Water Corporation, Red Cross, RedR Australia, UNICEF and the Australian Government, via the Managing Contractor Palladium. Currently she is an independent consultant and researcher, likely to commence a PhD with the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University. Kathryn has worked in the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Geneva, India, Sri Lanka, Somalia and across the Pacific. Recently, under contract to UNICEF, she developed a Pacific WASH in Emergencies Handbook to support Governments and others responding to humanitarian disasters. She has also facilitated the inaugural 5-day Fiji National WASH Summit, led workshops for the Fiji WASH Cluster and lectured at James Cook University in their Refugee Health course and at Deakin University. Kathryn is also a member of Victorian Skeptics.

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

November 19 2018 Skeptics Café

“Contested Policy: Complementary Medicines, Advertising Reform and the TGA”

Assoc Prof Ken Harvey and his Monash School of Public Health students


        Mal Vickers: Analysis of old and new advertising complaint systems

        Mary Malek: TGA submissions on ear candles and homeopathy

        Kithmini Cooray: Bright Brains (Bacopa Monnieri) TGA complaint 


(Pictured above: Gabriel De Carheil, Dr Ken Harvey, Eliza Li & Michael Mackie, joint presenters at Skeptics Café December 2017)

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

November 19 2018 Skeptics Café 

Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) AGM

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

7:15 pm (precedes the 8 pm presentation by Assoc Prof Ken Harvey and his Monash School of Public Health students)

Thursday November 8 2018



with your hosts Tony Pitman & Ken Greatorex

(Trivia commences 7:15 pm sharp)

$20 / head

The Clyde Hotel, corner Elgin & Cardigan Streets, Carlton

October 15 2018 Skeptics Café

Chris Guest: Immanuel Velikovskey – Ages in Chaos

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

[Note change to previously advertised speaker]


Prof Susan Blackmore in Melbourne

Memes & Tremes: From Biology to the Future of Artificial Intelligence

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Thursday 11th October from 7:00 to 8:15 pm AEDT

At the historic Royal Society of Victoria*

8 Latrobe Street Melbourne

Booking, talk description and bio for Prof. Blackmore:

$25 for the talk

$40 for the talk plus drinks and refreshments from 6 pm

Book early to avoid disappointment.

For those attending the Australian Skeptics Convention in Sydney, Prof. Blackmore’s Sunday talk will be on a different topic: Out of Body Experiences

*Unfortunately, wheelchair access is not available at this venue

September 17 2018 Skeptics Café

Don Hyatt

Skeptic? I think so.

During this fun-packed thinking-person’s romp Don will draw on over 40 years of professional and personal interest in examining the way we think. Do skeptics think differently to the general population? Is it wrong to make snap judgement calls, or is it simply an inevitable part of everyday life? We all bring our own biases and emotions to decision-making, but are we aware of them? Could we be more aware or better prepared? Can they be avoided?
We will have a star studded cast of unlikely suspects: Dirty Harry Callahan will feature alongside Dunning Kruger, Esher and a number of politicians (they would be really bad skeptics!). Even so, black swan events are, by definition, where you don’t expect them. You will find that even the most rigorous skeptic is likely to be unskeptical in their thinking, reasoning and judgement calls at times. So many questions; so few answers. Don will also draw on some research he did into the way we first developed a scientific construct those many years ago as adolescents and the obstacles that sometime present themselves. To find out more you will have to attend the talk.

Don spent over 30 years in the Victorian education system. He then spent 12 months teaching in England. For most of his professional life he specialised in the field of Teaching & Learning; spending time at Curriculum & Research Branch and in senior curriculum roles in schools. He was also a Science Education Officer at the CSIRO Science Education Centre and President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria. He holds a Distinguished Service Award from the Australian Science Teachers’ Association and was awarded the Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award by the Chemistry Education Association – years after he retired. He still does not understand why! But he did co-author a VCE Chemistry book. These days he describes himself as a professional investor. He has just retired after 6.5 years as the Victorian Chairman of the Australian Shareholders Association and has recently been re-elected to the ASA Board for a second term. In a perverse way skepticism and investing have may similarities. The good news is that he will ultimately draw the conclusion that skeptics should be good investors.

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

August 20 2018 Skeptics Café

Dr Vyom Sharma, GP and magician.

What Doctors Get Wrong

Skeptics have done a fine job of putting woo-woo medicine under the microscope. But what do we see when we point the lens the other way? Even reputable doctors base their practice on assumptions of logic, and evidence and the complexity of healthcare tests these limits. The true test of skepticism is that it takes no sides, except that of the truth, and in this talk Dr Vyom Sharma reveals some uncomfortable truths about modern medicine in 2018.

8pm (or join us for a meal from 6pm)

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

July 16 2018 Skeptics Café

Dr Carlo Kopp

Australian freelance defence analyst and academic

Understanding the Deception Pandemic

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

June 18 2018 Skeptics Café

Head to the outer limits with this look at geological situations, phenomena, and anomalies that are perceived by many laypersons as having a magical, paranormal, or supernatural basis including beliefs about earth energies, mystical connections, alternative geological interpretations, haunted places, and deadly disasters.

Also falling under the heading of Spooky Geology are widely-believed folkloric or superstitious concepts such as water witching (dowsing), ley lines, entrances to Hell, crystal healing power, and energy vortices.

Increased media portrayal of amateur paranormal investigation has rejuvenated interest in unusual natural phenomena, the stone and water tape theories of hauntings, earth lights, and places of “mystery” and “high strangeness”.

Alternative and implausible fringe beliefs about the earth, such as the Flat Earth “theory” and End Times, appear in mainstream media gaining new attention and proponents.

Rounding out the unsettled edges of nature are bizarre accounts that appear decidedly unnatural and eerie: moving, ringing and exploding rocks, patterned ground, out-of-place geologic finds, and sudden ground collapse. While some may view unusual geological events as mysterious, spiritual, or mystical, the scientifically-minded see them as having plausible, if complicated and technical, natural explanations.

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

May 21 2018 Skeptics Café

SOAPBOX – A variety of presenters on a variety of short topics


Janice Teng (The Science Talent Search)
Nick Alksnis (Eyes too big for his stomach: scrutinising Brian Wansink’s research on food).

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

April 16 2018 Skeptics Café

Shasta Henry

PhD student, Invertebrate Ecology, School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania

How to Bee Skeptical – applying common sense to insects

It’s easy to get freaked out by insects; although we’re surrounded by them, most people know very little about them. But I’m not most people, I’m an entomologist! I’m coming to educate you out of your entomo-prejudice and insulate you against entomo-gullibility. Using skepticism we’ll investigate if it’s reasonable to fear white tailed spiders, earwigs or hairy caterpillars (hint – it’s only one of them).

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

March 19 2018 Skeptics Café

Dr Varsha Pilbrow

3D printing, teeth and human evolution
$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

February 19 2018 Skeptics CaféDr Tim van Gelder

The Swarm Project
$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

February 12 2018 Darwin Day Celebrations: 

Darwin Day Barbecue: For all free-thinkers

(Skeptics, Humanists, Rationalists, etc etc)

From 5 pm Monday February 12

Studley Park Boathouse area

BYO everything

All Welcome

Saturday February 17 2018

Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp,

Aireys Inlet Community Centre

Including Science on Top Live Podcast!

Book your FREE place here:

January 15 2018 Skeptics Café

Paul Michael Donovan

Paul Michael Donovan

“Buckley’s Bunyip: Indigenous folklore to pop-culture icon”

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

December 18 2017 Skeptics Café

8:00 pm – Dr Ken Harvey & his “Whack-a-mole” students

Keeping the pressure on TGA regulatory reform – Submissions and complaints”.

The Whack-a-Mole Project:

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

November 20 2017 Skeptics Café

7:15 pm – Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) AGM

8:00 pm – Idan Ben-Barak (Melbourne-based writer and Science communicator):

Why Aren’t We Dead Yet? – the Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System

$4 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Thursday November 9 2017

Vic Skeptics 13th Annual Trivia Night

Your quizmasters are Tony Pitman & Ken Greatorex
$15 per person
The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

October 16 2017 Skeptics Café

Dr Rachel Carey

Dr Rachel Carey : Melbourne’s food future: planning a resilient city foodbowl

Melbourne’s city foodbowl currently produces around half of Victoria’s vegetables, and has the capacity to meet around 40% of Greater Melbourne’s food needs, but by 2050 challenges to food production from population growth and urban sprawl could significantly reduce the capacity of the city’s foodbowl to feed the city. This presentation will draw on the findings of the Foodprint Melbourne project to explore the pressures on the city’s food supply and the significance of Melbourne’s foodbowl to the city’s food security in the face of challenges from declining supplies of natural resources and climate change.

Dr Rachel Carey is a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Food Policy Research Group at the University of Melbourne, where she researches sustainable food systems, food security and food production on Melbourne’s urban fringe. She leads the Foodprint Melbourne project, which is investigating environmental challenges to Melbourne’s future food supply and strategies for a more resilient and sustainable food future. Rachel has a background in food policy, and has worked on food policies for the City of Melbourne and City of Greater Geelong.

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, speaker at 8 pm

$4 entry

September 18 2017 Skeptics Café

Do Skeptics Have Irrational Beliefs?

A workshop conducted by Ross Finlay

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, workshop commences 8 pm

$4 entry

August 21 2017 Skeptics Café

chris guest poster

Chris Guest: Quantum Logic: the Rise of the Memes

(note a change of speaker from that previously advertised)

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

Thursday 17 August 2017: SPECIAL EVENT: Artificial Intelligence / Human Possibilities

Assessing emerging risks and opportunities in machine cognition.

Ben Goertzel, Marcus Hutter, Peter Cheeseman and Joscha Bach – experts in the field of artificial intelligence – will discuss the human impact of artificial intelligence.

Doors open at 6:15pm for a 7:00pm start; Tentative end time is 10:00pm.
Ibis Melbourne Hotel, 15-21 Therry Street, Melbourne.

Book for the event through either Meetup or TryBooking.

CONTACT DETAILS: 1800 666 996

This is a free public session of the 10th Artificial General Intelligence Conference sponsored by the Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch.

July 17 2017 Skeptics Café

The ACCC’s role under the Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has been in place since 2011. This presentation will look back on some significant actions the ACCC has taken under the ACL, talk about how the ACCC prioritises its work and will discuss current compliance priorities.

David Salisbury is General Manager – Consumer & Small Business Strategies at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
David is responsible for the ACCC’s role in engagement and education with consumer and small business groups. This includes administering consumer and small business consultative committees and running education campaigns.
David has extensive experience in economic regulation and competition issues across a range of industries since commencing at the ACCC in 1995.
He has a Bachelor degree in Accounting and a Masters degree in Accounting and Finance.

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

June 19 2017 Skeptics Café

(click to enlarge and download the poster)

Dr Bill Hall
Staying Rational in a World of Tweets, Fake News, Alternative Facts and Sound Bites

Humanity faces existential threats from global warming, yet social media gives idiots, demagogues and spin doctors global platforms for broadcasting dogmas, fantasies, misrepresentations and downright lies. Examples are Tweeting Trump and our more verbose Senator Malcolm Roberts.
How do we discriminate between communicating facts about and discussing the ongoing destruction of our global life support system and what is becoming an increasingly overwhelming flood of false news, alternative facts, unsubstantiated dogma, invective all designed to pervert our rational understandings of the world to give the oligarchs a few more years survival than the rest of us?

Bill is a “retired” evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, ’73) and engineering knowledge manager (Tenix Defence and the ANZAC Ship Project – 1990-2007) with hands on experience with computers and computer applications going back to the first generation in 1959. Since 2002 he has been building a hypertext book exploring the ~5 million years of the exponential growth and co-evolution of human cognition and technology into the future.

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

May 15 2017 Skeptics Café



The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton


Lana Bavykina “Parasite detox cleanse
Karen Bijkersma “The Baha’i religion

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

April 17 2017 Skeptics Café


Ian Bryce: President, Humanist Society of NSW; Owner, Springside Engineering; Vice President, Secular Party of Australia; Engineer, Australian Space Research Unit; Chief Investigator, Australian Skeptics Inc.

The Quantum World Made Visible
Quantum mechanics is a foundation of our universe, and yet to study it is to threaten one’s grounding in reality. This practical demonstration makes many aspects readily apparent. We view a range of light sources through diffraction gratings, which reveals the details of the spectra. The accompanying slide show explains the quantum effects in everyday terms.

The talk will include an attempt to measure the elusive Planck’s Constant. And culminate in a challenge: Can anyone identify a non-quantum light source, ie one explained entirely by classical physics?
Ian Bryce qualified in physics and engineering. He then worked and lectured in aerospace engineering. Revisiting fundamental physics has provided new insights. He is Chief Investigator for Australian Skeptics.

Pre-reading is not essential, but there is one book which stands out in its clarity: The Quantum Universe: Everything that Can Happen, Does Happen, by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

March 20 2017 Skeptics Café


Apps & Hacks for Skeptical Research

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry

Saturday February 25 2017

Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp VIsplitpoint_0102


Info and booking at:


February 20 2017 Skeptics Café

penny-whetton-framedDr Penny Whetton

Honorary Fellow, CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere, University of Melbourne

Impact of climate change on Victoria

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

Over the past twenty-five years, CSIRO has led the provision of national climate change projections for Australia designed to serve the needs of climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.

In 2015, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released new national projections for Australia based on extensive analysis of the latest climate modelling results, thus providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date projections currently available for Australia. With high confidence continued warming is projected throughout the century for all regions of Australia. The projected warming averaged across Australia is 0.6-1.3°C by 2030, and by 2090, 2.8-5.1°C is projected under global high emissions and 1.4 to 2.7°C under a more moderate emission scenario.

Other aspects of Australian climate will also change. In addition to temperature, the projections cover a range of other variables, such as changes to precipitation, sea level rise, humidity, radiation and fire weather, including many aspects of extremes, such as hot/cold days, drought, fire-weather, tropical cyclones, strong wind, extreme rainfall and extreme sea level.

The seminar will describe the scientific basis for the projections and summarise key aspects of the projected future climate, with a particular focus on Victoria. The full set of projection information and guidance material is available from the associated website (, which will also be demonstrated in the seminar.

Dr Whetton is an Honorary Research Fellow with CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, and with the University of Melbourne. Dr Whetton led CSIRO’s national climate change projection work from 1992 until 2014 and was a Lead Author of Assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, 2007 and 2014.

$4 entry

February 12 2017


Charles Darwin

Vic Skeptics, along with Progressive Atheists, Humanists and other like-minded people invite you to celebrate Darwin Day with a Barbecue on Sunday February 12.

It’s in the boat-sheds area of Studley Park, Kew


From 12 noon.

BYO everything

See also our main article:

January 16 2017 Skeptics Café

Tim Harding in suit

Tim Harding
Scientific Skepticism vs Philosophical Skepticism

The Clyde Hotel, cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Meal from 6pm, talk at 8 pm

$4 entry


Melbourne, November 25-27 

Speakers include Lawrence Krauss, Michael “Marsh” Marshall, Harriet Hall, Edzard Ernst, Mel Thomson, Ken Harvey, Lynne Kelly, Meredith Doig & Deanne Carson (Fairness In Religion in Schools), Peter Bowditch, Tim Harding, Emma Miley, Tracey McDermott, Ken McLeod, Wendy Wilkinson, David Hawkes, Mal Vickers, Jo Alabaster, Tim van Gelder and Ross Balch.


One Day and Two Day Tickets are on sale now.

For more information and to book, go to:

Thursday November 24  Convention Trivia Night 

convention-triviaThe Clyde Hotel cnr Elgin & Cardigan Streets Carlton

Join our overseas and interstate Convention guests.

All Welcome. Lots of prizes. Fun Will Be Had. 7.30 pm (meal from 6 pm)

$15 / head entry only (meal & drinks at pub prices)

November 21 2016 Skeptics Café


October 17 2016 Skeptics Café

mark rooney

Mark Rooney

“The Curse of Knowledge”

Once you know something, it becomes impossible to imagine what it’s like not to know it.’

The curse of knowledge is a simple but insidious cognitive bias that runs rampant through our lives. This leaves us confused, frustrated and even worse, oblivious of our ignorance. This session will pin down the curse and look at some possible antidotes.

Mark Rooney is an English Language Teacher & Teacher Trainer/Developer

A native Irish man who moved to Australia in 2009 after teaching in Ireland, England, Spain and Japan he is currently working at Monash College English Language Centre.

$4 entry

September 19 2016 Skeptics Café


Dr Megan Munsie

“Hype, hope and reality of stem cell science”

Associate Professor Megan Munsie is a scientist, based at The University of Melbourne, where she heads the Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit at the Australian Research Council funded Stem Cells Australia initiative. Over the last decade, Megan has co-authored numerous educational resources for the public and health professionals, contributed to the development of policy in Australia and abroad, and collaborated in research projects focused on exploring regulation and community expectation in stem cell science. She is an advisor to several organisations including Chair of the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s ‘Closer Look at Stem Cells’ task force and the Policy, Ethics and Translation Sub-Committee of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research.

Megan has a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queensland University of Technology, a Masters in Reproductive Sciences and a PhD from Monash University. During her PhD in 2000, she demonstrate that stem cells could be made from ‘cloned’ mouse embryos – the first proof-of-concept for therapeutic cloning. She has also worked as an embryologist in IVF clinics and for an ASX listed biotechnology company.

$4 entry

August 15 2016 Skeptics Café


Dr Stephen Basser

“Suffer The Little Children – Taking A Look At Paediatric Pseudoscience”

$4 entry

June 20 2016 Skeptics Café

Tim H

Tim Harding

Traditional Chinese Medicine vs. Endangered Species

$4 entry

May 16 2016 Skeptics Café

A variety of speakers on a variety of topics

$4 entry

April 18 2016 Skeptics Café

peter thorne

Dr Peter Thorne

Still Taking the Beads and Mirrors
Australia’s performance in research and discovery is not matched by a corresponding take up of commercialisation of innovation. In fact, we rank last in the OECD countries.
I argue that in attempting to remedy this situation it will be necessary for government to take a more pro-active role: in particular, by improving public sector procurement policies and practices and by strengthening tax enforcement.
Dr Peter Thorne was formerly the Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Melbourne. He has been a member of Tender Boards for major Government IT projects including the re-equipment of the Australian Tax Office and Australian Customs. He was a member of the National Procurement Board established by the Hawke/Keating Government.
Peter has been retained as an expert in over 100 legal disputes relating to the provision of IT services and systems and intellectual property and has given evidence in a number of landmark cases. Until 2015 he was MD of Computer Forensic Services Pty Ltd.
He is a former board member of AMTEC (Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre), the CRC for Catchment Hydrology, the CRC for Knowledge based Systems and former Co-Director of the Collaborative Information Technology Research Institute.

$4 entry

Saturday February 27 2016

Surfcoast Skepticamp V


(See main article)

FREE but book at

March 21 2016 Skeptics Café

David-Hawkes-300x300-300x300Dr David Hawkes

‘That which can be claimed without evidence – Tackling anti-vaccine claims in the scientific literature’

Dr Dave Hawkes has a PhD in virology gained through his research on HIV. He has been involved with Stop the AVN for over five years and has been heavily involved with combating misinformation about vaccination, especially from professional anti-vaccinationists like Meryl Dorey and Sherri Tenpenny. He has appeared as a guest at numerous conferences including the 2015 Future GP conference, the Centre of Research Excellence in Immunology Workshop, and the 2015 Australian Skeptics National Convention. He has also made regular appearances on television, radio and podcasts.

$4 entry

February 12 2016 Darwin Day BYO & BBQ


February 15 2016 Skeptics Café

kieran lim

Kieran Lim

Science, the scientific method and scientific evidence

What is science? What constitutes scientific evidence?

The testable and contestable nature of science is a key concept in science education, at both school and university levels. It is also a fundamental tenet of the Australian Skeptics. However, there is a common misconception that the nature of science is synonymous with the “scientific method”.

Science and chemistry consist of much more than just the scientific method. For example, chemistry also involves measurement, synthesis and separation among other things. Real-world chemistry includes quality assurance and quality control, manufacture of polymers and pharmaceuticals, and extraction of natural products – yet these do not involve the scientific method.

This talk will discuss some of the key ideas in western science, and the meaning of the testable and contestable nature of science. The talk will address the question, what is evidence in science?

Kieran Lim is an associate professor at Deakin University. He has research interests in science education and forensic science. He is the recipient of a 2014 Australian Award for Teaching Excellence in the Physical Sciences and Related Studies, and the 2011 Fensham Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Chemical Education. In his spare time, Kieran is a volunteer Scout Leader.

$4 entry

January 18 2016 Skeptics Café

roger francey

Dr Roger Francey 

Honorary Fellow
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Science, Aspendale

Evidence to Challenge Global Carbon Cycle Models

Throughout the 1990s global carbon cycle models were developed sufficiently to achieve consistency between atmospheric CO2 measurements and estimates of anthropogenic, terrestrial and oceanic fluxes. Advice about managing ‘climate-change’ mitigation strategies are largely based on such models, e.g. as in annual the Global Carbon Project reports (
Systematic behaviour in high-quality CO2 measurements selected for maximum spatial representation challenge the estimates of fossil emissions (Francey et al., Nature Climate Change, 3/5, 520-524, 2013) and atmospheric transport (Francey and Frederiksen, Biogeosciences Discussion, 11 Sep, 2015) that underpin these models.

$4 entry

December 21 2015 Skeptics Café


Dr Mick Vagg

The Ghost of Christmas Woo

  • a light-hearted skeptical look at myths and superstitions in alternative medicine and culture with a seasonal flavor.

Mick Vagg is a consultant in rehabilitation and pain medicine in the Geelong area. He is also a supporter of Friends of Science in Medicine, and a frequent commentator on all things of interest to Skeptics.

$4 entry


Ross Balch speaking at 2015 Australian Skeptics Convention

Ross Balch speaking at 2015 Australian Skeptics Convention

Ross Balch BAppSc(MedSc) BAppSc(Microbiol) is a medical researcher, currently studying genetic diversity in dengue virus.

A skeptical activist, Ross is President of the Brisbane Skeptic Society. He is also a Science Populariser, Podcaster, Musician and Photographer.

Vic Skeptics will host Ross at a Dinner where he will speak and perform. His topic will be Emerging Viruses.

“Emerging viruses continue to be a significant challenge for health authorities around the world. In this presentation I examine 3 case studies of emerging viruses; Ebola, Dengue and SARS. I will describe the circumstances that contribute to the spread of each virus, what we can do to limit future out break and what features make a virus more likely to be emergent than others. If you would like some more skepticism I can also discuss some of the pseudoscience that has followed these outbreaks.”

Monday 14th December

La Notte Restaurant, 140 Lygon Street Carlton,

The Club Room, 6:30 for 7:00 pm

$10 entry at the door then meal and drinks at normal prices.

You can see and hear Ross at

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.

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:

Special Event – Susan Gerbic


Thursday 1st October 2015

Affectionately called The Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic is the co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics, and a regular contributor to SKEPTICALITY podcast and the founder of the GUERILLA SKEPTICISM on WIKIPEDIA project. She received the “In the Trenches” award at CFI’s 2012 Skeptic’s Toolbox, and the James Randi award for Skepticism in the Public Interest in 2013. Gerbic’s efforts to clean up pseudoscience on Wikipedia and create pages for well-known skeptics has made her a “super villain” in the eyes of the paranormal community. You can contact her at

7.30 pm

The Club Room,

La Notte Restaurant 140 Lygon Street Carlton

($5 entry)

(Join us for an al fresco meal from 6pm)

September 21 2015 Skeptics Café


Dr Lynne Kelly

A Skeptic Still Tackling Stonehenge

Five years after she first threw her radical new theory about the purpose of Stonehenge at the Victorian Skeptics, Lynne Kelly is back. With the PhD done, the theory has just been published globally. Now she’s adding more including the ‘mystery’ of Easter Island and the Nasca Lines that Von Daniken attributed to aliens. It’s all about indigenous cultures memorising vast amounts of practical knowledge: animals, plants, navigation, seasons, genealogy, geology, astronomy, timekeeping, resource rights, laws … the list goes on and on. Lynne will explain the amazing array of mnemonic technologies used and how you can implement them yourself.

Dr Lynne Kelly is a founding member of the Australian Skeptics. She has published ten books for education, one novel and three popular science titles including ‘The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal’. Lynne Kelly’s latest book, ‘Knowledge and power in prehistoric societies’, is published by Cambridge University Press.


August 17 2015 Skeptics Café

DavidWaldronDr David Waldron

The Devil’s own board game: Satanism, moral panic and Dungeons and Dragons.

Dr David Waldron has been a lecturer in History and Anthropology at Federation University for the past 12 years teaching a wide array of history, sociology and anthropology courses. He also has a research focus on folklore and community identity.

He is the author of:

Sign of the Witch: Modernity and the Pagan Revival

Shock! The Black Dog of Bungay – a Case Study in Local Folklore


Snarls from the Tea-Tree: Victoria’s Big Cat Folklore. [see our review HERE]

He is currently engaged in creating an anthology of Gothic folklore from the Victorian goldfields of the 19th century.

$4 entry



The return to Australia of astrophysicist, author, celebrity, wrestler, world-recognised badass and one of the very first Think Inc. event guests, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

7th August PLENARY MCEC Melbourne
16th August – Brisbane
22nd August – Sydney
23rd August – Canberra

Australian Skeptics are proud co-sponsors of this event

July 20 2015 Skeptics Café

IMG_1257 - Version 2

Dr Siobhan Reddel

The limits of skepticism in relation to western and ‘complementary’ therapies

Modern health and medicine are complex areas to negotiate both as a consumer and a practitioner, particularly as there is often significant emotional overlay of transactions, which can increase the power of suggestion both in terms of diagnosis and treatment. These are issues which affect all Western and ‘complementary’ health practitioners. And in the community setting a (cost)effective physician relies on the art as well as the science of their craft. So where does modern ‘evidence’ come into this and how is that related to skepticism? And what of formal placebo as opposed to informal suggestion? Or indeed iatrogenesis – particularly in terms of labelling and creating unnecessary illness?
Siobhan Reddel will explore these topics. Drawing on both research and her clinical experience in different cultures and social milieu, she will discuss areas where application of scientific evidence is straight-forward and essential, and others where it may be better if an understanding of where the evidence ends and a more subtle approach to scepticism is applied.

Siobhan Reddel is a GP, epidemiologist and clinical hypnotist. She has practiced healthcare in a variety of settings in Australia as well as in rural India and Pakistan, Palestine, Vietnam and the Philippines. Currently she works both as a country doctor and an urban custodial (prison) medical officer. Her clinical sub-interests are drug and alcohol and sexual health medicine, as well as the physiological manifestations of chronic emotional trauma. In addition to these areas her research also focuses on the misuse of prescribed psychotropic medications, how humans filter information and mass psychogenic illness.

$4 entry

Thursday July 9 2015 Vic Skeptics Movie Night

“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”


The Victorian Skeptics are planning another film night at Nova Cinema Carlton on Thursday July 9th at 6.50pm.

This film has been getting 4 Star reviews.
The Director, Alex Gibney, has made a lot of highly rated and award winning docos in the past.
Scientology has been of particular interest to skeptics because of its cultish nature and betrayal of Science.

We had a great night a few months ago when we went as a group to see The Theory of Everything.
Seeing the early 6.50pm show gives us enough time to pop into a local pub after the show (e.g. The Clyde) and de-brief with food, drinks and deep conversation. Or light hearted conversation.

Please let us know asap if you are coming by booking via or text 0438 626107

Payment $15 (normal ticket price is $19.50) can be made:

– by tranfer to BSB 063157 a/c # 010131669 [reference your name + MOVIE]
– “donate” on this website (RH column) using PayPal (if you have a PayPal account).



Thursday June 25 2015

Vic Skeptics

11th Annual Trivia Night


La Notte Restaurant, 140 Lygon Street Carlton


Alfresco dinner from 6pm

Trivia in The Club Room will start at 7:30 sharp (expected finishing time 10 pm)

Lots of great prizes, include:

  •  Dinner for two to the value of $100 courtesy La Notte Restaurant
  • Two Premium Tickets to The Melbourne stage of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s national tour at The Plenary MCEC on 7th August

$15 per head   Bookings will be required.
Book via or call 1800 666 996 or 9378 4414.
You can come as a team of six, or take pot luck on the night.

June 15 2015 Skeptics Café

Janice Teng: The Science Talent Search

Janice is a secondary science-trained teacher with 10 years school experience, and is now the Science Talent Search Project Officer.
She has been a member of the Science Talent Search committee since 1997, serving 3 years as a Co-Director, and the rest as a Section Co-ordinator for Working Models and Inventions.

Science Talent Search 445W


Jan Campione and Helen Hiotis: The Science Drama Awards

Science Drama Awards 445W

Helene Hiotis
Helene Hiotis is an Assistant Principal at Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College, who is passionate about engaging students in their learning. She has integrated the arts into the science curriculum through the introduction of the Science Drama Awards where students perform science on stage. Memorable performances include: Mummy my tummy hurts – digestive system; and Rome and Juliet – a love story between Na and Cl. Helene is an accredited de Bono trainer who has led transformational change in schools and has presented at various conferences.

Jan Campione
Jan Campione is an Assistant Principal at Pascoe Vale Girls’ Secondary College, who has been the convenor of the Science Drama Awards for a number of years. She is committed to providing an engaging and innovative science program to students across Victoria.

Presentation Summary
This presentation will outline how the Science Drama Awards were developed to integrate the arts into the science curriculum. Learning science develops thinking skills that allows you to take charge – to set up choices, to make decisions, to consider possibilities, to make things happen. The Science Drama Awards have provided the opportunity for students to learn about science and more importantly how to translate their understanding of scientific concepts using drama. Science Drama Awards requires students to do science by doing!

$4 entry

May 18 2015 Skeptics Café


SOAPBOX: A variety of speakers on a variety of topics

Andrew Rawlings: ‘Creationism In Victoria’
John Perkins: ‘Let’s be honest about Islam’
Tim Harding: ‘The Rejection of Expertise’
James Fodor: ‘Philosophy of Science: What skeptics need to know’

$4 entry

April 20 2015 Skeptics Café

The Pathways Project

Diversity Education for Multicultural Australia
PATHWAYS is a development of a school presentation program commissioned by the Victoria Multicultural Commission in 2010 in response to mistreatment of Indian students in the Northern Region.

$4 entry

March 16 2015 Skeptics Café

Joanne Benhamu V2

Joanne Benhamu

Human Subjects Research – a walk through the exploded minefield of Wakefield, Burzynski and more.
“I’m not going to talk about the pseudoscience of Wakefield and Burzynski. I’m specifically going to look at how they failed to meet the standards required of conducting ethical research”.

Joanne is a Clinical Trial Coordinator working in Radiation Oncology. She previously worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Endoscopy and has speciality qualifications in acute care nursing.
Alongside her personal fascination with medical history, since moving to clinical trials and research three years ago she has developed a professional interest in research ethics in health and medicine.
Joanne is a co-Vice President of Australian Skeptics Inc; an Executive member of Friends of Science in Medicine and founder of the Facebook group “Nursing Skeptically”. She was an organising committee member of the 2014 Australian Skeptics Convention in Sydney and is a new arrival to Melbourne.

$4 entry

February 12 2015 Darwin Day Barbecue

Combined event for Melbourne Freethinkers


February 16 2015 Skeptics Café

Dr Meredith Doig

Dr Meredith Doig – Ugandan Rationalist School

Rather than mocking religion, should agnostics and atheists instead steal from it, as recommended by philosopher Alain de Botton? Should we create more supportive communities, inspire social action, offer consolation, engage in ritual and celebration? Should we do more ‘good works’, putting our money, time and effort where our mouths are?
The answer, of course, is that agnostics and atheists do all these things – they just don’t feel the need to identify as agnostic or atheist when doing so. But sometimes circumstances dictate that a stand against prevailing religious ignorance and bigotry is, if not necessary, then the courageous thing to do.
Hear about Meredith Doig’s visit to one such courageous project, during her visit to Uganda in 2013. Be prepared for very cute photos of baby gorillas.
$4 entry

January 19 2015 Skeptics Café

Dr Jason Tye-Din
Dr Jason Tye-Din

Gluten sensitive or just plain sensitive?
Once considered an uncommon curiosity, coeliac disease is now regarded as one of the most prevalent immune illnesses affecting humans. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that gluten was firmly identified as the causative agent which led to the treatment sufferers still employ today, a lifelong gluten free diet. Whilst the role of the gluten free diet as a medical treatment for coeliac disease is well established, its promotion as a panacea for a multitude of symptoms and diseases has served to blur and potentially undermine its role as a critical treatment for coeliac disease. Dr Jason Tye-Din will provide a modern understanding of coeliac disease and the key issues encountered by patients, clinicians, and the food industry. He will discuss contemporary research into the nebulous entity known as “gluten sensitivity”, and reveal how rigorous, randomised and blinded studies are revealing new insights into the harm or, more importantly, lack of harm, caused by gluten.

Dr Jason Tye-Din is a gastroenterologist and researcher. He heads the coeliac research program at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and runs a coeliac clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Jason completed his medical degree at Melbourne University in 1995 and undertook clinical training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital specialising in gastroenterology. A PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute sparked an interest in research, immunology, and food-related disease, and enabled him to undertake studies into the immunologic basis of gluten toxicity in human coeliac volunteers. This research formed the basis for the design of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for coeliac disease now in clinical trials.

$4 entry

December 15 2014 Skeptics Café


Patrick Stokes
Suspicious Minds – The Ethics of Conspiracy Belief

While conspiracy theories have been a part of our cultural landscape for centuries, the internet age has seemingly made them much more visible, if not more prevalent. While History, Cultural Studies and Psychology have all turned their scholarly attention to conspiracy theories, philosophy has had much less to say on the topic, focussing mainly on issues of how we define conspiracy theories and whether they are (always?) irrational. But conspiracy theorising is also something we do, and this raises the question: is this activity ethical? What are the moral implications of conspiracy theorising, and do we have moral obligations to avoid indulging in conspiracy theory?

Patrick Stokes is lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University.

His research focuses largely on issues of selfhood, subjectivity, time, death, and moral psychology. He is the author of The Naked Self (Oxford, 2015) and Kierkegaard’s Mirrors (Palgrave, 2010) and co-editor of Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self (Edinburgh, 2015, with John Lippitt) and Kierkegaard and Death (Indiana, 2011, with Adam Buben).

He is a regular contributor to The Conversation, Triple R’s Breakfasters, and media commentator on philosophical matters.

$4 entry

December 5 2014

An Evening With James Randi


Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre.

Other tour dates:

Untitled Capture-01

November 28-30 2014

Australian Skeptics Convention 2014

The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney NSW

November 17 2014 Skeptics Café

mal-vickers-spotMal Vickers

Chiropractors Crack Me Up

Roll up, Roll up!
Join in the conversation about chiropractors who can cure any disease known to man! There is nothing a chiropractor can’t treat! This will be a spine tingling, bone crunching, look at chiropractic advertising. Is it just manipulation with a little extra placebo on the side or can they really treat bedwetting, tinnitus, period pain, colic, asthma and ear infection with a little twist of the spine?
Mal Vickers is a Vic Skeptics committee member who, in his spare time, has spent many hours researching and investigating claims in chiropractic advertising. By day, he is a mild-mannered service technician and by night, he is a super sleuth who seeks the truth.

$4 entry

October 20 2014 Skeptics Café


Linley Kissick:
Valentich: “It’s Hovering and It’s Not an Aircraft”

Linley has been interested in the story of Frederick Valentich since hearing about the case throughout the 80s.

Did Frederich Valentich experience a UFO or was it pilot error?

Linley has been a committee member of the Victorian Skeptics for the past three years.
She enjoys riding her Triumph, talking to cats, watching mindless telly and has never released a book. She dreams of being a pilot or a train driver in the future and meeting DEVO.

$4 entry

September 15 2014 Skeptics Café

Amanda bio pic

Amanda Devaus:

“Skeptivism – Rise up for Reason”

Amanda will be talking about skeptic activism and how we can be involved. This focus will be on the quacks and those who prey on the vulnerable and sick. There will also be an update on Burzynski and how you can help.

Psychics and those who tout spiritual healing and the benefits of homeopathy – especially with the current outbreak of Ebola.

Amanda is Vice President of Canberra Skeptics, Member of the Independent investigations Group in Los Angeles and Skeptic Action. Dedicated to promoting skeptic activism and annoying as many psychics as she can possibly manage.

$4 entry

Special Event

Dinner with Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss

The Victorian Skeptics are delighted to host a presentation by well known cosmologist and author Lawrence Krauss.

Update – SOLD OUT! If you would like to go on a waiting list in the event of late cancellations, send an email to

Lawrence’s presentation is titled:

An update on Cosmology and thoughts on Education

Lawrence is well known for his critical thinking and promotion of science. He has appeared on Q & A among other shows. This event is not to be missed. In addition to the high quality presentation, the ticket price includes a quality three course meal.

Where and when?

The evening will be held at Graduate House Conference Centre, 220 Leicester Street Carlton on Friday 29 August with proceedings beginning at 6:30pm.

The total price for the meal and Lawrence’s presentation at an excellent venue is $100 per person (general admission).

Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch members $90.

Ticketing Details

All members will be notified of a ‘promotional code’ to obtain the price reduction.

Not sure if you’re already a member? If you are a financial member of the Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch, you will have already received the ‘promotional code’ for this event via email. If you haven’t received the code, that means you’re probably not a member. Unfortunately, simply subscribing to ‘The Skeptic’ or attending any of our talks doesn’t qualify you for membership.

The event is open to everyone however.

Please note that as you go through the booking process you can select seating. However, the seating presented on the TryBooking website is different to the actual layout of seating for Lawence’s talk. Seating will be at round tables for ten people. That means that each row in the TryBooking website for this event, actually represents one table of ten. If you are booking for two people or more and you’d like to be seated at the same table, please ensure you choose seats in the same row.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Lawrence Krauss 430W

Brief Biography
Lawrence Krauss is Director of the ASU Origins Project at Arizona State University and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics. Described by Scientific American as a unique scientific ‘public intellectual’, Krauss is a renowned theoretical physicist as well as one of the most well-known advocates for science worldwide. In addition to over 300 scientific publications, He has written nine books for a general audience, including the international bestsellers The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe From Nothing, with translations into over 20 languages. His research has focused on the intersection on cosmology and elementary particle physics, including general relativity and quantum gravity, the early universe, the origin of mass, neutrino astrophysics, and the long term future of the universe. He is the winner of numerous international awards, and is the only physicist to have received the major awards from all three US physics societies. In 2012, he was awarded The National Science Board’s Public Service Award for his many contributions. He frequently appears on TV and radio and contributes to newspapers and magazines, and is the subject of a new full-length feature film, The Unbelievers, which follows Krauss and Richard Dawkins around the world as they discuss science and reason.
Dinner with Lawrence Krauss - click to see full size banner

Dinner with Lawrence Krauss – click to see full size banner

August 18 2014 Skeptics Café

Back by popular request!



A variety of speakers on a variety of topics

Vince Butler

Skepticism in the Terrorist Age


John Perkins

Skeptical Economics


Ross Finlay

The Devil’s Advocate Is My Guardian Angel


Paul Conway

$4 entry

July 21 2014 Skeptics Café

Bee-apisAustralian native bees and European honeybeesMe

Presenter: Dr Ken Walker, Discovery Centre, Museum of Melbourne

Australia has about 1,700 native bee species and several exotic introduced bees. This talk will discuss some of the pest parasitic mites that attack European honeybees and the problems they cause – fortunately, Australia is the last continent (except Antarctica) that does not have these mites. It is estimated that Australia receives about $5 billion worth of free pollination each year from the European honeybee to anything that affects this eco-service will have major consequences to agriculture. The talk will also introduce the vibrant and diverse Australian native bee fauna.

Ken has been the Curator of Entomology at Museum Victoria for over 34 years. He originally studied at the University of Queensland gaining Bachelor and Masters degrees and then received a PhD in Systematics from LaTrobe University.

Ken curates the Museum Victoria’s insect collection estimated at about 3 million specimens, interacts with the public through Exhibitions (such as the Bugs Alive! exhibition) and answering general public questions and also conducts research into Australia’s native bee fauna.

Ken has described almost 200 new species of native bees and only now are we beginning to know what bees occur in Australia and what plants do they pollinate. With one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat a direct result of pollination, it is no wonder that people have an interest in bees.


Some Pre-reading:

$4 Entry

June 16 2014 Skeptics Café

Don Hyatt

Don Hyatt

Don Hyatt: Why Education Matters Australia’s educational leaning tower of PISA Australian Education – Going, going Gonski? Pyning for a better education in Australia. The educational framework within which students begin their educational lives sets their views on how they see society and how they might reach their potential, subsequently making a valuable contribution to society. It is vital that Australia has a high quality education system that serves our needs and enables the future generation to take us to the country we want to be. A quality education for all students would seem to be the best investment for any country’s long term future. Exactly how that might be achieved is very much a political issue and open to interpretation. Skeptics need to be informed, actively interested and involved in the educational debate with a view to ensuring that the public is properly informed and politicians make decisions for the right reasons and in the interests of everyone. In this talk Don will look at the results of the PISA study released in November 2013 and what they mean to Australia. We will also look at how the Gonski Review may or may not address what reforms are needed. Layered on top of this is the current implementation of the National Curriculum and the recently released Pyne Review of Education. Where is all this going? Oh, and there are students to be considered. Don Hyatt is a well known Victorian Skeptic having served on the Victorian Committee and convened the Australian Skeptics National Convention in 2012. He founded the Skeptic Groups of Victoria which he still convenes. Don taught and occupied a variety of educational roles for over 30 years in Victorian schools where he was actively involved in curriculum development with particular interest in science education. He spent time in Curriculum & Research Branch of the Education Department and as Education Officer at the CSIRO Science Education Centre. He was the Foundation National Director of Australian Science in Schools Weeks, now National Science Week. He is a past President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria, co-author of several chemistry texts and sat on the national body developing the principles for the determination of Highly Accomplished Teachers of Science. He holds an M. Ed from Melbourne University on learning development in the transition from Child Science to Teacher Science. In his spare time he is currently Victorian Chairman of the Australian Shareholders Association. $4 entry 

May 19 2014 Skeptics Café

Trivia Night

Tenth Annual Vic Skeptics Trivia Extravaganza

*May bring healthy balance to your cerebral synapses  *May cause mirth and hilarity. *May cure scrofula and Night Starvation *May 19 – Be there or be a right-angled rhombus! Great prizes include signed copies of books by Simon Singh, Lynne Kelly, Warren Bonnet and Chris French. Special early starting time of 7.30 pm Bring your team (maximum of six) or come on your own. Want to get some practice in? Try some of our “Mixed Bag” Questions on the Puzzles Page or Puzzles Archives. (New $4 entry applies)


easthher mack poster

(click above to download full size poster)

Cosmology has been front page news all over the world this year — “Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun” said the New York Times.

Come and ask theoretical cosmologists and particle physicists
Professor Richard Easther
(University of Auckland, @reasther) and
Dr Katherine (Katie) Mack
(University of Melbourne, @astrokatie) what this means, what happens now, and what we are doing about in Australasia!

Wednesday May 7 2014

La Notte Restaurant

140 Lygon Street Carlton

8 pm

(Al Fresco Dinner From 6pm)

$10 entry to the presentation


April 21 2014 Skeptics Café

Speaker: Chris Guest Topic: The Jesus Myth

The existence of a historical Jesus is often questioned in freethinking circles by a resurgent movement of “Jesus Mythologists”. The origins of this movement is discussed and the core ideas of Earl Doherty, Robert M Price and Richard Carrier are critically evaluated.
Chris Guest is an software developer with an academic background in Philosophy and Machine Learning.
He is interested in applying critical reasoning to boundary problems in skepticism.
As a member of Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch he is involved in consumer complaints and skeptical advocacy.
Chris Guest 250W
(New $4 entry applies)

March 17 2014 Skeptics Café


Video: The Vaccine War

[Description of the video: ]

There will be a discussion session after the video conducted by Paul Gallagher

Paul G 320WPaul is the one on the right :)

February 11 & 12 2014 Darwin Day Celebrations

  • On Tuesday February 11 from 5 pm at the Unitarian Church at 110 Grey Street East Melbourne (Melways 2G D2). Barbecue (BYO everything) followed by an 8 pm talk by Rick Barker of the Philosophy Forum.
  • On Wednesday February 12, The Humanist Society’s celebration of Charles Darwin Day is at Studley Park on Wednesday 12/2/14 from 5 pm. Anybody is welcome to join in. Barbecue; BYO everything.

February 17 2014 Skeptics Café


Kelvin Thomson MHR:

A Skeptical Look at Rapid Population Growth

In the last fifteen years Australia has ratcheted up its rate of population growth. According to our political, business and media elite this a very good thing. But I am a population skeptic. I believe rapid population growth underpins pretty much all the problems facing both the world and Australia – from climate change, war and terrorism to species extinctions, housing unaffordability, job insecurity and traffic congestion.

In 1996 I was elected to the Federal Parliament as the Member for Wills. From 1998 to 2007 I served in a range of Shadow Ministries, including Assistant Treasurer, Environment and Heritage, Regional Development, Roads and Housing, Public Accountability, Human Services and Attorney General.

From 2007 to 2013 I was Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and from early 2013 until the election I was Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and then Parliamentary Secretary for Schools.

I was not a candidate for the Opposition frontbench after the 2013 election. It is my experience that being a Shadow Minister brings with it obligations not to speak outside your portfolio. For me this limitation is simply too great in a world and an Australia which I believe is facing massive challenges, including, among other issues, rapid population growth.

In 2009 I released a 14 Point Plan for Population Reform, and in December 2013 I launched an NGO, Victoria First, to further raise awareness of the consequences of rapid population growth.

January 20 2014 Skeptics Café

Soap Box night -quick talks on interesting topics. Always a fun and surprising evening.

A Bass Straight UFO mystery, the fun and games of renaming the AVN, the elusive quest for critical reasoning on the Middle East, how to have a rational disagreement and the hidden maths in ‘The Simpsons’ will be some of the topics discussed.

Speakers include Linley Kissick, Paul Gallagher, Marika Sosnowski, James Fodor and UK science writer, Simon Singh.

soap box

Simon Singh

Simon Singh

December 16 2013 Skeptics Café

frank burden 2Dr Frank Burden

Free Energy

Frank Burden was formerly an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Monash University and is currently an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has published 140 papers on chemistry and related themes and is still publishing with the CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering Division as a consultant.

Free Energy has a wide range of meanings from the strict definition of the chemical sciences to the everyday meanings of free petrol, electricity etc. However there is misunderstood science, as well many scams, that try to persuade people that they can obtain free energy to run their heating, motors, transport and to create perpetual motion machines. Some websites use confusing terms and muddled thinking and some try and sell products that will produce free energy for life. A range of these will be discussed and analysed.

November 18 2013 Skeptics Café


Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, as well as being a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society.
He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims, as well as writing for the Guardian and The Skeptic magazine which, for more than a decade, he also edited.
His most recent books are Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic, co-edited with Wendy Grossman (2010, London: The Philosophy Press) and Anomalistic Psychology, co-authored with Nicola Holt, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and David Luke (2012, London: Palgrave).
Follow him on Twitter: @chriscfrench

October 21 2013 Skeptics Café



Water Fluoridation: Facts and Furphies

Water fluoridation first commenced in Australian at Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953.

Most capital cities and larger regional centres fluoridated their water supplies over the next 2 decades, with Melbourne finally switching on in 1977.

Brisbane and much of Queensland remained unfluoridated until relatively recently, with Brisbane finally implementing fluoridation in 2008. However, recently some Queensland towns have begun to question fluoridation, and are switching their fluoridation facilities off.

This talk will look at some of the evidence to support the continuation of what the US Centre for Disease Control called one of the top 10 public health measures of 1900-1999, and also explore some of the controversies surrounding water fluoridation.

September 16 2013 Skeptics Café

YASheadshots_ElizaR1Elizabeth Riaikkenen

Skepticism and Teenagehood: Unicorns, the Universe and Youth

With a single talent for loudness, Elizabeth, known as Liz or affectionately as Wiz, intends to relay what the standard of inquiry really is and whether the youngn’s are really a rowdy bunch, whether there aren’t any girls in science and what sort of growth has happened to scepticism and what this means for the bearded ones.

With kind regards, she also wishes to hide her secret agenda of sapping the wisdom of the elder about what sort of career requires her the most.

Despite having the single qualification of a semi-complete Year 10 highschool education, she aims to convince that the standard of wisdom and knowledge is not dropping in scepticism from Nobel Laureate Victorian Skeptics speakers to minors small in stature, but is just being given a fresh perspective. There are only so many times you can stare at a grey beard for an hour or two, so why not liven your month with a bit of youth lost that gets lost with time and find out what the future of this beloved movement is.

August 19, 2013 Skeptics Café

Professor David Karoly

Lies, damn lies and “climate change sceptics”:

What is really happening with climate change and where are we heading?


There appears to be a robust scientific debate on climate change, if you read some media or web sites. David Karoly will discuss some of the common arguments and misinformation that question the role of human activity, particularly increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, as the main cause of recently observed global warming. David will also

discuss the best available projections of future global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases, and what society must do to meet the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to only 2C above pre-industrial temperatures.

David Karoly is a Professor of Climate Science in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and inter-annual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles.

Professor Karoly is a member of the new Climate Change Authority in Australia. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the Australian Climate Commission, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the National Committee for Earth System Science of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government. From 2003, he held the Williams Chair in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. During 2001-2002, he was Professor of Meteorology and Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University. From August 1995, he was Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology at Monash University until it closed in June 2000.

Monday 15 July, 2013 Skeptics Café

Dr Louis Roller

Dr Louis Roller

Dr Louis Roller
Vitamins: a panacea for all ills?

Vitamins are:
-organic substances or groups of related substances
-found in some foods
-substances with specific biochemical functions in the human body
-not made in the body (or not in sufficient quantity)
-required in very small amounts

On the basis that very small amounts of vitamins prevent potentially life-threatening
deficiency diseases, it is a common belief that larger and even heroic doses of vitamins are going to cure all sorts of diseases, are sources of energy, vitality and strength.
Some fifty percent of the Australian population take some sort of vitamin supplement.
This talk will look at the uses and abuses of vitamins and the evidence for and against claims made.

Associate Professor Louis Roller has been an academic at Monash University for 48 years where he “humanised” the pharmacy program by the introduction of the first-ever course in psychosocial sciences in a pharmacy course in Australasia and emphasising the patient over the product. He also has taught in the areas of therapeutics, microbiology, pharmaceutics and a myriad other areas. He was on the Pharmacy Board of Victoria for 22 years, has significantly contributed to many editions of various pharmaceutical compendia and is the author of hundreds of scientific and professional articles. He has a passion for evidence-based knowledge and this is reflected in his teachings in all aspects of therapeutics to a range of health-care professional undergraduates and practitioners.

This will be his second presentation at Skeptics Café.

Monday 17 June, 2013 Skeptics Café

Martin S Pribble

Martin S Pribble

Martin S Pribble: Skepticism and Hyper-Skepticism

American-born but raised in Australia, Martin believes in the importance of preserving human rights in the face of anything – either flawed thinking or the misguided policies it creates – that may infringe on them. A skeptic and atheist, Martin has some public speaking experience having been a teacher for adults for several years. Martin writes on topics of religion, politics, skepticism, feminism and equality, environment and philosophy at

One thing that set me on this path was my skepticism. Once upon a time I was willing to believe all I had been told; This was called childhood. As I grew older I learned about the way people manipulate information to suit their own needs; This was my adolescence. As a man of forty, I now have a very good idea of how much we are told is worthy of being called “truth”, and how much seems dubious from the outset; This is an adult brain with a healthy dose of skeptical inquiry.

The hyper-skeptical line of questioning, however, comes from a level of inquiry that debases all knowledge, for there is always another question to be asked, which raises more questions, which again raise questions, and so on ad absurdum. Hyper-skepticism is skeptical inquiry gone off-the-rails, and becomes a pseudo-intellectual form of denial

Monday 20 May, 2013 Skeptics Café





Who will achieve the Golden Bent Wooden Spoon in 2013


Commence your quest

singly, or with your own merry band of compatriots

at the earlier-than-usual time of 7.30 pm,

following the same-as-usual repast from 6:00 pm

Monday 15 April, 2013 Skeptics Café

Speaker: Tony PitmanHost of the weekly radio show ‘Reality Check’ on JOY 94.9 FM

Topic: How to Change The World: Using the Media to Promote Skepticism
Tony Pitman

One of the most effective ways to bring about change in the world is by spreading your message through the mainstream media. To do this, you need to know how the media works and how to exploit it to achieve your aims. In other words, it’s not simply enough to be an expert in your field (skepticism), you also need to be media savvy!

Tony Pitman grew up in Gippsland and studied science, law and philosophy at the University of Melbourne, the University of British Columbia (Canada) and the Sorbonne University in Paris. He has lived in Paris, London, Vienna, Vancouver, Mexico City and Lagos, Nigeria and has travelled widely, having visited 70 countries so far. His media experience comes from both sides of the media divide, from years of campaigning with Amnesty International and with Australian Marriage Equality and from work as a television actor and radio presenter. He is currently writing a sci-fi/horror screenplay destined to become a major Hollywood motion picture, he hopes …

Monday 18 of March, 2013 Skeptics Café

Prof Peter Doherty

Professor Peter Doherty will present to the Victorian Skeptics on Monday 18 March 2013. The talk is titled Scepticism, Denial and Ignorance: There is a Difference.

Born Peter Charles Doherty in Brisbane he obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh and completed his prize-winning research at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra. He currently has his own research laboratory at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, as well as a laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Professor Doherty is also a veterinarian and author. His published titles include The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize (autobiographical), A Light History of Hot Air and most recently, Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us about Our Health and the World (2012).

He is one of a handful of Australian scientists to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. He was awarded the prize jointly with Rolf Zinkernagel in 1996. His Nobel Prize winning research contributed to our understanding of the immune system and in particular how our cells recognise viral infections.

Professor Doherty was named Australian of the Year in 1997.

Over many years, skeptics have had run-ins with the anti-vaccine lobby; Professor Doherty’s area of research should therefore be of particular interest. His Nobel Prize for research in immunology is in an area of science that the anti-vaccine lobby disputes.

We are honoured to have a Nobel Prize winner at Skeptics Café for the first time.

Monday 18 February, 2013 Skeptics Café

Skeptics Soapbox – Short Talks

Lost a Cessna in Bass Straight? Found a meteorite in the Gibson Desert? Want to use statistics to get away with murder? Or are you more than a little skeptical about social media campaigns?

Soap Box night is opportunity to listen and engage with the presenters of a series of short talks in a format similar to Skepticamp.

Speaking slots are full for this event but we are always interested in short talks for future events.

The Speaker line up is: Chris Guest, Alastair Tait, Matt Kippen and Paul Gallagher.

Tuesday 12 February, 2013 Darwin Day Barbecue


Tuesday February 12 2013

Unitarian Church, 110 Grey Street
(Opposite the old Mercy Hospital), East Melbourne

An Invitation from the Atheists, Humanists, Rationalists, Skeptics, scientists and many more.
Barbecue from 5pm to 7.30 pm. Free BBQ facilities are available. BYO food and drinks
Lecture at 8pm:
Rick Barker from the Philosophy Forum: Neanderthals, Denisovans, Hobbits and Homo saiens – the Origin and Evolution of the Genus Homo

Children are welcome and there will be activities provided for them

An RSVP is not required but would be appreciated: YES, NO or MAYBE with numbers to Andrew on 9894 1443 or SMS to 0438 043 050


Monday 21 January, 2013 Skeptics Café

Dr David Waldron

Dr David Waldron

Dr. David Waldron: Snarls from the Tea-Tree: The folklore of Big Cats in the Victorian Bush

Dr. David Waldron is an anthropologist and historian at the University of Ballarat and father of two.  When he is not busy with teaching, home and family he is a researcher and writer on folklore and history.

He is particularly interested in the development of folklore over time as a response to social issues, community trauma and crisis.  Specifically his research entails the critical investigation of urban legends and popular representations of the past through historical and anthropological analysis..

He has published three books on folklore, history and social movements as well as a large number of journal articles, book chapters, public lectures and academic papers.  His books so far include, Sign of the Witch: Modernity and the Pagan Revival, Shock! the Black Dog of Bungay: A Case Study in Local Folklore and Snarls from the Tea-Tree: Victoria’s Big Cat Folklore along with numerous other journal articles and papers on related topics.  Most recently he has been interested in the folklore of Big Cats in the Victorian bush.

Big Cat scares have been a feature of rural Victorian folklore since the mid-19th century. Centred around claims of mysterious stock losses, sightings and tracks the phenomena shares many similarities with related stories of cryptids around the globe. However, in the Australian context the myth is interwoven by entanglement with panics surrounding Dingo and Wild Dog predation as well as prominent historical issues such as the disasters wrought by acclimatization, deforestation, drought, fire and floods. The fact that the descriptions mostly relate to known animals, albeit out of their natural habitat, with a history of escapees and nefarious individuals using the belief as cover for stock theft has further complicated the issue.

This talk will examine the history of Victoria’s Big Cat folklore in relation to its historical and cultural context with a particular focus on Anglo-Australian engagement with the landscape and why the mythology is so strongly entrenched in Victorian folk culture.

Monday 17th of December, 2012 Skeptics Café

Tim Harding

The Dark Ages

Was there really a ‘Dark Age’ in post-Roman Europe? If so, what were its most likely causes? Are we in danger of regressing into a new Dark Age?
The term ‘Dark Ages’ refers to the Early Middle Ages, which was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000 CE. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages (c. 1001–1300 CE). The period saw a continuation of trends begun during late classical antiquity, including population decline, especially in urban centres, a decline of trade, and increased immigration. The period has been labelled the ‘Dark Ages’, a characterization highlighting the relative paucity of scientific, literary, artistic and cultural output from this time, especially in Western Europe. Historians suggest that there were several causes of this decline, including the rise of Christianity. Reference will also be made to an earlier ‘Dark Age’ in Ancient Greece from around 1100 to 800 BCE.

Tim Harding is a long-term member of the Australian Skeptics and a co-organiser of MORDI SKEPTICS IN THE PUB. His background is in the biological sciences and as a conservation manager for the Victorian Government. He now works as a regulatory consultant to various governments specialising in conservation, agriculture, animal welfare and public safety. He is also studying history and philosophy part-time at Monash University – hence his interest in the Dark Ages.

Friday 30th of November to Sunday 2nd of December 2012

Australian Skeptics National Convention 2012


James “The Amazing” Randi, DJ Grothe (President of the James Randi Foundation), Brian Thompson (Outreach Coordinator of JREF), Rebecca Watson (SGU blogger), Lawrence “Unbelievable” Leung (as seen on TV!), Dr. Rachael Dunlop, Richard Saunders, Lynne Kelly, Dr. Krissy Wilson, Dr. Ken Harvey (Choice Magazine Consumer of the Year Award), Adam vanLangenberg, Dr Cameron Martin (from Friends of Science in Medicine), Meredith Doig, Stephen Mayne (media commentator and shareholder activist), plus many others.


Monday 19th of November, 2012 Skeptics Café


with Peter Bromley

Monday 15th of October, 2012 Skeptics Café

Warren Bonnet

Publishing BS

Warren Bonett is the editor of The Australian Book of Atheism and co-owner of Embiggen Books.

Is the time coming when publishing blatant misinformation will have to be stopped? Should freedom of speech protect this right? Would any attempt to censor BS create more problems than solutions.

*Note: Warren’s talk will also cure cancer; power perpetual motion machines; put you in touch with your dead loved ones; massage your aura; boost your immune system and clear up acne.


Monday 17th of September, 2012 Skeptics Café

Dr Louis Roller

History of Science, medicine and pharmacy

Associate professor Louis Roller has been an academic at Monash University for 48 years where he “humanised” the pharmacy program by the introduction of the first-ever course in psychosocial sciences in a pharmacy course in Australasia and emphasising the patient over the product. He also has taught in the areas of therapeutics, microbiology, pharmaceutics and a myriad other areas. He was on the Pharmacy Board of Victoria for 22 years, has significantly contributed to many editions of various pharmaceutical compendia and is the author of hundreds of scientific and professional articles. He has a passion for evidence-based knowledge and this is reflected in his teachings in all aspects of therapeutics to a range of health-care professional undergraduates and practitioners.

– – – –

The doctrines of Science, Medicine and Pharmacy are intimately entwined. This is a romp through thousands of years of human development in science, medicine and pharmacy; the successes, failures and battles with ignorance and superstition and where we are today

Monday 20th of August, 2012 Skeptics Café

Adam vanLangenberg

How to run a high school sceptical society (as far as I know)

After running a high school sceptical society for over a year I’ll be talking about how it got started, what the response has been and what I think I’ve learnt from the experience.

– – –

Adam vanLangenberg is a mathematics teacher and organiser of the McKinnon Secondary Sceptical Society. He has been featured in OzTeacher Magazine, The Age and appeared on channel Ten’s “The Circle“.

Monday 16th of July, 2012 Skeptics Café

Brad Kendall

What’s My Ism?- A skeptic’s view on the spectrum of belief & non-belief

Skepticism intersects with issues on religion & has a strong following on non-believers, atheists, agnostics etc.
Being new to the Skeptical movement, research on the belief systems drew me to sizing up the different camps in a few different ways.
Who represents these groups, what do they stand for, how do they rate in skepticism, strength in numbers, or as interesting dinner guests?
A spectrum from militant atheism through to religious extremists & most flavours in between was the result.

– – –

Brad Kendall grew up in Mandurah, south of Perth WA
He has worked in Technology for NAB for 22 years, and currently has a portfolio in Customer Services
Actively Skeptical since 2010, he is co-organiser for MORDI SKEPTICS IN THE PUB.

Monday 18th of June, 2012 Skeptics Café

Russell Kelly (President of Borderline Skeptics)
The Bush – Something to be Skeptical About?
Familiarise yourself with the topic by reading Russell’s article

– – –

Russell Kelly is retired from a successful defence and aerospace business and lives in Victoria’s Northeast. He has been flying aeroplanes most of his life and operates Mitta Mitta International Airport. A keen musician and amateur historian, he sees himself as a rabid existentialist and devotee to the exposure of fraudulent altmed practitioners. As well as seeding the Borderline Skeptics group in NE Victoria, Russell is a Justice of the Peace, Bail Justice and a volunteer paramedic.

Monday 21st of May, 2012 Skeptics Café


Organise a team (of about six people) or come all by yourself. Trivia starts in The Club Room at the special early time of 7:30 pm.

Practice Questions: Why not skim the hundreds of Mixed Bag Questions in our Puzzles section and puzzles archives?

Monday 16th of April, 2012 Skeptics Café

Dr Eugenie Scott

Executive Director, National Centre for Science Education (NCSE) (USA)

Creationism du jour

A talk for the Victorian Skeptics. After the failure of creation science and intelligent design to survive legal tests of their constitutionality, the creationist movement evolved new strategies. These call for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution” or the “critical analysis of evolution” which are creationism in disguise. In lieu of policies promoting the teaching of creation science or Intelligent Design, modern creationists try to change state science education standards or pass state legislation to promote these “softer” and less-obvious approaches. Such “Academic Freedom Act” legislation has popped up in several states already, and reflects the creationism du jour.

Monday 19th of March, 2012 Skeptics Café

Justin Mullaly AEU Vice President, Secondary

Education in Victoria – Pursuing a Secular Approach

Over the past few months the AEU has taken stances against the Chaplaincy in Schools Program and Schools Religious Instruction provided by Access Ministries. Justin will explain the AEU’s position in detail and expand on the AEU view on the National Curriculum and the state of funding of government schools.

Sunday 12th of February – Darwin Day Barbecue

See main article

Monday 20th of February, 2012 Skeptics Café

Dr Ken Harvey at Skeptics of Vic

Dr Ken Harvey

Dr Ken Harvey:

TGA Reform: the Impact of Civil Society Activism

Saturday 21st of January – Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp

Airey’s Inlet Community Centre
10am – 5pm, followed by BBQ and Paranormal Winetasting
Entry FREE but limited places so book
Info and Bookings via
Brought to you by Great Ocean Road Skeptics

Monday 16th of January, 2012 Skeptics Café

Tim Mendham:  Woo Courses in Australian Tertiary Institutions

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