SKEPTICON 2019 – Earlybird Tickets Go On Sale

1 June, 2019

Australian Skeptics Annual Convention, Melbourne
Friday December 6 to Sunday December 8 2019

Tickets are now available for purchase at an Early Bird rate at this link:

The Earlybird discount is 5% off standard ticket price and applies to both full and concession tickets. Read the rest of this entry »

February Puzzles

31 January, 2011

February’s Picture Puzzles and Mixed Bag questions are at the top of our Puzzles & Diversions Page. The Skeptical Crossword for February is here:

New Skeptics In the Pubs

29 January, 2011

We’re pleased to tell you about three brand new Skeptics In the Pubs.

*Eastern Hills SITP meets at The Knox Club, on the corner of Stud / Boronia Rds Wantirna South. The first meeting will be on Tuesday 15th February, but all subsequent meetings will be on the second Monday of each month.

* Melbourne SITP: The first will be held on Monday, January 31st at the James Squire Brewhouse in Waterfront City, Docklands. RSVP on Facebook The event will kick off at 6:30pm. Future events will be held on the fourth Monday of each month.

* Great Ocean Road SITP launched on Saturday morning 5th February, with regular meetings on the Last

Wednesday of each month from 6.30 pm.  For March 30, the venue is City Quarter Bar on Cunningham Pier Geelong. For further information, contact Carolyn Coulson. CAROLCO(AT) See our article on Great Ocean Road Skeptics below, as well as their 10:23 video

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Well established Victorian Skeptics groups looking forward to 2011 are:

*Borderline Skeptics (Albury Wodonga) meeting 3rd Wednesday of each month; contact Russell Kelly (02) 6072 – 3632 or Laurie Smith (02) 6072 – 3415

*The Celestial Teapot (Mornington) meeting 3rd Thursday of each month;

*Mordialloc SITP

*Sale SITP meeting at the Star Hotel on the 2nd Friday of each month from 6.30pm. For details contact

AND DON’T FORGET our very own Skeptics Café on the 3rd Monday of each month. See our Events section for details.

Darwin Day February 12 2011

17 January, 2011


12 Noon to 4.30 pm


An Invitation from the Atheists, Humanists, Rationalists & Skeptics to celebrate

Charles Darwin’s birthday

For details, go here:


Here’s a suite of classroom exercises designed to mark Charles Darwin’s Birthday.

Psychic Predictions For 2011

6 January, 2011

Crystal BallIt’s a new year, and we here at Vic Skeptics would like to celebrate this (somewhat arbitrary) milestone in the traditional skeptical fashion.

We’re going to shake up the tea leaves, gaze into the crystal ball, yank out the goat entrails and check out some psychic predictions for 2011.

Then, most importantly of course, we’ll revisit them at the end of the year and see how they did!

But we don’t want any of those annoying predictions that are infuriatingly general and non-specific.

And we definitely don’t want any silly prophecies about celebrity relationships. (Brad and Angelina are going to have a rough time? Oh noes!)

No, what we want are specific dates and detailed events.

Enter Australia’s own John Gold. Mr Gold goes out on a huge number of very impressive limbs with his 2011 forecasts.

I’ve reproduced a choice selection below the fold, or you can read the whole jaw-dropping lot here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Great Ocean Road Skeptics

5 January, 2011

The new Geelong-based Skeptics group, Great Ocean Road Skeptics In the Pub launched spectacularly on Saturday 5th February at 10 am at Bell’s Beach Torquay.

Regular meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month from 6.30 pm. For March 30, the venue is City Quarter Bar on Cunningham Pier Geelong. For further information, contact Carolyn Coulson.


New Puzzles for the New Year

30 December, 2010

January 2011 Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions:

January 2011 Skeptical Crossword:

A Skeptic in Church

16 December, 2010

As you’ve probably gathered, Skeptics normally don’t go to church.

President, Terry Kelly

So it was unusual for Vic Skeptics president Terry Kelly to be invited to speak at one.

No, not just any church: the Unitarian Church in Melbourne is different.  Their motto is:

Seek the Truth and Serve Humanity

It’s a good motto. It assumes that the truth isn’t already written down in an ancient book or is impossible to find.

As far as I know, none of our members are regular attendees at the Unitarian Church; we and they are clearly distinct organizations.  I’ll leave it to the reader to investigate the Unitarian Church further.  However it was interesting that Terry was given a free rein to speak about the skeptics, current issues and who we are.  Here then, is the skeptical equivalent of a “fire and brimstone” from the pulpit.

(The sound has been edited only to remove long pauses and “ums” and “arrs”.  The sound file can be found on this file sharing site.)terry-kelly-uc-talk.mp3

Mark Mayer

23 August, 2005
During GASS 2003 at the Melbourne Museum, our guest, well-known Sydney magician and Skeptic Steve Walker introduced Vic Skeptics to Melbourne performer, Mark Mayer. Mark, as it turns out, apart from being a consummate performer, has highly developed Skeptical credentials of his own.

Mark was invited to feature at our November 12 public meeting. His theme was “The History of Spiritualism“, and was as much a lecture as a magic show. He illustrated his presentation at each stage with an appropriate baffling, audience involving illusion.

Following positive feedback from the show, Mark developed his performance into the one-man theatre show “Talking With the Dead – Or Lying to the Living?

Mark is a full-time professional entertainer, and does a lot of work at Read the rest of this entry »

Science Week 2005

12 August, 2005

Following the great success of the Victorian Skeptics stands at the “Great Australian Science Show” in previous years, we will have a stand at “Science Week 2005“. It should be lots of fun with science, magic, fortune telling, lots of debate – and the bed of nails!

ScienceWorks, 2 Booker Street, Spotswood
Price: entry to ScienceWorks, for prices and deals see:

Read the rest of this entry »

Homeopathy and Pets

28 June, 2005

Homeopathy For Pets??? Vet Says “No Way!” (Public Talk)

Homeopathy is an unusual kind of medicine that was invented in the early 19th century as an alternative to the leaches and blood-letting that were popular at the time. It’s so popular these days that homeopathic remedies can be found in almost every local chemist, and every health food shop. It’s a multi-million dollar industry.

The only trouble is that, despite many personal endorsements, there’s no real proof that it actually works. Further, it also claims to break a basic law of chemistry (and cooking!): the more you dilute something – the stronger it becomes. A tiny amount is stronger than a larger amount. Could this be? (see Homeopathy)

In recent times shops have even started selling homeopathic remedies for pets. In his talk for the Skeptics, outspoken vet, Dr Chris Andrews, will tell you why it’s just not on.

Dr Chris Andrews has been practicing as a vet for 28 years and is outspoken about his fears that clear thinking is being clouded in the veterinary profession.

Dr Andrews says that the public is demanding homeopathic treatments for their pets. “It is a great opportunity to make money which must not be taken. Homeopathy has a 200 year history of failing to get any runs on the board.

You are not treating the animal, you are treating the owner who is always already a believer in homeopathy.

Homeopathy texts talk about assessing the human psyche and treating the whole person, involving an emotional and spiritual assessment. How can this possibly be applied to animals?

  • Everyone’s welcome to this talk … feel free to come along to our social dinner from 6:30 pm.
Date 13th July 2005
Time 8:00 pm (dinner 6:30pm)
Where Imperial Hotel, function room
Entry Gold coin donation

For more information

extra keywords: homoeopathy

Science Talent Search

27 May, 2005


The STAV annually invites all Victorian school children to participate in the Science Talent Search. Students may enter in a variety of categories over six age groups from Junior Primary to Senior Secondary.

The philosophy behind STS is to encourage all participants, and to reward large numbers of the more deserving entries with modest bursaries, rather than adopt a “winner take all” stance.

For 2003, the fifty-second STS, the theme was “Freshwater“. This year the theme is “Out of This World

Because of the nature of the STS bursary system, about sixty children benefited from Skeptics’ support in 2003, with amounts ranging from $25 to $50.

Vic Skeptics’ Christopher Short (himself a former STS bursary winner) and Ken Greatorex attended the STS awards in 2003 and were fortunate enough to meet and interview some of “our” students. We were surprised to discover that Australian Skeptics Inc was their third major sponsor for 2003 in money terms, behind only the State Government and Latrobe University. This commitment is on-going, and has increased for 2004. Devrim Van Dijk, Balwyn High School ; Junior; “Managing Water on Mars“; Creative Essay ( with Christopher Short, Ken Greatorex of Vic Skeptics.) Stuart Gay, McKinnon Secondary College; Junior; “Action of Soaps and Detergents” Wall Chart Eleanor Coleman and Amy-Rose Fraser , Strathcona GGS; Primary; “Ponds Alive” Game. Sarah Douglas, Mt Waverly Secondary College; Intermediate; Games; “Compoundability Game

We’d like to thank STAV for staging the event and allowing us to participate; the Skeptics Foundation for appreciating the value of STS to Science education and the fostering of original and critical thought in Victorian children; and the kids who got involved.

NOTE: Vic Skeptics and Education

Vic Skeptics have undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years which could be described as “overtly Educational“, including The Great Australian Science Show, Science teachers’ conferences, attempting (with limited success) to maintain a Teacher Resource web page, the Science Talent Search and advertising in Science teacher’s publications. Several of our members have spoken to and conducted activities with school groups, and one of our guest Public Speakers last year addressed Science Education in Victoria. We distribute work sheets on Skeptical issues with mail-outs of Science Teachers’ Association periodicals, and run stalls at Teachers’ conferences. We demonstrated the Bed of Nails at a Psychology Teachers’ Conferences early in 2004 at STAV’s request.

Ken Greatorex

For more information

2004-12-14 News

21 January, 2005

Many Juice Bars trick people into buying worthless herbal supplements that may in fact harm you. They claim that products such as echinacaea, guarana and citrin are slimming, will aid memory or will boost the immune system despite little or no evidence. This report from the Australian Consumers Association.

The national regulatory body, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, said there was a ban on health claims for products, and juice bars that did so were promoting their products illegally.

2004-09-22 News

15 November, 2004

Australian Skeptical education team “The Mystery Investigators” are saddened to see that Channel 10 has decided to screen “Sensing Murder“, a series in which self-claimed psychics attempt to solve unsolved murders. This is an insult as psychics have never solved a crime and families of victims have reported the stress of being pestered by useless “psychics” with a fountain of false leads.

See also Sensing Murder

Newsletter April 2003

4 April, 2003

Way back in 2003 before E-bay and Twitter, the Victorian Skeptics were just beginning to think of ways to use the internet to communicate.

We where kept informed through a newsletter, done on old fashioned paper and sent by stamped envelope.  Here for your historical delight is a Victorian Skeptics Newsletter from April 2003.

Mal. (Writing in 2010)