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)