“The Swedish Experiment” A Covid strategy unlike any other

Přednáškový cyklus Věda kontra iracionalita Českého klubu skeptiků Sisyfos uvádí:

“The Swedish Experiment” – A Covid strategy unlike any other

Sweden’s approach to the covid pandemic has received scathing criticism from domestic and foreign sources alike. Was it a success or a giant failure? Did the authorities play Russian roulette with the lives of its citizens? Close to three years later we look into what the science has to say and what actually happened.


Pontus Böckman

Pontus’ (@Bockmanppontus@theesp.eu) educational background is in finance, but he has always had a great interest in history, sci-fi and popular science. He discovered the skeptics movement in 2010 and soon thereafter became deeply involved in local activism, such as organizing ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ and giving lectures on skepticism in local schools. In 2013 he co-founded and became president of the local south branch of the national Swedish Skeptics Society (“Vetenskap och Folkbildning” or VoF). In 2014 he was appointed to the national board of VoF, and was elected President in 2018.

Since 2017 he is also a board member of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations. He lives in Malmö in the south of Sweden where he runs the local ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ events, occasionally hosting international speakers as well. He has also given several talks at international events and appeared on various other podcasts.

Brian Eggo – Putting the Meta into Metastasis

Putting the Meta into Metastasis – How Facebook facilitates the viral spread of cancer misinformation
When Brian’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer there was just one thing to do: Cry uncontrollably for weeks. Once he’d finished doing that he decided to dip his toes into the murky waters of alternative health groups on social media to see what kind of advice he’d get for his wife’s condition. Join us for an express tour of Facebook-fuelled quackery, conspiracism, grifting, and misplaced goodwill. You’ll even get to try some of the cancer ‚cures‘ on offer, and see just how easy it is to spread dangerous health misinformation on the world’s biggest social media platform.
Brian Eggo has been running Glasgow Skeptics since 2015, and more recently has become involved with the running of Skeptics in the Pub Online. He has spoken at places such as Glasgow Science Centre, Strathclyde University, at the International Humanist Conference, and numerous other Skeptics Groups. He also writes for The Skeptic, and occasionally pops up on shows such as Inkredulous and the European Skeptics Podcast. When he’s not busy with skeptical activism he passes the time with a day job in training & development, a busy family life, and occasional sleep.


Thursday, 8 September 2022

  20:00 – 22:00 Skeptical Quiz

Friday, 9 September

  9.00 – 10.00 Registration

  10:00 – 12:00 The Skeptical Movement in Europe (Panel)

   Chair: Claire Klingenberg

  12:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break

  14:00 – 16:00 Dealing with Uncertainty

   Chair: Sergio Della Sala

  16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

  16:30 – 18:00 Science and the Environment

   Chair: Holm Hümmler

  18:00 – 20:00 Dinner Break

  20:00 – 21:15 Evening Keynote

   Introduction by Claudia Preis

Saturday, 10 September 2022

  09:15 – 10:00 Keynote

   Introduction by Claudia Preis

  10:00 – 12:00 Skepticism in the Classroom

   Chair: Pontus Böckman

  12:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break

  14:00 – 16:00 Towards Rational European Drug Policies

   Chair: Catherine de Jong

  16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

  16:30 – 18:30 Making science-based decisions in politics (Panel)

   Chair: András Gábor Pintér

  19:30 Congress Dinner (+ €28, advance booking)

Sunday, 11 September 2022

  10:00 – 13:00 Conspiracy Theories

   Chair: Amardeo Sarma

  Optional afternoon activities

  • 14:00: 3rd Man Tour – Visit the Filming Locations of Orson Welles´s Classic Movie
    €20, booking on-site only on Fri, Sep 9. Maximum 25 persons
  • 14:30: Guided tour through the historic medical library of Billrothhaus
    €5, advance booking (SOLD OUT)
  • 14:30: Sightseeing off the beaten track – discovering hidden treasures
    €16, booking on-site only on Fri, Sep 9. Maximum 15 persons

„Trick or Treatment“ by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh

This month’s work is the 2008 book „Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine“ by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh. This book is a pillar of skeptical thinking and a must-read for anybody concerned about alt-med.

Trick or Treatment evaluates the scientific evidence for acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and chiropractic, and briefly covers 36 other treatments. It finds that the scientific evidence for these alternative treatments is generally lacking. Homeopathy is concluded to be completely ineffective: „It’s nothing but a placebo, despite what homeopaths say“.

SkeptiCamp Monterey 2022

The First Skeptic Conference of the year!

ZOOM meeting
YouTube channel – join the conversation

Schedule and speakers’ topics

All times Pacific – Speaking times are flexible – bear with us (Česká republika je o 9 hodin napřed!)


9:46am  – Welcome from Susan Gerbic, founder of Monterey County Skeptics and Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia (GSoW).  

10:30am – Facepalm – the absurdities of the Truth Movement – Claus Larsen & Steen Svanholm

About: As editors of 911facts.dk, an independent medium which aims to investigate the core claims of the Truth Movement, Steen Svanholm and Claus Larsen have investigated conspiracy theories for more than a decade.

Summary: Conspiracy theorists present their alternative explanations as far better supported than “the official accounts”. In reality, the theories are not only lacking in evidence, they are also absurd and often contradict each other. The lecture will also explain the thinking behind these problems and how the Truth Movement handles the absurdities in an Orwellian manner.


11:00am – Linda Rosa – Attachment Therapy: the most cruel quackery

11:45am – Rob Palmer Critical Thinking 101: Inoculating Yourself Against False Beliefs

Summary: Our brains evolved on the African savannah well enough to allow survival in that unforgiving environment. But our thinking is far from perfect. We are primed to trust the opinions and anecdotes of people we know. We conclude that something is true based on inadequate personal experience, less-than-perfect memory, faulty logic, and a host of cognitive biases. All of this can lead us to believe in things which do not comport with reality, and often results in bad decisions and even harm. In this talk, Rob Palmer will discuss these topics from a skeptical perspective, because understanding our innate cognitive shortcomings can help us think more rationally, better avoid errors, and live better lives.

Rob Palmer is affectionally called The Well-Known Skeptic – find his column for Skeptical Inquirer here.


12:15pm –  Kyle Polich – Cryopreservation: a skeptical survey

Summary: Cryogenics are a speculative technology aimed at preserving a dying human body in a way that enables thawing and revival once medical science has discovered a cure. To date, no such revivals have been achieved in human beings. Should we be calling cryogenics “woo”? If I can afford it, what are my odds? Where is Walt Disney’s head? These questions and more will be explored.

Bio: Kyle is the host of the popular podcast Data Skeptic – find more here.


12:45pm –  Adrienne Hill – Tic Tok Tics with Teens and the Pandemic

Summary: Since the second wave of the pandemic, a surge of patients with “acute onset tic-like behaviors” have been seen in Calgary and around the world. The headlines in the news have blamed Tik Tok, social media and even the teens themselves for being attention-seeking. Adrienne will discuss what is currently known about these unusual cases.

Bio: Galactic overlord of both time and space within the boundaries of Calgary, Alberta – she is the giver of talks on moose and the superiority of Canadian maple syrup vs Australian maple syrup.

1:30pm – Lunch – hang around and socialize with attendees and speakers


2:00pm – Richard Saunders – International Skepticism in Action – The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project

Summary: Richard Saunders gives us an overview of the largest survey every undertaken into the question of whether it is possible to see into the future using paranormal powers.


2:30pm– Mano Singham – Why the age of the Earth has oscillated wildly over time

Summary: The age of the Earth seems to be a settled question in the scientific community, But estimates of its age have oscillated wildly in the past, starting with it being considered really old (even infinitely old) to becoming very young (of the order of thousands of years) to becoming sort of old (hundreds of millions of years) to younger again (tens of millions of years) to the current view of it being really old (of the order of billions of years). This talk will look at the interplay of scientific and religious thinking that was driving this fluctuation.

Bio: Mano Singham is a theoretical physicist and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His recent research interests are in theories of knowledge and physics and philosophy. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which is titled The Great Paradox of Science: Why Its Conclusions Can Be Relied Upon Even Though They Cannot Be Proven that was published by Oxford University Press in 2019.


3:15pm – Craig Good – Eating Sceptically

Summary: A lot of people worry about eating the “wrong” food. Well-funded campaigns have spent years convincing you that some foods are good, some are bad, and some are downright evil. It doesn’t have to be that way. Craig Good’s book, “Relax and Enjoy Your Food”, uses science and a little common sense to take away all that anxiety. In this talk Craig will discuss persistent myths about food, how to apply science to nutritional decisions, how to identify trustworthy sources of diet information, and how to eat fearlessly and guiltlessly.

Bio: Craig Good spent thirty one years at Pixar (and Lucasfilm before that), and is now an Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts. He’s guest-hosted and written for the Skeptoid podcast, and has been a guest on The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. He has wide-ranging interests that include food and science. When his daughter was diagnosed with anorexia he got an up close look at how important it is to have a healthy relationship with food. As the author of Relax and Enjoy Your Food he’s put on his science communicator hat to untangle the myths that keep us anxious and less healthy than we could be.


3:45pm – Allison Long – Maine Vaccines and GSoW

Summary: Allison will be expanding on her involvement with the Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project – mainly focusing on Maine, USA.


4:15pm – JD Sword – Operation Onion Ring – Or, How to Fool a Grief Vampire

Summary: JD will be speaking about his involvement with the April 2021 sting that caught medium Thomas John hot-reading a group of children 5-12 years old.

JD is a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer focusing on demonic topics