“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.

„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

Inside the White Rose: an anti-vaxx, Covid conspiracy theory ecosystem – Michael Marshall

When 2020 brought with it a new strain of coronavirus, the world was plunged into confusion and uncertainty. While most people accepted the realities of the virus, little white stickers began to appear in public around the world claiming COVID-19 was a hoax concocted by the governments of the world to instil fear into their people, as a pretext for introducing new, permanent totalitarian laws. The graffiti was part of a co-ordinated grassroots campaign by a group calling itself The White Rose, urging members of the public to join their encrypted messaging channels to learn more about what was really going on.

So that’s what Michael Marshall, full-time skeptical investigator and activist, did. After spending months undercover in the messaging app Telegram, he has reported on the various conspiracy theories spread by the White Rose, and how groups used the Covid crisis to radicalise vaccine hesitant members of the public into a dangerous ecosystem of misinformation and extremism.

Michael Marshall is the Project Director of the Good Thinking Society, Editor of The Skeptic, and President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. He regularly speaks with proponents of pseudoscience for the Be Reasonable podcast, and presents investigative reporting on the Skeptics with a K podcast.

His work has seen him organising international homeopathy protests, going undercover to expose psychics and quack medics, and co-founding the popular QED conference. He has lectured at universities across the world on the role of the media, and has written for the Guardian, The Times, New Scientist and the New Statesman.

Pátečníci: Vojtěch Novotný – Papua Nová Guinea: kmenové jazyky, kmenová biologie a kmenová medicína

Přednáška se zabývá jazykově a kulturně nejrozmanitější zemí světa, Papuou Novou Guineou. Devět milionů lidí hovořící 850 jazyky zde vytvořilo celou řadu unikátních a zajímavých kultur, každá se svým vlastním přístupem ke zkoumání přírody, včetně snahy rozpoznat, utřídit a prakticky využít místní rostliny a živočichy. O tradičním lékařství pralesních kmenů panuje řada iluzí a mýtů, zde se pokusíme o realistický pohled – obsahují tropické pralesy lékárničku budoucnosti a jsou kmenoví léčitelé užiteční ve světě moderní medicíny?

Vojtěch Novotný (*1964) vystudoval Přírodovědeckou fakultu Univerzity Palackého v Olomouci. Zabývá se ekologií herbivorního hmyzu v tropických ekosystémech. Pracuje v Entomologickém ústavu, součásti Biologického centra AV ČR v Českých Budějovicích, přednáší na Přírodovědecké fakultě Jihočeské univerzity a vede terénní stanici na Papui-Nové Guineji. Je členem Učené společnosti České republiky.

Odkaz na stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiDCkOEnsnQ

Událost na Facebooku: https://www.facebook.com/events/592024238683268/

NECSS – The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism 2021

NECSS – The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism produced by New York City Skeptics, the New England Skeptical Society, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and The Society for Science-Based Medicine is a science and critical thinking conference held annually in New York City. NECSS welcomes leading scientists, educators, activists, and artists who educate and engage conference attendees through individual presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and performance pieces. NECSS is as much a meeting of minds as it is a conference, and social events and mixers are organized throughout the weekend to allow attendees the opportunity to mix and mingle in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California

Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School

Environmental Engineering PhD Candidate at Duke University

Plant Biotechnologist

Program Scientist in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters

President of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS)

Chief Exploration Scientist in NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Division

Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Professor Horticultural Sciences Department & Graduate Program in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology

Psychologist and Science Communicator