UK and US perspectives at Australian Skeptics convention

Michael ‘Marsh’ Marshall, presenter of the Skeptics with a K podcast, co-founder of the Merseyside Skeptics and the QED convention held in Manchester every year, and Project Director of the Good Thinking Society is just one of the latest additions to the speaker list for the 2014 Australian Skeptics National Convention.

Marsh is particularly well-known around the world for having instigated the 10:23 campaign, a mass demonstration designed to show the lack of efficacy of homeopathic products.

He will be able to give a UK view on key Skeptical issues, and his analysis will be complemented by a presentation from across the Atlantic by Kendrick Frazier, editor of the US-based Skeptical Inquirer.

These global perspectives will be highlights of the Convention, to be held in Chatswood, Sydney from November 29-30.

Marsh will also be moderating the special consumer protection panel, which will feature Julian Morrow, Kirsten Drysdale and Chas Licciardello of the ABC’s Checkout and Chaser programs, as well as Alan Kirkland, CEO of Choice, and Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Facilitated mis-communication
Another new speaker for the convention is Dr Bronwyn Hemsley, a speech pathologist with 25 years’ experience in working with people with communication disabilities in clinical, research, teaching, and policy development capacities.

She is a senior lecturer at the University of Newcastle and clinical researcher in the field of communication disability.

Dr Hemsley has been particularly active in investigating so-called ‘facilitated communication’, the technique for supposedly helping disabled people communicate with the world via hand pressures. And for her efforts, she has regularly been the subject of reactive campaigns by supporters of the unproven methodology.

She will present the findings of a recent scientific review of research on this topic, and discuss these in the light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.

Other speakers
Other presenters include all of the members of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Dick Smith, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Peter FitzSimons, Robyn Williams, Dr Rachael Dunlop, Sonya Pemberton, Dr Alex Wodak, Peta Ashworth, and Dr Amanda Bauer.

Unfortunately Bettina Arndt, one of our previously announced speakers, will not be able to appear.

We anticipate more presenters to be announced – stay tuned!

Go to the Convention website for more information or directly to our shop to register.