Investigating pseudo-science and the paranormal from a responsible scientific viewpoint

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Important information for parents: the facts about vaccination.

Immunisation saves lives. Since the humble observations about cowpox made by Edward Jenner in the 1700s, vaccination programs have saved millions of lives and dramatically decreased child mortality and suffering. Diseases such as smallpox are now consigned to history, while polio has virtually disappeared. But sadly there are some people who are vehemently opposed to vaccinations. While they … Read on »

NHMRC head: “We need to move away from magic”

Professor Warwick Anderson, the recently retired head of the National Health & Medical Research Council, has given a blast to the complementary and alternative medicine industry, saying that 19th century quackery has no place in the 21st century. “We must assume [the practitioners] either believe in magic or perhaps are just dishonest.” He particularly criticised those pushing ineffective treatments … Read on »

Vaccination: no child care benefits for “conscientious objectors”

From 1 January 2016, the Commonwealth government will remove “conscientious objection” as an exemption category for child care payments (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate) and the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement. In a joint statement titled “No jab  –  no play and no pay for child care”, the Prime Minister and the Minister … Read on »

Petition on whooping cough vaccination

The recent death from whooping cough of a 32-day-old baby in Perth has highlighted the tragic consequences of this debilitating disease, and the desperate need to do something about it. The death of Riley Hughes on March 15 was the first death of an infant in Western Australia since 2011, but the fifth since 2008. Since that time, the … Read on »

Canberra Skeptics Lecture: Not just dollars – the hidden raison d’etre of the art forger

[ Monday, July 13, 2015; 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. ] Speaker: Lara Nicholls Date: Monday, 13 July 2015 Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm Location: Daily Chronicle Room, East Hotel, 69 Canberra Avenue, Kingston Free Admission Art forgery is as old as time itself.  On the surface, it would seem most fakers and forgers are in the game for the financial rewards it promises to bring, but if one scratches the surface, far deeper … Read on »

Canberra Skeptics Lecture: When Can Ignorance Be Good For You?

[ Monday, June 15, 2015; 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. ] Speaker: Dr. Michael Smithson Date: Monday, 15 June 2015 Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm Location: Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Ave, Ainslie ACT 2602 Free Admission Ignorance is almost always is viewed negatively, and this is understandable. We generally prefer knowing to not knowing. However, a completely negative view of unknowns can blind us to ways in which they can be beneficial. There … Read on »

Canberra Skeptics Lecture: Unskepticism in Education

[ Friday, May 15, 2015; 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. ] Speaker: Eran Segev Date: Friday, 15 May 2015 Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm Location: Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Ave, Ainslie ACT 2602 Free Admission It is universally acknowledged that education is important, but there are so many trends, fashions and concepts in education, many of which are mutually exclusive or even contradictory, that they cannot all be right. In this talk, Eran … Read on »

Canberra Skeptics lecture: Sex, Lies and Nectar: Evolutionary Biology as Written by Flowers

[ Monday, April 13, 2015; 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. ] Speaker: Dr Michael Whitehead Date: Monday, 13 April 2015 Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm Location: Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Ave, Ainslie ACT 2602 Free Admission In the eyes of evolution, finding a suitable mate for reproduction is one of the most critical stages in any organism’s life. The great majority of flowering plants have outsourced this essential service to animals, giving rise … Read on »

NHMRC: no good evidence for homeopathy

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released a statement concluding that “there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions”. The long-awaited release follows “a thorough review of the evidence, conducted as part of NHMRC’s responsibility to provide advice and support informed health care decisions … Read on »

2015 Skeptics convention – Schmidt, Gerbic, Nickell

The organisers of the 2015 Australian Skeptics National Convention have announced the first round of speakers. Top of the list are astronomer and Nobel laureate Prof Brian Schmidt; US guerrilla skeptic Susan Gerbic; and the world’s leading investigator of the paranormal, Joe Nickell. Other speakers include: journalist Signe Cane; writer and science researcher, Holly Warland; Peter Ellerton, lecturer in … Read on »

Sydney dinner — Medical madness

Dr Brad McKay, co-host of Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, will give a talk on “medical madness” at a Skeptics dinner to be held in Sydney on March 28. “Health care in Australia is full of fictitious diseases, fake treatments and pseudoscientific terminology,” he says. “Some health problems are also very embarrassing to mention in polite company, and … Read on »

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