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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 »

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 »

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 »

New York AG orders removal of false health supplements

The Well Blog section of the New York Times reports that the State’s attorney general’s office “has accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves”. According to the blog, the authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements … Read on »

Chiro at the convention

The recent 2014 Australian Skeptics National Convention has just been reviewed in the February issue of The Australian Chiropractor (TAC). Interestingly, our recollection of the events are somewhat different to how the report’s author saw things unfold. See our blog on the claims and the reality here. … Read on »

Homeopathy Plus “misleading and deceptive” on whooping cough vaccine

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Homeopathy Plus! Australia P/L and Fran Sheffield, who runs the organisation, “engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive or was likely to mislead and deceive” when it declared on its website that the currently available vaccine against whooping cough was unreliable and ineffective. In a judgement handed … Read on »

Anti-windfarm group stripped of tax-deductible charity status

The Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) has revoked the Waubra Foundation’s status as a health promotion charity. This means the anti-windfarm group can no longer offer tax-deductible donations. The Waubra Foundation is a group set up in 2010 “to facilitate properly conducted, independent multidisciplinary research into the new health problems identified by residents … Read on »

Vale Steve Walker — magician and skeptic

Australian Skeptics is greatly saddened to hear of the death of one of our staunchest supporters, Steve Walker, who died suddenly and far too early on Thursday, December 11. Past Australian Skeptics president, Barry Williams, writes: “Steve was not only a talented magician, he was also one of those rare people who brightened up the lives of … Read on »

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