The nominations for the 2017 Australian Skeptics’ Bent Spoon award have been published, featuring an array of potential winners and dis-honourees.
The Spoon is awarded to the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle of the year, and is one of the least sought-after awards on the woo calendar. Past winners include Paleo Pete Evans, Homeopathy Plus, the Lutec free energy generator, a whole range of universities, and a psychic dentist.
This year’s nominees include the ABC’s Landline program for a story extolling the dubious virtues of biodynamic farming and the wonders of burying cowhorns full of manure to help wine grow.
Another nominee is the National Institute of Complementary Medicine and its academic parent, Western Sydney University (UWS). The NICM, a nominee last year, continues to promote all sorts of pseudomedical treatments on its website under the umbrella of complementary medicine. These include homeopathy, reflexology, spiritual healing, crystal therapy, reiki … the list goes on. NICM promised to review its promotion of these areas last year, but obviously thought so much of them that they were retained. NICM and UWS are also preparing a clinic on campus to treat public patients with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a range of treatments with serious questions about their effectiveness.
The Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle Herald have been nominated for giving the keys to the city to a psychic who can see the past, present and future, and can connect people with dead relatives. The Herald, which has performed sterling work in the past exposing child sexual abuse in the local Catholic church, has let this story slip through its critical net without so much as a “claimed to be psychic” in sight.
Members of the public and the skeptical community are invited to make their own submissions.
Go here for the full story of the Spoon, including its history and past winners, links to the list of 2017 nominees, and how to nominate your own worthy recipients.