CICAP-FEST2017 events and registration

The agenda of the first edition of CICAP-FEST is finally online, and registrations are now open.
The event will take place in Cesena from September 29 to October 01, 2017.

CICAP-FEST is a new national and international event for the promotion of the understanding of science. The event, along with some of the most prominent players in research, public understanding of science, and entertainment, focuses on current issues such as fake-news, pseudosciences, hoaxes and scientific disinformation, while at the same it puts on stage some authentic wonders, research, science and art, to generate genuine amazement.

Three days of events dedicated to adults, students and children will make Cesena the “capital” city of critical thinking and curiosity for a full weekend.

75 speakers will be on stage, including Piero Angela, Silvio Garattini, Antonella Viola, Enrico Mentana, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Marco Malvaldi and many others, as well as artists such as Silvan, Banda Osiris and Raul Cremona. Over 100 events that will include meetings, debates, performances, shows, reading, workshops, exhibitions, surprises and wonders of all kinds.

The CICAP-FEST, which for this first edition has the title “The Value of Facts in the Age of Post-Truth”, is a show dedicated to all curious people and all those who love science and are fascinated by the unusual and wondrous. A new way to stimulate curiosity through science, art, music and performances.

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CICAP announces XV course for skeptics and “mystery investigators”

Field work during CICAP's course for skeptics

“L’arte del disinganno”, the XV course teaching skeptics to debunk tricks and lies of the occult world, to investigate past and present mysterious events, to take part in experiments with psychics, and to understand hoaxes will take place in Padova during 7 weekends from January to June 2017.
Students will be able to attend lessons held by a pool of 20 experts, with theoric lessons and practical work and activities.

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Telepathy: CICAP performs tests on two Italian women the newspapers claimed to have telepathic powers.

In north Italy, Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli have conducted tests with two women, mother and daughter, that some newspapers had called “telepathic”.

Newspapers were reporting an extraordinary rate of success (an average of 25 correct cards guessed out of 25 attempts). It was therefore important to verify the validity of tests.

Tests performed by CICAP have shown that, by adjusting the conditions to eliminate any chance of sending visual or sound signals, the rate of correct guesses dropped to the expected average for random guesses.

The monthly magazine Focus has published an article with an account of the test carried out by CICAP on the two women in recent weeks.

Catholic Church to raise standard for miracles

Francis canonising John XXIII and John Paul II in 2014. (Jeffrey Bruno/Aleteia CC-BY-SA 2.0).

‘Under the current rules, the Vatican declares something a ‘miracle’ if more than 50% of all experts (several dozens) vote in favour,’ the Dutch (Protestant-leaning) newspaper Trouw reports. ‘That bar will be raised to 66%.’ Apparently, the pope still doesn’t realise you can’t just suspend the laws of nature by majority vote.

Interestingly, the paper adds that ‘the number of miracles was already declining in recent decades – possibly because doctors can explain more and more’, implying that declaring something a ‘miracle’ may be nothing more than an argument from ignorance.

Date: 4th October 2016

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