Portuguese skeptics ‘Explain the Brain’

On 19 November 2016, the Portuguese Skeptical Community (COMCEPT) hold their 5th annual conference – ComceptCon – in the city of Porto. This year, the recently formalised association focuses on the theme “Explain the Brain!” (Esmiuçar o Cérebro!), and is supported by the Associação Viver a Ciência and facilitated by Pólo das Indústrias Criativas da UPTEC. About 100 guests are expected to join the convention, which is free to attend.

The speakers, coming from several different disciplines and Portuguese national institutes, are:

  • Ana Matos Pires: medical psychiatrist and professor from the University of the Algarve, on exploring the line between ‘normal’ and mental illnesses.
  • Diana Prata: biologist and researcher at the University of Lisbon, about the current state of knowledge of the human brain.
  • Júlio Borlido dos Santos: biologist and science communicator from the University of Porto, on neuro-enhancement (cognitive improvement).
  • Maria Ribeiro: neuroscientist and researcher at the University of Coimbra, about how are senses, especially our vision, can deceive us.
  • Miguel Remondes: molecular biologist and researcher at the University of Lisbon, on the reliability of our memory.

Skeptics form new association in Portugal

A group of Portuguese skeptics has established a new national association to coordinate their activism and build a community of critical thinkers across the country. COMCEPT, or the Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa (Portuguese Skeptical Community) has existed informally as a group of friends with a love for science education ever since 2012, but now the tedious process of registering legally has finally been completed.

The first formal general assembly of the Portuguese Skeptical Community was held on 24 September 2016, where the three boards were elected. (Photo: António Vilas–Boas)

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