Internet memes have radically changed the way we communicate online, especially on social media. It usually consists of a photo or cartoon with some text making a point. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and may therefore be much more effective at communicating a message than an entire well-reasoned, evidence-based essay (especially when Twitter limits posts to 140 characters).
Memes can be very witty in explaining something odd about the world in the form of a simple joke, and make people rethink their view of society. But, although they may often contain a kernel of truth, they’re usually inaccurate in detail, and sometimes extremely misleading or just plain wrong. Continue reading “Be skeptical of quote memes! A guide”
These are the ECSO’s founding documents: the Establishment Agreement and Charter, as adopted on 25 September 1994.
They were drafted during the sixth European Skeptics Congress that was held in Oostende, Belgium. At earlier conferences and in letter correspondence in the run-up to this weekend, extensive negotiations had taken place between eight organisations from different (Western) European countries with the same goal: to protect the public against harmful misinformation, to investigate extraordinary claims and to promote evidence-based science policies. As it happened, the French skeptics’ representative had to return home due to grave family conditions, so seven organisations (including the U.S.-based CSICOP) became the founding members (with the later approval of the national and regional organisations’ boards). Here is a photo of the people who signed on behalf of each (you may recognise some of them):
22 years later, the thus established European Council of Skeptical Organisations has grown and expanded to include many more groups across the continent, especially the east and north. Ten more Congresses and several symposia and campaigns have been held in support of transnational skeptical activism. The ECSO is currently looking to cooperate with associations in countries where organised skepticism is still relatively new and could use the support and know-how of the old family. Internationalisation requires skeptics to work together, because pseudoscience and extraordinary claims have also profited from fading boundaries and new technologies.
“Let us provide you with a real ESP experience” – These were the closing
words of a trailer for the first European Skeptics Podcast (TheESP) done by András G. Pintér, vice president of the Hungarian Skeptic Society and co-host of the new, bi-weekly skeptic show. The first (pilot) episode came out on Wednesday 18th November and is available online on SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher.