The Committee Against Pseudoscience and Falsification of Scientific Research under the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences has prepared a memorandum “About pseudoscientific status of the homeopathy.” The document says: “The treatment of ultra-low doses of homeopathic remedies does not have scientific basis”. The Committee offered to withdraw all homeopathic medicines from public clinics, prevent misleading advertising for them and do not offer customers homeopathy alongside traditional medicines. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) supported this memorandum. The Ministry of Health promised to respond to the arguments of the memorandum after it goes into the possession of the Office.
The prize named after Harry Houdini, worth one million Russian roubles, is awarded to anyone who will be the first to demonstrate paranormal abilities in a strictly controlled scientific experiment. The Houdini Award Committee consists of experts in the medical, technical, exact and natural sciences, members of the Committee Against Pseudoscience and Falsification of Scientific Research, and magicians.
This weekend, the Russian-speaking Skeptic Society (Общество скептиков, Óbščestvo skeptikov) holds its 3rd Skepticon (Скептикон) in Moscow. Based on the number of tickets sold, about 350 attendees have joined the conference, which centres around Health Myths this year.
- Speakers are:
- Alexander Sergeyev, science journalist and member of the Commission to Fight Pseudoscience and Falsification of Scientific Research, on ‘Pseudoscience under the guise of fighting against pseudoscience’.
- Vasily Vlasov, MD, professor of School of Economics, editor of several scientific medical journals, on ‘Myths about evidence-based medicine’.
- Natalia Zakharova, psychiatrist, PhD, at the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology of the Russian National Research Medical University, on ‘Recovery from depression’.
- Sergey Velkov, chemical engineer and blogger, on ‘Placebos without deception’.
- Anton Zakharov, psychologist and populariser of science, on ‘Genetics of sex’.
- Elena Rydkina, sex education
author and co-founder of the Sexprosvet18+
conferences, on ‘Myths about sexuality’.
- Alexey Payevsky, science journalist and editor-in-chief of the portal Neuron, on ‘What we have learned about the brain in the last half century?’
- Katya Zvereva, co-founder and coordinator of Obscestvo skeptikov, on ‘But it works for me!’ Logical fallacies in defence of alt med.
- Boris Tsatsulin, author and presenter of videoblog CMT. Scientific approach, on ‘The benefits and dangers of vitamins’.
- Alisa Kuznetsova, good cop in the Prize named after Harry Houdini, and massage therapist, on ‘Alternative Medicine: Insights’.
- Tim Skorenko, editor of the magazine Популярная механика (Popular Mechanics) and the website popmech.ru, on ‘Technical quackery: bio proofreaders, the healing power of the Egyptian techniques and other amazing devices’.
- Konstantin Kunakh, practicing psychologist-consultant, on ‘Psychotherapy: Can something that has not been proven scientifically actually work?’
While spending his summer in Poland, someone brought an interesting article to Dutch physicist and skeptic Martin Bier’s attention. It has now been scientifically proven that making the sign of the cross over an amount of water significantly diminishes the amount of bacterial pathogens in that water. Is the making of the sign of the cross a matter of antibacterial hygiene just as much as it is a matter of piety? Bier decided to inquire…