The Swedish Skeptics (a.k.a VoF or Vetenskap och Folkbildning) announced the winners of their 2018 awards on 2 Jan.
Winner of “Enlightener of the Year” award was “Fråga Lund” (“Ask Lund”) which is a popular TV show where viewers submits questions to a panel of professors, researchers and experts. Fråga Lund, which was revived in 2016 after an hiatus since 2000, has had a great outreach with over a million viewers per episode.
Winner of the ironic “‘Bewilderer’ of the Year” award was the author and public speaker Thomas Erikson, for his book “Omgiven av idioter” (“Surrounded by Idiots”). The book and its sequels are based on the DISC / DISA personality inventory theory and claim to teach you how to divide people into red, yellow, green and blue personality types and how to best handle them based on their colour. The theory has no scientific support and Thomas Erikson has gained a big following with the books selling up towards a million copies, despite having no grounds in proven theory.
The Swedish Skeptics, VoF, have announced their awards for 2017:
Science Educator of the year: the winner is Emma Frans, a doctor of epidemiology who is tirelessly tweeting, blogging and publishing articles one of Sweden’s largest newspaper about how separate false information from correct, and about common health myths. The prize is accompanied by a cash award of 25000 SEK (about 2500 Euros).
Misleader of the year: Life, a Nordic e-commerce company and chain of boutiques. Life is the largest provider of so called alternative and complementary products in the Nordic countries, with a yearly turnover of about 200 million Euros. Their products include everything from multivitamins to colloidal silver to fluoride free toothpaste, sold with dubious and misleading health claims.
The Swedish Skeptics Association (aka Vetenskap och Folkbildning, or VoF) has awarded science editor Maria Gunther and medical journalist Amina Manzoor of the science editorial at DN (Dagens Nyheter) with the prize Enlightener of the Year 2016 (DN is the largest morning paper in Sweden). The Swedish Skeptics Association hereby wants to emphasize the importance of leading media understanding the value of maintaining a permanent and accurate reporting of current scientific research.
Says Dan Katz, Press Officer at VoF: “It is imperative that the established media helps the public to navigate the arbitrary flow of information which bombards us all on-line. In this turmoil the science editorial of DN are shining like beacon of facts in the dark.”
The award for Obscurantist of the Year 2016 goes to former head of Karolinska Institutet (KI), Anders Hamsten, together with others in the management of KI who helped to cover up the fraudulent research performed by surgeon Paolo Macchiarini.
Says Peter Olausson, acting president of VoF: “It is particularly severe that the management totally disregarded the investigation that pointed out what had happened. It is a mockery of the patients concerned and of all serious science researchers who cannot, and will not, compromise ethics and good science.”
To celebrate the MENSA awards in Lleida the head of engineering at the Ascó nuclear power plant will be giving a talk titled Recreational Quantum Mechanics on Friday the 25th November in Lleida at 19:30.
Dan Larhammar, current board member and former President of VoF (aka the Swedish Skeptics Association) has been appointed “Pharmacist of the year 2016” by the organisation Svensk Farmaci (Swedish Pharmacy). The prize is awarded every year to a “phamacist in Sweden who through his/her actions has contributed to strenghten, develop or confirm the role of pharmacy in society”.
Dan Larhammar is a pharmacist and a professor of molecular cell biology at the University of Uppsala. He is also a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and is a long time member of the board of VoF, where he served as President 1998-2004. His research includes functional studies of neuropeptides and peptide hormones. His research in the 1990s was the first to be able to clone receptors for the neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y (NPY), which among other things are associated with obesity, memory and learning.