Canberra Skeptics AGM 2021

Fellow skeptics,
 
It is time for Canberra Skeptics Inc to hold its Annual General Meeting. The details of which are presented below:
 
Canberra Skeptics Annual General Meeting
Date – 19 October 2021
Time: 7:00pm – 7:40pm
 
Canberra Skeptics Inc. will hold its 2021 AGM on 19 October 2021 from 7:00pm – 7:40pm. Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 restrictions, this will be conducted online via Zoom. To participate, please use the following link – (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82664827342?pwd=aTlCdytXUFZPSnZrNDRXZmpzU1JqZz09).

Only paid members of Canberra Skeptics can vote or nominate for a role. If you have not already done so, please register you details via the google forms – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVg-mWyXoIv_tmieSy24FMdra4JedcLTRj9UPPeeYlA/viewform?edit_requested=true.

Draft Agenda for the AGM
Apologies
Confirmation that quorum present
Minutes of previous AGM and EGMs– acceptance
Business arising from previous AGM and EGMs
Report of the President
Report of the Treasurer, including receipt of Auditor’s report
Consideration of annual subscription fees (no proposal to change)
Election of Committee and office bearers for 2021/22
Other business
The relevant reports and other information will be emailed out prior to the meeting
Nominations for committee 2021/22

We have up to 9 positions to fill on the committee. We traditionally fill all positions by consensus, but we will be prepared to go through a voting procedure if this is necessary.
The committee is desperately seeking new members, especially to assist with the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022,  so if you are interested, could you please contact us as soon as possible.

Details for the November and December public talks will be coming soon. We are just awaiting news as to whether we will need to continue with the online talks or, preferably, resume in-person events.

Stay skeptical,
Kevin Davies
President – Canberra Skeptics

Our mailing address is:
Canberra Skeptics Inc PO Box 555 Civic Square, ACT 2608 Australia


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Fake Medicine with Dr Brad McKay/Lockdown in Canberra/Convention 2022

Fellow skeptics,

As we continue in this period of lockdown, I, on behalf of the Canberra Skeptics Committee, hope that you and all those you care about are safe and well during this difficult time.  Please do all that you can to get through this period as best you can and please refer to https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/home for updates and advice. If ever there has been a time when the need for quality science-based decisions has been self-evident, it is now. To that end, it goes without saying that getting a vaccination is the single best thing all of us can do to overcome the current malaise.

On a more positive note, Canberra Skeptics National Science Week event is tomorrow evening, and it would be wonderful to see as many of you there as possible. The details are as follows:

Fake Medicine: Exposing the wellness crazes, cons and quacks costing us our health

Date: Monday, 16 August 2021

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm (AEST)

Speaker: Dr Brad McKay

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7jpKqQ1QRKOrTflGWF5icg)

The September talking is still be organised so details will be provided when it is organised.

Regarding the upcoming Skeptics in the Pub event to be held on 22 August, as it is outside the current lockdown period, it is still proceeding. Having said this, it will be cancelled if the lockdown is extended. Please check the Canberra Skeptics meetup page for any updates –https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/

The Canberra Skeptics AGM is intended to be run on 13 October, venue TBC. If you are interested in joining the committee then please let me know via email: canberraskeptics@gmail.com. Next year is going to be a big one as we are running the Australian Skeptics National Convention 2022, so if there anything you can do to help us, please get in contact.

Concluding, please stay safe and well during the lockdown. Remember that there are many fantastic scientific and skeptical podcasts, lecture series, books, and other materials that you can use to enhance your knowledge during this time.

Stay skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics

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August Event: Fake Medicine: Exposing the wellness crazes, cons and quacks costing us our health

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Fake Medicine: Exposing the wellness crazes, cons and quacks costing us our health

Date: Monday, 16 August 2021

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm (AEST)

Speaker: Dr Brad McKay

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7jpKqQ1QRKOrTflGWF5icg)

 

Dr Brad McKay, GP and experienced science communicator, investigates the myths, scams and fads of modern health and wellbeing.

 

We all want to live healthier, happier, and longer lives, but too many of us are charmed by charlatans, misled by marketing, or scammed by sciencey-sounding salespeople.

Dr Brad McKay, Australian GP, and science communicator has seen the rise of misinformation permeate our lives and watched as many of us have turned away from health experts. Too often, we place our trust in online influencers, celebrities, and Dr Google when it comes to making important health decisions.

 

Fake Medicine explores the potential dangers of wellness warriors, anti-vaxxers, fad diets, dodgy supplements, alternative practitioners and conspiracy theories.(https://www.hachette.com.au/bradley-mckay/fake-medicine-exposing-the-wellness-crazes-cons-and-quacks-costing-us-our-health)

 

 

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

Canberra Skeptics is gratefully supported by a more than generous grant from Australian Skeptics Inc.

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June Event: Learning from Indigenous memory methods with Dr Lynne Kelly

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Learning from Indigenous memory methods

Date: Monday, 14 June 2021

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm (AEDT)

Speaker: Dr Lynne Kelly

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ig5zmwgtTJW2Puey5WsSlQ)

Indigenous cultures are usually represented as living in a fog of superstition but they needed a vast amount of pragmatic knowledge to survive both physically and culturally. They had no writing so how the hell did they memorise so much stuff? In this talk, I will explain the tricks of their memory trade and those of European and Asian cultures up to recent times. This big question is: how we can use these methods in contemporary society? There are significant implications for education, ageing and the interpretation of ancient monuments.

Dr Lynne Kelly is a science writer, Honorary Research Associate at LaTrobe University and founding member of the Australian Skeptics. After four decades teaching, she completed a doctorate exploring the way oral cultures memorise a vast amount of practical information without writing. She has since implemented many indigenous and medieval memory methods in a contemporary context and been astounded by their efficacy. Lynne has published 19 books, the most recent being The Memory CodeMemory Craft and co-authored Songlines: the power and promise.

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements: 
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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May Event: What is Humanism with Mary-Anne Cosgrove

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

What is Humanism

Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm (AEDT)

Speaker: Mary-Anne Cosgrove

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MD0h0gVDRCC-RGfusEDdaA)

For tens, even hundreds of thousands of years, humans have been wondering about their place in the universe, and pondering fundamental questions about their existence, such as:

  • How can I understand the world?
  • How can I find meaning and fulfillment in life?
  • How can I find comfort when I am grieving?
  • How do I deal with the fear of my own death?
  • How should I behave – what is right and wrong?

Find out how Humanism is a framework for answering these fundamental questions.

Mary-Anne Cosgrove is a software engineer with a background in science and mathematics. She has always had an interest in living an ethical and compassionate life, and discovered Humanism in 2015. Since then, she has held several roles in the Australian Humanist community, including Convenor of the ACT Humanist Society and President of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS). She is currently Acting Chair of Humanists Australia and a Community Leader for the Canberra Humanist Community.

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements: 
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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April Event: The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project

Date: Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm (AEDT)

Speaker: Richard Saunders

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C_CFKd9mTai8rHkYSrqRRQ)

Year after year, especially around December and January, morning TV shows, radio and magazines love to give their audience a ‘preview’ of the year ahead by calling in their favorite ‘psychic’. What’s in store for celebrities, the royals, in politics and when can we expect the next volcano or earthquake? Just how accurate are these mystical insights into the future and should we be using them to place bets on the next Melbourne Cup?

For 5 years Richard Saunders has been collating and analysing over 3000 predictions made in Australia since the year 2000. With the help of an international team, this project is nearing its completion. Richard will report on the progress and give some highlights and insights into the world of psychic predictions.

Richard Saunders is from Sydney and starred as the “Skeptical Judge” on two seasons of the TV show “The One: The Search for Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic”. He is also the host of the weekly podcast “The Skeptic Zone”, now in its 12th year. Richard is also an origami expert and children’s author, CSI Fellow and life member of Australian Skeptics.

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements: 
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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March Event: Nuking the Moon

Canberra Skeptics proudly presents:

Nuking the Moon: An interview with Dr. Vince Houghton

Date: Sunday, 14 March 2021

Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm (AEDT)

Speaker: Dr. Vince Houghton

Please register via Zoom.

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Kq91DMniT66YXElNOK_vug)

The world of intelligence and espionage is one that continues a fascinate and mystify, whether in the world of fiction or non-fiction. Intelligence history is repleat with incredible examples of intelligence agencies, agents, and spies, developing amazing operations and technologies to get the job done. But, sometimes, it does not always go right. Drawing from his book Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Best Left on the Drawing Board (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/575262/nuking-the-moon-by-vince-houghton/),  Dr. Vince Houghton will discuss some of history’s less successful intelligence operations.

From microphones surgically implanted into cats, to actual false flag operations, and multiple poorly thought-out uses for nuclear weapons, come join us as we interview Vince in order to answer the big question – ‘just what were they thinking?’

Dr. Vince Houghton is the former Historian and Curator of the International Spy Museum. As the museum’s subject matter expert, he was a key member of the team that created and developed the content, exhibits, and design of the new museum. Vince has a PhD in Intelligence History, and is the author of two books – Nuking the Moon: and Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board and The Nuclear Spies: America’s Atomic Intelligence Operation Against Hitler and Stalin. Dr. Houghton is currently the Director of the National Cryptologic Museum in Ft. Meade, MD.

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements: 
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

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February Event and Skeptics in the Pub

Fellow skeptics,

I trust that you all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to 2021.

As discussed late last year, Canberra Skeptics was planning to restart the Skeptics in the Pub. I am delighted to say that the first one has been announced and will be held on Sunday, 31 January, at King O’Malley’s Irish Pub. The start time is 2pm and further details can be found here – https://www.meetup.com/SocialSkepticsCanberra/events/275422014/.

The SiTP is a great way to relax and talk with your fellow skeptics over a beverage or two.

The monthly talks will resume in February. Unfortunately, COVID-19 venue restrictions have made it difficult to get a venue. Consequently, the talks will continue to take place over Zoom for the foreseeable future. The details of the February talk are presented below.

Overview of RAND’s Truth Decay initiative

Date: Monday, 15 February 2021

Time: 6:00 to 7:00pm

Speaker: Dr Carl Rhodes

Register via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_h1VgY2vFQ362KbMHzTL8bQ

Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by “Truth Decay,” defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information. The causes and consequences of Truth Decay will be examined along with past eras of U.S. history to identify evidence of Truth Decay’s four trends and observe similarities with and differences from the current period.

Carl will provide an overview of Jennifer Kavanaugh’s and Michael Rich’s 2018 report defining and examining Truth Decay and provide information about continuing work on the topic.


Carl Rhodes is director of RAND Australia. In this role, he identifies policy research opportunities for Australian clients at the commonwealth and state levels, delivers and disseminates high quality research and analysis on Australian policy issues, and leads the RAND Australia office in Canberra. During his tenure at RAND, Carl has also performed work for U.S. clients including the Air Force, Army, Joint Staff, and Joint Forces Command. He participated and led recent efforts examining intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; the employment and modernization of unmanned aircraft systems and nuclear force modernization. Carl received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Questions can be sent via Zoom or emailed to canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanberraSkeptics/
Twitter: @cbrskeptics

Event announcements: 
Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/SocialSkepticsCanberra/
Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/canberra-skeptics-18628458762

Canberra Skeptics looks forward to seeing you at all our upcoming events.

Stay Skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics’

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September Event and AGM

Fellow skeptics,

While Canberra is currently COVID-19 free, the environment is still very uncertain and, therefore, we will not be holding any in-person events any time soon. We all hope that we are able to return to some degree of normalcy during 2021.

In the meantime, Canberra Skeptics will continue offering webinars and we would be delighted if you join us for the next one. This is with authour David Dufty, who will be talking about his book ‘Radio Girl: The story of the extraordinary Mrs Mac, pioneering engineer and wartime legend.’ David honoured me by asking me to read a draft of the book, so I can attest just how amazing the story of Violet MacKenzie is. Please join us at 6pm on 15 September on Zoom.

The AGM is going to be held during October. Due to COVID-19, we will not be holding an in-person AGM. Instead it will be done via email over around 2 weeks. Please consider joining the committee as we desperately need to people to help us in 2021. These events don’t organise themselves and the more people who join the committee, the more and better the events will be!

If you have not already done so, please renew your membership. You can do so via our new Online Form.

Stay skeptical,

Kevin Davies

President – Canberra Skeptics

 

Radio Girl: The story of the extraordinary Mrs Mac, pioneering engineer and wartime legend

Date and Time: Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, AEST

How to join: Login via Zoom registration

(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lbEXzgXbSZqutqMaYaEyWA)

Join Canberra Skeptics as we host a webinar with author David Dufty on his book ‘Radio Girl: The story of the extraordinary Mrs Mac, pioneering engineer and wartime legend.’ This book, about Violet MacKenzie, who was ‘a smart girl from a poor mining town who loved to play with her father’s tools, Violet McKenzie became an electrical engineer, a pioneer of radio and a successful businesswoman. As the clouds of war gathered in the 1930s, she defied convention and trained young women in Morse code, foreseeing that their services would soon be sorely needed. Always a champion of women, she was instrumental in getting Australian women into the armed forces.’

(https://allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Radio-Girl-David-Dufty-9781760876654)

David Dufty has a PhD in psychology and has worked as a statistician and social researcher at the University of Memphis, Newspoll, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. His book The Secret Code Breakers of Central Bureau won the 2017 Nib Military History Prize.

 

 

Canberra Skeptics Annual General Meeting

Dates – 13 October – 26 October 2020

Canberra Skeptics Inc will be holding its AGM from 13-26 October 2020. Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, it will be conducted via email.

Given the circumstances, all materials will be sent to members on 13 October, who can ask
questions and receive feedback. On 20 October, the contents of the reports and the appointment of the new committee moved.

If you would like to join the committee, please us know at canberraskeptics@gmail.com.

The positions available are:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Public Officer
  • Member

Only paid members of Canberra Skeptics are able to join the committee or participate in the AGM.

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August Event: Successes and Failures of Science, Skepticism, and Critical Thinking

Canberra Skeptics Proudly Presents:

Successes and Failures of Science, Skepticism, and Critical Thinking

Date and Time: Sunday, 16 August 2020, 10:00am – 11:00am, AEST

How to join: Register via Zoom – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5mckiv08Q1-4o8luao_6lg

Events over the last 12 months have demonstrated the vital role science, skepticism, and critical thinking plays in society. Yet, many of these events have also shown that science, skepticism, and critical thinking is failing to effectively counter anti-science attitudes. This panel will provide an opportunity for discussion on precisely why this is and what can be done to rectify the situation. The panel will also look at where science, skepticism, and critical thinking has succeeded and what can be done to ensure that the successes continue.

The panel consists of the following (subject to change):

Host


Richard Saunders – Richard Saunders is the host and producer of The Skeptic Zone Podcast (https://skepticzone.tv), a Life Member of Australian Skeptics Incorporated, and a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Fellow.

Panellists


Susan Gerbic – Susan Gerbic is the founder and leader of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and a contributor to Skeptical Inquirer and The Skeptic Zone Podcast.

Dr Steven Novella – Dr. Novella is an academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to being the host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, he is the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society.

Jessica Singer – Jessica Singer is the President of Australian Skeptics Incorporated.

Questions for the panel can either be sent via Zoom or emailed to cosmicspoon[at]gmail.com. Questions can be asked during the webinar via the Q&A.

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics, please visit our website: http://www.canberraskeptics.org.

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