The Skeptic Zone


The Podcast from Australia for Science and Reason

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The Skeptic Zone #543 - 17 March 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders

Pete Evans, anti-vaxxer?

Celebrity chef Pete Evans supports anti-vaxxer Paul Chek on social media.
Jane Hansen, The Daily Telegraph


Life is Wild... With Michelle Franklin

Only in.... Darwin? Michelle takes a look at the "only in..." meme.


PhD Called into Question

Review finds Wilyman anti-vax PhD "incomplete", "biased" and "flawed"

A recent study by four researchers has raised serious concerns over the notorious PhD thesis by leading anti-vaxxer Judy Wilyman, which earned her a PhD from the University of Wollongong in 2015.


GMO Only

Kevin Davies interviews Jose Barrero and Marina Trigueros.

GMOonly is an initiative dedicated to the promotion of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the sale of products made with GMOs. They are the first brand proud to show upfront the benefits of using GMOs.


Aust Skeptics Inc statement on climate change

After more than 60 years of research, the agreement among scientists is that the climate is changing and that this change is mostly human-induced. The agreement is as strong as that concerning evolution and the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Among experts, disagreement about the core elements is almost non-existent.


Canberra Skeptics

Michelle Franklin

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The Skeptic Zone #542 - 10 March 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders

New Zealand Dowser Dollors Down Drain

We interview the Chair of New Zealand Skeptics, Craig Shearer about how Wellington ratepayers are funding a pseudo-scientific method to find buried water pipes. The contractor, Downer and the Wellington City Council are not concerned at the public's perception their money has been spent on disproved science. Rather than use electronic equipment, a Downer contractor working on a Wellington City Council project used two copper rods to tell him where pipes lay.


Mike Willesee, Skeptics Winner and Loser

Australian journalist Mike Willesee has died at the age of 76 after a long battle with throat cancer. He is noted as the only person to win both positive and negative awards from Australian Skeptics. He had a long, largely positive, relationship with the Skeptics during the 1980s, but less positive during the 1990s.

Signs from God video


Old Folk Remedies

We head for Sydney Skeptics in the Pub to find out if pubbers remember some old folk remedies from years ago.


Maynard's DJ Gig in Sydney

Richard Saunders' Bay Area Skeptics talk, 14th March

Craig Shearer

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The Skeptic Zone #541 - 3 March 2019

0:00:00 Introduction


How to catch a "Psychic"

We talk to Susan Gerbic about her Sting Operation to catch out an alleged psychic. Does he get his information from the heavens? Seems more likely from 'The Cloud'!

Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics - New York Times

Buckle Up - Seatbelt Psychic

Thomas John (The Seatbelt Psychic) - Busted for Cheating! - Video



From the pages of 'The Skeptic Magazine', a report by Jim Goulter.

"I was disturbed to find a pamphlet entitled Homoeopathy, The quiet achiever of HIV/AIDS treatment. The extravagant claims of the feature article so confidently elucidated, set me wondering as to the value of my impending immunisation."


Maynard's DJ Gig in Sydney

Richard Saunders' Bay Area Skeptics talk, 14th March

Canberra Skeptics Talks

Richard Saunders' talk at Sydney Skeptics in the Pub

Susan Gerbic

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The Skeptic Zone #540 - 24 Feb 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders

Melbourne chiropractor 'treats' baby on video

A Melbourne chiropractor filmed manipulating a two-week-old boy has been banned from treating children aged under 12 while he is investigated by authorities.


Interview with Dr John Cunningham - Views on Chiropractic treatments

John Cunningham is an Australian-trained orthopaedic surgeon who has committed his professional life to the treatment of patients with spinal disorders. His opinion and knowledge of spinal disorders, especially those of the ageing spine, spinal trauma and spinal imbalance, are respected world wide, and he has an active clinical research programme. He is fully abreast of all current techniques and science relating to the treatment of spinal conditions and has a special interest in spondylolisthesis.


Is it true that GPs and chiropractors do much the same level of training and are thus equally qualified to practice primary healthcare? Should chiropractors play the role that GPs currently do as the first stop for medical consultation? The argument used by chiropractors to practice as primary healthcare is that they must go through the same level of medical training as GPs, including the same courses, and are thus as qualified to offer primary healthcare as GPs. The question is whether this is true.
0:39:10 Maynard's Spooky Action!

Maynard does a follow-up report on the pill testing at music events issue. Interviews with Shane Greenup, Sophie and Dr Alex Wodak.
0:47:43 ASI position statement on “gay conversion therapy”

Australian Skeptics Inc. (ASI) commends Daniel Andrews and the Victorian government for the recently announced plan to ban “gay conversion therapy” across the state. These church-based therapies are not based on scientific evidence, have been proven not to work, and are well known to cause physical and psychological harm.

Maynard's DJ Gig in Sydney

Richard Saunders' Bay Area Skeptics talk, 14th March

Dr John Cunningham

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The Skeptic Zone #539 - 17 Feb 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders

Interview with Mark Edward

Mark Edward is a professional mentalist who specializes in magic of the mind. He has spent more than 25 years in world-class venues from high-end night clubs and theaters to hundreds of private party and corporate events. As one of only five specially chosen and trained mediums in the history of Hollywood's famed Magic Castle, he has performed 15 years of seances that helped him perfect the role of spirit medium and psychic entertainer.


Psychic or just Sick?

From the pages of 'The Skeptic Magazine. Is there any harm in psychic acts?

"It made my stomach turn to have to watch it. It was dreadful. The subject matter was just trivialised and thrown away. The real actual pain and grief of the people who were there to get some sought of connection, looking for hope and desperately trying to have closure on their pain, was just washed over in light entertainment." - By Peter Booth

0:36:45 The Diet Skeptic... with Mandy-Lee Noble

This week Mandy-Lee gives us an overview of her training to become an editor for Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.
0:46:53 Maynard's Spooky DJ Action!

Maynard the DJ behind the Madd Club and many other happenings over the decades, presents a night of shameless sounds that cerebrate the pop and pretentiousness of the late 20th century.

Saturday 16 March 2019 at 8:00pm
Red Bar
36 Glebe Point Rd (Upstairs), Glebe, NSW 2037

Mark Edward

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The Skeptic Zone #538 - 10 Feb 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders
0:03:05 Shoot for the Moon

We chat to Prof. Richard Wiseman about his new book based on the Apollo Moon missions, 'Shoot for the Moon'.

Books on success usually focus on genetically gifted Olympians, hardheaded CEOs and risk taking entrepreneurs. This book presents a radically different perspective on how to achieve your aims and ambitions.
0:15:50 FSM welcomes new President

Monash University Associate Professor Ken Harvey AM is the new President of Friends of Science in Medicine. He replaces Professor John Dwyer AO, the founding president.

Friends of Science in Medicine, founded in 2011, has grown to become a major critic of unscientific health practices and fraudulent health claims. It has advised governments and media, made numerous submissions to enquiries and provided extensive public advice concerning dubious health claims and practices


Citizen science

Interviews with Paul Flemons from the Australian Museum and Patrick Tegart from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Citizen Science programs provide a very important source of data about biodiversity. Data and insights gained through the efforts of citizen scientists enable us to learn more about our environments by creating additional data sources.

0:27:40 Testing a 'Psychic' claim

From the pages of 'The Skeptic Magazine', we re-visit the time Australian Skeptics attempted to test a man who claimed to have something like psychic powers. Report by Ian Bryce.
0:41:35 Trish & Chips! With Trish Hann

Our reporter Trish Hann heads for Sydney Skeptics in the Pub to ask, "Who should be the Patron Saint of Skepticism?"

With Tim Mendham, Jessica Singer, Ian Bryce, Richard Saunders and Jessica Hazzard-White

Prof Richard Wiseman

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The Skeptic Zone #537 - 3 Feb 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders
0:03:50 Who is 'The Well-Known Skeptic'?
We chat to Rob Palmer, a listener to the Skeptic Zone who has gone on to be involved with investigations and reports.
0:15:40 Homeopathy Exposed - Again!

Australian Skeptics has long regarded homeopathy as little more than outdated quackery. In 2002 Richard Saunders and Peter Bowditch busted homeopaths giving some awful advice at a Babies Expo.
0:26:00 Remembering Barry Williams

A year after his death, we remember famed Australian Skeptic Barry Williams. From 2002 a radio interview with science braodcaster Stuart Gary.

Rob Palmer

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The Skeptic Zone #536 - 27 January 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders
0:03:20 Oh Yow! Oh Yowie!
Reports are coming in of a large, unearthly creature attacking a delivery truck in Australia. We talk to famed investigator Ben Radford from the Squaring the Strange podcast to hear his thoughts on this strange and frightening event.
0:15:45 Trish & Chips! With Trish Hann

This week Trish interviews Dr Bard McKay to learn his opinion on pill testing at music events. With a number of deaths reported, is it time to try a different, more science-based approach?
0:36:48 A trip to the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a research institute and natural history museum in San Francisco, California, that is among the largest museums of natural history in the world, housing over 26 million specimens.

Dr Brad

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The Skeptic Zone #535 - 20 January 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders
0:04:24 Oh No! It's Ross Blocher!

We travel to the city of Portland, Oregon to see the live show of 'Oh No Ross and Carrie!'
0:10:40 Climate Science and Educational Outreach

In Oakland, California we visit the National Science for Science Education to interview Brad Hoge, Director of teacher support.

Brad joined NCSE in 2017 to help steward NCSEteach into its next phase. He has been a classroom teacher, a children's museum curator, a research scientist, and a science educator, including working as an associate professor at the University of Houston - Downtown. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M.
0:36:16 Science Friction and Bigfoot

As the snow falls, we chat to Brian Dunning from the Skeptoid podcast about the latest updates with his movie project. Then it's onto our favourite topic Bigfoot!

Ross Blocher

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The Skeptic Zone #534 - 13 January 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders
0:04:15 Ear Candles: the outcome of TGA complaint

Ear candling is a widely promoted alternative medical practice that involves inserting and lighting a hollow candle in the ear canal. It is claimed that candling creates a vacuum that removes wax and that it can also relieve ear ache, glue ear, tinnitus, sinus problems, chronic headache, migraine, sore throat, allergies and many more conditions.

In fact, ear candles and candling are ineffective and dangerous.
0:14:22 Life is Wild... With Michelle Franklin

Cane Toads are a huge problem in the north of Australia. Michelle casts a skeptical eye over a plan to control their numbers.
0:23:00 Trish & Chips! With Trish Hann

Our new reporter Trish Hann heads for Sydney Skeptics in the Pub to ask, "Why are the public cynical of Climate Change?"

With Tim Mendham, Jessica Singer, Lynden Shields, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz and Ben Mcavoy.
0:32:12 What is Quackery?

From the pages of `The Skeptic` magazine, Dr Richard Gordon GP gives us his overview on quackery.

The Skepic Magazine

Trish Hann

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The Skeptic Zone #533 - 6 January 2019

0:00:00 Introduction

Richard Saunders

0:03:00 GSoW at the Exploratorium

We join Susan Gerbic, Mark Edward and Jay Diamond for a day at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
0:21:30 Life is Wild... With Michelle Franklin

The Great Emu Invasion.

A cautionary tale of what happens when people try to control nature.
0:31:45 Wikimedia from the inside

We catch up with Moriel Schottlender, champion of the round earth, who gives us a tour of the Wikimedia headquarters in San Francisco.

Skeptic Zone interview with Moriel about the Flat Earthers
0:45:42 The Diet Skeptic... with Mandy-Lee Noble

Naturopath under investigation for aledged claims of cancer treatment and bad breast-feeding advice. Story by Jane Hansen.

Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as "natural", "non-invasive", and as promoting "self-healing".

Surf Coast Skepticamp

Moriel Schottlender

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The Vaccination Chonicles
Solar Flare


Verna Morris, Maureen Chuck, Ken McLeod, Monica Saville, Dr Richard Gordon, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, John Bundock, Peter Bowditch and Lauren Cochrane with Ada and Jack.



Solar Flare logoThe Band of Power

Join the cast of the Skeptic Zone Podcast, and host of special guests, in their first audio adventure as they board the Australian Space Ship Solar Flare to fight the forces of woo thoughout the galaxy!

Also featuring the hit song
FAR by George Hrab.

It's old time radio from the future!

Solar Flare episode 1

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by Richard Saunders



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Invented, Folded and Photographed
by Richard Saunders

The Skeptic Zone Podcast is an independent production by Richard Saunders and the team of reporters. The views and opinions expressed on the Skeptics Zone Podcast are not necessarily those Australian Skeptics Inc. or any other skeptical organisation.
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