Australian for Skepticism

As you all (should) know, I appear weekly on The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast. I love podcasts, because back before my precious iPod broke, they gave me something intelligent to listen to while working out — nothing gets me going on the treadmill like intellectual discourse!

So, today I’d like to give a shoutout to my skeptical homies on the other side of the planet, namely Richard Saunders and the Australian Skeptics. Richard e-mailed me last week to alert me to the fact that the Skeptic Tank podcast has featured a number of cool skepchicks like one of my personal favorites, Eugenie Scott. You can hear and subscribe by clicking here. Or here, if you prefer, they both go the same place.

I like the Australian skeptics for a number of reasons. First, because when I was trying to pull together the 2006 Skepchick calendar, I stumbled across their own calendar. While their idea was very different in style and execution, I immediately gained a boost just from reading how they presented it, which amounted to “if you think there’s something terrible and wrong about a calendar of skeptical women, sod off.”

I also like them because it’s one of the few skeptical organizations you’ll find that has a list of “things we’re skeptical about” that includes “cricket scores.” No, seriously.

The third and final (for now) reason why I like the Australian skeptics is because of their delicious Bloomin’ Onions. Blimey!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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  1. Hey, Rebecca, I've got a question for you which is not at all related to this post: Have you ever looked at any of the actual research done on aspartame to determine whether or not it is harmful to people? I know there have been studies that have shown it to be harmful and others that show the opposite, and yet others that claim the results are inconclusive, but I don't really know enough to determine which, if any of those studies were done by reputable scientists, and I know very little about organic chemistry so even if I could find any of the papers on it, I probably wouldn't be able to understand them. But you seem like the kind of person who has a knack for finding out stuff like this, and weeding out the bad papers from the good ones, so I'd like to ask you what appears to be the scientific consensus on aspartame.

  2. You had me pretty confused as to why the Aussies would think cricket scores would be the subject of skepticism, notwithstanding those games that have been influenced by bookmakers. However, you missed out their parethetical (unlucky) so I guess they are really talking about 87 (for the Aussies) and Lord Nelson (for the rest of the cricketing world.)

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