Events‎ > ‎2007‎ > ‎

13th Congress of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO)

 Date: September 7th - September 9th
 Time: 8:00pm
 Where: Davenport Hotel,
Merrion Square,
Dublin 2
 Admission: €3 for members and concessions
€6 for non-members.


The theme of the congress is: The Assault on Science: Constructing a Response.

The skeptics movement is comprised of individuals with three primary goals:
  • To promote science
  • To promote critical thinking
  • To challenge extraordinary claims
As Richard Dawkins has stated:

The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason, So is truth. So is science. I am one of those scientists who feel that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance.

This congress aims to do just that.

Among the Irish speakers are Prof. John Crown (Consultant Oncologist, St Vincent's University Hospital), Prof. David McConnell (Genetics Dept. TCD) and Dr Brian Hughes (Health Psychologist, NUI Galway).

Visiting speakers include Dr Ben Goldacre, (Guardian UK columnist and medical doctor); Prof. Victor Stenger (physicist, USA); Prof. Massimo Pigliucci (evolutionary biologist, USA); Prof. Willem Betz (medical doctor Belgium), Prof. James Alcock (social psychologist, Canada), Prof. Chris French (anomalistic psychologist UK)*.

*Chris studies unusual experiences, often those considered paranormal, and attempts to explain them in terms of known physical and psychological factors.

Topics to be covered include:
  • The assault on scientific rationality
  • The assault on medicine
  • Understanding belief systems
  • Psychological factors in physical health
  • Distinguishing science from pseudoscience
  • The science vs. religion debate
  • Studying prayer
  • Public misunderstanding of genetics
  • The Genetically Modified Organisms debate
  • Battling the paranormal with rationality
  • Science and power
  • Countering propaganda from complementary and alternative medicine