What were your highlights for science and scepticism in 2010?

There were some big “wins” for critical thinking in 2010, but sadly alternative medicine and scams continued to abound, with the explosion in popularity of Power Balance bracelets a very good example of the continuing gullibility of the general public. On the plus side, the anti-vaccination movement continued to take hits, with Andrew Wakefield being struck off the UK medical register and the AVN losing their charity license and being called a threat to public health and safety by the HCCC.

And of course the year ended with a bang, with Australia’s largest sceptical convention ever to come to Australia, TAMOz, held in Sydney in November.

Below are just a few of the events I feel contributed to a very exciting and positive year in scepticism, plus some of the not so positive, as a reminder of why we need keep pushing the message of critical thinking. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you have one you think I have missed feel free to leave it in the comments.

January 30th: Ten23 – worldwide homeopathy overdose.

The brainchild of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, Ten23 was designed to inform the public that “homeopathy: there’s nothing in it”. It was a huge success, attracting extensive media coverage across the UK. The event was mirrored in Perth, Sydney and also very successfully in New Zealand where Christchurch’s Vicki Hyde received significant media attention for her role in organising events across the pond. Events for 2011 are already being organised and the campaign looks to be even bigger this time around.

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The Ten23 protest in the UK was designed to demonstrate that there's nothing in homeopathy.

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At the Ten23 protest in Sydney, some participants fell asleep almost 12 hrs after "overdosing" but woke up 8 hrs later.

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In the UK the pharmacy Boots came under fire for admitting they sell homeopathic products, not because they work but because people want them.

February 22nd: UK Committee on Science and Technology Evidence Check says homeopathy doesn’t work.

evcheckFollowing the investigation, committee chairman Phil Willis MP said; “We were seeking to determine whether the Government’s policies on homeopathy are evidence based on current evidence. They are not.”

The report recommended that the National Health Service (the public purse in the UK) no longer fund homeopathy. The report also;


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  • Pingback: » 2010: The year in science, skepticism and woo. – autisticagainstantivaxxers()

  • @Tim, thanks. FIXT.

  • Oh, nevermind, didn’t realize you posted this BEFORE that happened. Sorry!

  • Oh, and you forgot the most recent one: December 22nd: Power Balance disciplined by ACCC.

  • A little typo: the Vaccine Court ruling was March 12th, not March 16th. Thanks for putting this together, you reminded me of a couple events I needed to add to my “Skeptic History” database so I can call out their anniversaries in the future.

  • “What were your highlights for science and scepticism in 2010?”

    September 20, 2010: The Australasian Skeptics Forum opened its virtual doors to the public. 🙂 [/shameless pimping]

    Great summary of a very good year for reason, Maggie!

  • LOL Trevor! Do you recall when your conversion occurred?

  • Trevor

    Add to the list: you are near fully to blame for me going from sceptical to Skeptic!!

  • Thanks Tabs. Fixt.

  • Tabs

    just a small correction- where you write about the Flu vaccination issue we had this year. It was ‘Fluvax Junior’ that was found to be the issue, not ‘Fluvax’ which is given to older children and adults.

    Also, the suspension of the programme was lifted on the 30th July 2010- Fluvax Junior being recalled and 2 other brands being able to be continued to be administered. http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/immunise-temp-suspension

  • Excellent post. It hasn’t been a bad year all things considered. And thank you so much for illustrating the ten23 campaign with a pic of me and Dave Gorman necking a homeopathic ‘remedy’.

  • What have you missed?

    March 3rd Dr Rachie wins Shorty Award after grassroots skeptical campaigning

    😀