Tagged: scepticism

Deciphering scientific history (and handwriting) - Infrequently Asked Questions

Lynley Hargreaves Mar 08, 2017

Dr Simon Nathan The human side of James Hector, the dominant scientist of nineteenth century New Zealand, long lay hidden in the illegible scrawl of Hector’s handwriting. Then Dr Simon Nathan began writing a biography of the man who established the museum that became Te Papa and the institute that became the Royal Society of New Zealand. In making … Read More

Ethical Pharmacy Practice 4: Paving the Way - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Jun 19, 2015

This year has not been a good year for homeopathy. There have been many blows to the industry in the form of more research finding it ineffective, position statements from organisations of health practitioners discouraging its use, and successful complaints to regulatory authorities. And this trend shows no signs of abating. In March, the Australian […] … Read More

Press Council Complaint: Homeopathy in the Wairarapa Times-Age - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Apr 14, 2015

In February this year, an article was published in the Wairarapa Times-Age (both in print and online) headlined Use of natural remedies is on the rise. The article discussed some specific cases of so-called “natural remedies” being used to treat serious diseases, such as intravenous vitamin C for leukaemia and homeopathy to treat various forms […] … Read More

Finding Power and Balance: Proving and Disproving Claims - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Apr 09, 2015

I’m very happy to have had an article published on the website of the New Zealand Science Teacher, the official publication of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators. My article is about applied kinesiology, I’ve embedded the introduction below and you can read the whole thing on the NZST website: Finding Power and balance: […] … Read More

“Fair-weather” scepticism - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Mar 31, 2015

My old man used to label us kids as “fair-weather sailors” when we bitched about working outside during bad weather. That phrase comes to my mind sometimes when I come across people who claim to be “sceptics ” (“Skeptics”) behaving very unsceptically when confronted with a claim outside their area of interest. For example, someone who … … Continue reading … Read More

100% Natural and Chemical Free - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Mar 13, 2015

This afternoon, the Advertising Standards Authority released their decision to uphold an interesting complaint regarding advertisements for a couple of cleaning products on a website. Here is the ASA’s description of how the products were described on the website: The Wendyl’s website (http://wendyls.co.nz/) for “100% natural cleaning and beauty products” advertised their products as having […] … Read More

Ethical Pharmacy Practice 3: Running Out of Excuses - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Mar 12, 2015

Ethical pharmacy practice is something I have written about before. If you’ve read those posts, please bear with me as I cover some familiar background. In New Zealand, we are lucky enough to have an industry code of ethics for pharmacists, published by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand, which holds pharmacists to high ethical […] … Read More

When Marketing Trumps Science - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Mar 06, 2015

Recently I’ve run across a couple of New Zealand companies that sell therapeutic products – one a weight loss pill, the other a jet lag drink – that seem to put marketing first and let science take the back seat. This is by no means new behaviour, but I want to use them as examples […] … Read More

New Zealand Skeptics Conference: Fighting Pseudoscience - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Dec 09, 2014

Over the weekend, I attended the New Zealand Skeptics Conference at Auckland University. It was a great weekend, with consistently good speakers. Not only did we have the hosts of the popular Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast and George Hrab from the Geologic podcast over from America, we also had a lot of fantastic […] … Read More

Copper & Magnetic Healing: How to Respond to Complaints - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Nov 21, 2014

Last Saturday, I was in a store that had a display on their counter advertising copper and magnetic jewellery: As you may be aware, claims that copper jewellery are able to help with arthritis are relatively common, although the evidence is pretty negative. The claim about magnets attracting iron in your blood and thereby increasing […] … Read More