Skepticism In The Shaking City Of Christchurch – Dr Bridgstock’s Lecture at NZ Skeptics Convention

Three things to finish off my Thursday:

The Young Australian Skeptics podcast just released a brilliant  Episode Thirty-One, with Martin Pribble at Think Inc. and a fascinating interview with everyone’s scientific hero, Eugenie Scott.

Over at the Token Skeptic podcast: Episode Eighty – now out! On Paranormal Belief In Queensland – The Truth Told By Dr Martin Bridgstock.

 Until recently, Queensland was regarded as the hillbilly state of Australia. It was dominated by fundamentalism and flirted with bogus cancer cures and creation science. After determined action by skeptics, and some major political convulsions, the state has changed completely. Still, the question remains: how much of the early sentiments remain in Queensland today? In this presentation Martin Bridgstock tells of how he and Kylie Sturgess surveyed a representative sample of over 1200 Queenslanders, to investigate their paranormal and related beliefs. The results are quite startling, and give a comprehensive picture of exactly what Queenslanders believe.

Dr Martin Bridgstock’s book, Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal is available through Cambridge University Press.

If you’d like to read more about the research we did, head to: The structure of superstitious action – A further analysis of fresh evidencePersonality and Individual Differences, Volume 50, Issue 6, April 2011, Pages 795-798.

By the way, Episode Seventy-Nine on Project Barnum SHOULD be working fine now… Simply click here to find out  (Download the mp3). :)

Also out very soon – the Curiouser and Curiouser column over at CSICOP! It will feature an interview with Gold, who is the Chair-Entity of the New Zealand Skeptics. I was in Christchurch last month for the NZ Skeptics convention and got to learn more about the work that the skeptics do over there.

Gold: I founded the first New Zealand Skeptics in the Pub in Christchurch in May 2009 and despite having suffered the loss of The Twisted Hop (the regular venue) to the quakes and my move to the city of Wellington, I’m pleased to say that the group is still going strong. 

I’ve also been the catalyst for four other groups so far: working down the country we have Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.  Hamilton is currently in the works, a city in the North Island. So far I’ve managed to get to the first gathering of each group too and it’s a trend I’m going to do my damnedest to continue.


About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a former Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide. She regularly presents a news and current affairs show on RTRFM's The Mag (tune in on Tuesdays!).
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science. She files her nails while they drag the lake.