Mówcy

Confirmed Speakers

 

Egzorcyzmy i nauka

 

Badanie zjawisk paranormalnych

Exorcisms & Science

Mentalist, Paranormal Investigator (Czech Republic)

Jakub Kroulik is a Czech Mentalist and Hypnotist, as well as an expert on the imitation of paranormal phenomena. Since the participation of the Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos in the SKEPP Million Euro Challenge and the establishing of the Czech Paranormal Challenge, he has been an instrumental part in the project. Researching and using the techniques of the Victorian Era and early nineteen hundreds magicians, he has an uncanny talent for recognizing fraudulent techniques posing as real abilities and is able to induce the same experiences as miracle healers, exorcists or mediums.

Paranormal Investigation

Celebrity Skeptic, Magician (Canada)

James Randi is a Canadian-American retired stage magician and scientific skeptic who has extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi is the co-founder of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo". Randi retired from practicing magic aged 60, and from the JREF aged 87.
Although often referred to as a "debunker", Randi has said he dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator".[7] He has written about the paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
Prior to Randi's retirement, JREF sponsored the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offered a prize of US$1,000,000 to eligible applicants who could demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties.[8] The paranormal challenge was officially terminated by the JREF in 2015.[9] The foundation continues to make grants to non-profit groups that encourage critical thinking and a fact-based world view.
He has received the Richard Dawkins Award and the American Humanist Association Lifetime Achievement Award, among many others, and holds two Guinness World Records.

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Science & Religion

Czech astronomer, popularizer of science and Kalinga Prize (1996) laureate.

After studying physics at the Masaryk University in Brno and astronomy at the Charles University in Prague he joined the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Department of Stellar Astronomy in Ondřejov. Twenty years later he moved to the Institute of Physics, Low Temperature Physics Department at Řež, where he remained for more than ten years. Shortly after the Velvet Revolution he joined the High Energy Physics Department at the same institution. From 1992 to 1998, Grygar chaired the Czech Astronomical Society. He also chaired the Czech Television Council and the Science and Philosophy section of the European Culture Club. He is member of editorial boards of the periodicals Říše hvězd, Vesmír, Universum and Omega.
Dr. Grygar holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics. His papers focus on interplanetary matter (meteors, comets), limb darkening in stellar atmospheres, close binaries, novae, chemically peculiar stars and remote sensing.
He is well known to the public in the Czech Republic and Slovakia because of his famous TV series about the Universe - Okna vesmíru dokořán ("Wide open windows of the Universe"; 1982–1990). He also engages in activities against un-scientific charlatanism (in the Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos).

Dr. Grygar is a reputable writer on the topic of the relationship between religion and science. He is of catholic faith.
Between 2004–2008, dr. Grygar was the President of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic, an association of the leading scholars in the country.
On October 26, 1976, a main-belt asteroid 3336 was discovered by a Czech astronomer Luboš Kohoutek, who named it after Dr. Grygar. In 2009, Dr. Grygar was awarded one of the most prestigious Czech scientific awards, Česká hlava. In 2010, he was the inaugural recipient of the respectable Mensa Czech Republic Award.
Source: Wikipedia

Jiri Grygar
Czech Republic
Astronomer, Astrophysicist

Exorcisms & Science

Film Director

Director, screenwriter, film producer and university lecturer (doctoral thesis at Faculty of Radio and Television at University of Silesia in 2012). Born in 1956, son of a well-known television and radio reader Lucjan. Graduate of Polish studies at University of Warsaw (1979), Faculty of Radio and Television at University of Silesia (1985) and NFTS (Beaconsfield - England, 1987).Since 1990 he has directed documentaries and feature films (debut 'Człowiek z …', 1993. In 2005 he founded a production company ZK STUDIO.

GMOs

Journalist and Enviromental Activist (UK)

Mark Lynas is a British author, journalist and environmental activist who focuses on climate change. He is a contributor to New Statesman, The Ecologist, Granta and Geographical magazines, and The Guardian and The Observer newspapers in the UK; he also worked on the film The Age of Stupid. He was born in Fiji, grew up in Peru and the United Kingdom and holds a degree in history and politics from the University of Edinburgh. He lives in Oxford, England. He has published several books including Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (2007) and The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans (2011).
n 2004, Lynas' High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis was published by Macmillan Publishers on its Picador imprint. He has also contributed to a book entitled Fragile Earth: Views of a Changing World published by Collins,which presents before-and-after images of some of the natural changes which have happened to the world in recent years, including the Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, alongside a bleak look at the effects of mankind's actions on the planet.
In January 2007, Lynas published Gem Carbon Counter, containing instructions to calculate people's personal carbon emissions and recommendations about how to reduce their impact on the atmosphere.
In 2007, he published Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, a book detailing the progressive effect of global warming in several planetary ecosystems, from 1 degree to 6 degrees and further of average temperature rise of the planet. This book won the Royal Society's science book of the year award in 2008.
In 2008, National Geographic released a documentary film based on Lynas's book, entitled Six Degrees Could Change the World.
In 2010, Lynas published an article in the New Statesman entitled "Why We Greens Keep Getting It Wrong" and the same year was the main contributor to a UK Channel 4 Television programme called "What the Green Movement Got Wrong." In these he took a line similar to environmentalists such as Patrick Moore, Bjørn Lomborg, Stewart Brand and Richard D. North, explaining that he now felt that several of his previous strongly held beliefs were wrong. For example, he suggested that opposition by environmentalists, such as himself, to the development of nuclear energy had speeded up climate change, and that GM crops were necessary to feed the world.
In July 2011, Lynas published in the U.K. the book entitled The God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans. Lynas argues that as Earth has entered the Anthropocene, and as such humanity is changing the planet's climate, its bio-geochemical cycles, the chemistry of the oceans and the colour of the sky, as well as reducing the number of species. Based on the planetary boundaries concept, he proposes several strategies that are controversial among the environmental community, such as using nuclear power and the Integral fast reactor to reduce carbon emissions and geoengineering to mitigate inevitable global warming; or genetic engineering (transgenics) to feed the world and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. In 2012, Mark Lynas was bestowed the Paradigm Award by the Breakthrough Institute in recognition of his intellectual leadership on the Anthropocene.

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Paranormal Investigation

Psychologist, Writer (Italy)

Massimo Polidoro is an Italian psychologist, writer, journalist, television personality, co-founder and executive director of the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudoscience (CICAP).
As a child in the 1970s, Polidoro was fascinated by magic and the claims surrounding psychic phenomena, Polidoro learned in his teens about the work of James Randi and CSICOP through a TV series and a book by Piero Angela investigating parapsychology from a critical, skeptical point of view. Polidoro studied Randi and his publications. Randi, like Houdini, was a magician and mystery investigator who employed a scientific approach to his investigations.
Polidoro corresponded with Randi and Angela by letter where they planned a sceptical organization in Italy based on CSICOP’s work in the United States. Polidoro was invited meet both Angela and Randi and again later to a meeting in Rome as Angela's guest in 1988.
After spending three days with Polidoro in Rome, both Angela and Randi agreed that Polidoro, had the talent and passion to become a good apprentice of Randi. During dinner at Angela’s house, they asked Polidoro if he was interested in learning how to investigate mysteries as Randi’s apprentice; a proposal which Polidoro gladly accepted. With a grant from Angela, Polidoro left for the United States and became Randi's only full-time apprentice in the art of paranormal investigation and psychic testing.
After several years in which he helped Randi in his investigations, research, writings and lectures, Polidoro returned to Italy where he started CICAP in 1990. He studied psychology, and graduated from the University of Padua with a master thesis on the psychology of eyewitness testimony of anomalous phenomena.

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Science, Pseudoscience & Media

Science Journalist, Poland

Experienced, bilingual journalist, formerly with the BBC World Service in London, Rafał works as Polish Radio’s Science Correspondent. He was an editor and producer of the BBC flagship programmes ‘World Business Report’ and ‘Science in Action.’ He also worked as London correspondent for Puls Biznesu and freelanced for The Independent, NPR and RTE.
He has been InterComm’s executive communication coach since 2009. He specialises in public speaking trainings for CEOs, managers and teams. Rafał hosts business conferences and chairs expert panel discussions in both English and Polish. As a lecturer of journalism and PR he shares his experience with younger generations at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS). A fan of public performance involved in the TED movement, he has been both a speaker and a host at TEDx Wrocław.
He is a finalist of two editions of the ‘Science Promotor’ contest organised by the Polish Press Agency and the Ministry of Science.
Rafał has written two books: "A Straight Road to Success" and "Autism: a Father's Diary". His professional motto is “Clarity of performance follows clarity of thought”. Rafał’s charity work involves helping families affected by autism and multiple sclerosis. He has been awarded with the “MS Ambassador” title by The Polish Multiple Sclerosis Society.
He is a finalist of two editions of ‘Science Promotor’ contest organised by the Polish Press Agency and the Ministry of Science.

Science & Religion

Author, Rationalist (India)

Sanal Edamaruku is an Indian author and rationalist. He is the founder-president and editor of Rationalist International, the president of the Indian Rationalist Association and the author of twenty-five books and other articles. In 2012, he was charged by a group of Catholics with blasphemy for his role in examining a claimed "miracle" at a local church in Mumbai. He moved to Finland to evade his arrest. Edamaruku has been active in the Indian Rationalist Association (IRA) from the age of fifteen. Before becoming the president in 2005, he served as the General Secretary beginning in 1983, and has been the editor of its publication Modern Freethinker. His many books and articles deal mainly with rationalistic thoughts and against superstition in India. His writings in Rationalist International are translated into English, French, German, Spanish and Finnish.

In February 2011, Edamaruku was elected as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (USA) and is an Honorary Associate of New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists and Rationalist Association of UK (formerly Rationalist Press Association).

Edamaruku has carried out investigations and demonstrations which helped expose frauds, mystics and god men as well as conducting campaigns against superstition in Indian villages. He refers to this as "Rationalist Reality Theatre" These investigations have attracted the attention of print and television media throughout Asia. The documentary film Guru Busters features Edamaruku and a team of rationalist campaigners on the road in Kerala giving public demonstrations of how to perform supposedly supernatural stunts. He has helped in building Indian Atheist Publishers, which is now Asia's largest free thought publishing house. He convened the three International Rationalist Conferences held in 1995, 2000 and 2002.

In December 2013, Edamaruku announced the launch of a new quarterly English language magazine The Rationalist on his blog.[ Contributors will include international rationalists on several continents and content will focus on science, reason, critical thinking and human rights.

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Skeptical Psychology

Professor of Psychology, Emory University, USA

Professor of psychology at Emory University and advocate for evidence-based treatments and methods within the field. He is known for his books, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, Brainwashed, and others that explore and sometimes debunk psychological claims that appear in the popular press. Along with having his work featured in major U.S. newspapers and journals such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Scientific American, Lilienfeld has made television appearances on 20/20, CNN and the CBS Evening News. Lilienfeld, along with his colleague Sally Satel, has dedicated much of his career in psychology to debunking "the pop neuroscience that keeps making headlines”. They target such practices as functional magnetic resonance imaging (or neuroimaging) to "detect" moral and spiritual centers of the brain,which they call "oversimplified neurononsense". Their book Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience was a finalist in the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science in 2013.
Lilienfeld has written critically about Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), the use of the Rorschach test to make psychological diagnosis, recovered memory therapy, and misconceptions in autism research, such as the MMR vaccine controversy, noting that "multiple controlled studies conducted on huge international scales have debunked any statistical association between the MMR vaccine and autism", and fad treatments such as facilitated communication.
Lilienfeld has been awarded the David Shakow Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Clinical Psychology from the American Psychological Association Division 12 (1998). He is a Fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, at the Institute for Science in Medicine Founding Fellow and at the Association for Psychological Science.


Skeptical Psychology

Parapsychologist (UK)

Susan Jane Blackmore is a British parapsychologist, freelance writer, lecturer, sceptic, and broadcaster on psychology and the paranormal, and is best known for her book The Meme Machine. She has written or contributed to over 40 books and 60 scholarly articles and is a contributor to The Guardian newspaper.
In 1973, Susan Blackmore graduated from St Hilda's College, Oxford, with a BA (Hons) degree in psychology and physiology. She received an MSc in environmental psychology in 1974 from the University of Surrey. In 1980, she earned a PhD in parapsychology from the same university; her doctoral thesis was entitled "Extrasensory Perception as a Cognitive Process." In the 1980s, Blackmore conducted psychokinesis experiments to see if her baby daughter, Emily, could influence a random number generator. The experiments were mentioned in the book to accompany the TV series Arthur C. Clarke's World Of Strange Powers. Blackmore taught at the University of the West of England in Bristol until 2001. After spending time in research on parapsychology and the paranormal, her attitude towards the field moved from belief to scepticism. She is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP) and in 1991, was awarded the CSICOP Distinguished Skeptic Award.
Blackmore has done research on memes (which she wrote about in her popular book The Meme Machine) and evolutionary theory. Her book Consciousness: An Introduction (2004), is a textbook that broadly covers the field of consciousness studies.[14] She was on the editorial board for the Journal of Memetics (an electronic journal) from 1997 to 2001, and has been a consulting editor of the Skeptical Inquirer since 1998.
She acted as one of the psychologists who was featured on the British version of the television show Big Brother,[16] speaking about the psychological state of the contestants. She is a Patron of the British Humanist Association.

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Science, Pseudoscience & Media

Wikipediatrician, Photographer (USA)

Affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic is the cofounder of Monterey County Skeptics and a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. Susan is also founder of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project.  She is a regular contributor to Skepticality podcast, contributes to Skeptical Inquirer magazine and a frequent speaker at skeptic conferences about skeptical activism. Gerbic focuses much of her skeptical activism on psychics, who she calls "Grief Vampires" because they prey on desperate families that would do anything to talk to their loved ones or pay anything to find their missing child. Read about her adventures with psychics by visiting her Wikipedia page.  
Gerbic is a Scientific and Technical Consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Awards include the "In the Trenches" award from the 2012 Skeptic's Toolbox and the "James Randi Award for Skepticism in the Public Interest" at The Amaz!ng Meeting 2013. Her activism has been "endorsed" by her critics; Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra, Burzynski Clinic and Natural News. She lives in Salinas, California with her sons and three cats. You can contact her at SusanGerbic.com.

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Skeptical Psychology

Head of the Department of Psychology at MUNI (Czech Republic)

Zbynek Vybiral is a Czech psychologist, lecturer and currently the Head of the Department of Psychology at Masaryk University. He conducts research in the areas of Psychotherapy, Verbal Communication and Critical Psychology. Vybiral lectures about Psychotherapy, Critical Psychology, theoretical and applied Social Psychology and Counseling Psychology (with an emphasis on marriage and family). Between the years 2002 and 2010 he was the coordinator of the Czech branch of the international E-Learning project SEPTIMUS, pertaining to psychotherapeutic theory, and conducted research in Internet communication. He is a member of the Society of Psychotherapy research.
He is author of ten books. In the “Psychologie jinak” (Psychology Otherwise), as the first critical book in the Czech psychology, he explores many facets of scientific weakness of the traditional discipline, like overestimated traditional typology, dichotomisation, simplifications, naïve realism, and other biases. As the editor and co-author of the book “Soucasna psychoterapie” (Contemporary Psychotherapy) offers widespread view of the field of psychological treatments, included some fringe and risky approaches. Among the Czech psychologists, he is a leading critical figure, who criticizes unethical or misleading practice of some colleagues in public discourse. He repeatedly debunked many false or simplified claims in pop-psychology, counselling practice and psychotherapy. He has opposed the spreading of holding therapy in the Czech Republic and protested against its support given by official Czech Psychological Association. Consequently, he decided to step out of the National Psychology Association because of the continued support of the holding therapy. He encouraged several public, and academic discussions focused on other risky “treatments” like “family constellations”, or “pure school fanaticism” in psychotherapy. Recently, he has written entry „psychotherapy“ in Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. He translated Paul Watzlawick’s books in the past.    
In 1984 he acquired his doctorate degree from Charles University in Psychology and in Czech Language. After continued work in the field, he acquired another doctorate degree in 1999 in Clinical Psychology at Palacky University. He has been lecturing at Masaryk University since 2000, receiving tenure in 2011.
He was Editor-in-Chief of the psychotherapeutic journal Konfrontace for 16 years and for the journal Psychotherapy for three years, currently residing on the board of the later journal.

 

GMOs

Biology Professor and Science Populizer (Czech Republic)

Zdenek Opatrny is a professor of biology, a populizer of modern biology of plants. He received his Masters in Biology and Chemistry from Charles University in Prague. He has dedicated more than fifty years to the study and research of Molecular Biology and the biotechnological applicability of his results. He is the author of hundreds of journal articles. His results were summarized in the monograph “Applied Plant Cell Biology”, which he co-authored with Peter Nick. His findings led to further development of plant biotechnologies, in the areas of plant protection, cultivating and multiplication. In 1972, he co-founded the International Association of Plant Tissue Cultures. Opatrny is the representative of the Czech Republic in the COST for Agriculture, Food Science and Biotechnology.