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[escepticos] brindis y [Fwd: Skeptics 1999 Maastricht]

Pedro Luis Gomez Barrondo wrote:
>¡¡Levanto mi copa y brindo!!

¡¡Pues venga una ronda para todos!!

Eso si, las tracas y el asalto a mano embotellada de los antros de
perversión del vecindario me lo reservo para cuando sea condenado
esperando esta vez, que el ser escéptico me haga estar equivocado...

Por otra parte, si vuestras mercedes gustan...

SkeptInq en aol.com wrote:
> Dear List Member,
> CSICOP is pleased to pass along the following call for papers. The annual
> European Skeptics conference will be held at Maastricht University,
> Maastricht, The Netherlands, September 17-19, 1999.
> The conference is sponsored by the Dutch organization Skepsis, the European
> Council of Skeptical Organizations (ECSO), and CSICOP.
> Barry Karr
> CSICOP/Skeptical Inquirer
> _____________________________
>  Call for Papers  (please distribute)
>  European Skeptics '99  Maastricht
>  The European Skeptical Congress of 1999 wil be held in
>  The Netherlands. The place will be Maastricht, and the
>  time will September 17-19. The location will be
>  Maastricht University.
>  Maastricht is in the southernmost tip of the Netherlands.
>  It lies very close to Germany and Belgium, and boasts of
>  a rich artistic, historic and culinary culture, and is
>  worth a visit.
>  The language of the congress will be English.
>  The theme is:
>           The challenge of the 21st century
>  This theme has many subthemes. We welcome both case studies
>  and broad analyses. We hope that contributors will
>  in all cases provide both empirical underpinnings of their
>  messages, and visions of how to apply their findings in the
>  future.
>    The 21st century will bring new challenges for everybody, hence
>  for skeptics too. On the brink of this new century it seems a
>  good idea to try to look into the future and prepare for it.
>  Environment
>  Concern for environmental issues (greenhouse effect, pollution of
>  various kinds, radioactivity, electrosmog) will continue to grow.
>  This field is rife with uncertainties and conflicts. Economic
>  activities, which yield concrete benefits in the near future,
>  clash with the much more uncertain long run environmental risks
>  they entail. Health issues further compound the problem. In the
>  face of so many unknowns a major risk is that irrational solutions
>  are sought, and that what passes for scientific consensus actually
>  is politically engineered mass hysteria.
>  Physical health
>  In the field of health many new developments will occur. One is that
>  scientific improvements and a rising age of the population will make
>  the costs of health care go up. This will encourage people to look
>  for low cost alternative solutions for health problems, and also to
>  privately shop around for things that the public health care cannot
>  provide. This will result in much irrationality.
>  Mental health
>  Another development that the 21st century will bring is a better
>  understanding of psychosomatic diseases and the placebo effect.
>  Both belong to the mysterious realm of mind-body interaction. The
>  past two centuries or so have seen the rise of mesmerism and the
>  discovery of the placebo effect and an endless succession of fad
>  diseases. It is to be expected that scientific research will
>  proceed to unravel these mind-body relations. What is known in
>  this respect? Is science up to this challenge at all?
>  Secularisation
>  The secularisation of European society will increase. In other words,
>  the traditional forms of official religion will continue to decline
>  gradually. The void they leave is filled with a great number of new
>  religions, each with their own mixture of humanitarian values,
>  revelations of uncertain origin and testable (and probably false)
>  claims. The traditional religions seem to fall back on ever more
>  uncompromising positions. The skeptical movement usually steers
>  clear of religious issues and takes a definitely agnostic point of
>  view. But skeptics are often seen as unromantic cold cynics, and
>  their passion for truth is not understood, or they are seen as wanton
>  spoilers of pleasant illusions. At best they are seen as somewhat
>  otherworldly people. Should `skeptics' try to appeal more to widely
>  understood humanitarian values and offer a coherent world view instead
>  of merely sticking to `It ain't necessarily so'?
>  Entertainment and media
>  Entertainment will continue to increase. There's a growing tendency
>  in all media (books, newspapers, movies, radio, tv, internet) to
>  confuse amusement and information. Possibly this is related to the
>  enormous efforts that are being spent on trying to attract the
>  attention of the public. It is not something of recent times either,
>  because (at least in The Netherlands) `lying' and `printing' are
>  proverbially identified. Anyway, the trend of mixing entertainment with
>  information is likely to increase. The general public is less sophisticated
>  than the media makers and often thinks that what's on tv is true when it
>  isn't. How serious is this problem? What can be done about it? What are the
>  possibilities for promoting a clear distinction between amusement and
>  information?
>  Academia
>  Nonsense is spreading in academia. Certain departments have lax
>  standards, specifically in management `science' and other soft
>  fields. The need to attract attention and get anything published,
>  no matter what the quality, is cited as explanation for this.
>  In the `hard' sciences political pressure to produce quick results
>  for little money leads to questionable quality. Companies hire
>  gurus to provide for their personnel an uncertain mixture of
>  education, motivation, entertainment and crypto-religion, and
>  seem to be unable to judge the merits of what they get. Are
>  universities up to the task of guarding the integrity of science?
>  Old issues
>  The old superstitions are certainly not going to vanish, but
>  they are changing. Astrology is a case in point: the astrologers
>  that call themselves `serious' retreat to unfalsifiable positions,
>  and lose interest in tests. The public never bothers to question
>  glossy astrology columns either: it's just as amusing as sitting
>  in a merry-go-round on a wooden horse and going nowhere, but all
>  the while enjoying new sensations and - temporarily - a new look
>  on the world. What is the skeptic comment on that?
>    Parapsychology has been around for a century. Has it produced anything
>  worthwhile. One might think of parts of parapsychology that have been
>  incorporated into ordinary psychology or the setting of standards for
>  the design of experiments.
>  Summary
>  Any speaker who wishes to comment on the skeptical challenges
>  of the 21st century in the fields of environment, physical and mental
>  health, secularisation and the media is welcome. Any progress report
>  on old issues is welcome. Any suggestions how to meet these challenges,
>  (for instance by school education) is welcome.
>  The Dutch organization Skepsis customarily publishes proceedings
>  of its conferences in book form. Also for this conference such a
>  publication is planned. Contributors will be asked to submit a
>  full length paper before the beginning of the conference. The
>  standard time for presenting the essentials of these papers will
>  be 20 minutes. Proposals are expected before February 1, 1999.
>  Please send proposals for papers to:
>  Dr. J.W. Nienhuys
>  Dommelseweg 1A
>  5581 VA Waalre
>  Netherlands
>  telephone: +31.40.2216791
>  email: wsadjw en urc.tue.nl
>  The Scientific Committee for the Congress consists of
>  J.W. Nienhuys, A. Sarma and T. Trachet.
>  If you want a one or more copies of a printed version
>  of this call for papers, please request them from
>  J.W.Nienhuys.

Javier Marí
jamc en ctv.es