Category Archives: TAM Australia

Australian Skeptic Awards 2014

Last week I was in Sydney to attend The Australian Skeptics National Convention. A yearly conference held on the east coast (I have not yet convinced them to come to Perth) to promote science and skeptical inquiry. One of the annual highlights of the conference along with the high quality talks and presentations, is the annual awards such as:

The Bent Spoon Award:

The Bent Spoon Award is presented annually to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle. Read Barry Williams’ overview of the history of the Bent Spoon Award. What is it? How was it constructed? How are nominations selected? Who are the previous winners? Barry explains it all.Australian Skeptics

This years Bent Spoon Award went to Dr Larry Marshal the new head of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for his belief in water divining. Yes, it is awarded as an insult.

The Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason:

The Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason commemorates Fred Thornett, a Tasmanian Skeptic who died in 2009. In true awards fashion, we call it “The Fred”. The Fred acknowledges a member of the public or a public figure who has made a significant contribution to educating or informing the public regarding issues of science and reason. In addition to a commemorative certificate, $1000 is awarded to the recipient or to a charity or cause of their choice. Australian Skeptics

This years Thornett Award has been issued to the Northern Rivers Vaccination Supporters for their work promoting vaccination in communities across northern New South Wales.

We are very excited to announce that our group has won the Thornett Award for the Promotion of Reason, presented to us at the 2014 Australian Skeptics National Convention!

This prestigious award also comes with $1000 in award money.
We are so proud of this and proud of our wonderful members. We are excited that we will be able to use this money to help get our message out there to the residents of the Northern Rivers.
Vaccine Preventable Diseases continue to be a real threat in our region and we will continue to battle the misinformation out there, give support to those seeking it, and provide a voice for the vulnerable in our communities. Northen Rivers Vaccination Supporters

Skeptic of the Year:

Skeptic of the Year is awarded occasionally — not every year — to someone who has close ties with the Skeptical movement and been particularly active over the past year. We name someone Skeptic of the Year because they have been exceptional even by the very good standards of activity of the Australian Skeptical community.Australian Skeptics

This years Skeptic of the Year has gone to Peter Tierney also known as Reasonable Hank on Twitter and his blog

It was with quite some delight and surprise that I found out I was the winner of the Australian Skeptic of the Year gong, awarded by the Australian Skeptics, today. It was, indeed, a pleasant interruption to my usual program of furrowed-brow-fueled curmudgeonality.
I share this award with all of you who have contributed in any way to the blog, wherever in the world you reside. Thank you for all of your help.
As I was unable to attend the Convention my very good friend, Ken McLeod, accepted the award on my behalf:

Peter Tierney / Reasonable Hank

Ken McLeod accepts the award on Peter’s behalf.

Unfortunately Peter was not in attendance at the conference so Ken McLeoad accepted the award on his behalf. I have yet to meet Peter Tierney in person. Hopefully we will remedy that at some point.

#TAMoz Karaoke Night

There were so many great moments at The Amazing Meeting: Australia that it’s going to take me some time to put it all together. But in the meantime I wanted to share this, karaoke with George Harb at the crown hotel.

It’s not related to Skepticism but just shows what a great time we all had. Especially at the pub.

James Randi on Homeopathy


James Randi mathematically demonstrates the implausibly of Homeopathy. This video really sums up the fallacy of Homeopathy and why anyone with even a basic grasp of science knows that it’s a scam.

With the rapid approach of TAM Australia I am planning to host a mass overdose of Homeopathic remedies in Sydney to raise public awareness. The overdose in Sydney is a rare opportunity in Australia because it’s the first time that so many Skeptics have gathered in one city. So this is your chance to join in and help raise public awareness of Homeopathy.

Click here for the #TAMoz mass overdose; I offer 100% safety guarantee. My knowledge of Homeopathy conforms with the laws of Chemistry and Physics I can assure everyone that what we will be doing is perfectly safe. Just watch the video or email me: if you have doubts.

TAM Australia draws nearer

Tam Australia or #TAMoz is almost upon us and in addition to the main event we have many great side events being planned on the TAM Australia meetup group. If you haven’t already done so you should check them out because we have something for everyone; thanks to Bastard Sheep for taking the initiative to setup the group.

As you can see we are just under 10 Days from TAM Australia at the time of this post.



The Amazing Meeting: Australia

The Amazing Meeting is finally coming to Australia. It is to be held at the Masonic Center in Sydney from the 26th to the 28th of November and will be the largest Skeptical event in Australia. I will be in Sydney from the 24th to the 30th. After “The Rise of Atheism” I learnt that being early in and late out is best practice as you get a chance to attend the side-events that people inevitably organise. I have booked all my flights and accommodation and will be staying at Ibis World Square which is on the same city block as the Masonic Center and appears to be within 100m. That’s another lesson learnt; don’t have your accommodation across the CBD on a higher elevation. It doesn’t work in your favor.

With news that only 600 tickets would be available and news that TAM London in 2009 sold out in one hour people were rushing to grab tickets as soon as they became available. The sudden rush caused the ticketing server to become over whelmed in just minutes and the Twitter hashtag #TAMoz became bombarded with people bitching about the situation. It took me 38 Minutes to connect and secure my ticket.

The ticketing was handled by an events company called ASN Events and one frustrated individual even tweeted:

I want to see what happens how this amazing event organiser website copes with their alleged ‘25000 attendees’ for larger conferences #tamoz MoviusC

To which an immediate response was:

@MoviusC 25000 people probably registered by fax or had their P.A. do it for them 🙂 Most likely not fanatics like #TAMoz attendees. dingram

Fanatics seems like a good word to describe the mob rushing to to by Tickets at 7am but now 12 hours later there are still tickets available so the morning rush seems to have been rather pointless. But that’s what you get when you announce that there are only 600 seats available to a bunch of fanatic Skeptics.

In addition to the official schedule we (attendees) are in the progress of organising side-events. It’s early but people seem keen to become a little more organised than we were at the Atheist Convention in March. Now instead of people just stumbling across the side events on Facebook or Twitter we have a group setup to collaborate all the events into a single calendar. The TAM Australia meetup group can be found here.

The official TAM Australia site can be found at:

The unofficial side events can be found at: