View Full Version : The 2007 Australian Skeptics Prize for Critical Thinking

Peter B
2007-Aug-28, 05:27 AM
The 2007 Australian Skeptics Prize for Critical Thinking

The 2007 Australian Skeptics Prize for Critical Thinking will be awarded for work that investigates popular conventional wisdom and beliefs which lack reliable evidence or scientific method, and that promotes rational thinking about such matters by the public, educators and the media. Our Prize is aimed to attract entries from educators across the broad spectrum, journalists or others in the media, and academic or private researchers.

Our inaugural Prize in 2006 attracted a high standard of entries from a wide variety of fields. The winner of the $10 000 Critical Thinking Prize was Dr Martin Bridgstock from the School of Science, Griffith University, who instituted a course, Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal, as an elective for second year students. His course, which encouraged a skeptical approach to many common beliefs, has consistently attracted an increasing enrolment each year since 2003. We also awarded a runner-up Prize of $2000 to Ms Kylie Sturgess, an English teacher at MLC, Perth, for her initiative in devising a course to encourage students to investigate popular beliefs using skeptical principles. Details of both winning entries can be found on the Skeptics website, www.skeptics.com.au

The Prize of $10,000 is to reward critical investigation of irrational paranormal beliefs or pseudoscientific claims. Entries are welcomed from any interested Australian, whether involved professionally or by way of private enthusiasm. For example, eligible work includes the contribution of teachers at any level of education, who have devised programs that encourage critical thinking in
students, beyond normal curriculum requirements. Similarly we welcome entries from journalists who have promoted critical thinking or exposed threats to it. The work can be in any media and can be one item, a series or an ongoing activity.

Rules for Entries

Members of Australian Skeptics state committees and their immediate families are ineligible to nominate.

Work submitted must have been undertaken/published/broadcast in Australia by an Australian citizen or permanent resident within the 5 years prior to the closing date for entries.

Entries will be judged according to originality, depth of critical thought and public benefit. They may be accompanied by supporting comments from others expert in their field.

The judging panel may, at their discretion, award up to two extra prizes of $2000 each to runner-up entries of particular merit.

The 2007 Australian Skeptics Prize for Critical Thinking will be presented at an awards dinner on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at the Australian Skeptics Annual Convention in Hobart.

Six copies of each entry, complete with all documentation, marked Skeptics Prize, must reach PO Box 268, Roseville NSW 2069 no later than COB October 5, 2007.

2007-Aug-28, 06:48 PM

What about all my critical entries here on Baut?

I could use ten grand...

2007-Dec-30, 02:10 PM
*blush* Thank you Peter B, I didn't realise that anyone really noticed it at all. The last time I was here I was posting a question on behalf of one of my students, who was doing research on the BA's book!

Anyway, yes, I was the runner-up last year. This year (well, what's left of 2007 that is) I was the winner of the main prize - you can see me (http://www.skeptics.com.au/journal/2007/2007.htm)on the cover of Vol 27, number 4. :cool:

If people are interested in the work I did which prompted this win, my blog is here:
www.podblack.wordpress.com and the entry which outlines my entry is here:
It involved a lot of paperwork! I hope to host the related documents on my site soon.

And of course, you can probably spot some of the vodcast interviews I've done on YouTube this year and will continue to do for the TANK vodcast (http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/podcast.htm) next year.

Many of you would have noticed the Bad Astronomer (http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/files/14_New_Tank_070922.mp3) turning up on the show that Richard Saunders (http://www.flickr.com/photos/13538792@N02/1592310059/) (check the photo!) did for the TANK - he also seems to be appearing on a tarot card (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0NwCh1ruzE&feature=related) near you... ;)

As for the rest of the time? I've left my work as an English teacher and I now study a full-time student, including writing my thesis in Education (my second M.Ed) on paranormal beliefs in high school students. I also continue to work for the education body in this state on their new Philosophy and Ethics course, mostly being a part of the implementation which begins next year. Or a few days to go, in fact, in 2008!

Happy new year - I'm more than happy to discuss my work, your work and anyone who wants to help support not only getting critical thinking into schools but the continuing efforts of the Australian Skeptics and the TANK vodcast! (http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/podcast.htm)

2007-Dec-31, 07:25 AM
High School students and paranormal beliefs eh?
I think teenagers tend to be impressionable- they don't begin to question the scientific side until later in life.

Maybe it is a healthy part of growing- maybe it isn't- Maybe you can start some threads on it...:think: I'd be interested in the crowds ideas on that....

In the meantime- nice Avatar;) Cowboy Bebop fell off the network here in favor of some disgusting kid cartoon I couldn't stomach. (siiiigh)