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Skeptical Inquirer

Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Six times per year Skeptical Inquirer publishes critical scientific evaluations of all manner of controversial and extraordinary claims, including but not limited to paranormal and fringe-science matters, and informed discussion of all relevant issues. In addition to news, articles, book reviews, and investigations on a wide variety of topics, Skeptical Inquirer has a stellar stable of regular columnists including Joe Nickell (“Investigative Files”), Massimo Polidoro (“Notes on a Strange World”), Massimo Pigluicci (“Thinking About Science”), Robert Sheaffer (“Psychic Vibrations”), and SI managing editor Benjamin Radford's reader-driven (“The Skeptical Inquiree”). Yale University neurologist Steven Novella, M.D., founder of the New England Skeptical Society and executive editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog, contributes a new "The Science of Medicine" column, and contributing editor Kenneth W. Krause adds a regular science column, "ScienceWatch."

In the Key of Type: A Conversation with Marian Call

In the Key of Type: A Conversation with Marian Call

by Kylie Sturgess
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article

Art and skepticism do complement each other wonderfully in her work, but Call has slightly a different perspective: “In the end, I feel I’m firmly on the skeptic side, I believe. But I don’t see picking a side as my role as an artist. I see communication as my role.” Kylie Sturgess interviewed Call about her music and where skepticism harmonizes with art.

Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

by Ben Radford
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article

A conversation with award-winning cartoonist, fine artist, and stand-up comedian Dan Piraro.

CSI’s Balles Prize Goes to Richard Wiseman for Paranormality

CSI’s Balles Prize Goes to Richard Wiseman for Paranormality

by Barry Karr
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

News & Comment

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) will award its 2011 Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Think­ing to psychologist Richard Wiseman for his book Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There.

Sixth World Skeptics Congress–Berlin 2012

Sixth World Skeptics Congress–Berlin 2012

by Kylie Sturgess
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

News & Comment

The conference, held in Berlin from May 18–20, 2012, was a lively mixed gathering of people with a great number of countries represented both on the stage and in the audience.

Alien Mug Shots: The Ten Best (or Worst) Photos of Aliens

Alien Mug Shots: The Ten Best (or Worst) Photos of Aliens

by Massimo Polidoro
Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Notes on a Strange World

Once you take out those plainly fake and the more suspicious looking ones all you are left with are about ten photos. These are, essentially, “mug shots” of wanted extraterrestrials. Here is my personal list of the best (or worst) photos of aliens.

Neurologic Illness or Hysteria? A Mysterious Twitching Outbreak

Neurologic Illness or Hysteria? A Mysterious Twitching Outbreak

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

Six cases were reported, then twelve, then fifteen and counting as the story captured attention across the United States and beyond. I twice visited Le Roy on behalf of the Skeptical Inquirer, to talk with parents and others involved, visit relevant sites, and otherwise investigate this strange outbreak.

The Social and Symbolic Power of AIDS Denialism

The Social and Symbolic Power of AIDS Denialism

by Nicoli Nattrass
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

AIDS denialism has proved socially resilient because dissident “hero scientists” provide legitimacy, “cultropreneurs” offer fake cures in the place of antiretroviral treatment, and HIV-positive “living icons” seem to provide proof of concept.

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

by Matthew J. Sharps
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

Research in experimental psychology has shown that many paranormal sightings fall directly within the realm of eyewitness memory. Experiments reveal that such “sightings” derive from the psychology of the observers rather than from supernatural sources. Experiments show these proclivities.

Enfield Poltergeist

Enfield Poltergeist

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Investigative Files

In August 1977, a series of disturbances that were soon characterized as a case of poltergeist phenomena or even demonic possession began in Enfield, a northern suburb of London.

The Non-Mysterious Mass Illness in Le Roy, New York

by Steven Novella
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

The Science of Medicine

The “mystery illness” has become a Rorschach test of sorts: people see in the illness a diagnosis that fits their worldview or pet cause. But now that the dust has settled somewhat on this outbreak, what can we reliably say about it?

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