Second World Skeptics Congress

23 – 26 July 1998

Theoretikum of the University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 306, Lecture theatres 1 and 2
Heidelberg, Germany
Návrat do rubriky Occamova Bøitva

Wednesday, 22 July 1998

20:00 h: Reception


Thursday, 23 July 1998

9:00 – 12:00 h Plenary 1: Millennium Prophesies (E)


Opening Address

Paul Kurtz, Chairman CSICOP: Opening address: Fears of the Apocalypse

Hartmut Zinser, Professor of Religious Studies, Free University of Berlin: Doomsday fantasies among new religious groups

Gerald Lague, Professor of Biblical Archaeology, University of Southern Carolina: The Bible and the Prophets of Doom

James Lewis, Dept. of Religious Studies, University of America: Doomsday Prophesies

Dave Thomas, physicist, Albuquerque: The Bible Code

14:00 – 17:00 h Session A: Alternative Medicine (E)

Willem Betz, Professor of Medicine, Free University of Brussels: Homeopathy in Europe

Barry Beyerstein, Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University: Why Alternative Medicine seems to work

Wallace Sampson, editor, Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine: Alternative Medicine in a Scientific World

Rainer Schiele, Professor of Dental Medicine, University of Jena: The fear of Amalgam tooth fillings in Germany

14:00 – 17:00 h Session B: Workshop on Critical Thinking (E)


Ray Hyman, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon

James Alcock, Professor of Psychology, Glendon College, York University, Toronto

14:00 – 17:00 h Session C: Ad hoc meetings (D/E)

Meeting of Philosophers etc.

19:00 – 21:00 h Keynote Address (E)

Elizabeth Loftus, Professor of Psychology, University of Washington


Friday, 24 July 1998

9:00 – 12:00 h Plenary 2: Natural Disasters (E)

Cornelis de Jager, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Utrecht: Predicting the Catastrophic End of Time

Alan Hale, Southwest Institute of Space Research, co-discoverer of Comet Hale Bopp: Comet Hale Bopp: Portent or Disaster?

Tim Trachet, journalist, Belgium: Doomsday: the May 2000 prediction

14:00 – 15:00 h Session D1: Environmental issues (E)

William H. Calvin, affiliate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine: The Great Climate Flip-flop

Thomas Casten, President and CEO, Trigen Energy Corporation: Global Warming and what we can do about it

15:00 – 16:30 h Session D2: Miscellaneous (E)

Herman de Tollenaere, historian, Netherlands: Theosophy and Anthroposophy in Education in Asia, Europe and America

Jim Enright, Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Why the Scheunen Experiments do not prove dowsing

Wendy Grossmann, journalist and author of "net.wars": The year 2000 problem

Gerhard Eggert, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn: Strange metals in antiquity

14:00 – 16:30 h Session E: Selbsthifegruppen und Krebsinformation (D, Self-help groups and cancer information)

Topics: Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Allergies

14:00 – 16:30 h Session F: Kritisches Denken im Bildungssystem (D, Critical Thinking in the Educational System)

Responsible: Wolfgang Hund, Werner Schulz

20:00 – 22:00 h Panel Session: "Der Esoterik- und Psycho-Markt – besteht Regulierungsbedarf per Gesetz? (D, The Psychic Market – is there a need for regulation by the State?)

Panelists are members of the German Parliament, Scholars of Religious Studies and members of other involved groups.


Saturday, 25 July 1998

9:00 – 12:00 h Plenary 3: Anti-Science and Post Modernists (E)

Chair: Paul Kurtz

Evry Schatzman, Astrophysicist and former President of the French Physical Association

Jean Paul Van Bendegem

Jean Claude Pecker, Professor of Astrophysics, Collége de France

Jean Bricmont, Professor of Physics, University of Louvain: Intellectual Impostors

Lewis Vaughn, author: Why People Believe

Richard Wiseman, Professor of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Jean-Paul Krivine, Union Rationaliste, France

14:00 – 17:00 h Session G: Case Studies (E)

Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow, CSICOP

14:00 – 17:00 h Session F: Alternative Medizin (D, Alternative Medicine)

Jürgen Windeler, Lecturer of Biostatistics, University of Heidelberg: Ein Überblick der neuesten Studien (Survey of newest Studies)

Barbara Burkhard, Doctor of Internal Medicine, Munich: Der Binnenkonsens heute (Internal Consensus in Medicine Today)

Elisabeth Nüchtern: Was macht die alternative Medizin so attraktiv? (Why is Alternative Medicine so Attractive?)

Irmgard Oepen, Professor emeritus of forensic medicine, ex-President of GWUP: Der Orgonstrahler (The Orgon Radiator)

Gerd Büschel, Oncologist, Nuremberg: Best Case Analysen (Best Case Analyses)

20:00 – 24:00 h Ship Ride on the Neckar with special lighting effects on castles including Banquet.

Hosts: Paul Kurtz, Amardeo Sarma, Richard Wiseman

With Music, Dance and Seances


Sunday, 26 July 1998

9:00 – 12:00 h Plenary 4: Prospects of Scientific Skepticism World-wide (E)

Sergei Kapitza: Science and Pseudoscience in Russia

Mario Mendez Acosta, Chairman SOMIE (Mexican Association for Skeptical Research)

Vern Bullough: The Recovered Memory Debate

Ken Frazier: Skeptical Inquirer Magazine

Mike Hutchinson: Skeptical Inquirer representative in Europe: Public Opinion and the Paranormal in the United Kingdom

Luis Alfonso Gomez, journalist, El Correo, Spain

14:00 – 17:00 h GWUP members meeting (internal)







Student members

Full Registration 245,00 DM 195,00 DM 125,00 DM 95,00 DM
Banquet on the Neckar 70,00 DM 70,00 DM 70,00 DM 60,00 DM
Day’s ticket 85,00 DM 75,00 DM 49,00 DM 37,00 DM
Half day’s ticket 45,00 DM 39,00 DM 29,00 DM 19,00 DM
Single lecture 16,00 DM 14,00 DM 9,00 DM 7,00 DM
Panel discussion 5,00 DM 4,00 DM 2,00 DM 2,00 DM
Only Keynote 35,00 DM 35,00 DM 15,00 DM 10,00 DM
Late surcharge 49,00 DM 49,00 DM 49,00 DM 49,00 DM



Members of the following organisations are eligible for a reduced members’ charge: GWUP, CSICOP associate members, members of organisations that are ECSO members. The late surcharge is due for registrations after 15 June 1998.

Send your registrations to:

GWUP, Postfach 1222, D-64374 Rossdorf, Germany
Tel.: +49 6154 695021, Fax: +49 6154 695022,



You may also use the registration form on our web site.

The Congress is hosted by CSICOP, ECSO and GWUP.



Please always use the keyword "World Congress" to get special prices. Rooms cannot be guaranteed after the end of May.

Hotel Renaissance

Vangerowstr. 16, 69115 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 908-0
Fax: +49 6221 908-608
Single: DM 185 + DM 28 Frühstück
Double: DM 185 + DM 56 Frühstück


Hotel Krone

Landstr. 9 –11, 69493 Hirschberg
Tel.: +49 6201 505-0
Fax: +49 6201 505-400
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Double: DM 150 incl. breakfast


Hotel Weißer Bock

Grosse Mantelgasse 24
69117 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 9000-0
Fax: +49 6221 9000-99
Single: DM 160 + DM 15 breakfast
Double: DM 210 + DM 15 breakfast


Goldene Rose

St. Annagasse 7, 69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 905490
Fax: +49 6221 182040
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Double: DM 185 incl. breakbast


Hotel Zum Ritter

Hauptstr. 178, 69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 135-0
Fax: +49 6221 135-230
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Double: DM 235 incl. breakfast


Hotel Aston

Brandenburger Str. 30
69493 Hirschberg-Leutershausen
Tel.: +49 6201 5020
Fax: +49 6201 57176
Single: DM 100 incl. breakfast
Double: DM 200 incl. breakfast


Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Haspelgasse 2
69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 24164
Fax: +49 6221 163110
Single: DM 140 incl. breakfast
Double: DM 190 incl. breakfast


Hotel Alt Heidelberg

Rohrbacher Str. 29
69115 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 915-0
Fax: +49 6221 164272
Single: DM 158 + DM 18 breakfast
Double: DM 174 + DM 18 breakfast

 Návrat do rubriky Occamova bøitva                 UNIVERSUM - antikvariát