COMCEPT, acronym for Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa, is a Portuguese project dedicated to scientific skepticism, created to promote rational and critical thinking about paranormal and pseudoscientific claims from a scientific point of view. Other subjects that are dealt with include conspiracy theories and disinformation that circulate in mass media or on social media. COMCEPT was founded on 5 April 2012 as a citizens' movement in Portugal; the citizens' movement was formally registered as a legal association in September 2016. COMCEPT was founded on 5 April 2012 by a group of Portuguese citizens from differing origins and academic backgrounds; the foundation of this project was marked by a meeting between its founders and several collaborators in Coimbra. It began its activity with the launching of the official website and with the beginning of the monthly social gatherings, called "Cépticos com Vox". In November 2012, the group held its first national event, ComceptCon, in the village of Nazaré.
On 1 April 2013, COMCEPT awarded the Flying Unicorn Award for the first time for the year 2012. On 15 November 2014, it first awarded the COMCEPT Prize at that year's ComceptCon to David Marçal; the main goal of COMCEPT is the promotion of science, scientific skepticism, critical thinking in the society. COMCEPT publishes educational resources and opinion articles on the official website and social networks. In 2017, the association produced its first book: Não Se Deixe Enganar. COMCEPT holds monthly social gatherings; these are called "Cépticos com Vox", they are similar to the international Skeptics in the Pub phenomenon. These meetings are dedicated to a specific theme and are characterised by an informal atmosphere, they take place alternately in Lisbon and Porto, although in other cities, such as Coimbra and Leiria, for example. ComceptCon is the association's annual conference dedicated to skepticism, it is an open-access event that includes lectures by invited experts with whom the public can interact.
The association organises educational group visits to museums. The Solstice Conference is an open-access COMCEPT lecture presented by an invited expert, on the last Saturday before Christmas; the Flying Unicorn Award is a satirical prize with the slogan "a happy prize for unhappy performances". This prize is attributed to personalities or entities which have disseminated pseudoscience and other forms of disinformation in Portugal; the aim is to stimulate reflection on the influence of disinformation in society. Similar to the Pigasus Award from the James Randi Educational Foundation, it stands out because the nominees and winners are chosen by Internet users; the winners are revealed annually on April Fools' Day. There are three prize categories: Grafonola – For the media and its agents. Estrela cadente – For television stars and the artistic, sporting or social world. O Rei Está Nu – For all others who make or contribute to the propagation of doubtful allegations without evidence or against evidence.
Gramophone2012: SIC 2013: Portugal Mundial 2014: RTP1 2015: i 2016: SIC 2017: RTP1 Shooting star2012: Fátima Lopes 2013: The morning crew on Rádio Comercial 2014: Gustavo Santos 2015: Simone de Oliveira 2016: 2017: Manuel Pinto CoelhoEmperor’s new clothes2012: 2nd and 3rd Cycle of the Primary School of Arazede 2013: The Assembly of the Portuguese Republic 2014: Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon 2015: Academic institutions that intend to teach alternative therapies 2016: Higher School of Nursing of the Portuguese Red Cross from Oliveira de Azeméis 2017: Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of CoimbraDom Quixote 2012: Fundação Bial The COMCEPT Prize awarded by the COMCEPT team to a personality who has excelled in the promotion of critical thinking and science in Portugal. The aim is to reward those; this prize is not awarded annually, but only on special occasions when the association deems it necessary to highlight an exceptionally good example. 2014: David Marçal Diana Barbosa, Leonor Abrantes, Marco Filipe & João Lourenço Monteiro, Não Se Deixe Enganar Official website
Ghent University is a public research university located in Ghent, Belgium. It was established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands. After the Belgian revolution of 1830, the newly formed Belgian state began to administer the university. In 1930, the university became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium, whereas French had been the standard academic language. In 1991,it was granted major autonomy and changed its name accordingly from State University of Ghent to its current designation. In contrast to the Catholic University of Leuven or the Free University of Brussels, UGent considers itself a pluralist university in a special sense, i.e. not connected to any particular religion or political ideology. Its motto Inter Utrumque, on the coat of arms, suggests the acquisition of wisdom and science comes only in an atmosphere of peace, when the institution is supported by the monarchy and fatherland. Ghent University is one of the biggest Flemish universities, consisting of 41,000 students and 9,000 staff members.
The University supports the University Library and the University Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Belgium. It is one of the greatest beneficiaries of funding from the Research Foundation - Flanders. Ghent University rates among the top universities in the world; the university in Ghent was opened on October 9, 1817, with JC van Rotterdam serving as the first rector. In the first year, it had 16 professors; the original four faculties consisted of Humanities, Law and Science, the language of instruction was Latin. The university was founded by King William I as part of a policy to stem the intellectual and academic lag in the southern part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to become Belgium. After peaking at a student population of 414, the number of students declined following the Belgian Revolution. At this time, the Faculties of Humanities and Science were broken from the university, but they were restored five years in 1835. Ghent University played a big role in the foundation of modern organic chemistry.
Friedrich August Kekulé unraveled the structure of benzene at Ghent and Adolf von Baeyer, a student of August Kekulé, made seminal contributions to organic chemistry. In 1882, Sidonie Verhelst became the first female student at the university. French became the language of instruction, after the 1830 Revolution. In 1903, the Flemish politician Lodewijk De Raet led a successful campaign to begin instruction in Dutch, the first courses were begun in 1906. During World War I, the occupying German administration conducted Flamenpolitik and turned Ghent University into the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium. A Flemish Institute known as Von Bissing University, was founded in 1916 but was disestablished after the war and French language was reinstated. In 1923, Cabinet Minister Pierre Nolf put forward a motion to definitively establish the university as a Dutch-speaking university, this was realized in 1930. August Vermeylen served as the first rector of a Dutch-language university in Belgium.
In the Second World War, the German administration of the university attempted to create a German orientation, removing faculty members and installing loyal activists. However, the university became the focal point for many resistance members. After the war, the university became a much larger institution, following government policy of democratizing higher education in Flanders during the 1950s and 1960s. By 1953, there were more than 3,000 students, by 1969 more than 11,500; the number of faculties increased to eleven, starting with Applied Sciences in 1957. It was followed by Economics and Veterinary Medicine in 1968, Psychology and Pedagogy, as well as Bioengineering, in 1969, Pharmaceutical Sciences; the faculty of Politics and Social Sciences is the most recent addition, in 1992. In the 1960s to 1980s, there were several student demonstrations at Ghent University, notably around the Blandijn site, which houses the Faculty of Arts & Philosophy; the severest demonstrations took place in 1969 in the wake of May 1968.
In 1991, the university changed its name from Rijksuniversiteit Gent to Universiteit Gent, following an increased grant of autonomy by the government of the Flemish Community. Ghent University consists of eleven Faculties with over 130 individual departments. In addition, the university maintains the Zwijnaarde science park and Greenbridge science park. Faculty of Arts and Philosophy Faculty of Bio-science Engineering Faculty of Law Faculty of Sciences Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty of Engineering and Architecture Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty of Political and Social Sciences Standing on the Blandijnberg, the Boekentoren houses the Ghent University Library, which contains nearly 3 million volumes; the University Library has joined the Google Books Library Project. Among other notable collections, it preserves Papyrus 30, an early manuscript of the Greek New Testament.
Ghent University ranks among the best universities in the world. Most in 2017, it was ranked, globally, 69th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 125th by QS World University Rankings. For 2018, Ghent University has been ranked, worldwide, 88th by U. S. News & World Report and 107th by Times Higher Education
Het Laatste Nieuws
Het Laatste Nieuws is a Dutch language newspaper based in Brussels, Belgium. It was founded by Julius Hoste Sr. on 7 June 1888. It is now part of De Persgroep, is the most popular newspaper in Flanders and Belgium; the liberal Julius Hoste Sr. founded the newspaper on 7 June 1888 five days before the Belgian elections. With his newspaper he wanted to support the Liberal Party in the upcoming elections and on the other side the Flemish movement in Brussels, a city, dominated by francophone bourgeois; the newspaper supported the cause of the Gelijkheidswet, the rescue of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg in Brussels and the election of the first Flemish, Ghent municipal governing board in 1907. Its liberal character, anti-francophone stance and support for the Flemish movement were essential characteristics of the new daily, just like its anti-clericalism. In 1897, Flor Burton founded the newspaper De Nieuwe Gazet in Antwerp, with a similar editorial policy; when Julius Hoste Sr. died, his son, Julius Hoste Jr. took over full publishing responsibility.
He moderated the confrontational style favored by his father, adopting a more temperate and formal tone. He broadened the scope of the newspaper, including more regional news, expanded the sports section to reach an wider public; when World War II broke out, Julius Hoste Jr. fled to the United Kingdom, although his newspaper continued publication under Nazi control. During this period The Adventures of Tintin was in the paper. Stories included Tintin in the Congo, Tintin in America, The Broken Ear, The Shooting Star, The Secret of the Unicorn. After the war Julius Hoste Jr. regained control but the business needed to be rebuilt. He shared day-to-day management with Albert Maertens and Marcel Stijns became head editor. On 1 February 1954 Julius Hoste Jr. died. By means of an ingenious legal arrangement he ensured that the political heritage of his newspaper was guaranteed and the company was incorporated when he died, his heirs commissioned Albert Maertens to create a foundation intended to safeguard the future political and editorial policy of the newspaper.
On 3 May 1955 the Stichting Het Laatste Nieuws was set up. It included in its charter an explicit reference to the liberal declaration of Oxford, or Oxford Manifesto, which offered guarantees of editorial continuity for readers and journalists in the event of the newspaper being sold. Frans Vink, the son-in-law of Julius Hoste Jr. headed the company. A new company was created: the Uitgeverij J. Hoste NV; when television broadcasting started in Belgium in 1954, the competitive environment became more challenging and the newspaper had to modernize its activity. The Antwerp-headquartered De Nieuwe Gazet was taken over in 1957 and completely in 1963; the foundation's business was expanded with the introduction of weekly magazines and a printing business. In order to finance the new ventures, negotiations were started with potential investors. Albert Maertens began talks with the Van Thillo family, the Flemish bankers based in Antwerp, who had shown a particular interest in Press investment. In the 1970s and 1980s the Van Thillo family acquired more and more shares in the newspaper, but its editorial course remained in accordance with the principles articulated by the foundation.
At the moment De Persgroep is headed by Christian Van Thillo. In the period of 1995-96 Het Laatste Nieuws had a circulation of 303,993 copies; the circulation of the paper was 287,000 copies in 2001. It was 341,257 copies in 2002. In 2003 its circulation was 294,000 copies. In 2009 Het Laatste Nieuws had a circulation of 287,162 copies; the approximate circulation of the paper was 370,000 copies in 2010. Piet Van Brabant Media related to Het Laatste Nieuws at Wikimedia Commons Official website Newspapers in the class room
International Standard Serial Number
An International Standard Serial Number is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, interlibrary loans, other practices in connection with serial literature; the ISSN system was first drafted as an International Organization for Standardization international standard in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for maintaining the standard; when a serial with the same content is published in more than one media type, a different ISSN is assigned to each media type. For example, many serials are published both in electronic media; the ISSN system refers to these types as electronic ISSN, respectively. Conversely, as defined in ISO 3297:2007, every serial in the ISSN system is assigned a linking ISSN the same as the ISSN assigned to the serial in its first published medium, which links together all ISSNs assigned to the serial in every medium.
The format of the ISSN is an eight digit code, divided by a hyphen into two four-digit numbers. As an integer number, it can be represented by the first seven digits; the last code digit, which may be 0-9 or an X, is a check digit. Formally, the general form of the ISSN code can be expressed as follows: NNNN-NNNC where N is in the set, a digit character, C is in; the ISSN of the journal Hearing Research, for example, is 0378-5955, where the final 5 is the check digit, C=5. To calculate the check digit, the following algorithm may be used: Calculate the sum of the first seven digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right—that is, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, respectively: 0 ⋅ 8 + 3 ⋅ 7 + 7 ⋅ 6 + 8 ⋅ 5 + 5 ⋅ 4 + 9 ⋅ 3 + 5 ⋅ 2 = 0 + 21 + 42 + 40 + 20 + 27 + 10 = 160 The modulus 11 of this sum is calculated. For calculations, an upper case X in the check digit position indicates a check digit of 10. To confirm the check digit, calculate the sum of all eight digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right.
The modulus 11 of the sum must be 0. There is an online ISSN checker. ISSN codes are assigned by a network of ISSN National Centres located at national libraries and coordinated by the ISSN International Centre based in Paris; the International Centre is an intergovernmental organization created in 1974 through an agreement between UNESCO and the French government. The International Centre maintains a database of all ISSNs assigned worldwide, the ISDS Register otherwise known as the ISSN Register. At the end of 2016, the ISSN Register contained records for 1,943,572 items. ISSN and ISBN codes are similar in concept. An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a serial, in addition to the ISSN code for the serial as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a serial title, containing no information as to the publisher or its location. For this reason a new ISSN is assigned to a serial each time it undergoes a major title change. Since the ISSN applies to an entire serial a new identifier, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier, was built on top of it to allow references to specific volumes, articles, or other identifiable components.
Separate ISSNs are needed for serials in different media. Thus, the print and electronic media versions of a serial need separate ISSNs. A CD-ROM version and a web version of a serial require different ISSNs since two different media are involved. However, the same ISSN can be used for different file formats of the same online serial; this "media-oriented identification" of serials made sense in the 1970s. In the 1990s and onward, with personal computers, better screens, the Web, it makes sense to consider only content, independent of media; this "content-oriented identification" of serials was a repressed demand during a decade, but no ISSN update or initiative occurred. A natural extension for ISSN, the unique-identification of the articles in the serials, was the main demand application. An alternative serials' contents model arrived with the indecs Content Model and its application, the digital object identifier, as ISSN-independent initiative, consolidated in the 2000s. Only in 2007, ISSN-L was defined in the
Johan Braeckman is a Flemish philosopher. He is professor in philosophy at the University of Ghent and University of Amsterdam, an editor of the skeptical organisation SKEPP's magazine Wonder en is gheen Wonder, his research, conducted along with a dozen doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, focuses on the philosophical problems associated with the life sciences, in particular the evolutionary theory and neuroscience. Copyright - Een bio-ethisch essay - Katrien Devolder & Johan Braeckman - Universitaire Pers Leuven 2001 - ISBN 90-5867-154-2 Darwins Moordbekentenis - De ontwikkeling van het denken van Charles Darwin - Johan Braeckman - Uitgeverij Nieuwezijds 2001 - ISBN 90-5712-125-5 Ethiek van DNA tot 9/11 Johan Braeckman, Bert de Reuver and Thomas Vervisch - Amsterdam University Press 2005 - ISBN 90-5356-753-4 De rivier van Herakleitos. Een eigenzinnige visie op de wijsbegeerte - Etienne Vermeersch and Johan Braeckman - Houtekiet, 2008. Kritisch denken. Hoorcollege over het ontwikkelen van heldere ideeën en argumenten.
- Johan Braeckman - Home Academy 2011, Netherlands - ISBN 9789085300731. Goed, best? Over de maakbaarheid van de mens. - Johan Braeckman, Aeneas De Baets, Johan Declercq, Ignaas Devisch, Marjan Joris and Liesbet Lauwereys - Academia Press 2011 - ISBN 9789038217123. Darwin en de evolutietheorie. Een hoorcollege over denken en de gevolgen van zijn werk. - Johan Braeckman - Home Academy 2010, Netherlands - ISBN 9789085300847. The Moral Brain. Essays on the Evolutionary and Neuroscientific Aspects of Morality. - Jan Verplaetse, Jelle De Schrijver, Sven Vanneste and Johan Braeckman. - Springer 2009 - ISBN 9781402062865. De ongelovige Thomas heeft een punt. A guide to critical thinking by Johan Braeckman and Maarten Boudry, awarded'Liberales Book of the Year 2011'. - Houtekiet - ISBN 9789089241887 Official website
Willem Betz is a Flemish physician and professor emeritus at the Belgian university Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he was head of the center for training in general medical practice until November 2007. Betz is a leading skeptic in Flanders and participant in the EU COST B4 Project, he is a founding member and current vice-president of the Belgian skeptic organization SKEPP. After twenty years as a general practitioner, he turned full-time to the teaching of general medical practice as well as conducting scientific research, he practiced them successfully. However, he started to question the explanations given for the successes that were being claimed by alternative treatments and began to investigate the existing evidence for these methods. According to Betz, the explanations can be found in the field of psychosomatics, in the placebo effect, in the fact that many illnesses disappear spontaneously or fluctuate, as well as in the deceptive methods of quackery. Betz is co-founder of SKEPP, a non-profit organization that promotes scientific skepticism in Belgium, of which he is vice-president.
At SKEPP he is the expert in the relevant legislation. He has participated in the debate on near-death experiences, following the publication of an article by the Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel. Betz was involved in the creation of the EU COST B4 Report; the report describes the scientific criteria and conditions for alternative medical practices before they can be recognized as a medical profession. Betz is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Betz became professor emeritus in October 2007. In 2012 Betz was presented with the European Council of Skeptical Organisations' Outstanding Skeptics Award at the 6th World Skeptics Congress
Skeptics in the Pub
Skeptics in the Pub is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, freethinkers and other like-minded individuals. It provides an opportunity for skeptics to talk, share ideas and have fun in a casual atmosphere, discuss whatever topical issues come to mind, while promoting skepticism and rationality. "Skeptics in the Pub" is not a protected term, anyone can set one up. There is no formal procedure to organising an event. There are, some common approaches across the world in hosting such events that make them more successful; the usual format of meetings includes an invited speaker who gives a talk on a specific topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. Other meet-ups are informal socials, with no fixed agenda; the groups meet once a month at a public venue, most a local pub. There are now more than 100 different "SitP" groups running around the world; the earliest and longest-running event is the award-winning London meeting, established by Australian philosophy professor Scott Campbell in 1999.
Campbell based the idea around Philosophy in the Pub and Science in the Pub, two groups, running in Australia for some time. The inaugural speaker was Wendy M. Grossman, the editor and founder of The Skeptic magazine, in February 1999; the London group claims to be the "World's largest regular pub meeting," with 200 to 400 people in attendance at each meeting. Campbell ran the London group for three years while there on a teaching sabbatical, was succeeded after his return to Australia by two sci-fi fans and skeptics, Robert Newman and Marc LaChappelle. Nick Pullar, who made a television appearance as "Convener of Skeptics in the Pub" on the BBC spoof show Shirley Ghostman led the group from 2003 to 2008; as of 2011, the London group was co-convened by Sid Rodrigues, who has co-organised events in several other cities around the world. This group has conducted experiments on the paranormal as part of James Randi's One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge and co-organised An Evening with James Randi & Friends.
The ease of use of the internet, via social networking sites and content management systems, has led to more than 100 active chapters around the world, including more than 30 in the US and more than 40 in the UK. In 2009, D. J. Grothe described the rise of Skeptics in the Pub across cities in North America and elsewhere as a prominent example of "Skepticism 2.0". SITPs were founded outside the realm of existing skeptical organisations, with some successful meetings growing out to become fully-fledged membership organisations."Skeptics in the Pub" would serve as the template for other skeptical and atheist meet-ups around the globe, including The James Randi Educational Foundation's "The Amazing Meeting", Drinking Skeptically, The Brights, the British Humanist Association social gatherings. Since 2010 Edinburgh Skeptics in the Pub has extended the Skeptics in the Pub concept over the whole Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, under the banner Skeptics on the Fringe and from 2012 done the same at the Edinburgh International Science Festival with the title At The Fringe of Reason.
The Merseyside Skeptics Society and Greater Manchester Skeptics hosted three two-day conferences, QED, in February 2011, March 2012 and April 2013. Glasgow Skeptics has hosted two one-day conferences, as of July 2011. Over the past ten years, the London event has featured lectures by well-known scientists and skeptics; the guests are proponents of fringe or pseudoscientific views. Notable guests include: Simon Singh Victor Stenger Jon Ronson Phil Plait David Colquhoun Richard J. Evans S. Fred Singer Ben Goldacre David Nutt Mark Stevenson London-based British author, public speaker and author of An Optimist's Tour of the Future. Camp Quest European Skeptics Congress New Zealand Skeptics List of public house topics SkeptiCamp Skepticon Skeptic's Toolbox Question, Discover The Amaz!ng Meeting Skeptics in the Pub world map Skeptics in the Pub Skeptic events in Europe – The European Skeptics Podcast Skeptics in the Pub Workshop – QED: Question, Discover