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CONFERENCE PROGRAM

FRIDAY 10/08/04 | SATURDAY 10/09/04 | SUNDAY 10/10/04

The Fifth World Skeptics Congress, "Solving Mysteries", will be held at the Teatro Congressi "Pietro d'Abano", located at Largo Marconi 16, Abano Terme (PD), Italy. All events will take place in the Teatro Congressi, including lectures, special evenings, poster sessions and science fair. The "Opera Buffet" will take place in a restaurant right in front of the Teatro. A bookstore will be set up in the Foyer of the Teatro.

Titles of talks will be periodically added when they are confirmed by the speakers

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8

9 a.m. Registration

9:30 a.m-10 a.m. Opening and Welcoming Remarks


Welcome by Abano Terme's Mayor
,
Prof. Giovanni Ponchio

Welcome by Tourism Town Councilor, Cesare Pillon

Welcome by the President of the Consorzio Terme Euganee, Enzo Baretella


Steno Ferluga
, Prof. of Astrophysics, University of Trieste; Chairman CICAP, Italy

Paul Kurtz
, Prof. Emeritus of Philosophy, SUNY at Buffalo; Chairman CSICOP, USA

10 a.m.-10:40 a.m. PARAPSYCHOLOGY AND SKEPTICS: IS DIALOGUE POSSIBLE?
Moderator: Ray Hyman, Prof. Emeritus of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA

Robert L. Morris, Prof. of Parapsychology, University of Edinburgh, UK:
"Parapsychology, skepticism and the future: Productive and unproductive interactions"


(Prof. Morris' talk will be delivered by
Caroline Watt, President of the Parapsychological Association, due to the sad and unexpected death of prof. Morris).

10:40-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-11:40 Richard Wiseman, Prof. of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK:
"Parapsychology: Potential and pitfalls"


James Alcock, Prof. of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada:
"Science's canons or scientists' cannons?: What keeps parapsychology from the halls of science?"


11:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discussion


1:30 p.m.-3:20 p.m. POSTER SESSION: Solved Mysteries
Live Exhibits, Skeptiseum, Film-Projections and Poster Speeches


3:20 p.m.-4:00 HOAXES, FAKES AND MYTHS
Moderator: Adalberto Piazzoli, Prof. of Nuclear Physics, University of Pavia, Italy

Kenneth Feder, Prof. of Anthropology, Central Connecticut State University, USA:
"Atlantis in Fantasyland: Making A Mickey Mouse Television Documentary About the Lost Continent"


Luciano Arcuri
, Prof. of Mass Communication Psychology, University of Padua, Italy

4:20 p.m.-4:40 p.m. Coffee break

Lorenzo Montali, Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Milan, Italy

Jan Harold Brunvand, Prof. Emeritus, Dept. of English, University of Utah, USA:
"Urban Legends: Too Good to be True"


5:20 p.m.-6:00 p.m Discussion

Dinner (on your own)


SPECIAL EVENT
9 p.m.-11 p.m. THE WORLD OF GALILEO GALILEI
Host: Piero Angela, Journalist, TV Personality, author, Rome, Italy
A Special Evening of Science and Entertainment. With Special guests, Live experiments, Films and Demonstrations. With:
Andrea Frova, Prof. of physics, University"La Sapienza", Rome, Italy.
With Maria
Mariapiera Marenzana, Prof. of Literature in Rome, biographer of Galileo; and with Alessandro Bettini of the Accademia Galileiana di Scienze Lettere ed Arti in Padova.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9

9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. INVESTIGATING MYSTERIES
Moderator: Massimo Polidoro, Contract Prof. of Anomalistic Psychology, University of Milan, author, Executive Director CICAP

Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow, CSICOP, USA:
"Investigating the Cold Cases: from the Flatwood Monster to the Shroud of Turin

Mariano Tomatis, Researcher, author, Turin, Italy:
“The Da Vinci Hoax”

10:40-11:00 Coffee break

Luigi Garlaschelli, Prof. of Chemistry, University of Pavia, Senior Research Fellow, CICAP, Italy:
“The True Story of the Real Sword in the Stone”


11:20-12:00 Special presentation: James Randi, Magician, author, President JREF, USA:
"Investigating Psychics: the Difficult, the Innocent, and the Impossible Applicants”


12:00 p.m.(noon)-12:30 p.m. Discussion


1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. POSTER SESSION: Solved Mysteries
Live Exhibits, Skeptiseum, Film-Projections and Poster Speeches


3:00 p.m.-3:40 p.m. MAGIC AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DECEPTION
Moderator: Sergio Della Sala, Prof. of Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Richard Wiseman, Prof. of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK:
"The Psychology of Magic and Conjuring"


3:40-4:00 Coffee break

Chris French, Prof. of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK: (a joint paper with Krissy Wilson)

"The Psychology of Self-deception: Cognitive factors underlying paranormal beliefs and experiences"


Ray Hyman, Prof. Emeritus of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA:
"The Psychology of Deception"


4:40-5:20 Special demonstration: Ian Rowland, “Mind Reader - Mind Motivator”, London, UK: "Mindpower: Fact, Fiction and Fakery"

5:20 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Discussion

Dinner (on your own)


SPECIAL EVENT
9 p.m.-11 p.m. RANDI: THAT'S AMAZING!
A "Magical" Evening with James Randi
Hosted by Massimo Polidoro
With: Special guests, Psychic investigations, Live Magic, Rare film documents and Performances

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10

9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. WHAT FUTURE FOR SKEPTICISM?
A World Skeptics Update
Moderator: Barry Karr, Executive Director CSICOP, USA

Amardeo Sarma, Chairman GWUP and ECSO, Germany

Sergio Della Sala, Prof. of Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh, UK

Chris French, Prof. of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK

10:20-10:40 Coffee break

Lin Zixin, Former Director and Editor of Science and Technology Daily; Director and Research Fellow of the Global Observation Institute, China

Alejandro Borgo, Journalist, Editor CSICOP's Pensar magazine, Argentina:
"What should we do with skepticism?"

Valerii Kuvakin, Prof. of Philosophy, Moscow State University, Russia

Paul Kurtz, Prof. Emeritus of Philosophy, SUNY at Buffalo; Chairman CSICOP, USA

11:30 p.m.-12:00 p.m.(noon) Discussion


12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. SPECIAL EVENT: "Lunch at the Skeptics' Opera House"
Buffet with Entertainment: Opera singers will present “skeptical” arias from famous operas.


2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ALT MED.CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH!
Moderator: Silvio Garattini, Prof. of Pharmacology, Director Mario Negri Institute, Milan, Italy

Edzard Ernst, Prof. of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, UK: "Complementary and alternative medicine: more good than harm?"

Berry Beyerstein, Prof. of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada:
"What do they teach in herbalist colleges?"


3:30-3:50 Coffee break

Willem Betz, Prof. of Family Medicine, University of Brussels, Belgium

Riccardo Luccio, Prof. of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy

Wally Sampson, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University, USA

4:50 p.m.-5:10 p.m. Discussion

5.10 p.m.-5.30 p.m Conclusions

Steno Ferluga, Prof. of Astrophysics, University of Trieste; Chairman CICAP, Italy

Paul Kurtz
, Prof. Emeritus of Philosophy, SUNY at Buffalo; Chairman CSICOP, USA


 

Sponsored by CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
and by CICAP, the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal