The autum seems to be the season for awards. I recently mentioned the ‘Gloden Plank‘ and now The Skeptic announced the Ockham Awards the annual awards celebrating the very best work from within the skeptical community. The awards draw attention to people who work hard to promote skepticism. The Ockhams honour outstanding campaigns, activism, blogs, podcasts, and other contributors to the skeptical cause.

Nominations for the 2023 Ockham Awards are now open! Simply complete the nomination form to submit your nominations.

A photograph of the Rusty Razor award: a rusty classic style straight razor encased in plastic with "The Rusty Razor" etched at the bottom.

The Rusty Razor is an entirely different award. It recognises individuals or organisations who have been prominent promoters of unscientific ideas within the last year. Last year’s Rusty Razor went to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, set up in 2009 by climate change denier Nigel Lawson. The Foundation has published several reports downplaying the threat of climate change.

Previous Rusty Razor winners included

  • Dr Mike Yeadon for his anti-vaccination BS,
  • Dr Didier Raoult for his promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19,
  • Andrew Wakefield for his ongoing promotion of anti-vaxx misinformation,
  • Gwyneth Paltrow for her pseudoscience-peddling wellness empire, Goop.

The awards are, as always, based on the nominations received from the skeptical community. This is your chance to see your skeptic hero and your most prolific charlatan regognised.

So, what are you waiting for? Submit your nominations now!

Nominations will close on September 9th. Winners will be chosen by the editorial board of THE SKEPTIC, and the winners will be announced at QED in Manchester on September 23rd.

4 Responses to It’s time to submit your nominations: OCKHAM AWARDS and RUSTY RAZOR

  • So many for the rusty razor but for sheer depth and breadth of nonsense, BS and genral inflammatory commentary GB news has got to be one of the forerunners in Britain.

  • Rusty Razor? That’s an unfair representation of high levels of delusioncreativity and imagination demonstrated by folks who won in the past and who are going to be nominated this year.

    You know what Fox Mulder referred to Occam’s Razor as, don’t you?

    Occam’s Principle of Limited Imagination.

    I hereby petition the The Skeptic to change the name of the award to Mulder’s Katana.

    • QUOTE from your URL
      The more basic answer is what we’re dealing with here is simply a man. A psychotic killer with a deformed foot. You’re familiar with the principle of Occam’s Razor?

      Yeah. You take every possible explanation and you choose the simplest one. Agent Mulder used to refer to it as “Occam’s Principle of Limited Imagination.”

      Illustrating the common, but erroneous, explanation of Occam’s Razor. We want not the simplest explanation; we want the explanation that makes/requires the fewest assumptions.

      Occam’s razor is a logical razor which states that one should never make more assumptions than the minimum necessary to explain something; or, if you don’t have explicit evidence to believe that something is true, then you should not.

      Occam’s razor, Wikipedia

      Popularly, the principle is sometimes inaccurately paraphrased as “The simplest explanation is usually the best one.”

      This philosophical razor advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should prefer the one that requires the fewest assumptions [my emphasis] and that this is not meant to be a way of choosing between hypotheses that make different predictions. Similarly, in science, Occam’s razor is used as an abductive heuristic in the development of theoretical models rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models.

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