Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos
|Purpose||Scientific investigation of paranormal claims|
U Dejvického rybníčku 25/1976|
160 00 Prague 6
Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos (English: Czech Skeptics' Club Sisyfos) is a Czech skeptical nonprofit organisation founded in 1994, headquartered in Prague. Its primary goal and mission is to spread and defend the findings and results of contemporary science, to promote rational, critical thinking, to acquaint the public with the principles of scientific method, to speak out against the spread of paranormal ideas and unproven procedures, to ensure that universities, scientific societies and institutions are actively responsible for defending science and critical thinking, to investigate controversies and false claims, to provide assistance to citizens in protecting against fraudulent products and ineffective or dangerous alternative medicine products and healing methods. In line with mission and goals, the club refuses to interfere with religious, moral and political issues.
The organization has around 400 members. It is a partner of the American Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and is a member of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO). Since 2000, it is a member of the Czech organisation Rada vědeckých společností České republiky (The Council of Scientific Societies of the Czech Republic). Some of the leading members include the astronomer and science communicator Jiří Grygar and the publicist Věra Nosková. The name of the organization refers to mythological Sisyphus and it symbolises the founders' belief that Labors of Sisyphus (long and ultimately unsuccessful work) await them.
The organisation publishes the Sisyfos newspaper online and as a daily press, organises the series of lectures called Věda kontra iracionalita (Science vs Irrationality), publishes several book collections and offers a paranormal challenge. It has also participated in the worldwide 10:23 campaign to raise awareness about the inefficacy of homeopathy.
Sisyfos offers €125,000 to anyone who can prove paranormal phenomena.
Erratic Boulder award
The organisation issues an anti-award called Bludný balvan (Erratic Boulder) "to highlight the contribution of individuals and societies in misleading the Czech public and the development of a muddy way of thinking."
Since 1995, the organisation issues a periodic newsletter three or four times a year entitled Neperiodický zpravodaj občanského sdružení Sisyfos (Non-periodical Report of the Sisyfos Organisation). It contains articles by Czech and foreign experts, as well as current events inside the organisation. The newsletter is available free of charge on the website since 2000.
In 2017, Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos and Klub Sceptyków Polskich organised the seventeenth European Skeptics Congress (ESC). The ESC has been held every two years since 1989, each time hosted by a different member of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO). The Congress included lectures and panels, and involved discussion on topics such as science and religion, exorcisms and genetically modified organisms. Speakers included Amardeo Sarma, Gerald Ostdiek, Holm Gero Hümmler and Mark Lynas as well as many others. Also, Massimo Polidoro interviewed James Randi on the topic of paranormal investigation. Free, public workshops also ran during the Congress on topics like "Quantum Mechanics vs Common Sense,” “What can we infer from children’s drawings,” and “Mission to Mars”.
Sisyfos and religion
According to its mission statement, the organisation refuses to interfere within the religious area. The members of the club are both atheists and religious believers. Nevertheless, several articles on the issue of science, skepticism and religion were published. After an internal debate among the members, on February 2001 the organisation finally decided that, for practical reasons, it will not deal with religious issues.
- "Stanovy Českého klubu skeptiků Sisyfos". Sisyfos (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
- "European Skeptical Organizations". ECSO website. European Council of Skeptical Organisations. 2016-08-16. Archived from the original on 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
- "Paranormální výzva". Falešní hráči (in Czech). The Real Bohemian. 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- "Statut pro udělování výroční ceny Sisyfa Bludný balvan". Sisyfos (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- "Skeptikon 2011 Mikulov". Mikulov (in Czech). 2011-07-15. Archived from the original on 2017-09-19.
- "Zpravodaj – český klub skeptiků". Sisyfos (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Gerbic, Susan. "Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 2". www.csicop.org. Committee for skeptical inquiry. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- "Iracionalita viry a racionalni skeptici". Zpravodaj Sisyfos 3/2000 (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Jiří Grygar. "Proč věřím v Boha? Jiří Grygar". Víra.cz, křesťanství (in Czech). Archived from the original on 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Věra Nosková (2000). "Iracionalita víry a racionální skeptici" (PDF). Neperiodický zpravodaj občanského sdružení Sisyfos (in Czech). VI (3): 3–4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- P. Kurz (2002). "Jsou věda a náboženství kompatibilní?" (PDF). Neperiodický zpravodaj občanského sdružení Sisyfos (in Czech). VIII (2): 9–11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
- Jiří Heřt (2001). "Sisyfos a náboženství" (PDF). Neperiodický zpravodaj občanského sdružení Sisyfos (in Czech). VII (1): 2–6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
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