Celebrities, Hypnosis, & Crystals

Happy Springtime! Here in New England it’s beginning to be keep-the-windows-open time.

Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey on the Larry King Show.

My latest column for Skeptical Inquirer is “From False Cause to False Cure: Autism and the Rich and Famous.” It reports on the reemergence of celebrities in the autism world—this time to promote discredited therapies for people with severe autism. I was happy to see that the article was promoted by RealClearScience and has now been translated into Spanish for the Buenos Aires based magazine Pensar.

My friend Andreas Mink, who writes for a number of German language newspapers in Europe, recently interviewed me for a fascinating story about the shockingly widespread use of hypnosis by police in witness interviews, particularly the Texas Rangers. I spoke about the fallibility of human memory and the power of suggestion in interviews. The two-page-spread article was published in the Sunday May 2 edition of the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The article is behind a paywall, but for any of my German-speaking friends who might be interested, a pdf of the article can be found here. I love this graphic NZZ used with the article.

Finally, it appears that I am the go-to skeptic for comments about crystal healing. I am not sure how that happened, but I was recently interviewed for the Washington Post. In this case the author of the piece did a reasonably good job. The title says it all. “‘Healing’ crystals are having a pandemic moment. But science says they’re just pretty stones.” Very expensive pretty stones in many cases.

That’s it for now. Thanks to science, it looks as though I will be attending the 2021 Timeworld Global Congress on Randomness in Paris, July 1-3. I will be speaking on the topic “Can Humans Tolerate a Random World.” You can find out more about the conference at this link. I will let you all about it when I get back.

Bye for now. Enjoy the spring breezes.

SV