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The Association for Skeptical Enquiry

Casting a critical eye over suspect science, dubious claims and bizarre beliefs


Welcome to the ASKE website

ASKE was founded in 1997 in the UK by a small group of people from different professional backgrounds who were opposed to the promotion of irrational ideas and practices and the misrepresentation of science for purposes that deceive the public. The association is mainly funded by membership subscriptions and donations from people who support its Aims and principles.

What is skepticism?

Perhaps the first thing to notice is the spelling of the word, which in the UK is usually 'scepticism' (similarly, sceptic and sceptical). In the USA it's spelt 'skeptic', etc. and this spelling has become universal in the present context. Whatever the spelling, in everyday usage saying that you're skeptical about something means that you're not convinced...
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The European Council of Skeptical Organisations

There are quite a number of European countries with national skeptical organisations, some of which, as in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Belgian and the Netherlands, are very substantial. Like ASKE, many of these organisations are affiliated to the European Council of Skeptical Organisations (ECSO)...
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Come and Join Us!

ASKE relies on annual subscriptions of just £10 and voluntary donations from people who share its aims and principles. But we also like our members to be involved in any of our activities, including contributing to this website and writing for the Skeptical Intelligencer. If you would like to join us or provide a donation, please go to our Membership and donations page.

What does ASKE do?

ASKE is a small organisation compared to national skeptical groups in other countries, but a number of its members are themselves very active in the skeptical arena (see details of some of these at Being a skeptical activist). The activities of ASKE itself are .....
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Being a skeptical activist

Many people from all walks of life are now actively involved in some way in what has become known as The Skeptical Movement .....
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NEWS BULLETIN

From Studiekring voor de Kritische Evaluatie van Pseudowetenschap en het Paranormale (the Belgian skeptical society)

May I bring this call for help from your Belgian colleagues of SKEPP to your attention? Two of our authors are being sued by a multimillionaire business "coach" with deep pockets. Some of you received a mail from me about this two weeks ago. In the meantime we have updated our website to make the information and fundraiser page easier to access in English and French. Please find the call for help and fundraiser page here.

James ('The Amazing') Randi
(1928-2020)

One of the most, if not the most, influential figures of the skeptical movement, magician, escapologist, paranormal investigator, and author James Randi, died aged 92 on October 20, 2020. Many skeptics in the UK will have fond memories of meeting Randi in person as well as hearing him speak about his prolific activities exposing charlatans who preyed on the gullibility of others, not just the sick and vulnerable but people who one would have believed had the intelligence to know better. His death was announce here and many obituaries and tributes may be found online.

Skeptics in the Pub Online

While the current pandemic restrictions are in force, there are no live Skeptics in the Pub meetings being held anywhere as far as we know. Skeptics in the Pub Online is the result of the collaborative efforts of several SitP groups and hosts Thursday evening talks present by authoritative speakers on topics of skeptical interest. Regularly check their Facebook page for upcoming talks.

Pseudoscience in Medicine

'Among scientists and health personnel, 2,750 from 44 countries have joined the first international manifesto against pseudosciences in health. The manifesto has been organized by 11 associations in an international collaboration and is written in 11 languages.'

This is the initiative of the Spanish group 'Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies' and may be downloaded here.

The Debunking Handbook 2020

The Debunking Handbook 2020 summarises the current state of the science of misinformation and its debunking. It was written by a team of 22 prominent scholars of misinformation and its debunking, and it represents the current consensus on the science of debunking for engaged citizens, policymakers, journalists, and other practitioners. It may be downloaded here.

UK Skeptics 'Rust Razor' award 2020

The French microbiologist Didier Raoult has today been named the 2020 recipient of the 'Rusty Razor' award, the prize given by The Skeptic to the year’s worst promoters of pseudoscience. The scientist made headlines around the world earlier this year for his study promoting the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.