ASKE logoWelcome to the Association for Skeptical Enquiry (ASKE)

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. The organisers of ASKE pursue these aims by the following activities:
  • Maintaining this website, through which members of the public and people in relevant professions may access relevant information. This includes advice for people who may be considering availing themselves of services offered by people such as psychics, astrologers, unorthodox medical practitioners, and by other individuals and organisations making scientifically unsubstantiated claims about the validity and efficacy of their practices.
  • Preparing an online quarterly magazine-cum-newsletter, the Skeptical Intelligencer. This is freely available for public inspection and contains articles, reviews and announcements of interest. ASKE members receive emailed copies of the Skeptical Intelligencer and are also sent paper copies if they wish. Members may also contribute their own articles, reviews and announcements.
  • Regularly informing members of any relevant news, announcements, upcoming events, and so on.
  • Responding to enquiries from members of the public, professional people, and the media about matters of relevance to the above aims.
  • Maintaining an email discussion network which members may join in order to exchange ideas and information.
  • Organising public meetings. This is not currently a common activity, but in 2003 ASKE organised the 11th European Skeptics Congress and in September 2015 will be jointly organising the 16th such event.
  • Scientifically testing people who claim to possess paranormal abilities. At present ASKE does not offer a prize to anyone demonstrating a paranormal ability under scientific controlled conditions. However, we will conduct the preliminary test for anyone wishing to enter for the Sisyphus Prize. The Sisyphus prize is awarded by SKEPP, the Belgian Skeptical Society and is worth 25,000 euros. SKEPP will test anyone prepared to travel to Belgium but first they must pass a preliminary test in their own country and this is where ASKE can be involved. If you are interested in this possibility, first go to the Sisyphus page on this website (see link in the menu above).

Come and Join Us!

ASKE is a small organisation that 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 the above 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 page.


The 16th European Skeptics Congress

The 16th European Skeptics Congress was held at Goldsmiths College London from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September 2015. The congress was held under the auspices of ECSO (the European Council of Skeptical Organisations), and was jointly organised by ASKE (the Association for Skeptical Enquiry) and APRU (the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College. The congress website is still operating ( and post-congress information will appear in due course. Some audio recordings of talks will be online soon and Klaus Schmeh has a video of his talk on parascientific codes on YouTube at Photographs of the congress may be viewed at and a short video prepared by Mark Williams can be watched at A video recording of the debate on skepticism and medicine is at: and


Michael HeapMichael Heap is a clinical and forensic psychologist living in Sheffield. He is Chairman and one of the founders of ASKE. He is an expert on hypnosis and has written, lectured and taught extensively on this as well as on subjects such as clinical psychology, psychiatric diagnoses, NLP, alternative medicine, and skepticism generally. For many years he has given talks in schools on 'Science and the Paranormal'.

Many of his papers are to be found on his website.

Mark NewbrookMark Newbrook is from Wirral, near Liverpool. He completed a BA (Honours) in Classics (including Indo-European philology) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and a PhD in linguistics at Reading University and worked as a lecturer and researcher in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Mark is one of the world's few identifying 'skeptical linguists' and authored the first ever survey work on the subject in a book entitled Strange Linguistics, Lincom-Europa, Munich, 2013.

A sample of his writings can be found on this website.

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Rational Veterinary Medicine

The Rational Veterinary Medicine website is run by Niall Taylor, a veterinary surgeon in mixed practice in the south-west of England. Its main aim is to collate many of the references and clinical papers used by proponents of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, both human and veterinary. Papers are critiqued and links are provided, wherever possible, to the original papers themselves and to additional commentaries elsewhere. There are also links to relevant media articles and a number of bespoke articles on the topic.

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