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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...

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)...



Some ASKE members are themselves very active in promoting skepticism, irrespective of their membership of ASKE. If you are a member yourself you are free to announce any activities you are involved in that may be of interest to other members and anyone visiting this website.

Michael Heap

Michael 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 Newbrook

Mark 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.

Peter Lucey

Peter Lucey is an ASKE member and skeptic. He found skepticism while engaged with Scientology criticism in the 1990s and being referred to the old "sci,skeptic FAQ"). That led to other skeptical books and publications and it has been a "growth experience" (as they say). Peter attended the second James Randi Education Conference (JREF) and some European events, and has appeared as a skeptic on Kilroy, and even Trisha, though neither of the latter can he described as educational! Peter worked in the computer industry for 30 years and has since retired. (Open to all offers!) Now an atheist, he is interested in belief systems generally, and what makes us act on those beliefs.

Peter's website is:

Chris French

Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Patron of UK Humanists. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

Find out more at: