European Council of Skeptical Organizations

The European Council of Skeptical Organizations ( ECSO ) is an umbrella of skeptical organizations in Europe .


Founded we 25 September 1994 the CSAO AIMS to co-ordinate activities of European organizations and Individuals That aim at Critically Investigating pseudoscientificstatements and comments Regarding claims of paranormal phenomena, and to make the results of investigations icts Known to the public broad. [1] It is possible to continue the series of European congresses that preceded its foundation [2] and supports a biennial congress and a symposium every other year. [1]

The Charter of the European Council of Skeptical Organizations states that it

1) To protect the public from the promulgation of claims and therapies which have not been subjected to critical testing and thus to pose a danger to them.
2) To investigate by means of controlled tests and experiments on the subject of these phenomena. In particular this applies to the term „paranormal“ or „pseudoscientific“. However, no claims, explanations or theories will be rejected in advance of objective evaluation.
3) To promote public policy based on good practice in science and medicine. [3]

The Charter was signed by Amardeo Sarma ( GWUP ), Michael Howgate (UK Skeptics), Miguel Angel Sabadell (ARP), Paul Kurtz ( CSICOP ), Tim Trachet ( SKEPP ), Arlette Fougnies ( Para Committee ) and Cornelis de Jager ( Stichting Skepsis ). [3]


Board of directors

Cornelis de Jager served as first president until 2001, when he was replaced by Amardeo Sarma (2001-2013), [4] who was in turn succeeded by Gábor Hraskó . Since September 2017, the ECSO is composed of: [1] [5]

  • Claire Klingenberg ( Sisyfos ) – President
  • Tim Trachet ( SKEPP ) – Vice President
  • Amardeo Sarma ( GWUP ) – Treasurer
  • Paola De Gobbi ( CICAP ) – Member
  • Pontus Böckman ( VoF ) – Member
  • Catherine de Jong ( VtdK ) – Associate member
  • Leon Korteweg ( DVG ) – Associate member
  • Michael Heap ( ASKE ) – Associate member
  • András Gábor Pintér ( SzT ) – Associate member

Member organizations

The ECSO brings together the following skeptic groups: [6]

Local name English name Abbrev. Founded Region served Notes
Alternativa Racional a las Pseudociencias – Sociedad para el Advance del Pensamiento Crítico [7] Rational Alternative to Pseudoscience – Society for the Advancement of Critical Thinking ARP-SAPC 1986  spain Founding member. [3]
Association for Skeptical Inquiry Association for Skeptical Inquiry ASKE 1997  United Kingdom
French Association for Scientific Information French Association for Scientific Information AFIS 1968 [8]  la France Member since 2001.[9]
Comitato Italiano per il Controllo delle Affermazioni sulle Pseudoscienze Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudosciences CICAP 1989  italy
Belgian Committee for Critical Analysis of Parasciences Belgian Committee for the Critical Analysis of Parasciences Para Committee 1949  belgium Serves Wallonia andBrussels . Founding member. [3]
Círculo Escéptico Skeptical Circle THIS 2006  spain
Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildning Science and Popular Enlightenment / Swedish Skeptics Association [10] VoF 1982  sweden
Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences GWUP 1987  DA-CH Based in Roßdorf , Germany. Founding member. [3]
Irish Skeptics Society Irish Skeptics Society ISS 2002  ireland
Klub Sceptyków Polskich Polish Skeptics Club KSP 2010  poland Member since 2017.[5]
Zetetic Observatory Zetetic Observatory OZ 2003  la France [11]
Skepsis ry skepsis skepsis 1987  finland
Skeptiker Schweiz – Verein für kritisches Denken Swiss Skeptics – Association for Critical Thinking Skeptiker 2012 switzerland [12]
Stichting Skepsis Skepsis Foundation skepsis 1987  Netherlands Founding member. [3]
Studiekring voor de Kritische Evaluatie van Pseudowetenschap in Paranormal Het Study Circle for the Critical Evaluation of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal SKEPP 1990  belgium Serves Flanders andBrussels . Founding member. [3]
Szkeptikus Társaság Hungarian Skeptic Society szt 2006  hungary
Vereniging tegen from Kwakzalverij Association against Quackery VtdK 1881  Netherlands No formal membership yet. [13]
Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos Czech Skeptics Club Sisyfos Sisyfos 1995  Czech Republic

Furthermore, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI, formerly CSICOP), whose founder and long-time chairman Paul Kurtz was actively involved in its formation (especially because of the Skeptical Inquirer had many subscribers in Europe), [3] and the Israel Skeptics Society are associate members of the ECSO. [6]

European Skeptics Congress

Meeting of representatives of ECSO member organizations at the European Skeptics Congress 2015 in London

European Skeptics Congresses (ESCs), in which skeptical organizations from many different European countries participate, have been held ever since 1989. The conferences are often held in the month of September, and may be held to date. The ECSO was formed at the 6th ESC on 25 September 1994 in Ostend , Belgium . Since its foundation, the ECSO co-ordinates in the organization of new ESCs that take place (on average) every other year, and is hosted by a different member organization each time. Skeptical organizations that are non-ECSO members may also send their delegations. Past ESCs have been: [2] [14]

Event Dated City Country Notes
1st European Skeptics Congress 5-7 May 1989 Bad Tölz  West Germany
2nd European Skeptics Congress August 10-11, 1990[15] Brussels  belgium
3rd European Skeptics Congress 4-5 October 1991[16] Amsterdam  Netherlands
4th European Skeptics Congress July 17-19, 1992 [17] St. Vincent  italy
5th European Skeptics Congress 29-31 August 1993 Keele  United Kingdom Theme: „Science for Life: Health, Medicine and Well-Being“. Organized by the UK Skeptics.
6th European Skeptics Congress September 23-25, 1994 Ostend  belgium Theme: „Science, Pseudoscience and the Environment“. [18] ECSO formed. [3]
7th European Skeptics Congress 4-7 May 1995 Roßdorf  Germany
8th European Skeptics Congress 4-7 September 1997 A Coruña  spain
9th European Skeptics Congress September 17-19, 1999 Maastricht  Netherlands Hosted by Stichting Skepsis [19]
10th European Skeptics Congress September 7-9, 2001 Prague  Czech Republic Theme: „Rise and Development of Paranormal Beliefs in Eastern Europe“ [4]
11th European Skeptics Congress 5-7 September 2003 London  United Kingdom
12th European Skeptics Congress 13-15 October 2005 Brussels  belgium Theme: „Pseudoscience, Alternative Medicine and the Media“ [20]
13th European Skeptics Congress 7-9 September 2007 Dublin  ireland Theme: „The Assault on Science: Constructing a Response“ [21] 100+ expected. [22]
14th European Skeptics Congress 17-19 September 2010 Budapest  hungary [23]
15th European Skeptics Congress 22-25 August 2013 Stockholm  sweden Theme: „ESCape to Clarity!“ [24] [25]
16th European Skeptics Congress September 10-13, 2015 London  United Kingdom Organized by Association for Skeptical Inquiry and Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit [26]
17th European Skeptics Congress 22-24 September 2017 Wrocław  poland „Where great minds meet“ Organized by Klub Sceptyków Polskich and Český klub skeptiků Sisyfos [27]


Chairman Gábor Hraskó stated in a 2015 interview [28]the heads of ECSO are the first to be active leaders for the various European groups. Several have disappeared, others are still active with new leaders, it is important to establish networks. At the 2015 conference held in London, Hraskó felt that he had learned about organizing from the UK skeptic groups. They operate differently than the continental Europeans, which tends to be one group that runs everything. The UK groups are all independent and more grassroots, but they work together on big conferences and projects. The 2017 conference „hopefully will be with the Polish and Czech skeptics“. Hraskó stated that the Czech skeptics disappeared for some time, and they hoped that they would reorganize the Polish and Polish the plans for the 2017 conference.17th biannual European Skeptics Congress 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. [29] They were denied access to their initial subject on religious grounds, [30] then changed to the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics at the University of Wrocław . [29]

Catherine de Jong stated that having an organization overseeing the Europeans is helpful to disseminate information when planning for European planning. She gave the example of faith healer Peter Popoff being one who planned a tour of Europe. The UK skeptic Michael Marshall was able to contact the ECSO, who in turn was able to notify all the leaders of the other groups. They were able to share information and plan how to handle the events. [31]


During the 6th World Skeptics Congress (Berlin, 18-20 May 2012 [32] ), co-sponsored by the ECSO, GWUP and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), the ECSO presented the „Outstanding Skeptics Award“ to Wim Betz ( SKEPP) and Luigi Garlaschelli ( CICAP ) „in recognition of [their] dedication and outstanding contributions in promoting science and investigating extraordinary claims“. Simultaneously, the CSI presented Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst with the „In Praise of Reason Award“ in „recognition of [their] distinguished contribution to the use of critical inquiry, scientific evidence, and reason in evaluating claims to knowledge“. [33] [34]

See also

  • European Humanist Federation
  • List of skeptical conferences
  • List of skeptical organisms
  • QED: Question, Explore, Discover
  • The Amaz! Ng Meeting (TAM!)


  1. ^ Jump up to:e „ECSO: Skeptics in Europe – About“ . ECSO website. Archivedfrom the original on 25 September 2017 . Retrieved 25 September 2017 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b „Earlier European skeptic events“ . HSS website. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014 . Retrieved 21 May 2014 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:d e f g h i de Jager, Kees (December 1994). „Een Europese Skeptische organisatie“. Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 7 (4): 11.
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Mahner Martin (February 2002). „10th European Skeptics Congress: Rise and Development of Paranormal Beliefs in Eastern Europe“ . Skeptical Inquirer . CSICOP . 26 (1). Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  5. ^ Jump up to:b „European Skeptics elect fresh leadership“ . European Skeptics . Archived from the original on 2017-09-26 . Retrieved 2017-09-26 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b „Skeptics organizations: CSAO Members“ . ECSO website . European Council of Skeptical Organizations. 16 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014 . Retrieved 5 October 2014 .
  7. Jump up^ ARP-SAPC website
  8. Jump up^ (in French) Jean-Pierre Thomas. „Our History“ . Website AFIS . AFIS. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014 . Retrieved 3 April 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ Mike Heap (June 2002). „From the Chairman: The 10th European Skeptics Congress“ . Skeptical Adversaria . Association for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015 . Retrieved 29 October2014 .
  10. Jump up^ „Archived copy“ . Archived from the original on 2016-11-13 . Retrieved 2016-11-01 .
  11. Jump up^ „FAQ“ . OZ website . Zetetic Observatory. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014 . Retrieved 18 November 2014 .
  12. Jump up^ Gregor Schenker (24 March 2014). „Wir Skeptiker is keine Nörgler“ . Tages-Anzeiger (in German). Tamedia . Archived from the original on 14 December 2014 . Retrieved 5 October 2014 .
  13. Jump up^ The VtdK membership has not been formalized yet, but there is cooperation with the ECSO, and its chairwomanCatherine de Jong hasserved as ECSO board member.
  14. Jump up^ „European Skeptic Congress and ECSO Events“ . Lanyrd . Archivedfrom the original on 23 July 2014 . Retrieved 22 May 2014 .
  15. Jump up^ Michels, Hans (1990). „Overhead of European Skeptics Conference 1990“. Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis . 3 (4): 30-31.
  16. Jump up^ Hulspas, Marcel (December 1991). „Van APE-Mensen tot wijntherapie.Het derde Euroskeptics Congress“. Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 4 (4): 30-31.
  17. Jump up^ Koene, Bart; Nanninga, Rob (September 1992). „Quali prove Het vierde EuroSkeptics congres“. Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 5 (3): 1-3.
  18. Jump up^ Poley, Stephen (December 1994). „Bijeen in Oostende, Het zesde EuroSkeptics congres“. Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 7 (4): 8-10.
  19. Jump up^ Ted Hoog (6 October 1999). „Skeptic to go landen ..“ from Groene Amsterdammer (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 19 May 2016 . Retrieved 24 August 2014 .
  20. Jump up^ „European Skeptics Congress 2005“ . University of Hasselt . 11 October 2005. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014 . Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  21. Jump up^ „13th Congress of the European Council of Skeptical Organizations (ECSO)“ . ISS website. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015 . Retrieved 23 May 2014 .
  22. Jump up^ Shane Hegarty (7 September 2007). „Surely it’s not the sceptics?“ The Irish Times .
  23. Jump up^ Hall, Mike; Marshall, Michael ; Harris, Colin (23 September 2010). „Skeptics with a K: Episode # 031“ . Skeptics with a K . Episode 31.Merseyside Skeptics Society . Archived from the original on 8 February 2014 . Retrieved 25 August 2014 .
  24. Jump up^ Agnes Tieben (27 May 2013). „15th European Skeptics Congress, 23rd – 25th August 2013, Stockholm, Sweden“ (in Dutch). Klopt Dat Wel? . Archived from the original on 19 April 2015 . Retrieved 23 May 2014 .
  25. Jump up^ Frazier, Kendrick (16 September 2013). „Three Days of Science and Skepticism in Stockholm“ . CSI website . Committee for Skeptical Inquiry . Archived from the original on 14 December 2014 . Retrieved 25 August2014 .
  26. Jump up^ European ArchivedSkeptics Congress2014-05-18 at theWayback Machine.
  27. Jump up^ European Skeptics ArchivedCongress2017-07-20
  28. Jump up^ „Episode # 001, feat Gábor Hraskó“ . The European Skeptic Podcast . Archived from the original on 5 September 2017 . Retrieved 4 May 2016 .
  29. ^ Jump up to:b „17th European Skeptics Congress“ . . Archived from the original on 2017-07-20 . Retrieved 2017-08-03 .
  30. Jump up^ Saunders, Richard (23 July 2017). „The Skeptic Zone: The Skeptic Zone # 457 – 23. July.2017“ . (Podcast). Event occurs at 8:20 AM Archived from the original on 4 August 2017 . Retrieved 4 August2017 .
  31. Jump up^ „Episode # 002, feat Catherine de Jong“ . European Skeptics Podcast . Archived from the original on 19 May 2016 . Retrieved 4 May 2016 .
  32. Jump up^ 6th World ArchivedSkeptics Congress Program2014-09-05 at theWayback Machine.
  33. Jump up^ Chairman’s Blog (8 October 2012). „The Sixth World Skeptics Congress“. ASKE website. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013 . Retrieved 23 May 2014 .
  34. Jump up^ World Skeptics Congress (16 June 2012). „World Skeptics Congress 2012: In Praise of Reason Award / Outstanding Skeptics Award (Introduction)“ . YouTube . Archived from the original on 23 May 2014 . Retrieved 23 May2014 .