The Ockham Awards

Since 2012, The Skeptic has had the pleasure of awarding the Ockham Awards – our annual awards celebrating the very best work from within the skeptical community. The awards were founded by our previous editor-in-chief, Deborah Hyde, because we wanted to draw attention to those people who work hard to get a great message out. The Ockhams recognise the effort and time that have gone into the community’s favourite campaigns, activism, blogs, podcasts, and outstanding contributors to the skeptical cause.

Ockham Awards

Past Ockham winners have have included current contributors to The SkepticProfessor Edzard Ernst and Hayley Stevens, the European Skeptics Podcast and Say WHY To Drugs podcastex-naturopath Britt Hermes for her blog exposing quackery in her former career, the Edinburgh Skeptics for their annual Skeptics on the Fringe event, and Mark Tilbrook for spreading critical thinking about so-called psychics in the face of verbal and physical abuse from ‘Psychic’ Sally Morgan’s management team and family.

While we recognise the best in skepticism, our awards are also an opportunity to highlight the danger posed by promoters of pseudoscience with our Rusty Razor award. The Rusty Razor is designed to spotlight individuals or organisations who have been prominent promoters of unscientific ideas within the last year.

Previous Rusty Razor winners have included Andrew Wakefield for his ongoing promotion of anti-vaxx misinformation, and Gwyneth Paltrow for her pseudoscience-peddling wellness empire, Goop.

One of the most important elements of our awards are that the nominations come from you – the skeptical community. We asked you to tell us who you think deserves to receive the Skeptic of the Year award, and who deserves to receive the Rusty Razor, and you gave us your nominations.

The winners will be announced at Skeptics in the Pub Online on November 19th, at 7pm.

Award for Skeptical Activism

For an individual or organisation who has done outstanding work to promote critical thinking within the last 12 months.

When considering your nomination, we encourage you to think about:

  • Impact : have they brought about change? Have they been active in challenging pseudoscience?
  • Reach : has their message reached a lot of people? Are those people within the skeptical community, or in the wider public?
  • Relevance : have they been actively promoting critical thinking within the last year?

The Rusty Razor

For an individual or organisation who has been the most prominent promoter of unscientific ideas in the last 12 months.

When considering your nomination, we encourage you to think about:

  • Pseudoscience : how far from sound are the ideas, products or theories they are promoting?
  • Reach : has their message reached a lot of people?
  • Harm : have the ideas led to, or been likely to lead to, a great deal of harm to the public?
  • Relevance : have they been actively promoting pseudoscience within the last year?

Nominees and winners from previous years:

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