We can’t wait to see you all at MSSX tomorrow morning – or even at the pre-event meetup tonight at Dr Duncan’s! And we’ve just time to share with you our interview with our final speaker for the weekend, Britt Hermes.
What can we expect from your talk at MSSX?
I am going to talk about what it is like to get sued for defamation by a cancer quack – which was my life for the last few years, up until the judge ruled in my favour last month.
How long have you considered yourself a skeptic?
Since my first QED in 2016!
Who is your skeptical hero, and why?
Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst. I am not sucking up, I swear! Their book Trick or Treatment, Alternative Medicine on Trial changed my life
Is there a form of pseudoscience that annoys you the most, and why?
I am currently most annoyed by parenting pseudoscience that targets new moms! As a new mom myself, I am appalled by how much nonsense is marketed toward parents for an assortment of benign health conditions, like teething, and to promote child development. Parenting is already stressful enough—we should not have to sift through loads of information to understand whether we need products like CO2 sensors for the crib or amber teething necklaces! I am also constantly disturbed by medical pseudoscience that targets vulnerable populations such as children with autism and cancer patients.
What is the most important or interesting lesson you’ve learnt as a skeptic?
Humility and the ability to say, “I was wrong.”
As MSSX is the 10th anniversary of the MSS, and lots of other skeptical groups started in the UK around the same time, how do you feel skepticism has changed in the time you’ve been involved?
Over the past few years I have witnessed growth within the skeptic movement. The UK groups do a particularly great job of featuring diverse voices within the field. I’ve seen groups work to create inclusive, supportive communities. I have learned a lot from the UK movement and I am proud to say that my skeptical roots began in Manchester.
You can see Britt, plus five other speakers, magic from Dave Alnwick, and more, at MSSX tomorrow morning from 9.30am. Tickets are no longer on sale online, but there will be a limited number available on the door. See you all there!