My name is Amanda Williams and I am the newly elected President of the Griffith University Society for Skeptics and Freethinkers.
Our club started out in 2007 on the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University with aims of promoting critical thinking and scientific skepticism, as well as investigating and drawing attention to pseudo-science and otherwise unproven or disproved claims being touted as fact.
Since then our members have been interviewed on various radio and news programs, podcasts and in local, national and international media, all of which is a great experience while still studying.
With consumer advocacy and journalistic research in mind, we have encountered/exposed/challenged climate change deniers, historical revisionists (holocaust deniers), young earth creationists & intelligent design advocates (Evolution deniers), ‘faith healers’, U.F.O proponents, white supremacists and a shocking variety of fraudulent and/or misleading health related products and practitioners.
Our aims are:
To educate and share skills in critical thinking and scientific skepticism.
To investigate and explain paranormal and/or pseudo-scientific claims objectively.
To further the acceptance and application of evidence based reasoning, and critical thinking in all areas of human endeavor.
In fulfillment of these aims we pursue various goals:
• Advance the public understanding and appreciation of the scientific method.
• Explore pseudoscience topics, paranormal beliefs and the supernatural from a scientific/rationalistic perspective.
• Engage in journalistic research to investigate claims and where possible, draw public attention to the results from a naturalistic, scientific perspective.
• Be constantly vigilant of the ethical consequences of skepticism and aware that people hold their beliefs and opinions sacred. We aim to educate, not coerce, understand rather than ridicule and we are open to anyone and everyone, the more the merrier!
Since forming our group, members have been fortunate enough to attend talks by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Dr Michael Shermer, Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Jay Browning, Professor Richard Dawkins, Professor K. Barry Sharpless, Professor Bill Phillips, Professor Alister McGrath, Professor Harry Messell, Richard Saunders, Peter Booth, Margaret Kitson, Dr Norman Doidge, Professor Matt Trau and many more. Like any organisation our continued success is entirely dependent on our members. Therefore we are always open to new members and I’d be very happy to welcome the critical thinkers of the future aboard!
President of the GU Skeptics and Freethinkers