Bent Spoon Award
The Bent Spoon Award is an award given by Australian Skeptics, "presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle". In a tongue-in-cheek fashion, Australian Skeptics described the construction of the trophy as a piece of Gopher wood supposedly from the Noah’s Ark, upon which affixed a spoon that was rumoured to have been used at the Last Supper. The spoon was bent by energies unknown to science and was gold plated by an Atlantean process. Although awarded yearly since 1982, only one copy of the trophy exists, as "anyone wishing to acquire the trophy must remove it from our keeping by paranormal means" and no winner has yet overcome this obstacle.
The winner should either be an Australian or have carried out their activities in Australia.
List of winners
- (2012) Fran Sheffield, founder of "Homeopathy Plus!", which markets "homeopathic vaccination" for the treatment and prevention of serious infectious diseases including but not limited to meningococcal disease, along with homeopathic "remedies" for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence and acute radiation sickness among other things.
- (2011) RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) for its outstanding work in teaching pseudoscience.
- (2010) Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA) for its "draft science curriculum".
- (2009) Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network
- (2008) Dr Kerryn Phelps
- (2007) Marena Manzoufas, Head of Programming at the ABC for authorising the television show Psychic Investigators, and for putting it to air in the Catalyst timeslot.
- (2006) Pharmacists of Australia who sell quackery and snake oil in places where consumers should expect to get real medical supplies and advice.
- (2005) The ABC television program Second Opinion, for being a show that presents an uncritical look at an aspect of alternative medicine, even encouraging its use.
- (2004) The New Inventors for giving consideration to the AntiBio water conditioning system.
- (2003) The Complementary Healthcare Council - an industry group consisting of manufacturers and practitioners of alternative therapies and products that lobbied hard to keep scrutiny to a minimum and sought taxpayer funding for advertising.
- (2002) Gentle Heal Pty Ltd for selling homeopathic products that clearly label themselves as vaccines, such as "Hepatitis C Vaccine"
- (2001) The Lutec "Free Energy Generator" - a device claiming to produce 30 times more output than input, but actually outputs 33% of input power.
- (2000) Jasmuheen for continuing to claim people can live solely on air and light, despite repeated exposure as fallacy
- (1999) Mike Willesee for obtaining the assistance of scientists and theologians on a TV show then ignoring their input
- (1998) Southern Cross University for publicising one of its academics' support for "empowered water", and for both offering a degree course in naturopathy while simultaneously conducting research into the validity of naturopathy
- (1997) Dr. Viera Scheibner for her high profile anti-immunisation campaign
- (1996) Marlo Morgan
- (1994) Commonwealth Attorney General's Office
- (1993) Tonight Live on Channel 7
- (1992) Allen S. Roberts - fundamentalist pastor who stated he visited the site of Noah's Ark
- (1991) Women's Day magazine, for "spurious New Age nostrums"
- (1990) Mafu (Penny Torres Rubin) - a channeled ancient entity
- (1989) (None awarded)
- (1988) Diane McCann - prominent new age proponent, proclaimed the City of Churches was the location of part of Atlantis.
- (1987) Anne Dankbaar - Adelaide psychic
- (1986) Peter Brock - promoted an energy polariser
- (1985) Rev. Willard Fuller - psychic dentist
- (1984) Karen Hunt - psychic archaeologist
- (1983) Dennis Hassell - Melbourne mystic
- (1982) Tom Wards - psychic
- Other mock awards
- Golden Raspberry Awards for bad film work
- Darwin Awards for sublimely idiotic self-removal from the gene pool
- Pigasus Award for paranormal fraud (U.S.)
- Stella Awards for outrageous lawsuits
- Bad Sex in Fiction Award
- Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year for odd book titles
- Ig Nobel Prizes for questionable scientific achievements
- Williams, Barry. "History of the Bent Spoon Award". Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "The Bent Spoon Award, Nominations, Past Winners". Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Meryl Dorey and the AVN win 2009 Bent Spoon". Australian Skeptics. 29 November 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- The Science Show, ABC
- News from The Australian
- Rodrigues, Marilyn (8 December 2002). "Conversation: Michael Willesee, journalist and producer -…the presence of Jesus". The Catholic Weekly. Retrieved 9 April 2013.