Richard Saunders (skeptic)

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Richard Saunders
Saunders wiki.jpg
Born (1965-11-28) 28 November 1965 (age 48)
Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia
Residence Sydney, Australia
Known for Skepticism, origami, author, podcaster
Website
http://skepticzone.tv/ and http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com
recorded in March 2014

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Richard Saunders (born 28 November 1965) is an Australian skeptic, podcaster, and professional origamist. He received recognition by the Australian Skeptics with a Life Membership in 2001 for his contributions to the organisation.[1] Saunders is the president[2][3] of the Australian Skeptics, and he founded Sydney Skeptics in the Pub.[4] He has presented on skepticism, represented the Australian Skeptics on television and radio shows, and is the co-host of the Skeptic Zone podcast.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kurri Kurri, New South Wales,[1] Australia, Saunders traveled internationally with his family in his early life, since his father, Rev. Robert H. Saunders,[5] a Methodist preacher, took the family to live in Tribune, Saskatchewan, Canada from 1968-1969. Returning to Australia, Saunders attended a variety of primary schools in Mullumbimby, Lithgow, and graduated from Woy Woy High School in 1984.

Professional career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Saunders joined educational publisher Ashton Scholastic and sold educational software for Apple II and Commodore 64 home computers. In 1988 he began authoring over twenty books on origami,[6] which subsequently were featured on the Australian children's television program Wombat,[7] The ABC Afternoon Show,[8] and similar programs.

He also worked as a web designer for The Advance Bank of Australia and Commonwealth Bank[2] and in 1999 was transferred to EDS, where he designed the interface for netBank online banking and worked for two years before joining GreenStone Pty Ltd as a web designer for three years.

From 2005 - 2008 he worked part-time as a film and TV extra, appearing in the background in such feature films as Superman Returns and Australia as well as in the background in the TV shows All Saints (TV series) and Home And Away.

In 2013 he was invited to be a member of the "World Competition Jury" at Academia Film Olomouc's 48th International Festival of Science Documentary Films or AFO48 in the Czech Republic.[9] He also gave a lecture on the claims of water divining as part of the "Pseudoscience" block and a lecture and workshops on origami as part of the "The Beauty of Numbers" block.[10][11][12]

In 2008 he and Gary Clark produced "DVD Origami," an instructional DVD with step-by-step instructions on how to fold 20 paper models.[13]

Career as a skeptic[edit]

Saunders has over 10 years of experience researching claims of the paranormal.[2] He joined the committee of the Australian Skeptics in 2001 and has been President and Vice President[2] of the organization. He was granted a Life Membership in the organization in recognition of his work on The Great Skeptic CD.[1] He went on to create the Great Water Divining DVD and the "card carrying skeptic card." He founded Sydney Skeptics in the Pub,[4] initiated "The Skeptic Tank" radio show on Net.FM with Stefan Sojka,[14] produced The Australian Skeptics collection on "Theories of Everything" for TVS local Sydney TV, and created several of the Australians Skeptics convention DVDs. He was the acting artistic director and layout manager for The Skeptic Magazine from Australian Skeptics until Tim Mendham was appointed the new editor in June 2009.

In 2003 Saunders co-founded The Mystery Investigators Show with Alynda Brown and Ian Bryce. The program teaches students to use science and critical thinking to investigate claims of the paranormal, such as water divining, spoon bending, and firewalking.[15] In 2008 Brown left the show and was replaced by biologist Dr. Rachael Dunlop. In 2013 the show celebrated 10 years of performing.

In 2010 he helped organize the first The Amaz!ng Meeting Australia in Sydney. The meeting featured presentations by several high-profile members of the skeptical community, including James Randi, Brian Dunning, and Eugenie Scott.[15]

He has used his expertise in origami to design an origami Pigasus[16] in honour of the mascot of the James Randi Educational Foundation. He authored instructions for folding the Pigasus and a dragon for Skeptic (U.S. magazine).[17]

Awards and Honours[edit]

Podcasting[edit]

Saunders was producer and host of The Tank Vodcast (aka The Skeptic Tank).[19] In 2008 this podcast became The Skeptic Zone podcast, which he still hosts. It appears weekly and is billed as "The Podcast from Australia for Science and Reason."[20]

He has appeared as a guest on many other podcasts and vodcasts including The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe,[21][22] Skepticality,[23] Dragon*Pod,[24][25][26] The Reason Driven Podcast,[27] The Amateur Scientist Podcast,[28] Bad Psychics TV,[29] and Meet the Skeptics![15]

Public & Media appearances[edit]

He has made many appearances on radio and television in his role as a skeptic, including on Today Tonight,[30][31][32] Sunrise, Radio 2GB,[33] Radio 2UE,[4][34][35] Nova 106.9,[36] 702 ABC, [2] [37] and the pilot show for "Curiosity Aroused".[38] In 2007 he did a recurring segment for the Mike Williams Saturday Night Live radio program called Myths and Mysteries.[39] In 2011 and 2012 he was a regular on The Dirty Disbelievers a radio program on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio network.[40]

In July and August 2008 (series #1) and in 2011 (series #2), he appeared as the resident skeptic judge on The One, an Australian reality television program on the Seven Network that tested the powers of several alleged psychics.[2][41][42]

He has spoken at many skeptic meetings including the Australian Skeptics National Convention in 2003,[43] 2004,[44] and 2008.[45][46] In the United States he appeared at The Amaz!ng Adventure North to Alaska[16][47] in 2007, and The Amaz!ng Meeting 6[48][49][50] and the Skeptrack at Dragon*Con,[51] both in 2008.

See also[edit]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Saunders, Richard; Morris, Campbell; Mackness, Brian (1988). Aussiegami: Paperfolding Down-under - Just for Fun. Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Lothian Publishing Co. ISBN 0-85091-344-6. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1989). Prehistoric Aussiegami: Paperfolding Down-under Dinosaurs ... for Fun. Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Lothian Publishing Co. ISBN 0-85091-366-7. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Horrorgami: Spooky Paperfolding Just for Fun. Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Lothian Publishing Co. ISBN 0-85091-380-2. 
  • Mackness, Brian; Saunders, Richard; Saunders, Geoff (1990). Food Tricks. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-013-2. 
  • Mackness, Brian; Saunders, Richard; Saunders, Geoff (1990). Paper Tricks. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-009-4. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Boats. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-002-7. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Decorations. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-008-6. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Games. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-001-9. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Hats. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-006-X. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Masks. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-005-1. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Planes. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-007-8. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Mackness, Brian (1990). Toys. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Barnacle Publishing. ISBN 1-86338-003-5. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Roche, Brad (February 1992). The Eyespy Book of Boredom Busters. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-882-X. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Davis, Michael (April 1992). The Eyespy Book of Dinosaur Data. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-887-0. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Davis, Michael (July 1992). The Eyespy Book of Aussie Action. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-884-6. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Somers, Greg (July 1992). The Eyespy Book of Magic Tricks. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-886-2. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Davis, Michael (July 1992). Lucky's Favourite Jokes. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-897-8. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Spoor, Mike (September 1992). The Eyespy Book of Animal Disguises. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-881-1. 
  • Saunders, Richard; Martin, John (October 1992). The Eyespy Book of Christmas Gifts to Make. Sydney, Australia: Ashton Scholastic. ISBN 0-86896-888-9. 
  • Saunders, Richard (1992). Animals. Roseville, NSW, Australia: Lineup. ISBN 0-646-09445-9. 
  • Saunders, Richard (1992). Decorations for All Occasions. Roseville, NSW, Australia: Lineup. ISBN 0-646-09446-7. 
  • Saunders, Geoff; Saunders, Richard (1992). Surfing. Roseville, NSW, Australia: Lineup. ISBN 0-646-10193-5. 
  • Saunders, Geoff; Saunders, Richard; Gamble, Kim (1992). Tennis. Roseville, NSW, Australia: Lineup. ISBN 0-646-10192-7. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Victorian Skeptics: Richard Saunders". Victorian Skeptics, Australian Skeptics. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The One: Judge - Richard Saunders". Yahoo 7 TV Australia. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Group Info: New South Wales (Australian Skeptics Inc.)", Australian Skeptics website (Australian Skeptics Inc.), retrieved 16 May 2013 
  4. ^ a b c "Sydney Skeptics in the Pub". Australian Skeptics. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Saunders, Richard (9 April 2006). "My dear father, Rev. Bob Saunders". Mystery Investigators. Archived from the original on 9 December 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Books by Richard Saunders (authored and co-authored)". Mystery Investigators. Archived from the original on 19 November 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "Origami - Richard Saunders 1988 - Wombat - Ch. 7". YouTube. Retrieved 7 May 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Origami - Richard Saunders 1989 - Afternoon Show ABC TV". YouTube. Retrieved 7 May 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "AFO 48: Competition Juries". Olomouc, Czech Republic: Academia Film Olomouc. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Výzva pro AFO48: Odhalit krásu matematiky" [Call for AFO48: Discover the beauty of mathematics] (in Czech). Olomouc, Czech Republic: Academia Film Olomouc. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Souboj vědy s mýtem na AFO48 rozsoudí Richard Saunders" [Clash of science toll on AFO48 judge Richard Saunders] (in Czech). Olomouc, Czech Republic: Academia Film Olomouc. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Academia Film Olomouc (2013), "48th International Festival of Science Documentary Films", catalog (Olomouc, Czech Republic: Profi-Tisk Group s.r.o.): 86, 91, ISBN 9788024434629, retrieved 16 May 2013 
  13. ^ DVD Origami (online vendor site), Maximedia, retrieved 12 May 2013 
  14. ^ Saunders, Richard (Summer 2001). "Take an Internet Dip in The Skeptic Tank". The Skeptic (New South Wales, Australia: Australian Skeptics Inc.) 21 (4): 65. ISSN 0726-9897. OCLC 173343236. 
  15. ^ a b c Brown, Christopher. "Meet Richard Saunders". Meet the Skeptics! Podcast. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Randi, James (14 September 2007). "Our Recent Adventure" (blog). SWIFT. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  17. ^ Saunders, Richard. "How to Fold Origami Pigasus". YouTube. Retrieved 5 December 2008. [dead link]
  18. ^ Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (7 February 2011), CSI announces new Fellows (press release), Amherst, NY, retrieved 7 August 2011 
  19. ^ "The TANK Vodcast: Skepticism Never Looked So Good!". The Tank Vodcast. Retrieved 5 December 2008. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Skeptical Podcasts from Australia: The Skeptic Zone", Australian Skeptics website (Australian Skeptics Inc.), retrieved 16 May 2013, "The Podcast from Australia for Science and Reason" 
  21. ^ Novella, Steven; Watson, Rebecca; Novella, Jay; Novella, Robert; Bernstein, Evan (hosts) (27 September 2007), "Episode #114" (podcast), The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (New England Skeptical Society), retrieved 6 December 2008 
  22. ^ Novella, Steven; Watson, Rebecca; Novella, Jay; Novella, Robert; Bernstein, Evan (hosts) (26 August 2008), "Episode #162" (podcast), The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (New England Skeptical Society), retrieved 6 December 2008 
  23. ^ McCarthy, Robynn; Colanduno, Derek (2 November 2005), "Episode #22: The Australian Skeptic - Interview: Richard Saunders", Skepticality (Skeptic Magazine), retrieved 27 November 2011 
  24. ^ "Panel 2 - Videocasting 101", Dragon*Pod (Dragon*Con), 8 September 2008, retrieved 6 December 2008 
  25. ^ "Panel 4 - Podcasting United Nations", Dragon*Pod (Dragon*Con), 8 September 2008, retrieved 6 December 2008 
  26. ^ "Panel 9 - PodSci, Science Podcasters Roundtable", Dragon*Pod (Dragon*Con), 8 September 2008, retrieved 6 December 2008 
  27. ^ Schade, Danny; Lockwood, Mikyle (hosts) (January 2008), "Episode 12 - Providence and Superstition", The Reason Driven Podcast, retrieved 6 December 2008 
  28. ^ "Episode 42", The Amateur Scientist Podcast (AmateurScientist.org), 10 September 2008, retrieved 6 December 2008  (audio of show available as mp3 here)
  29. ^ Brougham, William (10 December 2008), BPTV: William Brougham Interviews Australian Skeptic Richard Saunders (video), http://badpsychics.blogspot.com/, retrieved 11 December 2008 
  30. ^ "Ghost (spider) on the stairs", Today Tonight (Seven Network), 19 September 2006, retrieved 12 December 2008 [dead link]
  31. ^ Pangallo, Frank (22 December 2009). "Bracelet claims put to the test". Today Tonight. Seven Network. http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/consumer/article/-/6615459/bracelet-claims-put-to-the-test/. Retrieved 16 May 2013. "Is it a mind blowing scientific marvel or merely the mind playing games with reality?"
  32. ^ Pangallo, Frank (27 July 2011). "Homeopathy put to the test". Today Tonight. Seven Network. http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/health/article/-/9925741/homeopathy-put-to-the-test/. Retrieved 16 May 2013. "A scientist is out to bust myths about staying healthy, popping pills by the handful to show what works, and what doesn't."
  33. ^ "The Skeptic Zone #127" (podcast), The Skeptic Zone (New South Wales, Australia: Australian Skeptics Inc.), 25 March 2011, retrieved 16 May 2013 
  34. ^ "Richard Saunders on Radio 2UE". YouTube. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2008. [dead link]
  35. ^ "The Skeptic Zone #92" (podcast), The Skeptic Zone (New South Wales, Australia: Australian Skeptics Inc.), 23 July 2010, retrieved 16 May 2013 
  36. ^ "Richard Saunders on NOVA Radio". YouTube. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  37. ^ PM. Bigfoot still out there, despite hoax video. 15 August 2008. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  38. ^ Watson, Rebecca (host) (16 December 2007), "Curiosity, Aroused: The Pilot" (podcast), Curiosity, Aroused (WordPress), retrieved 12 December 2008 
  39. ^ "Myths and Mysteries with Richard Saunders". Mystery Investigators. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  40. ^ Maynard (23 January 2012), The Dirty Disbelievers, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, retrieved 16 May 2013, "Take the red pill AND the blue pill on ABC Digital Radio across Australia" 
  41. ^ Ellliot, Tim (7 July 2008), "Just act paranormal", The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Digital, Fairfax Media), ISSN 0312-6315, OCLC 226369741 
  42. ^ Robson, Lou (3 July 2008). "Witches brave the fires of scepticism". Green Guide. The Age (Victoria, Australia). 
  43. ^ "Report: Convention Roundup". The Skeptic (Australian Skeptics Inc.) 23 (3): 9–10. Spring 2003. ISSN 0726-9897. Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  44. ^ "Convention Roundup". The Skeptic (Australian Skeptics Inc.) 24 (4): 6–9. Summer 2004. ISSN 0726-9897. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  45. ^ "News: Convention Roundup". The Skeptic (Australian Skeptics Inc.) 28 (4): 38. Summer 2008. ISSN 0726-9897. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  46. ^ "Skeptics National Convention 2008". Skeptics SA. Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  47. ^ "Richard Saunders on the Amazing Adventure 2". YouTube. 11 September 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2008. [dead link]
  48. ^ Randi, James (4 July 2008), "Saunders is in Action!" (blog), SWIFT (James Randi Educational Foundation), retrieved 5 December 2008 
  49. ^ Richard Saunders at TAM 6 on Bringing Critical Thinking to Schools on YouTube uploaded 23 January 2012 by James Randi Foundation. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  50. ^ "TAM 6 DVD Set (Disk 2)". James Randi Educational Foundation. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008. [dead link]
  51. ^ "About: Archive: Past Guests". Dragon*Con website. Dragon*Con. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 

External links[edit]