Skepter

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Skepter
Skepter logo 2015.png
"De kritische kijk op paranormale verschijnselen en pseudowetenschap"
Editor-in-chiefMarcel Hulspas (1988–2002)
Rob Nanninga (2002–2014)
Hans van Maanen (2014–)[1]
CategoriesScientific skepticism
FrequencyQuarterly (1988–2006) Semi-annually (2007–present)
Circulation2900 (2300 paid)[2]
PublisherStichting Skepsis
First issueMarch 1, 1988
CountryNetherlands
LanguageDutch
Websiteskepsis.nl/tijdschrift-skepter/
ISSN0921-5085

Skepter is a popular science magazine of the Dutch skeptical foundation Stichting Skepsis. It describes paranormal or controversial theories and methods from a skeptical perspective.

History[edit]

Skepter logo 1988–2014.

In its first issue, the contemporary president of Stichting Skepsis, astronomer Cornelis de Jager, wrote that the paper "could fulfill a useful task in explaining many seemingly miraculous things, and consequently to the clarification of the misconceptions that exist in many people's minds. Education of a hopefully large audience is the first and foremost task of our magazine."[3] From 1988 until 2002, astronomer Marcel Hulspas was editor-in-chief, and when he was succeeded by Rob Nanninga, the magazine first appeared in colour. In 2007, to reduce costs, increase accessibility and facilitate production and distribution, Skepter has been concentrated more and more on the Internet.[4] In that year, the frequency of Skepter was reduced from quarterly to semi-annually. On the other hand, its size grew from 20 pages per issue in 1988 to 48 in 2014. During Nanninga's editorship (2002–2014), the number of subscribers increased from about 1500 to 2200.[5] After Nanninga's death in May 2014, he was succeeded as editor-in-chief by science journalist Hans van Maanen in December.[1]

The paid circulation is more than 2300, the total circulation is at 2900. Since December 2014, the staff consists of editor-in-chief Hans van Maanen and editors Dirk Koppenaal and CSI fellow Jan Willem Nienhuys.[2] The layout was revamped, and plans were announced to start issuing Skepter four times a year again, as was the case before 2007.[6]

Contents[edit]

The magazine deals with topics such as alternative medicine, magic and the paranormal. Examples include medical claims in reflexology, 9/11 conspiracy theories, tidal forces, the hype surrounding the popular book The Secret, forged doctorates from non-existing universities, the "ridiculous" verdict by an Amsterdam judge that the Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij could not label orthomanual therapist M. Sickesz a "quack"[4] (later overturned[7]), iridology, Bach flower remedies, ayurveda, Aqua Detox, magnet therapy applied kinesiology, bioresonance therapy, acupuncture and reiki. Moreover, attention is given to clairvoyance, parapsychology, auras and dowsing, but also to Egyptian pyramids, aliens, crop circles and UFOs. Although Nanninga said that practices such as forging doctorates are a disgrace, he emphasised that (writing about) critical thinking can be interesting.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pepijn van Erp (18 December 2014). "Hans van Maanen nieuwe hoofdredacteur van Skepter". Skepsis Blog (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Skepter: een tijdschrift over pseudowetenschap". Stichting Skepsis website (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  3. ^ de Jager, Cornelis (1 March 1988). "Is Para-wetenschap ook wetenschap? Een inleiding". Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 1 (1).
  4. ^ a b c Martijn van Calmthout (22 September 2007). "Sceptisch over nepdoctors". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  5. ^ Nienhuys, Jan Willem (January 2015). "In memoriam Rob Nanninga". Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 27 (1): 41.
  6. ^ Israel, Frank Pieter; Nienhuys, Jan Willem (January 2015). "Hans van Maanen hoofdredacteur Skepter". Skepter (in Dutch). Stichting Skepsis. 27 (1): 42.
  7. ^ Andy Lewis (3 August 2009). "Dutch Sceptics Have 'Bogus' Libel Decision Overturned On Human Rights Grounds". The Quackometer. Retrieved 16 May 2014.

External links[edit]