The Sunday Star Times (A New Zealand paper) is running a survey in conjunction with Marc Wilson (A senior philosophy lecturer at Victoria University) over the next week or two testing New Zealand’s beliefs in superstitions and the like. An article in last weekend’s Sunday Star Times briefly covers the survey and includes a discussion by Vicki Hyde (chair of NZ Skeptics) about skepticism including her description of one NZ Skeptics conference:
“When the Sceptics Conference opened one year on a Friday 13th, we had a ladder parked over the entrance doorway and everyone came through under it. We also had a box of mirror glass to break, chain mail letters to ignore, salt to spill, umbrellas to open inside. It was the one conference where all the speakers ran to time.”
It is good to see NZ skeptics in the news making good points and also making the point that skepticism is not dry cynicism but actually is fun.
The survey itself is quite interesting and I look forward to the results which should be fascinating. I hope they good a good response to it so we can make some useful inferences. The link can be found in the article above or directly here.
Having just done the survey I can say that it deals with superstitions, pseudoscience, lotteries, religion, a strange question about attitudes to different social groups, conspiracy theories, urban myths, alternative medicine, and a few other issues in quite a bit of detail. I did find it quite hard to answer some of the questions due to the wording (which is typical of such surveys) but generally it wasn’t too bad for this sort of survey (I have seen way worse). The temptation of winning a new blackberry was nice too – I need a new phone so fingers crossed… here’s hoping!