Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Pigasus Award

Every April 1st James Randi announces the "winners" of the Pigasus award.  I'm not going to go into great detail about the award as you can read all about it on the site.  But in general here are the categories that Randi awards to each year. 
  1. To the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
  2. To the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.
  3. To the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
  4. To the "Psychic" performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.
What most editors do when the Pigasus awards are announced is to go to the Pigasus site for the award and list the new winners.   This is wonderful, neat and organized but I doubt that any of the "winners" and their fans are going to see the award.

What I've done is to go to each of the winners Wiki pages and announce the award (plus the reason for the award) with links back to the Pigasus and the JREF site.

The 2011 winners:

Richard Hoover
On April 1 2011, the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded Hoover the Pigasus Award for claiming unfounded evidence for microscopic life found on meteorites.[33]

CVS Pharmacy
On April 1 2011, the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded CVS Pharmacy the Pigasus Award for selling homeopathic remedies alongside medicines recognized by science.[8]

Mehmet Oz
2011 James Randi Educational Foundation Media Pigasus Award, which the foundation states is for promoting "nonsense". The foundation complained about Oz's support of energy medicine, faith healing and psychic mediums, among other controversial practices. Oz is the first person to receive a Pigasus Award two years in a row.[26] 

Peter Popoff
Popoff was designated the 2011 JREF Performer Pigasus Award. Among his newer methods is relief for victims of the economic recession. In paid infomercials on BET, Popoff preaches “supernatural debt relief” and continues to write partners who request it donation or not. Recent IRS documents, Popoff took in $23.5 million and paid himself and his immediate family more than $1 million in one year alone.[26]

Andrew Wakefield
On April 1 2011, the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded Wakefield the Pigasus Award for "refusal to face reality".[99]

Still a lot to be done with the Pigasus award, we need to make sure that all the past Pigasus recipients have had their Wiki sites "tagged".  Also I think it would be interesting if each category had past winners listed as well.  For example Wakefield's blurb could say, "past recipients of this category have been The Scientologists, and Kevin Trudeau, this way you are associating one with another.  



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