… Where whack-jobs get their just deserts.
I was kinda hoping Danny Nalliah and his anti-abortion noodles would get a guernsey, but the Australian Skeptics have instead gone for Meryl Dorey and her fellow anti-vax nutters for this year’s award. As Barry Williams tells it, the award has its origins back in 1982:
In 1982, Australian Skeptics instituted an award to be presented annually at the National Convention to individuals or organisations who made the most outrageous claim of a paranormal or pseudoscientific nature in the preceding year. After conferring with leading American Skeptic and illusionist, James Randi, who had earlier instituted a Bent Spoon award, it was decided that our award would also commemorate one of the less useful, though widely acclaimed, alleged paranormal claims; the psychic ability to distort items of cutlery. So was born the Australian Bent Spoon Award. Some years later, in a masterpiece of alliteration, it was decided that the preamble to the award should read ‘presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle.’
As Dorey’s brand of woo-woo actually helped to undermine herd immunity in areas where the AVN operates, contributing to a whooping cough epidemic and several deaths, I agree with the powers that be in the Skeptics that she trumps Nalliah (who still rates an honourable mention, in my view):