The Swedish Skeptics have announced their annual awards for 2013.
The Enlightener of the Year award is given to Dan Josefsson for his book Mannen som slutade ljuga, “The Man Who Stopped Lying”, and his documentary film Kvinnan bakom Thomas Quick, “The Woman Behind Thomas Quick”. Both describe the outlandish Freudian cult around psychoanalyst Margit Norell and how her ideas about repressed memory therapy caused an incarcerated junkie to confess over thirty murders and become convicted for eight despite a complete lack of forensic evidence. He has since been acquitted from all eight. Norell’s followers at a psychiatric clinic and in the legal system were stuck in a thought structure that made itself immune to critical testing. If the suspect confessed to serial killings, then this was proof of his guilt. If he seemed unable to remember or describe even one detail of a murder correctly, then this too proved him guilty. Josefsson illuminates a case that has occupied Swedes and Norwegians for 20 years and finally makes it comprehensible.
The Deceiver of the Year anti-award is given to Strålskyddsstiftelsen, “The Radiation Protection Foundation”, a small alarmist lobby organisation that disseminates skewed and inaccurate health claims and conspiracy theories about cell phones and wifi connections, not least to schools.