Russian satirical prize aims to poke holes in pseudoscience

MOSCOW, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A satirical prize to be "awarded" to the top achievements in pseudoscience has been established in Russia, its creators said Thursday.

The public can make nominations for the award, dubbed the Obscurantis Prize, on the website, prize organizing committee head Irina Levontina told RIA Novosti.


"We've long been outraged by various anti-scientific TV shows and articles full of outrageous nonsense and messing with people's heads," said Levontina, a linguist who works at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The academy has its own unofficial commission against pseudoscience and has repeatedly attacked ufology, astrology and numerous "inventors" requesting state support of questionable technological projects.

"This flood has increased greatly in recent times," Levontina said. "We realized that the scientific community must try to counteract it."

The academic community in Russia has become increasingly concerned about the rise of pseudoscience since the demise of the Soviet Union, when the educational system began to decline.

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