Science vs Pseudoscience

Participants' photoreports August 2020 Lithuania

Thanks to cooperation of 4YOUth and Lithuanian Skeptical Youth Association under Polish-Lithuanian Youth Exchange Fund four people from Poland had the opportunity to participate in the project called Science vs Pseudoscience. The project was held in the second biggest city of Lithuania – Kaunas from 10 August 2020 to 14 August 2020.

Each day we have started with morning workout and mindfulness meditation. Core part of this youth exchange was different workshops about skeptical thinking and debunking pseudoscience. They were both practical and theoretical. For example we could check the accuracy of astrology in prediction of the future. We also performed short dramas which showed different negative biases. Besides the formal part we could explore the city of Kaunas and see it from top of the high church. Also we had an opportunity to increase our awareness of Lithuanian culture and present Polish culture to Lithuanians in a fun and interesting way. Our project was concluded with performing street epistemology on the streets of Kaunas. Last day we could have a little chill near the lake with a group bonfire. Below You can find opinions of each member of Polish team about the project:

Michał Noworolnik (Team Leader): As a participant of many youth exchanges I couldn’t predict that this project would surprise me with something. However after this project i have to say that it was really original, unique and interesting. As a PhD Candidate i know how important is debunking pseudoscience and how dangerous for society pseudoscience could be in some particular cases. Most interesting part for me was the lecture of Lithuanian PhD Candidate about different conspiracy theories. In my opinion he presented a really interesting approach to them.

Michał Korwek: It was my first youth exchange and definitely not the last one. I had an opportunity to meet many inspiring people and enjoy a variety of discussed subjects. Moreover, I get knowledge in fields like conspiracy theories, astrology or cognitive biases which I will use in my everyday life. But what I find the most important, are bonds between each other, which we created during the event. Because of the small number of participants we were able to become a really close and supportive community. I will miss every single person. I am so grateful for an opportunity to participate in such a project!

Klaudia Budzanowska: I’ve always enjoyed having deep philosophical discussions with others, here I had a lot of chances to lead such discussions. The biggest challenge for me was to approach random people on the street and ask them questions like ‘Do you believe in God?’ or ‘Do you believe in ghosts/aliens?’ which was one of our tasks during the exchange. I didn’t have such discussions with my close friends, and here I had them with strangers. Lithuanians were very open to speaking their mind, it was amazing! All in all, the stuff presented on the exchange helped me even more to set the line between what we know, and what we believe.

Anna Chwalibóg:This youth exchange turned out to be something completely unexpected and special. Because of the really small number of participants, we created a very close and intimate community, like a family, so that we could get to know each other much more than usually during other projects. We spent those four days talking about critical thinking, rational perceiving of the world and its principles, and how to differentiate what is true and what is not. I really enjoyed the complexity of workshops, especially that we also touched cognitive psychology which is so important when it comes to rational thinking. We made a drama theatre in which we could show each other how cognitive biases control us in daily life. Also street epistemology was an amazing experience, so that we had to talk with strangers about very deep topics, and actually, they came out to be very open-minded people. Generally, this project was a great experience for me, an amazing chance to broaden my horizons and get out of my comfort zone. I’m very grateful to Erasmus+ and 4YOUth for it!

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