Claire has a background in law and psychology, and is currently working on her degree in Religious Studies. She has been involved in the skeptic movement since 2013 as co-organizer of the Czech Paranormal Challenge. Since then, she has consulted on various projects, where woo & belief meets science. Claire has spoken at multiple science&skepticism conferences and events. She also organized the European Skeptics Congress 2017, and both years of the Czech March for Science.
Her current activities include chairing the European Council of Skeptical Organisations, running the “Don’t Be Fooled” project (which provides free critical thinking seminars to interested high schools), contributing to the Czech Religious Studies journal Dingir, as well as to their online news in religion website. In her free time, Claire visits various religious movements to understand better what draws people to certain beliefs.
Claire lives in Prague, Czech Republic, with her partner, and dog.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is your position? How did you earn it? Are you the first woman to hold it?
Claire Klingenberg: I am the president of the European Council of Skeptical Organizations. This organization has been active since 1994. Throughout this whole time, it was chaired by men. Women have been on the board.
However, there was a change needed. The board was looking for a change. I am not only the first woman but the youngest person to hold this person.
Klingenberg: My enthusiasm and get-things-done attitude were what was needed for the organization. That is why I was chosen for the role.
Jacobsen: How does it feel?
Klingenberg: It feels wonderful, but it is a huge responsibility. I appreciate that I can do this and make the European Council of Skeptical Organizations a bigger player internationally and help each of our member organizations be more influential in their own countries.
Of course, that is an ambitious project and will take a lot of time. Fortunately, I can be re-elected as many times as the board sees fit [Laughing]. So, I hope that I have more than my first two years to get things done.
Jacobsen: You are also skeptical about term limits too.
Klingenberg: [Laughing] We were reading the constitution. I agree that it should only be two years with limitless re-election possibilities because you never know what crazy person will end up there [Laughing].
Klingenberg: The reason it happens every two years is that the Congress of the European Skeptics Council happens every two years. So, it makes sense to have it every two years. We have a couple of projects starting.
I can see later this year those becoming active and more unifying projects that will bring the member organizations together and will help them with their own work in their countries.
Jacobsen: What is the main initiative or the main goal for the next 5 years?
Klingenberg: The main goal is to become partners with the European Union. That our opinion will be heard and taken seriously about medical care, about farming, about growing GMO crops.
That is our main goal, to be a partner that is going to be heard.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Claire.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7, and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993).
- Beijing Declaration(1995).
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
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Image Credit: Claire Klingenberg.