Hollywood Investigation Group to Present Annual Awards

For Immediate Release

Hollywood, CA.The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) at the Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles has announced their annual awards recognizing the advancement of science in movies and television. The IIG is the oldest and largest investigative group, and premier skeptical organization, in Los Angeles. The IIG awards program recognizes movies, television shows, and people in the entertainment field for promoting scientific knowledge and values.

“It’s time we acknowledged those film and television producers, writers, directors, and others in entertainment who have advanced the cause of science and helped expose superstition and other nonsense,” said James Underdown, Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry – Los Angeles and Chair of the IIG. “This awards program is our small token of gratitude to those productions and people that have made a positive contribution in this area,” Underdown added.

The IIG awards specifically target “mainstream” shows such as Hollywood feature films and network television shows seen by the general public, as opposed to documentaries or other productions intended as being “educational” by design.

The awards presentation will be held on Saturday, August 18 at the Steve Allen Theater at the Center for Inquiry-West at 4773 Hollywood Blvd, at 1 pm. The annual IIG barbeque and picnic will immediately follow the presentation. In attendance at the ceremony will be representatives of the winning shows, other VIP guests, and Friends and supporters of the Center for Inquiry. Members of the press are also welcome.

The IIG awards are presented in two categories, good and bad. “Good” movies and TV shows are those that have promoted scientific values. “Bad” movies and shows are those that incorrectly represent science, promote pseudoscience, or help foster belief in the supernatural, paranormal, or other nonsense. The winners of “Good” awards for 2006 are as follows:

  • “Psych”, USA Network, Episode: Pilot.
  • “The Simpsons”, Fox TV, Episode #1721, “The Monkey Suit”

The winners of “Bad” awards for 2006 are the following:

  • “The Montel Williams Show” – for episodes featuring Sylvia Browne
  • “Psychic Detectives”, Court TV

In addition the IIG is pleased to announce the induction of the following individuals from the entertainment field into the permanent “IIG Hall of Honor” for their significant lifetime contribution of promoting scientific knowledge and/or exposing charlatans and hoaxers, for the benefit of the public.

  • Harry Houdini (Ehrich Weiss)
  • Carl Sagan

Both of these individuals are being honored in memoriam.

The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) is a non-profit group of volunteers, established by James Underdown in early 2000 as an adjunct to the Center for Inquiry – Los Angeles. The charter of the group is to investigate claims of the supernatural and paranormal and to disseminate the results to the public. The IIG offers a $50,000 prize to anyone who can demonstrate such abilities under controlled conditions. The IIG also occasionally serves as the West Coast preliminary screening entity for James Randi and JREF’s $1,000,000 prize. Members of the IIG consist of people from all walks of life: Engineers, scientists, doctors, entertainers, teachers, students, homemakers, and many others, but all having a rational and inquiring mind.