View the Project on GitHub ElisevanderPol/badhypothesiscontest

Bad Hypothesis Contest

This ICLR 2021 social is organised in the format of a contest. Each participant will prepare/improvise a 5 minutes stand-up, where they present a bad hypothesis (that is clearly ridiculous and untrue) and provide “evidence” (spurious correlations) that supports this hypothesis.

We provide a list of hypotheses to choose from below, however everyone is welcomed to propose their own bad hypothesis.

Our format is inspired by BAHfest.


The social will take place Thu 6 May 6 p.m. CEST — 8 p.m. CEST and can be accessed here (ICLR registration required).


We’d love to have you present your bad hypothesis! You can either present one of the example hypotheses below, or even better, come up with your own. Just fill out this form (deadline: 30 April) — we can only select a limited number of hypotheses to be presented at our social due to time constraints, but everyone is invited to participate the social!


Non-machine learning hypotheses are also welcomed! For instance:

The contest & Prize

This social is organised by Elise van der Pol, Karen Ullrich and Yuge (Jimmy) Shi. They will be judges to the contest and offer their completely fair and unbiased opinions based on the scientific facts you present. Once all presentations are finished, judges and audience will vote for their favourite bad hypothesis, and the winner will be officially granted the title of super cool!