From Fantasyland America to the Fabric of Space and Time: Celebrating Science and Probing Our Public Confusions
It began with a penetrating look at the long history of how a troubled America went haywire by Fantasyland author Kurt Andersen and ended with a romp through the nature of space and time—and the mind-bending speculation that we all might live in a holographic universe—from Columbia University cosmologist and author Brian Greene. From …
NZ Skeptic Conference – Christchurch – 2019
Cover Image: Neon message on the outside of the Christchurch Art Gallery. The New Zealand Skeptics have completed yet another awesome conference. This one was held November 29–December 1, 2019, in Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. I also attended the 2016 conference in Queenstown and you can read about that HERE. …
A Cunning Plan – Bringing Students to CSICon
Cover Image: John Anglin talks about moon hoaxes to Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas. Photo by Ron Lee. This article is about one of the skeptic community’s biggest success. We have been seeing so much bad news lately that I know this will warm up your aortas. One of the biggest complaints I …
A Festival Feeling in Augsburg: SkepKon 2019 Includes Myths about Pet Diets, Homeopathy, and Perpetual Motion Machines
Cover Image: Pseudoscience can be nerve-racking, so skeptics sometimes can’t help but throw up their hands in despair! “How can SkepKon be described?” one might ask. “It’s a time to network and a great time to catch up with friends,” replies Dr. Holm Hümmler, a physicist and skeptic from Frankfurt. SkepKon is the annual conference …
I’ve been hearing that attendance numbers for CSICon 2019 are ahead of last year’s pace, and each year more people attend than the previous year. I’m sure conference organizer Barry Karr does not believe in jinxes, so of course he will be fine with my confidence that we should put out a primer for those …
Superstars, Timely Insights, Fun: Latest CSICon Was Biggest (and Best?) Ever
It had superstars: The witty and erudite Renaissance man Stephen Fry in a lively onstage discussion with his fellow English countryman Richard Dawkins. Steven Pinker of Enlightenment Now! book fame telling us why things are better than we all think. James “The Amazing” Randi on stage with colleagues who helped create the modern skeptical movement. …
Out-of-the-box Skepticism: Opening Csicon 2018
CSICon is always a big deal. We wouldn’t crow about it so much if it wasn’t. We call it things such as “the premier skeptics’ event” and whatnot because it happens to be true! So even given the cascade of well-earned superlatives we (okay, I) use to describe CSICon year after year, it’s already obvious …
Parasites And Modern Mind Control
The headliner of the first night of CSICon was Adam Conover of Adam Ruins Everything, who used the idea of parasites in nature as a metaphor for some of the ways our critical brains are overcome without us ever knowing it. Without going too deeply into Conover’s standup act and ruining the jokes, I’ll just …
False Beliefs Handled With Care At Csicon 2018
As the first morning’s presentations came to a close at CSICon 2018, our ebullient emcee, George Hrab, commented, “I love that the theme today is understanding.” I had been thinking the same thing. If there’s a talk at CSICon that hints at being understanding of, and sympathetic to, those who harbor false beliefs in good …
Improving The Narrative: Enlightenment And Illusions
I want to believe. Not in UFOs but in the power of enlightenment and the better angels of our nature. I want to believe that humans have the power to overcome the limitations of our narrowly focused senses and use our squishy little brains to bring ever-improving well being to the people with whom we …
It Has Always Been A Matter Of Trust
Whom do you trust? I suppose the default response of a skeptic could be “no one,” at least until particular claims can be verified. It may go without saying, however, that the answer “no one” also applies to conspiracy theorists and others who buy into various forms of pseudoscience. They also probably think that they …
Playing Gracefully With Ideas: Stephen Fry, Evolution, And Leonardo
Massimo Polidoro described a certain someone as “a precious jewel” of a person, whose company and insights were sought by the wisest of leaders. This person “swam upstream,” eschewing fads and seeking to discover the truths and communicate those truths to others. This incredible human being exemplifies the term Renaissance person. Polidoro was talking about …
Homeopathy, Conspiracies & Glyphosate: The Recipe for SkepKon 2018
Susan interviews Annika Merkelbach about this year’s SkepKon
CSICon Sunday Papers 2017
One of best parts of our community is the short lectures told by people who generally aren’t known as main speakers.
MCS SkeptiCamp: Bringing Skepticism to the People
Susan Gerbic’s local group, Monterey County Skeptics (MCS), has just completed its fourth SkeptiCamp, held January 6, 2018 in Seaside, California.
Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 5
This article is the fifth and last chronicling the adventures of my month long European About Time Tour. This tour was funded by individual skeptical organizations and by private donations.
CSICON Las Vegas 2017
A Festival of Scientific Skepticism or a Theme Park for Science and Reason? CSICon Las Vegas 2017 Had It All
Short Takes from CSICON 2017
Rob Brotherton on Conspiracy Theories So, my help was suddenly needed at the CSICon AV station for the presentation by Rob Brotherton, author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, so I didn’t take notes about his talk, and instead pressed a button to switch camera angles for the video recording. Luckily, it was …
Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 4
This article is the fourth of five articles, chronicling the adventures of my month long European About Time Tour. This tour was funded by the individual skeptical organizations and by private donations.
Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 3
About Time Tour – September 24–29, 2017
Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 2
About Time Tour – September 20–24, 2017
Skeptical Adventures in Europe, Part 1
Susan Gerbic tells of her journeys through the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
CSICon Photo Tribute to James Randi
Susan Gerbic explains the history behind the Randi photo and the obstacles faced while trying to capture it.
The Experience of Experiencing Eclipse People Watching
Susan Gerbic explains her experience of totality during the 2017 Solar Eclipse
Puzzling World – NZ
The world is turned inside out for Susan Gerbic, as she makes a visit to the Puzzling World, located in New Zealand
Looking Back at the 2016 New Zealand Skeptics Conference
Susan Gerbic re-caps her recent experiences in New Zealand at the Skeptics Conference.
Race, Pornography, Fake News, Eclipse, Brain Myths, Popular Assumptions, and the Magic of Science…
Photography Nerds Discuss CSICon
It’s very validating as an amateur photographer to have someone want to use one of your photos, especially if it’s for something important… It’s my small contribution to the movement.
Local Skeptical Outreach & Activism: Monterey County SkeptiCamp
Skepticism as a “thing” is unknown to most people; they don’t understand that there are communities, conferences, books, podcasts, and more that focus on all kinds of topics. It’s our responsibility to educate the public about these matters.
Let’s Bring More Students to CSICon
I’m not advocating for the conference organizers to lower their costs to students, but for the community to step up and help fund getting new people to the conference.
CSICon Las Vegas: “Go for the speakers, return for the people”
The lineup of speakers was some of the stars of science and skepticism, making this a must-do conference.
Report From SkeptiCal, the Northern California Science and Skepticism Conference
I attend as many skeptic conferences as I can, and each one has its own “flavor” and style. SkeptiCal differs from others by being a no-frills event, but without you noticing that those frills are missing.
Adventures in SkeptiCamp
We need face-to-face interactions. Some of our people tell me that our meetups are where they can be themselves; they don’t have to guard their language, and no subject is taboo.
The Wikipediatrician’s Whirlwind Australian Tour
I encourage everyone to not just visit a place but use social media to find our community. Skeptic groups in areas all over the world have Meetup.com and Facebook pages; reach out to them and make your own mini-tour. I’m sure that they are as interested in meeting you as you are in meeting them.
‘Reason for Change’: Quacks and Cranks, GMOs and Climate, Science and Philosophy
CFI Conference Covers It All
Susan Gerbic Reports on the 2014 Skeptics Toolbox
Each August at the University of Oregon, Eugene, you will find a devoted group of conference attendees learning a critical thinking skill to bring back for use in their everyday lives.
CFI Summit: Highlights
Skeptics, Humanists Come Together in Tacoma in First Joint Conference: Skepticism, Humanism, or Both?
Eugenie C. Scott Given CFI/CSI Lifetime Achievement Award
Here are the remarks by CFI President and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay at the CFI Summit in Tacoma presenting the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Eugenie C. Scott.
CFI Summit: Impressions
Back from the CFI Summit, I am completely impressed. Not only was there no obvious twerking, but there was no drama, and in our tight little community of scientific skeptics that is a wonderful thing.