Question of The Week: What New Skeptical Events Can You Come Up With?


You’re never short of skeptical events these days. We have skeptics’ cruises through the Bermuda Triangle, Dragoncon’s Skeptrack, not to mention the infamous Amazing Meeting, which was held in London for the first time last year. On a more local level, here in Merseyside we have social and speaker events for both the Merseyside Skeptics and the Greater Manchester Skeptics, as well as other events and meetings of interest to skeptics, such as the scibar talks, cafe scientifique, philosophy in pubs and the Liverpool Humanists. We also have the recently started Ladies Who Do Skepticism meetups, the brainchild of Manchester Skeptics’ Janis Bennion. We simply can’t move for Skeptical events.

However, there’s always room for more, and that’s where you come in. We’re interested in your ideas for skeptical events. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a brand new idea, it can be something you’ve just heard of and thought was a good idea. Either way, we want to hear your ideas.

So the Question of The Week is this: What new skeptical events can you come up with?

Maybe you’ve been nurturing the idea of starting up a Skeptics In The Sauna, or have an idea for the perfect skeptical holiday. It doesn’t have to be an event. Feel free to branch out. It’s common for skepticism to advertise itself in the form of podcasts – maybe you have an idea for a new skeptical outlet? Whatever it is, let us know. Then we can steal it and get all the credit…

Please leave your ideas in the comments field below.

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  1. #1 by Ash Pryce on May 7, 2010 - 22:21

    Well we’re doing a fringe long Skeptics event up here. Sort of like a daily Skeptics in the Pub but with slight variations. We also stage a yearly night where members of the society gives talks and videos, discussions etc called “Skepticamp” which we hope to also stage over two days at the end of the year or early next year open to all Northern Groups (Or any others that care to travel up).

    I think the SitP movement is becoming big enough now that some sort of SitP General Conference/ meet up/ weekend should take place. It could be staged in the midlands making it easy for all groups to travel to. I think its needed.

    Ash Pryce
    Edinburgh Skeptics

  2. #2 by Jeff on May 8, 2010 - 01:55

    Skeptical Star Party. How doesn’t love partying under the stars?

  3. #3 by Michael on May 8, 2010 - 19:47

    What about a beach barbecue?

    { I like Jeff’s idea of a star party as I have a 10″ MEADE telescope which is a marvellous bit of kit. Problem with this is that winter is the best time. Not too sure on the ‘love’ bit though}

    However a beach party is a summertime thing and we are surrounded by loads of beaches and barbies are cheap to get and it is very casual affair.

  4. #4 by mal on May 9, 2010 - 08:53

    How about a quiz night?

    My local skeptical group is holding one on the 17th of May. The only trouble for you guys is that it’s being held in Melbourne Australia. See:
    http://vicskeptics.wordpress.com/

  5. #5 by Tom W on May 10, 2010 - 13:48

    Skeptic Sunday Lunch! It would be great to have about half a dozen people tucking into a roast, sipping a glass of wine and chatting about skeptical issues. Might see if I can sort that out…

  6. #6 by Helen on May 11, 2010 - 23:32

    I think we need something to counteract the proliferation of the Mind, Body, Bullshit type festivals. A Truth festival (that sounds a bit Orwellian) or a Brain festival or something! We could have stalls/stands giving out real information, representatives from different skeptic groups, fab speakers, maybe some demos. I know things like TAM cover that on a larger scale, but things on the local level that are designed for the general public to come to would be great!

  7. #7 by Nan on May 15, 2010 - 18:56

    I would love to see a skeptical about psychiatry night. If you do one – let me know and I promise to come up from London!

  8. #8 by Trystan on May 16, 2010 - 12:38

    Gosh, this is very civilised so I will have to spoil that.

    How about a fight night evening where skeptics who genuinely dislike each other drop the pretence and go hammer and tongs at each other in a cage for five minutes? Running alongside it we could have a more metaphorical fight where the most anal of the skeptical logicians face off and pick nits off a pinhead?

  9. #9 by Corkscrew on May 23, 2010 - 17:23

    I love the “star party” idea. Anything else that allows us to reconnect with our inner science geek is a good thing.

    For example, how about a science relay race? Get one of those “100 experiments to try in the home” books, get the necessary equipment for a dozen of them, split people into teams and see who can complete them all first (judges may be needed). Why not issue a formal challenge to your local uni’s science dept – I bet you could get a fair number of bored PhDs along.

    Or how about a nature walk? Or a tour of a local biology lab, if one can be arranged?

    You can add a skeptical flavour to most ideas like this. For example, mixing the astronomy night with a talk on astrology. Or adding the “footbath barbie” to the experiment relay. Or discussing evidence-based herbal medicine (e.g. willow bark) on the nature walk.

    And since you’re near the Mersey, there’s gotta be some way to work quackery themes into a boating session. Let a single drop of vodka fall into the river at the start of the trip, boil up some riverwater near the end, and make everyone homeopathic cocktails.

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