The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Archive for June 29th, 2010

Skepchicon: Skeptics at Convergence 2010

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 29, 2010

Every July 4th weekend, there is apparently a big science fiction & fantasy convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Convergence, and this year I’m going for the first time 🙂

That’s partly because in addition to being a science teacher/professor, I’m also a big fan of much science fiction, fantasy, and so on.  In addition, like what has happened in recent years at other cons like Dragon*Con, there has evolved a skeptical track at Convergence, specifically called Skepchicon.

Like other skeptic tracks at other cons, Skepchicon is geared towards presenting the skeptical & pro-science/pro-critical thinking point-of-view in a fun & friendly environment.  Actually, on a serious note, it is worth paying attention to the fact that these sorts of venues are perfect for spreading the skeptical message beyond hard-core skeptics; if we are to truly encourage others to think critically about paranormal & pseudoscientific claims, then we need to preach less to the choir and go more public.  This means exploring new venues such as these fun & freaky conventions, and it also means putting ourselves out there in more direct interaction with many people who harbor these nonsense beliefs.  Even though it can sometimes be quite galling to have to put up with various kinds of woo-woo nonsense & its adherents, we can all enjoy a good party 🙂

By the way, if you want to get a good look at the track & schedule of Skepchicon, head on over to Greg Laden’s blog entry on it.

I will be attending Skepchicon and participating in the “Physics or Fantasy?” panel, in addition to generally checking things out.  I’ll also be there as a representative of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, dedicated to promoting critical thinking & skepticism among women of all ages who are so often targeted by the woo-meisters.

Last, but not least, in case you are interested… I plan to live blog many parts of Skepchicon, so watch this space!

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