SkeptiCamp: Filled with the Awesome Power of Awesome (and Awesome)

If you are the sort who regularly read skeptical blogs then chances are you’ve heard of SkeptiCamp. You may even have attended one. But you may not know this: Vancouver, though not the first city to host a SkeptiCamp, has had such success with our SkeptiCamps that we just keep on having them and they keep getting bigger. Tomorrow – Saturday, 20 March* – Vancouver will be the first city to host a third SkeptiCamp, and there are more people registered to attend than attended BOTH of our previous SkeptiCamps combined.

What is ‘SkeptiCamp?’

SkeptiCamp is a democratized conference for, but not necessarily about, critical-thinking. It’s a one-day meet-up of smart. It is a rational ad hoc play-date. It’s Jesuscamp without speaking in tongues or fear of Harry Potter. (Okay, well… perhaps a sprinkling of complete ambivalence to Harry Potter.)

SkeptiCamp was created by Reed Esau, based on the BarCamp/Un-Conference formula, and has evolved from there. It is informal and probably the single most important aspect is participation. In theory all the attendees would also be presenters, their talks would not be pre-adjudicated, and expertise is not necessarily a requirement. (That said, we DID have to limit the number of speakers due to numbers, but they weren’t selected based on any expectation of quality, and all speakers who weren’t selected are welcome to be front and centre at Vancouver SkeptiCamp IV, which is already penciled in for October 23rd. 10/23 – get it?)
Sound like some thing you’d like to do this weekend? There is no need to pre-register if you want to attend. Its free, and we would LOVE to have you there taking part in the discussion.
The Speakers
I shall be emcee for the day. Skepticism’s ultimate fanboy, Fred Bremmer, will present a two part magic trick at either end of the day and in between, the meat and veggies of the sandwich will be:
  • Ian Bushfield — 13.7 billion years in 90 seconds (or The Evidence of the Big Bang)
  • Dr. Steve Wiseman — No Pleasure Cruise: The Troubled Relationship between Psychiatry and the Church of Scientology
  • Brian Lynchehaun — Edge Contrast and You
  • Ginger Switzer — Secrets of the Language Code
  • Greg Bole — Defending Darwin
  • Lars Martin — Introduction to the Theory of Relativity
  • Shannon Rupp — Rational Journalism
  • Matthew Linsdell — Personal Training and Woo
  • Radio Freethinker — Radio Freethinker
  • Jaymie Matthews — Who Needs Paranormal?
  • James Bernath — Private programs for “going into space”.
  • Jacob Vohs — Myths about Child Abuse
  • Gerry Armstrong — Scientology
  • Yves van Gennip — The Role of Mathematics in Science and Skepticism

Some very promising people and subjects there, I’d have a hard time picking advance favourites.

A big thanks to Skeptic North‘s own Melany Fulgham for being the core of SkeptiCamps’ organizational committee this time ’round. 

If you can’t attend, you can keep up on updates via Twitter with the hashtag: #vanskepticamp and expect there to be a post-unconference wrap up here on Skeptic North in the near future.

- Kennedy

*Saturday, 20 March, 2010 from 10am to 6pm. At UBC’s Victoria Learning Theatre (Room 182) at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, Vancouver.

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  • Kennedy Goodkey

    Kennedy is a film-maker and skeptic. As a skeptic his primary interests are in the communication and advocacy of skeptical and science issues, specifically calling attention to the idea that the standard practice of “playing nice with others” is not always the best approach, and definitely must be explored and refined as a tactic to be leveraged to best effect.