SkeptiCamp NYC 2011: Share the apple of knowledge

Current Home Page · 2011 Home Page · Photo & Video Galleries · Schedule · Lead A Session! · Questions and Answers · Took place December 3rd, 2011

The "Final" Schedule for SkeptiCamp NYC 2011

The event is over for 2011. Please check the home page for information about our next event.

If you spot any errors, please let us know!

The opinions of SkeptiCamp's presenters do not necessarily reflect those of its organizers.

(We apologize for the let down, but unforunately, "Logic Fallacy Bingo" had to be cancelled.)

(And, the Categories don't really mean anything.)

Time Session Host Title Description Category
10:10 AM to 10:20 AM Opening Ceremonies
10:20 AM to 10:50 AM Marc Barnhill Teaching Critical Thinking in New York City Colleges A slideshow/discussion/Q&A about expectations and approaches in teaching critical thinking on the college level in NYC, drawing partly on research and partly on my own experiences in teaching critical thinking courses at New York University and The City University of New York. The Skeptic's Toolbox
10:50 AM to 11:20 AM Gregory Lopez The Ethics of Rhetoric In Skepticism The skeptics' movement could be said to be all about using reliable reasoning and teaching it to others. But how are we to convince other people to engage in critical thinking in the first place? One way is through rhetoric: communication that is effective in changing others' minds while not providing good reasons to do so. But is the use of rhetoric ethical in the skeptic community when part of our goal is to reduce the public's susceptibility to exactly these kinds of techniques? This moderated discussion will address this question by analyzing it from several angles and presenting these viewpoints to the audience for debate.
11:20 AM to 11:30 AM Break #1
11:30 AM to 12:00 PM Tony Saunders A Skeptic's Guide to the Art Scene An interactive workshop where the bewildering trends and challenges of the current art scene (and of modernism in general) are examined, questioned, and discussed. A toolkit and primer for the skeptical viewer. Applied Skepticism
12:00 PM to 12:30 PM Scott Berjot-Stafiej What is Love? - Expanding Skepticism to Unchallenged Paradigms A skeptic questions accepted knowledge, opinions or beliefs that are taken for granted elsewhere. While, within skeptic circles, the skeptic tool-kit is principally aimed at fringe and pseudo-science, literally every facet of life may gain clarity through the light of reason. In this talk, I will consider love, relationships and the general need to speak reasonably about things for which there is little hope of consensus.
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM Lunch!
1:30 PM to 2:00 PM Hai-Ting Chinn and Matthew Schickele Audio Illusions & How We Hear Audio illusions can teach us how we hear sound--and how we don't.
2:00PM to 2:30 PM Michael De Dora Skepticism and Politics Should skeptics get more involved in politics? If so, what is the proper relationship between skepticism and lawmaking? What are the most effective methods by which skeptics can influence public policy? Join Michael De Dora, director of the Center for Inquiry's Office of Public Policy, as he outlines why organized skepticism should have a more robust relationship with politics, and provides advice on how skeptics can best accomplish their political goals. Politics and Activism
2:30 PM to 3:00 PM Michael Rosch Bringing Skeptical Activism to NYC Skepticism provides a great community for like-minded individuals, but many skeptics view themselves as part of a movement. For those people, skepticism is a mission: an organized effort to discover reality, to expose fraud, and to help people. But how can New York-based skeptics interested in skeptical activism most effectively organize campaigns against woo that will make a difference? An interactive discussion about the future of organized skeptical activism in New York.
3:00 PM to 3:10 PM Break #2
3:10 PM to 3:40 PM Theodore Edwards Involving the Ethnic Communities in Secular Humanism/Atheism I would like to talk about involving the African American, Latino, Asian, and etc. communities in the Secular Humanist/Atheism movement, so to speak.
3:40 PM to 4:10 PM Kevin Keith Non-Evidenced-Based Medicine: Medical Ethics and Medical Quackery Proper medical practice is based on a scientific understanding of physiology, pathology, and pharmacology; effective treatments are identified through scientific testing. But the freedom of inquiry that skepticism requires also embraces freedom of conscience, even to the point of irrational beliefs. The tensions between these commitments - to science and to freedom of thought - arise in healthcare in many obvious, but many less-obvious, ways.

This presentation will invite participants to grapple with possibly-overlooked subtleties of practical decision making on scientific issues, in a diverse and largely non-scientific society. How should healthcare practitioners, and social policy-makers, accommodate irrational or supernatural beliefs in the healthcare setting? Does a dedication to skepticism justify a refusal to permit scientifically ungrounded treatment choices? Does tolerance for diversity of beliefs require endangering the public through waste of resources, or refusal of scientific practices such as vaccination?

(Longer description available in program guide.)
4:10 PM to 4:20 PM Break #3
4:20 PM to 5:20 PM Mitch Lampert and Others Vote for Final Session(s) As lead organizer, I will once again volunteer to go last. And, I am even willing to talk about whatever you want me to talk about, that I also enjoy talking about.

There is room, here, for one or two of our several "alternates" to give a session, as well.
Extra Credit
5:20 PM to 5:30 PM Closing Remarks and Thank Yous

Contact us with questions or comments: