An Open Conference at the Intersection of Science and Consumer Protection
What is this SkeptiCamp thing?
SkeptiCamp is not any ordinary science conference: Anyone can be a presenter, here. Even you!, as long as your topic has something to do with science and/or skepticism. And, they take can place all over the world!
The name is weird, because it has its roots in the old BarCamp model of "unconferences", which had focused on software and technology, even though they had nothing to do with bars, and no one camps out at them, anymore.
We hope that the sessions and presentations given at SkeptiCamp emerge as lively discussions, rather than straight-forward seminars. Presenters should try to welcome a bombardment of challenging questions, after their introduction to their topic is made. At least that is the ideal. One can also opt for the more conventional, boring lecture format if they really want to.
Since most of the attendees consider themselves to be part of the "skeptical community", the actual, factual education content can be quite dense. But, its open nature means that there is always a risk someone will spout complete nonsense. Whenever that happens, the crowd will be sure to issue some insightful corrections. And, we get to "eat them for lunch".
SkeptiCamp is intended for adults and college students. Children can also join us, with their parents' or guardians' permission. Please note that SkeptiCamp does not shy away from topics that might be considered adult in nature.
What, exactly, is Skepticism?
That would be Scientific Skepticism, to be a little more precise! There are several good ways to define this term. The one we prefer, for our purposes, comes from the "elevator pitch" written by Tim Farley:
Skepticism is the intersection of science education and consumer protection. We help people learn from science to avoid spending their money on products and services that do not work.
There is a Wikipedia article that is also often cited as a more general reflection of the scientifically skeptical attitude.
We do NOT use the term to deny or defy the findings of the natural sciences. For us, skepticism does NOT equal cynicism.
We are primarily sponsored by
New York City Skeptics, an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 educational nonprofit that promotes critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, and science education for the general public.
Who Puts This Together?
Lead organizer: Mitchell Scott Lampert
Assistance Also From: Jonathan Nelson, Benny Pollak, Russ Dobler, and Craig Sachs.