September 15, 2013 by kittynh
(I’m having some medical ickiness done over the next two weeks. I’ve asked some friends to help out with the blog! Thank you to Dale Roy for stepping in with some good information about our local Skepticamp!)
SkepticampNH: The Third Year
by Dale Roy
For those who do not know about Skepticamp, I will start off with the very brief description; Reed Esau came up with the idea for a local “conference” that is loosely put together by interested skeptics in the area. While skeptics usually put Skepticamp together, it is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The main idea to have a relaxed gathering, where the sharing of ideas and information is done with little to no money and hassle to allow for maxim flexibility.
More information can be found here: http://skepticamp.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
This year, I will be putting on our 3rd SkepticampNH! Seriously, who would have thought I would be doing this three years in a row? The event will be happening at The Barely House, in Concord NH from 12pm – 4pm on October 12th. I chose the Barely House for it’s convenient location, readily available good food –it is a restaurant after all- and renting their space is fairly cheap. The event is small audience is about 35 people as that is what the room can hold, but it has been successful nonetheless.
This year’s list of speakers is promising to be another great line up. While I have a few speakers who are not quite sure what their topics are going to be on yet, this will not be an issue. The topic can be on almost anything and therefor flexibility in getting one to me is allowed. As the 12th gets closer, I start asking for a topic. With that said, a few people have signed up with topic at the ready. For example: One of our speaker’s topic is on “The Supreme Court and the Establishment Clause”, another is speaking about “Being a part of the NH Chapter of the Secular Coalition for America”, and her experiences as a State Representative. A third speaker is going to talk about how “Skepticism Ruined My Life.” Just to show how varied the topics can be, in the past talks have been on Mathemagic, Skepticism and Magic, and Stem Cells.
If you don’t mind, I am going to do a little bragging here: One of our speakers started his talk for SkepticampNH, and moved on to prominence by doing a paper presentation at TAM! 2013. His topic: The Marble Head UFO – Andrew Hansford, I am still excited and happy for you!
I have found running this event to be fun and a bit more challenging then one might have thought it would be. For example: Getting a diverse group of speakers is a bit challenging and something I continue to work on every year. Another example: Granite State Skeptics has taken some heat for some of the topics presented at SkepticampNH. I had two “controversial” talks: One on why you can’t be a skeptic unless you are an atheist and the second was on keeping religion out of government. As a result of these two topics, Granite State Skeptics lost a “Skeptic in the Pub” speaker, sighting these talks and stating (paraphrasing here) ‘I can’t in good conscience and be a part of a group that is anti-religion.’ It did not matter how much we explained that we are not an anti-religion group, this person wanted no part of it.
With each year I put this on I learn something new, and find another way to do something just a little differently than the year before. Hopefully, the result will be everyone who joins us this year will enjoy the experience.
If you are interested in being a part of SkepticampNH please click on this here: http://skepticamp.wikia.com/wiki/SkeptiCamp_New_Hampshire_2013 and get a ticket from the eventbrite link that can be found on that page.
- What’s Right with Skepticism? (skepticalhumanities.com)
- The Marblehead UFO: What You Can Find from Your Armchair (yankeeskeptic.com)
- Reverse image search as a skeptic tool – with a twist (skeptools.wordpress.com)
- Disbelievers, unite for SkeptiCamp this weekend in Winnipeg (metronews.ca)