James Randi is telling YOU to do SOMETHING!

James Randi at NECSS 2010 (photo by Larry Auerbach)

James Randi at NECSS 2010 (photo by Larry Auerbach)

This weekend New York City Skeptics and The New England Skeptical Society held the second annual Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS). The scuttlebutt from the event and Twitter (#NECSS) was that it was even better received by this year’s sold out crowd than last year’s sold out crowd.

After a full day of terrific speakers delving into important topics, the event culminated in one small man, sitting alone on stage with a mic taking questions from the audience. James Randi can be credited with popularizing skepticism, and from his frequent visits on Johnny Carson Tonight Show, he managed to bring rational thought to Americans all over the country. And they love him for it to this day. … continue reading this entry.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

What are we doing?  Well… we were thinking about co-hosting the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism.  That’s right, Saturday is our second… I’d like to say annual, but last year we held it in September so… semi-annual – NECSS.  Last year was full of fantastic lectures, great panel discussions, a live show by the SGU, a concert by George Hrab, and Jamy Ian Swiss confounding us with magic tricks between just about every single discussion.  And this year?  It’s shaping up to be even better.  Why?  Let’s see… … continue reading this entry.

This is meant in jest

dsbanner06There are times when it is difficult to think of something new to write about, and in those times, I occasionally tap the well of science stories looking for something to say which will amuse, at the very least, me.  I request you not take this article seriously.

Scientists have done a recent study which points to the efficacy of ethanol based hand sanitizers over soap and water for helping keep away the common cold and I would like to say, thank god we finally have a cure for the common cold we can all get behind.  That’s right folks, it’s time to get really drunk. … continue reading this entry.

Announcing NECSS 2010: Registration is Now Open!

A packed house listens to John Rennie at NECSS 2009 (photo by Tim Farley)

Saturday, April 17th!

Registration for the Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS) 2010 is now open! We’ve kept ticket prices the same as last year: $65 general admission, and $40 for students and NYC Skeptics/NESS members. Space is ilmited to [...]

James Randi, global warming and the meaning of skepticism


James “the Amazing” Randi is an icon of skepticism. The man has done more — over a span of several decades — to further the cause of critical thinking and to expose flimflammery of all sorts than arguably anyone else in the world, ever. That is why I was struck with incredulity and sadness yesterday when I read Randi’s latest take on global warming. He begins by stating that, contrary to scientists’ own self-image as almost preternaturally objective human beings, “religious and other emotional convictions drive scientists, despite what they may think their motivations are.” Well, true, to a point. Many philosophers and sociologists of science have said that before (and documented it), but your baloney detector should go up to at least yellow alert when someone starts a commentary on global warming with that particular observation. … continue reading this entry.

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