It is a bittersweet goodbye that I deliver to Gotham Skeptic on its last day. Sweet because the amount of free time in my schedule just expanded dramatically, and bitter because I personally gained more than I had ever expected from my time working on the blog. I came to the project hopeful to cut my blogging chops, never having keyed a post in any forum before. Lo and behold, I quickly found myself handed the hat of web designer and editor in addition to contributor. Yikes! Can you say inexperienced?
Prior to becoming the Editor of Gotham Skeptic, it had been my dream to be a skeptical blogger. A dream I had nurtured for, oh, a good 6 months before it became a reality and the opportunity of GS fell in my lap. My interest in blogging about skeptical issues (or issues that were in need of skepticism) were mostly selfish. Frequently, I would find myself researching a particular controversial topic to help myself develop an educated and informed opinion, but to what end? So that I might deliver a factoid from a reputable resource should the topic come up in conversation in the hopes that factoid would change the mind of the fuzzy thinkers? Unlikely. However, writing up my research into a pithy (I hoped) format that others might stumble upon when doing their own research served as a terrific incentive to actually synthesize the information I was cobbling together. A skeptic is not someone who has critical thinking skills; a skeptic is one who constantly endeavors to further develop their critical thinking skills.
But in addition to the obvious lessons involved in running a blog, I gained new insight and found a voice I had lost. Fresh from graduate school where any trace of personal voice in my writing was beaten out of me (no, not literally), writing for the Gotham Skeptic forced me to share opinions and reexamine how I feel about topics of science and policy and society. This lesson was more valuable to me than any web development or social networking skills I gained.
So it is with heavy heart, but full mind that we bid adieu to the Gotham Skeptic blog. But fear not! We will have all of the tremendous content that was produced by our fantastic contributors over the last couple of years available online into perpetuity (in one format or another).
Thanks to all of our contributors:
The quixotic meanderings of Jake Dickerman
Michael Rosch’s adamant commitment to rooting out unfounded conspiracy thinking
Lisa Bauer’s statistical and methodological take on society and ourselves
Gracious contributions by star skeptics like Massimo Pigliucci, John Snyder, Michael Dedora, and Kylie Sturgess
And the thoughtful contributions of AJ Mell and Barry Lieba
And special thanks to our readers, both those who drink the Kool-Aid and those who do not (I’ll let you decide which group is which in this analogy). Your thoughtful comments, critiques and occasional illustrative You Tube videos always reminded us that had to give careful consideration to our words, resources, and analyses.
Finally, thanks to the New York City Skeptics who have dutifully hosted this site.