SkeptiCamp: Coming to a Canadian City Near You

Are you baffled by the popularity of pseudoscience? Are you interested in critical thinking and science? On October 23, 2010 four SkeptiCamps will take place across Canada. If you enjoy reading this blog, you’ll undoubtably enjoy SkeptiCamp.

Happily, SkeptiCamp involves no actual camping. It’s a flexibly organized, collaborative conference on science and critical thinking. SkeptiCamp is not your typical conference with high fees, long talks and little interaction with speakers. It differs in three key ways:

  1. Openness – anyone with something to contribute or a desire to learn is welcome and invited to participate. Topics are chosen not by the organizers, but rather by their presenters.
  2. Participation – because admission is free, everyone is asked to contribute in some way, either by giving a talk or helping to put the event together. At the very least, attendees are asked to interact with speakers and other attendees.
  3. Collaboration – The organizing efforts are distributed amongst many, including the participants.

There are four SkeptiCamps on October 23: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto.

I’ll be speaking at the Toronto event on a topic that I’m sure will be of no surprise to the readers of this blog: Natural health product regulation. Other talks will include:

  • Cognitive Underpinnings of Sympathetic Magic
  • How to make sense of medical literature / levels of evidence / Clinical trials
  • Naturopath
  • Libel laws, Skepticism, and the internet: A Primer
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Philosophy of Science and Pseudoscience (or Why Skeptics Should Stop Talking about Falsifiability)
  • Can we overcome the irrational pitfalls of human psychology?
  • Politics, Policy, and Skeptical Activism
  • Critical Thinking in High Schools

For the full Toronto agenda, you can get more information here, RSVP here, follow on Twitter, or join the Facebook group. The final details are still being worked out but the program will probably run 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm at a 216 Beverley Street (Queen’s Park subway stop).

If there’s one near you, consider attending SkeptiCamp on October 23. Given it’s free, Skepticamp offers tremendous value-for-money. And if you’re attending the Toronto SkeptiCamp, be sure to say hello.

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