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The Amazing Meeting

Teachers: Get Free Registration to The Amaz!ng Meeting with an Educator Grant

If you are not an educator, please help spread the word about this wonderful opportunity. If you ARE an educator, would you like to bring more skepticism and critical thinking into your classroom? Would you like to be inspired, energized, and informed? The Amaz!ng Meeting 2014 is a great place to meet other educators, gather materials (including printed copies of the JREF’s education modules for classroom use), pick up tips, and be inspired. The Amaz!ng Meeting is attended by people from all walks of life and all over the globe. Speakers include scientists, philosophers, journalists, educators, activists, and even entertainers. Simply put, The Amaz!ng Meeting is James Randi Educational Foundation’s yearly celebration of science, education, and critical thinking. Educators who attend TAM will be able to bring […]

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Irony, Hypocrisy, and Being Human

I began this as a comment in response to this post by Daniel Loxton, but I had more to say than I thought, so I moved it here. Although this topic has been discussed to death, I do want to weigh in with a perspective that I have yet to see clearly expressed. Perhaps my experiences are unique, but I doubt it. A little background: I tend to be somewhat of a centrist. I often find that the center is the most rational place to be in most debates. In this case, very few people seem to be of the opinion that we should never raise our voices and so the argument is between those advocating for a tone which lacks ridicule, meanness, and other personal attacks […]

Is that a fallacy in your pocket or can you cite some sources? A response to Women and Feminism at TAM8

Jenny McCarthy

In my mini-review of The Amazing Meeting 8 I mentioned that there were two very dark spots in an otherwise amazing (sometimes the word just fits) weekend. I was not ready to discuss these in detail, but when I stumbled over this blog post by Blag Hag Jen McCreight, I felt that at least one should be discussed and I would like to do so through the filter of one of the best talks of the weekend, given by Massimo Pigliucci. McCreight addresses the question of sexism, saying: The one annoying thing I saw was the perpetuation of the Sexy vs. Smart binary in talks. I saw none of this in talks. She gives two examples: Michael Shermer’s talk included a Los Angeles County Fair commercial from […]

Embrace Your Skepticality by Speaking Beyond… Or Something Like That

The Amazing Meeting 8 is now less than three weeks away and the details are beginning to take shape. If you are not attending TAM8, stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter as those in attendance will give you details for live streaming should JREF repeat last year’s efforts over Ustream. Here are some of my personal highlights: Thursday, July 8th 12:30pm – 2:30pm   Skepticism in the Classroom Workshop The pre-conference workshops will include one addressing the teaching of critical thinking and skepticism, presented by yours truly along with Jr. Skeptic editor Daniel Loxton and Skeptical Teacher Matt Lowry. The three of us are part of a team of advisers who have agreed to consult, as needed, with JREF on education matters. As such, we were asked by Education […]

This Stuff is Not Easy!

Activism is not easy. It is a lot like teaching. We do not do it for the money. That would be crazy, since most of us actually pay for the privilege of being activists and teachers, well, let’s just say they’re under-appreciated. We do it because we love it. When a job is intrinsically rewarding, it is hard to know when to stop. And we still need to eat and pay our rent/mortgages, just like everyone else. It’s the middle of conference season. This year I have not increased the number of conferences I am attending, but I have stepped up my involvement a bit. As I do every year, I attended the Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association and, although I had a terrible trip, […]