SkeptiCamp NYC 2015: Share the apple of knowledge

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SkeptiCamp NYC 2015 Sessions and Attendees

So far, 69 people have registered for SkeptiCamp NYC 2015! However, not all of those attendees will be listed on this page. Some people may have chosen not to make their attendance public. In additional, there are also 0 people on the waiting list.

Session Proposals So Far

Here are the session topics submitted, so far. Please note that placement here does NOT guarantee the topic will be discussed. We are sure most of them will be on the schedule. However, various things, some beyond anyone's control, could force us to change it. The "final" version of the schedule should be available on November 22nd, 2015.

To submit your idea, see the Session Host's Guide.

TitleDescriptionName of Leader
PerformanceOne day, a woman is diagnosed by her doctor with an irreversible, degenerative eye disorder. That Sunday, everyone at her 1700-person church prays for her to be healed. The following Tuesday, she goes back to the doctor and there is no sign that there had ever been anything wrong with her eye. Was she cured? Is this a miracle? What do you do when you hear a first-person account of a seemingly impossible situation that goes against your fundamental beliefs about how the world works? Well, if you're Tim Minchin, you write a song about it.Alexa Blumenstock
Why Art? The Purpose of Art for a MaterialistSecularists are often asked "How can you experience spirituality?". Do we have any means of grasping the transcendent? yes! Art is one, and not only is it important from a self fulfillment perspective, it is necessary if we are to function effectively in the world. It can combine volumes of philosophic theory into one image, or plot twist, or piece of music. Art's importance for the most dedicated secularist will be explored.Spiro Condos
GAMMA-WAVE HYPOTHESIS – Increase Creativity and ConsciousnessWe will explore the possible of increase your Creativity and Consciousness by experiencing Gamma-Waves. Gamma-Waves are the highest brain waves (25 - 100 Hz) and have been shown to “Spike” at the moment of Creative Insights, Solving Problems or getting a “Joke”. You will experience various ways to access your Gamma via the “NECKER CUBE, AWE and GOOSE BUMPS, HUMOR and JOKES, and BRAINWAVE ENTRAINMENTAndre de Zanger
Skepticism's Image Problem and Preaching Past the ChoirHow can we get skeptical media to reach the people who need it most? What can be done about skepticism's image problem, and who will be the ones to fix it? Spoiler: I don't have answers. But I do have thoughts, cultivated from a few years of promoting skepticism where it doesn't usually belong.Russ Dobler
Driverless TrolleysThe sudden and surprising success of driverless vehicles portends a new era of convenience and much greater transportation safety - until they are programmed to mow down innocent bystanders at high speed, or to kill their own helpless occupants in fiery crashes. Far-fetched? These may be features, not bugs, in the eyes of our new computerized car overlords. And that may be a good thing. We'll consider whether death programs in driverless cars might or might not be necessary, or even beneficial.Kevin Keith
Veering Off the Intersection of Science and Consumer Protection?Let's discuss examples of when consumer protection seems to veer off of what science seems to say about something, and what we can do about it.Mitchell Lampert
Medical Marijuana: New Frontier of Medicine or Herbal Snake Oil?Since 1996, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use in defiance of the federal government and traditional drug approval methods. Is it safe and is it effective? Does it have it place within science based medicine or is it just a modern day form of folk herbalism?Jonathan Nelson
A rational guide to investing in the stock marketWhy you should not invest in individual stocksBenny Pollak
The Return of ART FOR SKEPTICSNew York is an "Art Town," but all too often we feel left out of the party: Is this stuff a joke? My kid could do that! Here, a skeptical toolbox with which to approach any work of art, anywhere, anytime. We can't promise you'll "like" what you see, just that you'll have a few good questions to keep in mind while you wander through the galleries.Tony Saunders
Shrinks at the Cinema: Hollywood's View of PsychiatryMovies have typically shunned realistic but undramatic portrayals of psychiatry and mental illness in favor of glamorized or romanticized versions; unfortunately, most people form lasting impressions of psychiatric illness and treatment based on these often unflattering images, which perpetuate stigma and hamper understanding.Richard Schloss

Note that the opinions of SkeptiCamp presenters do not necessarily reflect those of its organizers.

Other Attendees

These are folks who say they are going. But, they have not submitted a session idea, yet. (If you registered, and do not see your name on the list, you can Sign In to Edit your profile. On there is an option to have your name show up on the public list.)

Name of Attendee
George Barenholtz
Jesse Bernstein
Peter Capek
Nadia Chambers
Alice Cichon
Anthony Espinoza
Chris Everett
David Madison
Woo Jae Park
Trevor Perry
George Picoulas
Mikhail Shklyar
Michael Trollan

Some of session topics from previous years included:

  • "Promoting Skepticism via Wikipedia", by Tim Farley of
  • Comedy pieces by a comedian and reality show star named Joshie
  • The Science and Nonsense in Martial Arts, with John Rennie, former editor of Scientific American Magazine
  • Stupid Bayesian Tricks
  • "Critical Thinking for Dummies"
  • How to Write an Essay
  • A Skeptic's Guide to the Art Scene
  • Anti-Vaccine Movement Fallacies and Tactics
  • How to Preserve a Skeptic Community
  • Teaching Critical Thinking in New York City Colleges
  • Discussions about Atheism with Michael De Dora, executive director of CFI NYC
  • Mercury and Dental Fillings; Safer than You Think
  • Science-based opera compositions performed by Hai-Ting Chin

Some of these past topics could be resurrected this year, with updates and new twists.

Contact us with questions or comments: