SkeptiCamp NYC 2014: Share the apple of knowledge

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SkeptiCamp NYC 2014 Sessions and Attendees

So far, 55 people have registered for SkeptiCamp NYC 2014! 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 2 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 23rd, 2014.

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

TitleDescriptionName of Leader
Evolutionary PsychologyIn this talk I will outline what evolutionary psychology is, and describe some of the prediction and conclusions of the field. Evo psych is a very controversial topic that has been bitterly criticized since immediately after it was first published as "Sociobiology" by professor E.O. Wilson at Harvard in 1975. Nonetheless, it has been steadily gaining influence on psychology and in the media.Bill Chapman
Can Science Inform Ethics?TBDSpiro Condos
Birds Are Not Dinosaurs: A Case Study in Denialism?There's a thin line between skepticism and denialism. A small but passionate group of scientists believe they have evidence showing that birds cannot be descended from dinosaurs, despite the idea's acceptance by the overwhelming majority of their peers. Does the BAND camp have a scaly leg to stand on? Why are they so convinced, and what can this teach us about the denial of other scientific ideas, like evolution and global climate change?Russ Dobler
The Mental Glitches That Impact Our Thinking and How to Avoid ThemBased on Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow," as well as the work of several prominent behavioral economists and psychologists (such as for example Dan Ariely), I will explain the significant effect of cognitive biases, when and if our intuitions are reliable, and whether there's any hope for humanity to ever become better thinkers.Taisiya Kogan
Predicting the Future of Morality (as a Science)Full description coming soon.Mitchell Lampert
Spirituality for the SkepticThe word "spirituality" can have a negative connotation for skeptics, conjuring up images of crystal healing and wishy-washy woo-woo. But the word also captures some positive things which no other word quite does, and its positive uses are becoming more prominent in the skeptic community, as Sam Harris' recent release of "Waking Up" demonstrates. This talk will be part open-discussion, and part presentation; after some guided discussion around the connotations of the term "spiritual" and the utility of debating the use and meaning of words in general, some modern secular spiritual movements and books will be described and discussed.Gregory Lopez
My Blood Type Made Me Do It! Blood Type and Personality in JapanLooking for the perfect mate? What kind of job is right for you? Why do some societies dominate other societies? According to popular belief in Japan, blood type can help provide answers to these questions. Is this the astrology of the East or is there a scientific link between blood type and personality?Jonathan Nelson
Skepticism in higher educationEducation is not blind repetition or memorization but a way to think, acquire evidence, evaluation, and tentative conclusions. But, many students enter college to get vocational training and not to acquire much of anything else. In this highly-religious society, many topics are off limits and most faculty don't want to touch sensitive/controversial topics. How do we teach the "how" in addition to the "what"? Moderated/group discussion sessionGeorge Picoulas

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
Robert Brown
Gregory Cox
Janice Gherardi
Thomas Griffenkranz
Pat Gunn
Brooke Orosz
Trevor Perry
Martin Rosenthal
Richard Schloss
Collin Stocks
David Taunton
Richard Van Horn

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: