SkeptiCamp NYC 2010: Share the apple of knowledge

Current Home Page | 2010 Home Page | Photo Galleries | Resources from Presenters | The Schedule | Q&A | Host A Session! | Took place on December 4th, 2010

Questions and Answers

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Session Host Questions

What does "Session Host" mean?
Basically, it is synonymous with the old fashioned term "presenter" (which is still occasionally used on this site). But, it implies that you can do more than merely "present" a topic in front of people. You could also lead an interactive workshop, moderate an open discussion, perform a witty sketch routine, or whatever. We are trying to encourage more interactive activities, this year, and we hope our adjustments to our vocabulary will somehow facilitate that.

Read more about the options on our templates page.

If I want to be a session host, do I need to register for the event?
Yes! Since this is a user-generated conference, the presenters are also the attendees. Everyone interested in participating in the event needs to register and pay the small registration fee. As a session host, you must be able to physically attend the conference. Location and time information is on the home page and the "advanced schedule" of topics will be posted a week or two before the event.

What is the deadline?
There is a "soft" deadline for submitting session proposals of November 19th, 2010. If you submit your idea on or before that date, you will be considered for the "advanced schedule". If not, we will only consider you if there are any spots left.

Is there an advantage to submitting session proposals early?
Yes! Session proposals will be examined in a roughly first-come, first-served basis. The earliest eligible ideas are more likely to make it to the advanced schedule than the later ones.

What should I present?
We are accepting session proposals related to science, skepticism, and critical thinking, in general. The less related to that, the more likely we will not accept it. The more descriptive your description is, the better able we will be to judge it against that criteria. We encourage you to present something you are passionate about, or perhaps something you are (or would like to be) an expert on, and definitely something that will interest and facilitate discussion with the others in the group. A good source of presentation ideas can be found here:

Are credentials necessary to be a session host?
No, not at all! But, if you come off like an ignorant buffoon, you could be "eaten for lunch" by the other participants! (This applies even if you do have credentials.)

How long should my session or presentation be?
When you submit your idea, you can tell us how long you think it will take. The maximum amount of time allowed will be 30 minutes. But, lots of folks have been able to cover good ground in their topics in 15 or 20 minutes, in the past. The more concise you are, the better!

Can I submit more than one session idea?
If you, one day, think you came up with a better idea than something you previously proposed, you can try. That idea will replace your previous one. We will not likely allow anyone to lead more than one session. We would only do so, if by some miracle, there was enough time left for that to happen.

And, please don't "spam" us with lots of different things. That will just get you rejected, completely.

What if I have special needs for supplies or equipment for my presentation?
We will be providing a projector, screen, laptop, and dry erase board, for visual aids. Beyond that, you are responsible for providing any other equipment you will need. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask Mitch:

The laptops we provide will likely be Windows-based with both Microsoft Office 2010 and 3.2 installed.

How do you decide who gets to host a session?
Session proposals are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The first of the eligible, non-redundant, entries will be chosen for the "advanced schedule". (If two people had a very similar topic, the first one in gets to give it.) A few alternates will also be chosen, in case someone cannot present.

All else being equal, we will also tend to favor newcomers over veteran hosts. It's only fair.

To be eligible, your topic:
  • should appeal to the theme of science and/or skepticism, etc.
  • and it must not be deemed as "abusive" or illegal in any manner.

Hosts are NOT chosen based on any "political influence".

Can session hosts also submit poster ideas?
Yes. They don't even need to be on the same topic as your session.

Can I give out handouts during my session?
Yes, of course! You are responsible for the cost of printing. We will let you know how many people to expect, if you ask us.

General Participant Questions (for both session hosts and non-hosts)

Is there an advantage to registering early, even if I am not leading a session?
Yes! We are aiming to keep this event limited in size to facilitate participation and discussion. We can not guarantee there will be room for you, if you show up at the last minute. Though, of course, we will try to squeeze you in, if that is possible.

Why do I have to pay?
The benefits of having a SkeptiCamp in New York City far outweigh the costs (especially the cost of a venue). Your registration fee will go directly to covering the cost of providing the space and equipment necessary for a full day of learning and discussion.

Are children invited to SkeptiCamp?
SkeptiCamp is intended for adults, though young adults can also join us, if they'd like. It is possible that some sessions could touch on topics that might not be considered appropriate for children, though it would be kept in an educational manner. So, parental discretion is advised.

Will the sessions at SkeptiCamp NYC be recorded?
Yes! We would like to video tape the whole thing. However, session hosts could opt-out. If you really don't want your session to be recorded, please let us know.

Highlights of what we record will probably be posted on video streaming sites, such as YouTube. We might stream some whole sessions, as well. (We do not know if we will put out DVDs, yet.)

Will the sessions at SkeptiCamp NYC be streamed live?
We do not know, yet. There are currently no plans in place to do so. But, that could change. Especially if we sense a lot of demand for it.

If we do end up with a system for streaming the event live, session hosts will be able to opt-out of it, if they feel they must.

Will any food be provided?
We will provide refreshments: coffee, soda, some snacks, etc. (We aim to have Tim-Tams, too!) We do not provide any meals, but there are a few restaurants nearby to choose from, during the lunch break.

What are "poster presentations"?
Read about them here.

Where did the name "SkeptiCamp" come from?
Check out our Etymology page, to find out.

Contact us with questions or comments: