SkeptiCamp NYC 2023 - Share the Apple of Knowledge   December 2nd, 2023
Thanks everyone, for making our latest event quite successful!

Register to Attend!

Session Leader Guide

Etymology of "SkeptiCamp"

About Us

Contact Us


The Proposed Schedule For SkeptiCamp NYC 2023

The actual sequence of events at any SkeptiCamp is subject to change based on the needs and interests of its attendees. The following is the schedule we will start with. But, be aware that it could change around a lot.

The opinions of SkeptiCamp presenters do not necessarily reflect those of its organizers.

The official Program Guide can be found here:

Date: December 2, 2023 • In Person Location: 151 West 30th Street, 3rd floor, Room 1, New York, NY
Web Conference Link:
9:00 AM 10:00 AM Pre-Con Meet-and-Greet!
Schmooze with your fellow attendees, while we get things ready.
10:00 AM 10:10 AM Opening Ceremonies and Other Obligatory Stuff
Category: The Arts
10:10 AM 10:40 AM Tony Saunders The Secret Music of - Plants?
There are commercial products that claim to take live, electrical resistance signals from plants (and other organic sources) and translate them into "Music." We will show how these signals are taken in and assigned to musical values by the equipment, experiment with different organic sources, and allow for audience members to handle and interact with the system itself. The notion of plant "consciousness" will be discussed. One lucky attendee will go home with the plant "musician!" (but not the presenter...)
10:40 AM 11:10 AM Spiro Condos, with Tony Saunders A Scientist and an Artist discuss the importance of Narrative in the Visual Arts
We will each show three works of Art; both representational and abstract, and discuss what can be gleaned from each piece. Does it tell a story? Does it evoke a mood? What does the observer’s perspective bring to the meaning of the piece?

Is objective interpretation possible, or even desirable?
11:10 AM 11:25 AM Short Break #1
Category: Controversies
11:25 AM 11:55 AM Craig Sachs Should We Abandon the Skeptics we Thought we Loved but are "Jerks"?
(Details TBA)
11:55 PM 2:00 PM Lunch Break
2:00 PM 2:30 PM Benny Pollak A Conversation About Artificial Intelligence
A conversation about issues related to A.I.
Category: Mysteries of Life, Time and Space
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Olga Ast Was Time "Invented" or "Discovered"? My "Personal" "Conspiracy" "Theory"
The question "Was mathematics invented or discovered?" has become very popular lately. Could we ask the same about our concept of time, was it invented or discovered?

My obsession with a subject of time started probably in my early childhood. Since then I published books, presented at interdisciplinary conferences, participated in the art-science exhibitions, and initiated and have been curating an interdisciplinary ArcheTime project that aims to foster critical discourse between artistic, academic and scientific thought on Time since 2009.

Is there a way to come closer to understanding of the subject of time and come up with a meaningful answers?

My questions are not usual "What time is?" or "Is time an illusion?" but: "Why we created the concept of time? What could be the physical phenomena that causes our impression and makes us to believe that everything moves from the past to the future, even in one direction?"
3:00 PM 3:10 PM Short Break #2
3:10 PM 3:40 PM Russ Dobler What does Bigfoot SOUND like? Science vs. Observation
What if someone asked you to yell like a Sasquatch -- and then judged you on the accuracy? How do you best simulate the vocalization of something that probably doesn't exist? Do you go for what our closest furry relatives sound like, or what Bigfoot hunters claim to hear?

I traveled to the "Sasquatch Calling Festival" in Whitehall, New York, to see how they determine their annual winner, and the whole experience was a scream.
3:40 PM 4:10 PM Mitchell Scott Lampert What would Intelligently Designed Life Actually Look Like?
Those who do not accept the very idea that one lifeform can evolve into a completely different one, would like to think all life on Earth was the product of an Intelligent Designer. They claim to have evidence in the form of "complexity" and "information", even though there is really no reason those sort of things can't emerge over time, from natural causes. And, yet, there are those hallmarks of design we do NOT see in life forms: Replaceable parts, tooling marks, maker labels, etc. So, if one were to Design a life form, what would it actually look like, and how would it compare to evolved life forms we are accustomed to? And, most importantly of all, how can we find a way to bring LEGO pieces into this conversation?

(And no, Mitchell will NOT be discussing his crackpot ideas for how the mind works, during this talk.)
Category: Open Sessions
4:10 PM 5:30 PM Open Sessions - Here, we open the floor to anyone else who wants to talk about anything involving science or critical thinking.
5:30 PM 6:00 PM Closing Ceremonies and Cleaning Up After Ourselves
6:00 PM Until Whenever After Party - Russ Dobler is picking a nearby place.

Note: The category names don't really mean anything important.

  Contact the Lead Organizer with your questions or comments: