Updates for Skepticon 5

Skepticon 5, the world’s largest free atheist/skeptics event, is rolling merrily along.  They’re rolling out this year’s speakers slowly, with promises to release more immediately if they meet their fundraising goals.  The first four speakers have been announced and, I dare say, it would be a worthwhile trip just to see this group for free.

Jessica AhlquistWe’ve been following this “evil little thing” since she started her battle with her public high school to have an unconstitutional prayer banner removed from its auditorium. Ahlquist has since won her case and become a prominent atheist activist, despite receiving innumerable threats from within her Rhode Island community. Jessica is a remarkably gifted speaker, and we’re very pleased to have her at SK5!

Greta Christina

If we’d failed to invite Greta back, we would’ve been due a revolt. Greta Christina’s SK4 talk has been viewed nearly 100,000 times on Youtube, making it the most popular Skepticon presentation of all time. If you don’t yet know who Greta Christina is, you’ve clearly been in cryogenic freeze – and now it’s time to defrost and read up.

Sean Carroll

A Harvard-educated theoretical cosmologist, Carroll specializes in dark energy and general relativity. He is a talented cosmologist and science educator, occasionally making guest appearances on the History Channel’s The Universe, the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report..

Julia Galef

Another familiar face! Julia’s SK4 talk tackled the frequent straw-manning of rationalists in the media. A prolific skeptic, Galef writes for Measure of Doubt and Rationally Speaking and produces the Rationally Speaking podcast with co-host Massimo Pigliucci. She is currently in the process of launching a new non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of rationality skills.

I’ve kinda let the cat out of the bag that I’ll be back this year too.  Oops.  Anyway, there are going to be a lot more!  Over 16 more, actually.

The idea of Skepticon is, in my opinion, one of the best things going right now for all of the above reasons.  It’s an event that has left any thought of profit out of the equation.  It is a pure celebration of reason.  The speakers do not hide, they sit in the audience and mingle.  There is no cost to get in, all you have to do is get there (and if lodging is a problem, we can probably find you a floor/couch).

Most importantly, it’s fun!  The energy at Skepticon is unlike any other event I’ve ever attended.  I can’t wait to go back.  I hope to see a bunch of you there.  🙂

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