Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007

12:00 - 5:00PM: Registration

1:00 - 5:00PM: Optional Workshops

Workshop A: Grassroots Media Training. Leader, Margaret Downey.


Workshop B: Critical Thinking in the Classroom. Leaders Robert Todd Carroll, Ray Hall and Diane Swanson

5:00 - 7:00PM: Reception: Top of the Riv Ballroom, 24th Floor

9:00PM Optional Show, Banachek

Friday, Jan. 19, 2007

8:00AM – 9:00AM: Continental breakfast

9:00AM: Welcome

9:15AM: Michael Shermer, President, Skeptics Society

10:00AM: Eugenie Scott, NCSE

11:00AM: Nick Gillespie and Ron Bailey, Reason Magazine

12:00PM: Buffet lunch provided

1:15PM: Neil Gershenfeld, MIT Center for Bits and Atoms

2:15PM: “Randi in the Media” with Jamy Ian Swiss

3:15PM: Break ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3:30PM: Lori Lipman Brown, Lobbyist, Secular Coalition for America

4:00pm: Penn & Teller

4:45PM: Richard Wiseman, Psychologist, Author

5:30PM: Adjourn

8:00PM: Optional shows: Hal Bidlack as Alexander Hamilton and then Julia Sweeney and Jill Sobule

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007

8:00AM - 9:00AM Continental breakfast

9:00AM Peter Sagal, NPR Host, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”

9:45AM Scott Dikkers, Editor, The Onion

10:45 Phil Plait, the "Bad Astronomer"

11:45AM Buffet lunch provided

1:00PM James Randi, President of the JREF

1:30PM John Rennie, Editor, Scientific American Magazine

2:15PM Christopher Hitchens, Journalist

3:00PM Break ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3:15PM Adam Savage, Tory Belleci “The Mythbusters”

4:00PM Penn interviews Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park and Team America (scheduled)

4:45PM Panel Discussion followed by brief annoucements

6:00 Adjourn

6:30 Optional Dinner with Randi and Guests (Top of the Riv)

9:00PM Optional show: Jamy Ian Swiss, “Heavy Mental” with Carny Todd Robbins

Sunday, Jan 21, 2007

7:30AM - 8:30AM Continental breakfast
8:30     Teaching Pigs to Sing?  Harriet Hall, M.D.,
A Skeptic Tries to Introduce Critical Thinking to the Public!
What makes skeptics different - why are we more willing to change our minds? The SkepDoc offers insights into challenging views and ideas and changing minds.

8:55    The West Australian Skeptics Awards for Young Critical Writers  Kylie L. Sturgess
The goal was to have students write critically on any curious belief in 2000 words. In a state four times larger than Texas the challenge was big and the results were small– but promising! The efforts of one English teacher are described with a call to help further the WA Awards and initiate similar projects.

9:20     Patenting Perpetual Motion – A Field Guide for the Average Skeptic  David Green
How some applicants exploit weaknesses in the patent laws and the examination process to acquire patents that, at least superficially, seem to claim things like perpetual motion, free energy devices, and neutrino cameras.

9:45     Digital Darwinian Evolution Produces Irreducible Complexity  Lee Graham
I describe our group’s applet called I.C.E. (Irreducible Complexity Evolver) an observer-independent, automatic, reliable system that uses Darwinian evolution to produce Irreducible Complexity. Our work confronts the creationists’ claims of the non-evolvability of irreducibly complex systems directly, by using evolution in a digital medium to produce such systems

10:10   Coffee Break

10:30   How to Be a C-List Internet Celebrity in Just 30 Days:
Finding an Audience Online  Rebecca Watson
This presentation will introduce the audience to the tools available to them for gaining the attention of the world, using grassroots techniques like blogging and podcasting. Each facet will be supported by actual numbers and results that I've gathered over the past year through the Skepchick organization as well as other sources of info.

10:55   Cracking the Language Code –
Uncovering Secret Messages You Didn’t Know You Were Sending  Ginger Switzer
An investigation in the roll that word choices (and the ways that questions, answers and information are stated) play in effective communication, and how such wordsmithing is overlooked by skeptics resulting in less than desirable results.

11.20   It’s Only Natural – Exposing the Naturalistic Fallacy  Steven Novella, MD
The very pervasive and successful marketing campaign that products that are “natural” are inherently superior to those that are “artificial” will be given critical consideration.       

11:45   Decoding the Media Mythmakers  Benjamin Radford
Based on my book Media Mythmakers, I will discuss the ways in which journalists and news organization mislead their audiences, and advocate that the best antidote is a critical mind. The session will begin with the world premiere of my short animated film Clicker Clatter.

12:05  Closing Remarks   James Randi