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Branding Skepticism

by Phil Plait, Jan 06 2010

Steve Cuno is a skeptic as well as man who knows his marketing — he’s a professional. He’s spoken at two TAMs, both times about how better to market and brand skepticism. His points have hit home with me, because what he says about how we behave as skeptics is something I have seen countless times to be true. He thinks — and I agree — that we need to be more positive about what we know to be true. Instead of only saying "the antivax movement is baloney," (which we know to be a correct statement) we need to promote actual medicine and talk about why vaccinations are important. I try to do that here on the blog, because I know full well how skeptics are seen outside our own circles: naysayers, pointy-headed ivory tower academics, and so on. By being positive, we promote ourselves much better to the public.
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TAM 7 – Miscellaneous mumbling..

by Yau-Man Chan, Jul 19 2009

Ok..unlike Kirsten,  I’m officially a TAM virgin no more!  Despite my very busy schedule and cost, (what with the State of California implementing furlough for their employee and all, I’m in the penny-pinching mode) I did manage to sneak off for a long weekend to hang out with big names in the skeptics movement.  All the TAM sessions exceeded all my expectations and I understand from reading my fellow bloggers here as well as every other blog and commentary about the gathering, a good time was had by all. Continue reading…

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Tales from the Million Dollar Challenge

by Phil Plait, May 13 2009
A MILLION dollars!

A MILLION dollars!

I think one of the coolest things — if not the coolest thing — the James Randi Educational Foundation does is the Million Dollar Challenge: if you can prove you have paranormal abilities (you can dowse, you’re psychic, you can make objects float or catch fire or turn into cheese just with the power of your mind), then we’ll give you a million bucks.

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Skeptical giving

by Phil Plait, Dec 24 2008

So you have what, like zero days left to buy presents. Today’s the day, you’re panicked, and you’re not sure what to do. Run to the bookstore for a gift certificate? Hope the local superbox has more cartons of electric toothbrushes? Just panic?

There are some things you still can do. They may not be the latest video game or a big plasma TV, but there are some good gifts left to give, and maybe you can do a good deed at the same time:

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The Big Tent of skepticism

by Phil Plait, Oct 29 2008

Note: This post is a modified version of an email I sent to someone who was concerned about the state of the skepticism movement. I think it should have a broader audience.

I am privileged to be the President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. I’m a skeptic, and I try to live my life that way (usually succeeding, I hope). Randi was one of the largest motivators for me to be a critical thinker, and my friendship and admiration for him go back many years.

Yet, as Randi himself has pointed out, he and I have very different backgrounds, both academically and in general. Randi comes into skepticism from his being a phenomenal conjurer, stage magician, and trickster. I come from the angle of being formally trained as a scientist, specifically an astronomer.

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