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The Skeptics Society is a nonprofit, member-supported organization devoted to promoting scientific skepticism and resisting the spread of pseudoscience, superstition, and irrational beliefs. The Skeptics Society was originally founded as a Los Angeles-area skeptical group to replace the defunct Southern California Skeptics. After the success of its magazine, Skeptic, introduced in Spring 1992, it became a national and then international organization.


HistoryEdit

Formed in 1992, in 2008 it has 55,000 members worldwide including Bill Nye "The Science Guy", Saturday Night Live alumna Julia Sweeney, biologist Richard Dawkins and popular astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson.[1]


ActivitiesEdit


A primary activity of the Skeptics Society is the publication of Skeptic magazine. Skeptic is a quarterly science education and science advocacy magazine available by subscription or on major newsstands in the U.S. and Canada. Over 100 pages long, the magazine examines many of the aforementioned topics. Its cover stories have ranged from examination of alleged UFOs in religious icons[2] and theories of the likelihood of artificial intelligence, skeptic.com [3] to tributes to luminaries such as Isaac Asimov [4] and Ernst Mayr. [5] Some editions feature special sections devoted to a particular topic or theme that is examined through multiple articles by different authors, such as intelligent design, a frequently recurring topic in the magazine, given the ongoing creation-evolution controversy.


The magazine also features a large correspondence section called "Forum", that includes not only letters from lay readers, but also in-depth comments and rebuttals from professionals for extended academic debate across issues from past editions. Bound into most issues is also a 10-page young readers section called Junior Skeptic, which focuses on one topic, or practical instruction that is written and illustrated in a style more appealing to children.


In 2007, Skepticality was adopted as the group's official podcast.


SkepticEdit

Main article: Skeptic (U.S. magazine)


The Society's magazine Skeptic, like the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the James Randi Educational Foundation, investigates extraordinary claims, such as extra sensory perception, Atlantis, 9/11 conspiracy theories, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, creationism, pyramid power, etc. It does not limit itself to potentially pseudoscientific claims, but also investigates such controversies as pseudohistory (as in the examples of Holocaust denial and extreme Afrocentrism), the use or misuse of theory and statistics, conspiracy theories, urban legends, witch hunts, mass hysteria, genius, and intelligence, and cultural influences on science, as well as controversies involving protosciences at the leading edge of established science, and even fads like cryonics and low-carb diets.


Caltech Lecture SeriesEdit

The Caltech Lecture Series offers speakers on a wide range of topics relating to science, psychology, social issues, religion/atheism, skepticism, etc. Past speakers include Julia Sweeney, Richard Dawkins, Philip Zimbardo, Dinesh D'Souza, Steven Pinker, Carol Tavris, and Sam Harris at California Institute of Technology. The lectures occur on Sunday afternoons, and are open to the public for a nominal fee.[6] The Skeptics Society also sell recordings of the lectures.[7]


In addition, the Skeptics Society hosted the "Origins Conference" in October 2008 with Nancey Murphy, Hugh Ross, Leonard Susskind, Sean Carroll, Paul Davies, Stuart Kauffman, Christof Koch, Kenneth R. Miller, Donald Prothero, and Victor J. Stenger.[8][9]


See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit


External linksEdit


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