Saturday, October 14, 2017

November 4 - Familial DNA Searching

An investigative tool that increases public safety, Or an illegitimate practice of genetic surveillance?

Presented by Daniele Podini, PhD
Associate Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology and Biological Sciences
The George Washington University

Conventional forensic DNA analysis is an effective approach for human individual identification as long as the profile of the perpetrator is already available to the investigators, but fails if not. In such “suspect-less” cases familial DNA searching can be used as a tool identify potential suspects. In familial DNA searching a profile from the crime scene, likely belonging to the perpetrator, is searched against the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Partial hits are used by investigators to focus on close family members of the persons whose DNA profile is in CODIS. Familial DNA searching has been one of the most controversial aspects of DNA technology. It has been used in California and other states but was forbidden in Maryland and in the District of Columbia. Dr. Podini will be presenting two conflicting perspectives: is familial searching a tool that can be used to generate investigative leads and that can result in identifying the culprit or is it a practice with profound racial justice implications, that effectively puts under genetic surveillance innocent families and primarily certain minorities?

Prof. Podini is Associate Professor of Forensic Molecular Biology in the Department of Forensic Sciences at The George Washington University. He previously served as the Assistant Chief of the Biology Section of the Scientific Department of the Carabinieri - Italian military Armed Force. Later he created and directed the Forensic Section of Genoma, a private molecular biology laboratory in Rome. He consulted with laboratories in Italy, Turkey, Albania, Tunisia, and Algeria to aid in the establishment of Molecular Genetic Sections, and the development of specific forensic capabilities. The research conducted in his lab ranges from developing assays to infer biogeographic ancestry and physical traits, to working on high throughput detection of sperm cells from sexual assault evidence, and from obtaining DNA from fired cartridge cases to developing methods to enhance DNA mixture deconvolution with the most recent DNA sequencing technology available.

Saturday, November 4, 2017
1:30 pm


Argosy University
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 712
Arlington, VA

Near Rosslyn Metro. Parking garage accessible from N. Pierce Street.
There is controlled building access so please arrive on time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

October 14 - The Science of Fake News

Presented by Bruce Press

Fake News comes in many guises. Propaganda, mistakes, overly broad generalizations, conspiracy theories, counter-intelligence, politically motivated reasoning, outright lies and more...  Like you, Mr. Press has recognized the existence of "Fake News" for a long time but his comprehension of the serious impact it has on society began to crystallize while researching conspiracy theories a few years ago.

"Fake News" has, seemingly, become a fundamental part of the U.S. media landscape in just the last couple of years. However, as many of you know, it has been there with less fanfare for a very long time. Examples come from both obvious and surprising sources with new ones every day. This talk will attempt to go beyond the recognition of specific instances to the science of how they impact individuals and society.



Lightly touching on a broad range of subjects from memory and cognition to biases and social media will set up a discussion on how we can better interact with the modern media landscape.

While currently in a second career as a photographer, Bruce Press spent almost thirty years as an engineer and software developer. His involvement with the skeptical community began more than a decade ago. Since then he has helped to organize investigative groups, skeptical conferences and co-created a skeptical monthly meetup in Baltimore for years. He has researched and spoken on various topics of interest to skeptics in a number of public venues.


Saturday, October 14, 2017
1:30 pm

B-CC Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane
2nd Floor (West Room)
Bethesda, MD
Directions: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc/directions.html
(Note that this is a return to a Bethesda location for our fall talks that we used over 10 years ago.)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2017

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics


  • September 9 lecture- Brian Inglis: Advocate for Psi, and Mortal Enemy of CSICOP -
    Neil Inglis
  • October 14 Lecture - The science of fake news - Bruce Press
  • NCAS Board of Directors Elections
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals


NCAS Public Lecture Series

Brian Inglis: Advocate for Psi, and Mortal Enemy of CSICOP

Neil Inglis

Saturday, September 9, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
NEW LOCATION
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
2nd Floor (West Room)
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

As an instantly recognizable figure in the UK, known for his serious manner and credibility as a historian, Brian Inglis (1916-1993) combined television with writing books and journalism to great effect. He halted his TV career in the early 1970s to enter the world of the paranormal, becoming friends with psychic celebrities (including Uri Geller), and then embarking upon full-length studies intended to publicize what he viewed as the major story of his age, the psi force. Yet Brian did not have the debating podium to himself--and a bitter war of words with CSICOP and with other skeptical authors and organizations was soon to follow..

Brian's son Neil Inglis has been an NCAS veteran since 1988, and spoke on Michael Servetus during our 2005-2006 lecture season. A staff translator/reviser with a local international organization, Neil edits a Reformation history magazine in his spare time. In recent years, Neil has assisted in preparing new, electronic editions of his father's books, including Brian's classic psi histories. Neil's talk will be given from his intensely personal perspective as an Inglis family member; his presentation is certain to be of interest to those who follow the history of fringe belief systems and of CSICOP itself (now CSI). Furthermore, Neil will ask the question that we all ponder: why do intelligent people continue to believe bizarre things?

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

http://www.ncas.org/2017/08/september-9-brian-inglis-advocate-for.html



October NCAS Lecture
Bruce Press will present "The Science of Fake News."  This talk will attempt to go beyond the recognition of specific instances, to the science of how they impact individuals and society. Saturday, October 14 at 1:30 PM at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

September 9 - Brian Inglis: Advocate for Psi, and Mortal Enemy of CSICOP

Presented by Neil Inglis

As an instantly recognizable figure, known for his serious manner and credibility as a historian, Brian combined television with writing books and journalism to great effect. He halted his TV career in the early 1970s to enter the world of the paranormal, becoming friends with psychic celebrities (including Uri Geller), and then embarking upon full-length studies intended to publicize what he viewed as the major story of his age, the psi force. Yet Brian did not have the debating podium to himself--and a bitter war of words with CSICOP and with other skeptical authors and organizations was soon to follow.

Brian's son Neil Inglis has been an NCAS veteran since 1988, and spoke on Michael Servetus during our 2005-2006 lecture season. A staff translator/reviser with a local international organization, Neil edits a Reformation history magazine in his spare time. In recent years, Neil has assisted in preparing new, electronic editions of his father's books, including Brian's classic psi histories. Neil's talk will be given from his intensely personal perspective as an Inglis family member; his presentation is certain to be of interest to those who follow the history of fringe belief systems and of CSICOP itself (now CSI). Furthermore, Neil will ask the question that we all ponder: why do intelligent people continue to believe bizarre things?

Saturday, September 9, 2017
1:30 pm

B-CC Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane
2nd Floor (West Room)
Bethesda, MD
Directions: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcc/directions.html
(Note that this is a return to a Bethesda location for our fall talks that we used over 10 years ago.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Verizon changing its email service

Verizon is ending its support of email and is telling verizon.net customers to switch to either AOL or another email server. If you were previously served by Verizon, you may no longer be getting email from NCAS. If you haven't gotten any meeting announcements recently, click on "Contact NCAS" on the right column of this page and send us a message saying you are no longer getting email from us.

--- If you are a member of NCAS, send a message to ncas@ncas.org.

--- If you are on our announcements list, sign up again.

If you recently got a message from us, no need to do anything.

If you aren't on our email distribution list and want to get notices of upcoming events, you also should click on "Contact NCAS".