Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shadow of a Doubt - October 2017

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • October 14 lecture- Bruce Press - The Science of Fake News
  • November 4 lecture - Professor Daniele Podini - Familial DNA Searching in Criminal Investigations
  • Happy Friday the 13th!
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Drinking Skeptically on hiatus
  • Member renewals

NCAS Public Lecture Series

The Science of Fake News

Bruce Press

Saturday, October 14, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
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

Fake News comes in many guises. Propaganda, mistakes, overly broad generalizations, conspiracy theories, counter-intelligence, politically motivated reasoning, outright lies and more...  Like you, Bruce 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.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.


November NCAS Lecture
Our speaker will be Professor Daniele Podini of the Department of Forensic Sciences at George Washington University.  He will present "Familial DNA Searching in Criminal Investigations."  Saturday, November 4 at 1:30 PM at Argosy University, 1550 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 712, Arlington, VA.

Happy Friday the 13th!
NCAS has no events planned for Friday, October 13, but encourages our members to celebrate the silliness of superstition responsibly.  Wear eye protection if you smash a mirror, be careful when walking under a ladder, etc!

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
When shopping at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the first and second quarter of 2017 totaled $28.76, meaning that over $5700 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover an hour of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

For more information:

Shadow Light
Some members and contacts of NCAS receive a postal notification of this and every new monthly Shadow of a Doubt. The Shadow Light postcard announces the monthly lecture and highlights of the electronic Shadow of a Doubt, which is available online at ncas.org/shadow. NCAS thereby reduces Shadow production and postage costs. To further reduce costs, members and contacts can opt out of postal notification altogether, while continuing to receive Shadow of a Doubt via e-mail. To opt out, send us an e-mail at ncas@ncas.org.

Drinking Skeptically
NCAS Drinking Skeptically is on indefinite hiatus at our Maryland and Virginia locations.

Time to Renew?
Be sure to check your renewal date above your postal address on the Shadow Light postcard. Send any queries to ncas@ncas.org.  Use the online membership form to renew.