Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 21 - Understanding Eyewitness Evidence and Confession Evidence in Criminal Cases: A Sensitive Skeptic’s Guide

Presented by Martin A. Safer, PhD,
Emeritus Professor of Psychology,
The Catholic University of America 



Inaccurate eyewitness testimony and false confessions are two of the most common reasons for wrongful convictions in criminal cases.  Using an actual case, Dr. Safer will illustrate why eyewitnesses may be inaccurate.  However, it is wrong to presume that all eyewitness testimony is unreliable.  Dr. Safer will present research on how to improve the quality of eyewitness evidence.  Legal professionals around the world, as well as ordinary citizens, are relatively unaware of both the flaws and potential strengths of eyewitness evidence.  Dr. Safer will describe the Interview-Identification-Eyewitness Factors (I-I-Eye) educational aid which helps sensitize individuals to judge more appropriately what is likely to be accurate versus inaccurate eyewitness evidence.

Dr. Safer will also present research regarding confession evidence in criminal cases and will describe the Before-During-After educational aid for assessing the quality of confession evidence. It is hoped that learning about these educational aids will help audience members become more sensitive skeptics about good versus poor quality eyewitness and confession evidence.

Professor Safer is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Catholic University of America, where he taught for more than 35 years. He has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, primarily in the areas of emotions and memory, including publications on eyewitness evidence and confession evidence. He has also served as an expert consultant on eyewitness evidence in criminal cases.

Saturday, April 21, 2018
1:30 pm

B-CC Regional Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane
2nd Floor (West Room)
Bethesda, MD

Directions: http://tinyurl.com/bcccenter

 FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

April Science Events in Washington

There are two science events taking place in Washington DC that may be of interest to skeptics. No official events are being scheduled by NCAS in coordination with these, but NCAS members may wish to participate.

USA Science and Engineering Festival

Free Expo: Walter E. Washington Convention Center,
Washington D.C.
April 7-8, 2018


For complete information and to register, go to usasciencefestival.org. Note that you must preregister in order to be admitted. Registration is free, but they do request a $5 donation to defray the cost of registering.

From the USA Science and Engineering Festival website:


Mark your calendars for the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on April 7-8, 2018! Explore 3,000 hands-on exhibits from the world’s leading scientific and engineering societies, universities, government agencies, high-tech corporations and STEM organizations. The two-day Expo is perfect for children, teens, and families who want to inspire their curious minds.

Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center

When: Saturday 10 am- 6 pm and Sunday 10 am- 4 pm 

Join 350K+ attendees to celebrate science at the Expo and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM. Hear stories of inspiration and courage, participate in mind-boggling experiments and rock out to science during our incredible stage shows.


March 4 Science


From the March for Science website:

On April 14, 2018 SCIENCE MARCHES ON
From Washington D.C. to Abuja, Nigeria, science supporters across the globe are mobilizing.  Events range from science expos and festivals to rallies and large-scale marches but they are united with shared goals.  March for Science events energize science advocates from multiple spheres to create tangible change and call for greater accountability of public officials to enact evidence-based policy that serves all communities. 

Joining us in Washington DC?  Find details here!
 
More than 200 satellite events around the world have also registered to participate in the 2nd annual event.  Check out the details at MarchForScience.org.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • March 10 lecture - Science Moms: Documentary Screening and Q & A
  • April 21 lecture - Understanding Eyewitness Evidence and Confession Evidence in Criminal Cases: A Sensitive Skeptic’s Guide.
  • NCAS Board Elections: Call for Candidates
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

NCAS Public Lecture Series


March 2018

Science Moms
Documentary Screening and Q & A

Natalie Newell
Producer/Director

Jenny Splitter
Science Writer

Saturday, March 10, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Argosy University
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 712
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Near Rosslyn Metro stop)
Enter parking garage from N Pierce Street.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members
Please arrive before 1:30 so we can provide passage through the building access control system.

Science Moms is a film that will give a voice to the science-minded moms – the women who are too often drowned out by the fear mongers, the shamers, and the CelebMoms. Through interviews with "science moms" who are on the front lines of this struggle, we’ll dissect the bogus claims of these celebrities one by one and explain in simple language what the science really shows about GMOs, vaccines, homeopathy, and any of these topics that are often in the headlines, yet even more often are misunderstood.

We can’t change everyone’s minds, but we can make our voices heard. One mom at a time.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with director Natalie Newell and science writer/film participant Jenny Splitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDfmZzY2leA

Sunday, February 18, 2018

March 10 - "Science Moms" - Documentary and Talk by Science Writer Jenny Splitter

Science Moms" - Documentary and Q&A by filmmaker Natalie Newell and science writer Jenny Splitter



Science Moms is a film that will give a voice to the science- minded moms - the women who are too often drowned out by the fear mongers, the shamers, and the CelebMoms. Through interviews with "science moms" who are on the front lines of this struggle, we’ll dissect the bogus claims of these celebrities one by one and explain in simple language what the science really shows about GMOs, vaccines, homeopathy, and any of these topics that are often in the headlines, yet even more often are misunderstood.

We can’t change everyone’s minds, but we can make our voices heard. One mom at a time.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with film maker Natalie Newell and science writer/film participant Jenny Splitter.

Natalie Newell is the director and producer of Science Moms, as well as one of the hosts of The Science Enthusiast  Podcast. Natalie holds an MEd., and worked for a decade in the field of Montessori education before choosing to become a stay-at-home parent, and pursue her interests in science and secular  activism.

Jenny Splitter is a food, science and health writer whose work has been published in Slate, New York magazine's Science of Us, Parents, Salon and other outlets. She's also the mom of two kids who, fortunately and unfortunately, question everything.


Saturday, March 10, 2018
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.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members



For more information, call the 24-hour Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227). www.ncas.org, ncas@ncas.org

Friday, February 16, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • February 17 lecture - The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles
  • March 10 lecture - 2017 documentary film about mothers who advocate for science-based decision-making concerning the health and nutrition of children.
  • NCAS Board Elections: Call for Candidates
  • NCAS YouTube Channel
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

NCAS Public Lecture Series

February 2018

Champions of Illusion:
The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles

Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik
State University of New York
Downstate Medical Center

Saturday, February 17, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Argosy University
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 712
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Near Rosslyn Metro stop)
Enter parking garage from N Pierce Street.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members
Please arrive before 1:30 so we can provide passage through the building access control system.

Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik have studied the neuroscience of sensory and cognitive illusions in their laboratories for almost two decades, and promoted those illusions to general audiences as an exciting and spectacular tool to confront our wider misperceptions and sharpen our critical thinking skills in our so-called "post-truth" era.

In their new book, Champions of Illusion, Professors Martinez-Conde and Macknik present a smorgasbord of mystifying images, many selected from their Best Illusion of the Year Contest. If you have ever found yourself face-to-face with an utterly bewildering illusion, you know the powerful effect such images have on the mind. The question we often ask ourselves is, How is that possible? Martinez-Conde and Macknik, who study the intersection of neuroscience, illusions, and stage magic, explain just why we think we see the things we see.

The Best Illusion of the Year Contest draws entries from vision scientists, artists, magicians, and mathematicians. Champions of Illusion features the contest’s most bizarre effects and unbelievable mind tricks, along with classic illusions and illuminating descriptions of what is actually going on in your brain when you are deceived by visuals on the page. Champions of Illusion is an electrifying mix of science and magic that you will not soon forget.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3diwcnPdWk



Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are award-winning neuroscientists and professors at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. They are the authors of the international bestseller Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions, and have written for publications such as Scientific American, the New York Times, the Sunday Times (London), and How It Works. Their Scientific American contributions include three special editions of Scientific American: Mind dedicated to their work. Their research has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, NPR, PBS's NOVA, and more. They produce the Best Illusion of the Year Contest. They live in Brooklyn.

Copies of the Champions of Illusion book will be available for sale for $25 (cash only).

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

http://www.ncas.org/2018/01/february-17-champions-of-illusion.html

WEATHER CANCELLATION STATUS:
The Arlington weather forecast for Saturday indicates a chance of snow between 1 PM and 4 PM, then snow and sleet.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Check http://www.ncas.org, the NCAS Facebook and Meetup sites (and your inbox, if you received the Shadow by email) to see if the event is still on.  The status will be announced no later than 10 AM on Saturday.  You can also phone the 24-hour Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).

Saturday, January 20, 2018

February 17 - Champions of Illusion The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles

Presented by Susana Martinez-Conde
and Stephen Macknik 

State University of New York 
Downstate Medical Center

Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik have studied the neuroscience of sensory and cognitive illusions in their laboratories for almost two decades, and promoted those illusions to general audiences as an exciting and spectacular tool to confront our wider misperceptions and sharpen our critical thinking skills in our so-called ‘post-truth’ era.

In Champions of Illusion, Profs. Martinez-Conde and Macknik present a smorgasbord of mystifying images, many selected from their Best Illusion of the Year Contest. If you have ever found yourself face-to-face with an utterly bewildering illusion, you know the powerful effect such images have on the mind. The question we often ask ourselves is, How is that possible? Martinez-Conde and Macknik, who study the intersection of neuroscience, illusions, and stage magic, explain just why we think we see the things we see.


The Best Illusion of the Year Contest draws entries from vision scientists, artists, magicians, and mathematicians. Champions of Illusion features the contest’s most bizarre effects and unbelievable mind tricks, along with classic illusions and illuminating descriptions of what is actually going on in your brain when you are deceived by visuals on the page. Champions of Illusion is an electrifying mix of science and magic that you will not soon forget.


Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik are award-winning neuroscientists and professors at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. They are the authors of the international bestseller Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions, and have written for publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, The Sunday Times (London), and How It Works. Their Scientific American contributions include three special editions of Scientific American: Mind dedicated to their work. Their research has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, NPR, PBS's NOVA, and more. They produce the Best Illusion of the Year Contest. They live in Brooklyn.

Saturday, February 17, 2018
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.

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Friday, January 19, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - January 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • January 20 lecture - Sharon A. Hill - Scientifical Americans: Paranormal Researchers and the Public Understanding of Science 
  • February 17 lecture - Neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik will discuss their new book, Champions of Illusion
  • Torn from Today's Headlines: UFOs
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Scientifical Americans:
Paranormal Researchers and the Public Understanding of Science


Sharon A. Hill
Author

Saturday, January 20, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Chevy Chase Library
Downstairs Meeting Room
8005 Connecticut Ave
Chevy Chase, MD [map] [directions]
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members
In the 21st century, reality television and the Internet have fed public interest in ghosts, UFOs, cryptozoology and other unusual phenomena. By 2010, roughly two thousand amateur research and investigation groups formed in the U.S. – ghost hunters, Bigfoot chasers, and UFO researchers, using an array of (supposedly) scientific equipment and methods with an aim of proving the existence of the paranormal. American culture’s honorific regard for science, coupled with the public’s unfamiliarity with scientific methods, created a niche for self-styled paranormal experts to achieve a measure of respect and authority without scientific training or credentials. These groups of amateurs serve as a surrogate for scientists in examining strange claims. And, they provide a unique lens by which we can examine the wider public understanding of science and research.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN2xTSbkGBM


Sharon A. Hill is an advocate for science appreciation, critical thinking, and evidence-based inquiry, specializing in pop culture discourse on ghosts, monsters, mysteries, anomalies, and oddities. She is the creator of DoubtfulNews.com, SpookyGeology.com, and the host of the podcast 15 Credibility Street. She has degrees in Geosciences and Education with a focus on science and the public. Her personal website is SharonAHill.com.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.


http://www.ncas.org/2017/12/january-20-scientifical-americans.html



February NCAS Lecture

Neuroscientists Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik will discuss their new book, Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles.  Saturday, February 17 at 1:30 PM at Argosy University, 1550 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 712, Arlington, VA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3diwcnPdWk