Wednesday, April 20, 2022

April 2022 - NCAS Awards Philip J. Klass Award to Susan Gerbic

 

Two Great Events:
  • April 27, 5:30 PM: Award Dinner and FREE Magic Show to Celebrate Susan Gerbic (Please let us know if you are coming: rsvp@ncas.org) 
  • April 30, 1:30 PM: Susan Gerbic Presents "Grief Vampires, Wikipedia and More"
1. April 27, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM 

NCAS presents: Philip J. Klass Award Dinner and Magic Show to celebrate Susan Gerbic
at Busboys and Poets, Takoma
235 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012
(one block from the Takoma Metro on the Red Line)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

The Philip J. Klass Award honors outstanding efforts to promote critical thinking and scientific understanding.

All are invited as the National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS) celebrates Susan Gerbic and the efforts of her “guerilla skeptics” team of editors who keep watch on Wikipedia, especially on issues of science and pseudoscience.

NCAS is hosting an award dinner in her honor, including a show by magician Peter Wood. The event is free and open to all. Food and beverages can be purchased from the menu at the event.


Susan Gerbic
is the founder and leader of "About Time," a project to find, mentor, and train people to promote science and scientific skepticism through crowdsourced and educational activities worldwide.  It features "Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" (GSoW), a group of editors who create and improve Wikipedia articles to reflect scientific skepticism. This year, the total written pages surpassed 2,000 in 15 languages, with over 100 million views. Gerbic is also known for her research and sting operations against psychic mediums, whom she calls "grief vampires" for cynically claiming to communicate with dead loved ones.  Gerbic's work with GSoW led to her becoming a consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and later, a fellow.  James "The Amazing" Randi presented her with awards in 2013 and 2017.

Magician Peter Wood is a "collector of the impossible" -- he presents incredible, unique, and magical objects with unparalleled showmanship. On their national television show, Penn & Teller called Peter’s act “beautiful, subtle,” saying “I don’t think we’ve ever said this before on the show: it was really, really enjoyable to do your thinking along with you.”
 
Remember to RSVP at rsvp@ncas.org if you are coming.

2. April 30, 1:30 PM: Grief Vampires, Wikipedia and More

Presented by Susan Gerbic

Saturday, April 30, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Central Library
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Virginia Square-GMU Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members
(This is an independent event from the above award dinner. Come to either one or both.)

 Also a YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:


Susan Gerbic, who will receive the 2022 Philip J. Klass Award for outstanding contributions in critical thinking and scientific understanding on April 27, will provide an update on her projects.

"About Time," a nonprofit she founded in 2018, recruits, mentors, and trains people to promote science and scientific skepticism through crowdsourced and educational activities worldwide.  It features "Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" (GSoW), a group of editors who create and improve Wikipedia articles to reflect scientific skepticism. This year, the total written pages surpassed 2,000 in 15 languages, with over 100 million views.

She'll also present the latest news about her sting operations against psychic mediums, whom she calls "grief vampires" for cynically claiming to communicate with dead loved ones.

In addition to receiving the Klass Award, Susan Gerbic is the recipient of the James Randi Educational Foundation's "James Randi Award for Skepticism in the Public Interest" in 2013, and the "JREF Award" in 2017.

A fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, she is also co-founder of Monterey County Skeptics, a frequent contributor to Skeptical Inquirer, and a fellow for GWUP, the German-speaking skeptics' society.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

The underground parking garage entrance is located at the library's NW corner.  Surface lots are north and east of the building.

 

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2022

 

  • April Lecture - UFOs: Then, Now, and Next. Presented by Robert Sheaffer, April 2 on NCAS YouTube channel.
  • Set Date - Klass award dinner to Honor Susan Gerbic, April 27
  • April PhAct Lecture - Michael Marshall to discuss "The White Rose" 
  • April 30 NCAS lecture -Susan Gerbic will present "Grief vampires: Wikipedia and More".
  • NCAS Board elections - Upcoming NCAS election via electronic voting
  • Amazon Smile - Donate to NCAS for free
  • Shadow Lite
  • Time to Renew? 
Read Shadow here.

Friday, March 25, 2022

April 2 - UFOs: Then, Now, and Next

Presented by Robert Sheaffer

Saturday, April 2, 1:30PM 

Live event on YouTube (https://youtu.be/EqiF-ApmO7c)

Robert Sheaffer, one of the leading skeptical investigators of UFOs, will discuss the history of the phenomenon (including an update about a famous case, now solved), recent news, and possible future directions.  He'll recall his mentor, colleague, and friend, Philip J. Klass (1919-2005), generally considered the top skeptical UFO investigator of his time.  Klass was a founding member of CSICOP (now called CSI, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), was one of the original conveners of NCAS in 1987, and was an important long-time mentor to the organization.  Also, what was it like to be a skeptic in the Washington, DC area in the 1970s?  Sheaffer can speak from personal experience.

Robert Sheaffer is a writer with a lifelong interest in astronomy and the question of life on other worlds.  The author of UFO Sightings (1998), his latest book is Bad UFOs (2016), which is also the name of his blog that casts a skeptical eye on claims about UFOs.  He was a founding member (with Philip J. Klass and James Oberg) of the UFO Subcommittee of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and was a longtime fellow of that organization.  Mr. Sheaffer is also a founding director and past Chairman of the Bay Area Skeptics, a local skeptics' group in the San Francisco Bay area.  He has appeared on many radio and TV programs, and his writings and reviews have appeared in such diverse publications as OMNI, Scientific American, Spaceflight, Astronomy, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, Reason, and others.  His "Psychic Vibrations" column in Skeptical Inquirer kept readers informed of weird developments in the "science" of UFOs, psychic research, cryptozoology, etc from 1977 to 2017.  Mr. Sheaffer lives near San Diego, California, having most recently worked as a data communications engineer in Silicon Valley. 
(Photo by Susan Gerbic.) 

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

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2022

  • March 12 Lecture -  Save the Children: QAnon, the Blood Libel, and Witch-Hunts, Presented by Eve Siebrt, 1:30pm, NCASVideo YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/OB7gNxZnSuw
  • Save the Date -- Klass Award Dinner on April 27
  • March PhACT Lecture - Medical sociologist Robert Bartholomew will discuss his book, Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria, with Rob Palmer
  • April NCAS Lecture -  In addition to Susan Gerbic's talk on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 PM at Arlington Central Library, there will be another event, live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel
  • Belgian Skeptics Win Court Case: Follow-up
  • Confessions of Coincidence By Scott Snell
  • Amazon Smile
  • Shadow Light
  • Time to Renew

Full Shadow here