Monday, August 23, 2021

September 11 - It Came from the Science Fair!

Presented by Adam Ruben, PhD

Writer, Comedian, and Molecular Biologist

Saturday, September 11, 2021 1:30 pm   

B-CC Regional Services Center 

4805 Edgemoor Lane 2nd Floor (West Room) Bethesda, MD 


NCAS is returning to live presentations.

What are the most common mistakes kids make when preparing projects for science fairs?  What can we learn from these events about the way science is taught and understood?  And can we all please agree, once and for all, that science has learned all it needs to learn from measuring classmates' heart rates before and after playing video games?  In this talk, scientist/comedian Adam Ruben will share some of the most bizarre, most inadvisable, least scientifically rigorous science projects he's judged and talk about their implications for the future of science education.

Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist.Adam has performed stand-up comedy and told stories on stage for more than 20years. He has appeared on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, the WeatherChannel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR, and he currently hosts theshows Outrageous Acts of Science and What On Earth? on the Science Channel and is a writer for the Emmy-nominated PBS Kidsshow Elinor Wonders WhyAdam is the author of two books, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Goto Grad School (Random House, 2010) and PinballWizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago ReviewPress, 2017), and writes the monthly science humor column Experimental Error in the otherwise respectable journal Science.

To avoid possible spread of covid-19, there will be no refreshments at these talks for the next few months.

Due to continuing concerns about covid-19, all attendees, whether vaccinated or not, are required to wear masks or other face covering while attending this talk. 

See also

Thursday, March 18, 2021

April 10 - Twenty Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths: Some Reflections

Presented by Chris French
Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London

Saturday, April 10, 2021

1:30 pm (Online Virtual Talk)

The link to view the live stream of this talk is

Following his retirement in October of last year, Professor Chris French will reflect on the work of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU), founded in the year 2000. His talk will describe his own journey from being a believer in the paranormal to becoming a skeptic, as well as his reasons for founding the APRU. He will give some examples of its work in the areas of both anomalistic psychology and parapsychology, as well as considering the future prospects of both disciplines.

Q&A via live chat will follow the talk. 

Chris French is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London where, in 2000, he founded the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Patron of UK Humanists. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a skeptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2021

  •  March lecture: "How faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science" by Alan Levinovitz
  • Exclusive opportunity for NCAS members - Special zoom Q&A after lecture
  • Message to current and prospective NCAS members - Extending memberships
  • December 2020 NCAS Speaker to appear on ABC-TV's "The con"
  • March PhACT lecture
  • April NCAS Lecture - Christopher French will present "Twenty Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths: Some Reflections" 
  • NCAS Board elections - call for candidates
  • NCAS and the reckoning of time 
  • Torn from today's headlines - 20th and 40th coincidence anniversaries
  • AmazonSmile supports NCAS
  • Shadow Light
  • Time to renew
  • Click to read March Shadow

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

March 13 - Natural: A Conversation with Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

1:30 pm (Online Virtual Talk)

The link to view the live stream of this talk is

In live-streamed conversation with NCAS president Scott Snell, author Alan Levinovitz will discuss his book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science.  Appeals to the wisdom of nature are among the most powerful arguments in the history of human thought. Yet Nature (with a capital N) and natural goodness are not objective or scientific. Natural demonstrates that these ideas are actually religious and highlights the many dangers of substituting simple myths for complicated realities.  Natural illuminates the far-reaching harms of believing that natural means “good.”

Q&A via live chat will follow the talk. 

Alan Levinovitz is associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he teaches and researches a wide range of topics: classical Chinese philosophy, religion and science, and even toy design.  After studying religion and philosophy at Stanford, he taught English in China for two years before returning to the University of Chicago and earning a PhD in Religion and Literature. Now he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, daughter, cat, hermit crabs, and an extensive collection of strange plants and unusual minerals.​

In addition to his academic work on everything from the meaning of capital letters to the meaning of nonsense, his writing on religion, philosophy, and science has been featured in Aeon, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, Wired, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vox, NPR and elsewhere.  He is also the author of The Gluten Lie and Other Myths About What You Eat.