Saturday, September 01, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - May 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • May 19 lecture - Public Perception of Science presented by Adam Ruben
  • NCAS Board Elections: Electronic voting
  • Skeptics talks at Balticon 52
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

May 2018

NCAS Public Lecture Series

The Public Perception of Science:
Lessons from a Dead Sheep

Adam Ruben, PhD
Writer, Comedian, and Molecular Biologist

Saturday, May 19, 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

Sometimes the way people think about science is even more important than the science itself. In this talk, comedian and molecular biologist Dr. Adam Ruben uses the hype surrounding the 1997 cloning of Dolly the sheep as a lens through which to view the public perception of science and scientists.

Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. In addition to his day job working on a malaria vaccine as the Associate Director of Vaccine Stabilization & Logistics at Sanaria Inc., Adam has performed stand-up comedy and told stories on stage for more than 15 years. He has appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR, and he currently hosts the show Outrageous Acts of Science on The Science Channel. Adam is the author of two books, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010) and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago Review Press, 2017), and writes the monthly science humor column "Experimental Error" in the otherwise respectable journal Science.

NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting
The upcoming 2018 NCAS election will use electronic voting.  When voting begins, each member will receive an email from NCAS (via containing a unique web address usable as a single-cast secret ballot.  (NCAS will receive information indicating who voted, but nothing to indicate who cast each ballot.)

Note that voters will not be at risk for spamming as a result of participating...SurveyMonkey has a zero-tolerance spam policy:

Skeptics Talks at Balticon 52
Balticon 52, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (May 25-28, 2018 at The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel) will include talks on various science and skeptical topics.  Speakers will include past NCAS lecturers Bruce Press, Thomas Holtz, and Adam Ruben.  Registration details are at

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
When shopping at, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, 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 fourth quarter of 2017 came to $33.28, meaning that over $6600 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 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

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