Monday, November 11, 2019

December 14 - Will DNA Testing Help My Family History Research?


Presented by John M. Butler, Ph.D.


National Institute of Standards and Technology 


NIST Fellow & Special Assistant to the Director for Forensic Science

Genetic ancestry testing is a growing market with over 26 million people examining their DNA in recent years. DNA testing will not solve all your family history questions but can provide helpful associations in some cases. Tests provided by FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe will be discussed. Using a case study, we will examine the capabilities and limitations of advancing your family history research with DNA testing. We will also discuss the recent use of investigative genealogical testing by law enforcement to capture the Golden State Killer.


John M. Butler has a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia. He did his graduate work in the FBI Laboratory’s Forensic Science Research Unit at Quantico, Virginia, where he pioneered the techniques now used worldwide for forensic DNA testing. Dr. Butler has written over 175 scientific research articles and five textbooks on Forensic DNA Typing and has given hundreds of presentations on the subject across the U.S. and in 26 other countries. He and his wife are parents of six children, all of whom have been proven to be theirs through the power of DNA testing.

Saturday, December 14, 2019
1:30 pm 
B-CC Regional Services Center 
4805 Edgemoor Lane 
2nd Floor (West Room) 
Bethesda, MD 

Directions: http://tinyurl.com/bcccenter


Monday, October 21, 2019

November 9 - Bizarre Psychological Disorders

Presented by Brian A. Sharpless

Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and
Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology


Have you ever believed that you were abducted by aliens? Do you ever wake up to the sound of explosions, only to discover that everything is fine? Are you convinced that you can transform yourself into a different species of animal? What about having sex while you’re sound asleep?

People are nothing if not confusingly complex, and some end up thinking, acting, and behaving in unusual, odd, and extreme ways. Some of the strangest psychological disorders that they can acquire are not well-known to the public or even many mental health professionals, despite some – such as isolated sleep paralysis – actually being fairly common in the general population.

Dr. Sharpless will focus on five interesting conditions. He'll place them in historical or cultural context and will summarize their scientific literatures. You'll learn, for example, how sexsomnia has complicated criminal proceedings.  You will learn how those afflicted with clinical zoanthropy might have been involved in Medieval werewolf panics. You will also learn how “exploding head syndrome” is associated with a popular conspiracy theory.

Brian Sharpless is currently a visiting research fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and adjunct professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology's Washington DC Campus.  He was formerly on faculty at Pennsylvania State University, Washington State University, and the American School of Professional Psychology.  He received his PhD in clinical psychology and MA in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Sharpless has broad interests in abnormal psychology and psychotherapy.  He has over 45 publications on common and lesser-known disorders, psychodynamic therapy, professional issues, and the history/philosophy of clinical psychology.  His three books, Sleep Paralysis: Historical, Psychological, and Medical Perspectives (co-authored with Dr. Karl Doghramji), Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders: A Handbook for Clinical Practice and Research, and Psychodynamic Therapy Techniques:  A Guide to Expressive and Supportive Interventions are all available through Oxford University Press.  This research been featured on TV, radio, and in other media outlets, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences and public events in the United States and abroad.  Along with his scholarly interests, Dr. Sharpless also maintains a small private practice in the DC area.

Saturday, November 9, 2019
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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

October 19 - Burned with His Books: The Life and Times of Michael Servetus


Presented by Neil Inglis

Skeptics are drawn to stories of those who faced the threat of persecution to stand up against the forces of religious dogma. Michael Servetus lost that battle--and although the passage of time has brought vindication, he remains an unsung and elusive figure.

A physician and researcher by day, theologian and polemicist by night, the Spanish-born Servetus wrote on a variety of medical and other topics and announced an anatomical discovery shortly before his death. Intrigued by printing technology, Servetus worked closely (albeit discreetly) with publishers to produce some of the finest books of his age. These texts represent a moving and beautiful milestone on our faltering journey into the modern era.  Ironically, it was atop a pyre of his own books that Servetus was burned to death.

Recent developments in Spanish-language scholarship have addressed some of the gaps in the historical record, such as Servetus' suicidal decision to visit Geneva and confront his mortal foe, Jean Calvin.

Translator, author and long-term NCAS member Neil Langdon Inglis is editor of the "Tyndale Society Journal" (TSJ), a magazine honoring the life and work of the first published translator of the Bible in English, William Tyndale (1494-1536). Neil is also U.S. General Editor (and Parapsychology Editor) for interlitq.org, an on-line journal of opinion.  Neil Inglis last gave a presentation on Michael Servetus (1511-1553) at the Bethesda Public Library in January 2005.  Neil's most recent presentation for NCAS was on "Brian Inglis: Mortal Enemy of CSICOP" in the Fall of 2017. Neil is pictured with the Servet memorial in the Spanish Room at the IMSS Museum in Chicago in 2014.



Saturday, October 19, 2019
1:30 pm

Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2019

September 2019
  • September 20 -"NCAS Workshop - Asking good questions". Led by Chip and Grace Denman
  • NCAS Election Results
  • Prez Sez
  • Torn from Today's Headlines
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals
Click to see Shadow.

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2019


September 2019

NCAS Workshop:
Asking Good Questions

An Interactive Workshop Led by Chip & Grace Denman

NOTE: THIS IS NOT A LECTURE,
ATTENDEES SHOULD PLAN TO PARTICIPATE.

Saturday, September 21, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

We like answers. We like to know them and to give them. Sometimes we want others to think we are smart or knowledgeable, so we jump to give answers rather than ask questions. And the questions we do ask are sometimes based more on our personal assumptions and biases than they are about getting to the real answer.

Skeptical thinking is more about asking good questions than knowing good answers. In this interactive workshop, we will practice methods for posing questions that lead to better understanding and new ideas, while avoiding bias and hasty assumptions.

Chip Denman has been a director of the James Randi Educational Foundation since 2008 and has served as the statistician behind the Million Dollar Challenge since its start. He is a co-founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics. He recently retired from the University of Maryland where he created and taught the course Science & Pseudoscience for the University Honors Program.

Grace Denman has been a leader in the arena of skeptical activism since co-founding the National Capital Area Skeptics in 1987. She has had the privilege of serving on the NCAS Board of Directors since its inception and has served as Treasurer and President. She is a Program Manager at AccelerEd, an affiliate of the University of Maryland Global Campus, previously the University of Maryland University College (it's complicated) where she questions assumptions daily.

Refreshments will be available.

https://www.ncas.org/2019/08/september-21-workshop-asking-good.html


Board of Directors Election
Results of June's NCAS member vote on candidates for the board of directors have been tabulated. Re-elected and incumbent members are: Tom Bridgman, Nelson Davis Jr, Chip Denman, Grace Denman, Bing Garthright, Brian Gregory, Curtis Haymore, Beth Kingsley, J. D. Mack, Melissa Pollak, Walter F. Rowe, Scott Snell, and Marv Zelkowitz.

At its July 22 meeting, the NCAS board of directors selected its officers, who are: Scott Snell, president; J. D. Mack, vice president; Walter F. Rowe, secretary; and Marv Zelkowitz, treasurer.




Prez Sez
By Scott Snell
I hope all of you enjoyed your summer, and Friday the 13th in a suitably skeptical way, like spilling salt or encouraging black cats to walk in front of you.  (Smashing mirrors or walking under ladders might be a bit much.)


NCAS doesn't have a crystal ball or psychic friends, but let's gaze into the future anyway...


On Wednesday, September 18 at 7 PM, please join me and fellow NCAS board members for a meet and greet at Astro Lab Brewing (8216 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring).  Look for the table with the NCAS pyramid!
Free parking is available after 7 PM at nearby Bonifant-Dixon Garage and Fenton Street Village Garage.  (Don't park in the 7-11 lot next to Astro Lab, or your car will be towed.)

Our monthly public programs resume on September 21 with our first workshop since "How to be a Psychic!" in May 2013.  Please join us as Chip and Grace Denman lead "Asking Good Questions" at Morella Library.

On October 19, author Neil Langdon Inglis will present "Burned with His Books: The Life and Times of Michael Servetus" at Morella Library.

Next, save the date for November 2.  NCAS members and their guests can get discounted tickets for the 5 PM or 8 PM performances of Brian Curry's "The Good Liar" at the Capital Hilton.  Brian will read your mind, predict your future and blow your mind.  Simple. Then he will break down some of the techniques used to create these experiences.  He's "DC’s Most Honest Con Man."  Check your inbox soon for details about the discount.

Psychologist Brian Sharpless will present "Bizarre Psychological Disorders" on November 9 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

On December 14, John M. Butler, National Institute of Standards and Technology Fellow & Special Assistant to the Director for Forensic Science, will present "Will DNA Testing Help My Family History Research?"  Location TBD.

Torn From Today's Headlines
By Scott Snell
An Unsullied and Well-Deserved Celebration
July 20 marked the 50th anniversary of "one giant leap for mankind" from Earth to the Moon.  Celebrations and commemorations took place at museums and through news media outlets, most of which were surprisingly professional in their coverage, paying little attention to the claims of "Moon-landing hoax" promoters.

Unfortunately, the New York Times and Florida Today couldn't resist sharing the perspectives of some of the conspiracy theorists.

Buried in the July 1 Times Arts section was an article entitled "Recycling Paranoia For Fun and Clicks" by Amanda Hess, who writes about "internet culture."  Though intended as an analysis of conspiracy theorists, it also served as a roundup of their theories, presented in what appeared to be an unfairly dismissive manner.  Some readers might come away thinking that the conspiracists have gotten a bum rap.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/science/moon-landing-hoax-conspiracy-theory.html


On July 19, Florida Today printed parts of an interview with one of the more famous Moon-hoax theorists, Bart Sibrel.  The reporter didn't think to ask him to explain recent images of Apollo equipment and astronaut footpaths on the Moon's surface, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) over the past decade.


A Google search of "Sibrel" and various LRO keywords shows no substantive hits.  If only someone would ask him about the LRO Apollo images to see how he responds!  Will he claim that NASA is perpetuating the hoax with another generation of scientists and engineers?  (Which would necessarily include myself, a flight software engineer for LRO.)

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2019/07/19/lunar-landing-denier-we-never-went-moon/1775130001/



Americans' beliefs about the Apollo Moon landings haven't changed much, as compared to 20 years ago.  A 1999 Gallup poll and a 2019 C-SPAN/Ipsos poll both found that 6% of Americans think the Apollo landings were staged.  This despite a widely-seen 2001 special on Fox, "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?" that uncritically promoted the hoax perspective.  And despite many LRO images taken since 2009, showing that astronauts did walk on the Moon.  (So far as I can find, there are no polls between 2001 and 2009 on this question, which might gauge the effect each factor had on public belief.)
1999 Gallup Poll:
https://news.gallup.com/poll/3712/landing-man-moon-publics-view.aspx


2019 C-SPAN/Ipsos Poll:
https://image.slidesharecdn.com/c-span-space-exploration-07-10-2019forrelease-190712134924/95/cspanipsos-space-exploration-poll-7102019-20-638.jpg?cb=1562939973

Note that 11% of "millennials" (born between 1981 and 1996) think the Apollo Moon missions were staged.

NASA fact sheet (June 1977, reissued in February 2001 after the Fox special):
https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/DLN/descriptions/docs/SBreallunar_landing.pdf


Author's Comment:
The National Air and Space Museum commissioned an ingenious production, "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon," that was projected on the east side of the Washington Monument on the evenings of July 19 and 20.  I highly recommend this video recording of the show:


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 second quarter of 2019 came to $19.28, meaning that over $3800 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's nearly 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:
http://smile.amazon.com/about
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1870185


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.


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.
http://ncas.org/shadow

Friday, August 23, 2019

September 21 - Workshop: Asking Good Questions

An Interactive Workshop Led by Chip & Grace Denman 


NOTE: THIS IS AN INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP AND NOT A LECTURE. ATTENDEES SHOULD PLAN ON PARTICIPATING. 

We like answers. We like to know them and to give them. Sometimes we want others to think we are smart or knowledgeable, so we jump to give answers rather than ask questions. And the questions we do ask are sometimes based more on our personal assumptions and biases than they are about getting to the real answer.

Skeptical thinking is more about asking good questions than knowing good answers. In this interactive workshop, we will practice methods for posing questions that lead to better understanding and new ideas, while avoiding bias and hasty assumptions.

Chip Denman has been a director of the James Randi Educational Foundation since 2008 and has served as the statistician behind the Million Dollar Challenge since its start. He is a co-founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region. He recently retired from the University of Maryland where he created and taught the course Science & Pseudoscience for the University Honors Program.


Grace Denman has been a leader in the arena of skeptical activism since co-founding the National Capital Area Skeptics in 1987. She has had the privilege of serving on the NCAS Board of Directors since its inception and has served as Treasurer and President. She is a Program Manager at AccelerEd, an affiliate of the University of Maryland Global Campus, previously the University of Maryland University College (it's complicated) where she questions assumptions daily.

Saturday, September 21, 2019
1:30 pm

Connie Morella Library

7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD

FREE admission. Everyone welcome, members and non-members  

Monday, April 08, 2019

May 18 Skeptour


NCAS Skeptour: Visit to National Museum of Health and Medicine


Saturday, May 18, 2019
10AM-11:30AM
NCAS has arranged for a group tour of the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) in Silver Spring, Maryland on Saturday morning, May 18. NMHM promotes the science and history of medicine, with an emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. The Museum offers visitors a unique perspective on health and medicine because it is one of the few places where the public can actually see the effects of disease on the human body. Additionally, it is one of the few places that disease can be seen with the instruments and equipment used to diagnose and/or treat the disease, with case histories of patients afflicted with the disease.
We will meet at the museum entrance at 10:00 am. A museum docent will take us on a 90 minute in-depth overview of the museum’s permanent exhibits, including “Military Medicine: Challenges and Innovations,” “Civil War Collections,” “The Human Body: Anatomy and Pathology,” and others.
Optional: Following the anatomy lessons, those wishing to feed a healthy stomach will meet for lunch at nearby Pacci’s Trattoria (http://paccistrattoria.com/).
Admission to the museum is free. You may be asked to show a government-issued photo ID at the front desk.
Location: 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Free parking is available.
The museum is about 1 mile from the Forest Glen Metro Station on the Red line.
RSVP: If planning to attend, please send a message to skeptour@ncas.org with your name and how many are attending with you.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2019

April 2019
  • April 6 - "Houdini and the Spiritualists" presented by Ken Trombly
  • May 18 - NCAS SkepTour of the Nation al Museum of Health and Medicine
  • NCAS Elections
  • Donate skeptical books to a prison library
  • Science talks at Balticon
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals
Click to see Shadow.

Shadow of a Doubt - April 2019

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Houdini and the Spiritualists
Presented by Ken Trombly

Saturday, April 6, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Much of the life of Harry Houdini was intertwined with episodes and personalities involving spiritualism and its practitioners. In his early days, he sometimes blurred the line between conjuring and the spirit world.  During his meteoric career, many of his conjuring feats were ascribed by some to be aided by unseen forces.  But he was very much the face of skepticism in the USA regarding the spiritualism movement.  His friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle came to an end over the latter's belief in spiritualism.  He testified before a congressional committee in support of a bill to prohibit fortune telling in Washington, DC.  His work against fake mediums continued up until his death.

In this talk, Ken Trombly will share his thoughts concerning Houdini's relationship with spiritualism and its adherents, and will illustrate this fascinating story with original items from his collection of Houdini ephemera.


Ken Trombly, a lifelong magic enthusiast, has given presentations about the life of Houdini for a variety of groups. In the 1980's Ken began collecting original letters, photos and other ephemera dealing with Houdini's amazing career.  Pieces from Ken's collection have been displayed at the Jewish Museum in New York City, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, and, most recently, as part of an exhibit on the life of Houdini at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, in Baltimore. Recently Ken was interviewed on a mini-series aired on the Science Channel entitled "Houdini’s Last Secrets."


A Boston native, Ken is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Magic Circle of London and the Magic Collectors Association. When he is not hunting down original Houdini artifacts and magic posters, he is a full time trial lawyer - another role that requires a heightened sense of skepticism.

https://www.ncas.org/2019/03/april-6-houdini-and-spiritualists.html



NCAS SkepTour: Saturday, May 18
NCAS has arranged for a group tour of the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) in Silver Spring, Maryland on Saturday morning, May 18.

NMHM promotes the science and history of medicine, with an emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. The Museum offers visitors a unique perspective on health and medicine because it is one of the few places where the public can actually see the effects of disease on the human body. Additionally, it is one of the few places that disease can be seen with the instruments and equipment used to diagnose and/or treat the disease, with case histories of patients afflicted with the disease.

We will meet at the museum entrance at 10:00 am. A museum docent will take us on a 90 minute in-depth overview of the museum's permanent exhibits, including "Military Medicine: Challenges and Innovations," "Civil War Collections," "The Human Body: Anatomy and Pathology," and others.

Following the anatomy lessons, those wishing to feed a healthy stomach will meet for lunch at nearby Pacci's Trattoria (http://paccistrattoria.com/).

Admission to the museum is free. You may be asked to show a government-issued photo ID at the front desk.

Location: 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Free parking is available.
The museum is about 1 mile from the Forest Glen Metro Station on the Red line.

RSVP: If planning to attend, please send a message to skeptour@ncas.org with your name and how many are attending with you.  Also include whether you need a lift from and to Forest Glen Metro – we'll arrange a free ride for you.



NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting
The upcoming 2019 NCAS election will use electronic voting.  When voting begins, each member will receive an email from NCAS (via surveymonkey.com) 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:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/legal/anti-spam-policy/


Donate Skeptical Books/DVDs to a Prison Library
A Wyoming prison inmate recently wrote to NCAS (and presumably other skeptics groups) to request               science/skeptics books/DVDs for donation to his prison's library.  A librarian confirmed the details: the books must be softcover only, and can only be donated by an organization, not by an individual.  If you'd like to participate, bring a new or used DVD or softcover book to an NCAS event, or mail NCAS a check to cover the cost of a new book or DVD.  We'll collect donations at the April 6 lecture and ship the items to the prison library.  Some of the prisoners have low reading levels, so having some science/skeptics books aimed at younger readers could be appropriate.


Science Talks at Balticon 53
Balticon 53, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (May 24-27, 2019 at The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel) will include talks on various science topics.  Speakers will include past NCAS lecturers Eric Cline and Thomas Holtz.  Registration details are at https://balticon.org/wp53/registration/


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 came to $53.11 during the fourth quarter of 2018, including the October 29th through November 2nd interval when AmazonSmile increased its donation rate to 5%.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover two hours of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

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

For more information:
http://smile.amazon.com/about
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1870185


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.


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.
https://www.ncas.org/shadow

Sunday, March 17, 2019

April 6 - Houdini and the Spiritualists

Presented by Ken Trombly

Much of the life of Harry Houdini was intertwined with episodes and personalities involving spiritualism and its practitioners. In his early days, he sometimes blurred the line between conjuring and the spirit world.  During his meteoric career, many of his conjuring feats were ascribed by some to be aided by unseen forces.  But he was very much the face of skepticism in the USA regarding the spiritualism movement.  His friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle came to an end over the latter’s belief in spiritualism.  He testified before a congressional committee in support of a bill to prohibit fortune telling in Washington, DC.  His work against fake mediums continued up until his death.

In this talk, Ken will share his thoughts concerning Houdini’s relationship with spiritualism and its adherents, and will illustrate this fascinating story with original items from his collection of Houdini ephemera.


Ken Trombly, a lifelong magic enthusiast, has given presentations about the life of Houdini for a variety of groups. In the 1980’s Ken began collecting original letters, photos and other ephemera dealing with Houdini’s amazing career.  Pieces from Ken's collection have been displayed at the Jewish Museum in New York City, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, and, most recently, as part of an exhibit on the life of Houdini at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, in Baltimore. Recently Ken was interviewed on a mini-series aired on the Science Channel entitled “Houdini’s Last Secrets.”

A Boston native, Ken is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Magic Circle of London and the Magic Collectors Association. When he is not hunting down original Houdini artifacts and magic posters, he is a full time trial lawyer - another role that requires a heightened sense of skepticism.

Saturday, April 6, 2019
1:30 pm

Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2019

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

February 2019



NCAS Public Lecture Series

Mind Control
and other things DARPA has never done

Jared B. Adams
Chief of Communications and Public Affairs
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Saturday, February 9, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
2nd Floor (West Room)
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Since its founding during the Eisenhower presidency, DARPA has been the rightful recipient of scorn and praise for investing in and developing military technologies as varied as Agent Orange and the ARPAnet, precursor to today's internet. And while much of the agency's key contributions to science and national security have been well documented in books such as The Pentagon's Brain, The Imagineers of War, and The Department of Mad Scientists, myths about DARPA's work still abound on social media and in the mainstream press.

In this talk, you will hear from Jared Adams, DARPA's chief of communications, about some of the popular and humorous myths regarding the agency's research, including how it controls the world's weather, is building AI-equipped super soldiers, and is actively managing Facebook to read people's thoughts. Also, Adams will discuss the importance of transparency in government public affairs and how, when dealing with contentious areas of scientific research, the best tack is often to be open, honest, and direct.


Jared Adams joined the DARPA Public Affairs Office in 2014, first serving as the agency's press secretary for three years before becoming the chief of communications in July 2017. Prior to DARPA, Adams served in senior public affairs positions in the Washington, D.C. area with Harris, SAIC, and Raytheon. In addition to his in-house communications experience, Adams has provided public relations counsel to several high-profile organizations, including Dell, Microsoft, Verizon, U. S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and U.S. Northern Command.

https://www.ncas.org/2019/01/february-9-mind-control-and-other.html


March NCAS Lecture


Journalist Erik Vance will discuss his book, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal.  Saturday, March 16 at 1:30 PM at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. (See above for complete address and directions.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibO2Nx6Cfy4


NCAS Board Elections: Call for Candidates

Are you an NCAS member who wants to take a leadership role in the skeptics movement?  The NCAS annual board of directors election is fast approaching.  As a board member, you can channel (non-psychically) your talent and energy (the non-woo kind) into educating the public, and pick up some fun skills along the way.  Send an email to ncas@ncas.org by March 31 for more information.

HISTORY's Project Blue Book Draws Viewers, and Brings UFO Believers and Skeptics Together (Against It)
by Scott Snell

Last month, HISTORY (formerly the History Channel) heavily promoted a new scripted drama series about 1950s UFO cases, Project Blue Book, scheduled it immediately after the #1 cable TV show (The Curse of Oak Island), and reaped the benefits in viewership, at least in the first weeks of its 10-week run.

For a few days in early January, it was hard to avoid ads for the show.  I heard one on WJFK-FM on the evening of its January 8 premiere.  There was an ad displayed on the Capital One Arena scoreboard screens during intermission of a Capitals hockey game.  A billboard at the intersection of New York Avenue and North Capitol Street NE in Washington is still in place as of February 3:

(Photo credit: Scott Snell)

For all the money that HISTORY has spent in producing and promoting the series, what have they gotten in return?  In retrospect, it appears to be a better fit for the science-fiction channel Syfy.  True, there's a bearded (but missing his ubiquitous smoking pipe) astronomer character named J. Allen Hynek, who has a wife named Mimi and a son Joel (the only one of their five children depicted) and other occasional historically accurate details, but otherwise there's nothing pertinently fact-based about the show.

Many of the fictionalization choices seem arbitrary and hard to justify for dramatic purposes.  Some are unintentionally hilarious, such as Air Force Captain Quinn taking Hynek in a plane to replicate the flight path of a UFO witness, and ending up crashing (with both men suffering only minor injuries, of course).  Another episode depicts a modified V2 rocket being launched from Huntsville, Alabama, which has never been a launch site for any type of high-altitude rocket.  (The actual launch site was in White Sands, New Mexico.)

The inaccuracies extend deep into the details of each episode's UFO case.  As skeptic Robert Sheaffer noted in his review of the series premiere, "Public discussions of this case will now be hopelessly polluted by the made-up elements that people will now firmly believe to be part of the actual story."

Even "UFO believers" like Leslie Kean and Hynek biographer Mark O'Connell have panned the series.  Kean writes, "It's already hard enough for those trying to understand the truth about government involvement with U.F.O.s without mixing fact and fiction." 

Fortunately, viewers may be tiring of the show and its "X Files" cliches already...despite having the most popular cable TV series as its lead-in, its viewership numbers have been declining the past few weeks.  Hopefully the series won't be picked up for another season and will fade into obscurity.

Robert Sheaffer's review of the premiere:

Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean discuss the series:

Hynek biographer Mark O'Connell weighs in:


TV viewership data for January 8:



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

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March 16 - Suggestible You: You can't believe everything you think

Presented by Erik Vance, author of the book Suggestible You



The human brain is a miracle of nature - one of the fastest computing machines on Earth, adept at finding patterns, recognizing faces, and making predictions of the future. It's also a dirty liar, a deceitful trickster and occasionally an unlicensed pharmacist. It all comes down to one of the most important concepts in psychology today - expectation.

Join Erik Vance, author of the book Suggestible You as he explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds.

Once you understand the role expectation plays in the brain, you can see why thousands of generations of humans have used superstition to heal their bodies. Faith healing, homeopathy, snake oil, shamans, late night commercials for overpriced miracle cures - all of them make sense when viewed through the lens of expectation and the brain.

Drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Vance will take you on a fascinating adventure from Harvard's research labs to a witch doctor's office in Catemaco, Mexico, to an alternative medicine school near Beijing to your own local pharmacy. Along with his talk he will show slides from his 2016 National Geographic cover story and discuss why your Aunt Ethel swears by ginseng tea for her arthritis.

Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Baltimore. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consultant, and an environmental educator. He graduated in 2006 from the UC Santa Cruz science writing program and became a magazine freelancer soon after.

His work focuses on the human element of science – the people who do it, those who benefit from it, and those who do not. He has written for The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Harper’s, National Geographic, and a number of other local and national outlets. He lived in Mexico City for seven years and has worked extensively in Latin America and Asia, covering the environment and its effect on humans.


Saturday, March 16, 2019
1:30 pm
B-CC Regional Services Center (Note change)
4805 Edgemoor Lane
2nd Floor (West Room)
Bethesda, MD


Directions: http://tinyurl.com/bcccenter

Poster for talk

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2019

February 2019
  • February 9 - Mind Control and other things DARPA has never done - Presented by Jared B. Adams, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • March 9 lecture - Journalist Erik Vance will discuss his book, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal.
  • NCAS Call for Elections
  • HISTORY (channel)'s Project Blue Book
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals
Click to see Shadow.

Monday, January 28, 2019

February 9 - Mind Control and other things DARPA has never done

Presented by Jared B. Adams
Chief of Communications and Public Affairs,
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Saturday, February 9, 2019
1:30 pm 

Since its founding during the Eisenhower presidency, DARPA has been the rightful recipient of scorn and praise for investing in and developing military technologies as varied as Agent Orange and the ARPAnet, a precursor to today’s internet. And while much of the agency’s key contributions to science and national security have been well documented in books such as "The Pentagon’s Brain," "The Imagineers of War," and "The Department of Mad Scientists," myths about DARPA’s work still abound on social media and in the mainstream press. 

In this talk, you will hear from Jared Adams, DARPA’s chief of communications, about some of the popular and humorous myths regarding the agency’s research, including how it controls the world’s weather, is building AI-equipped super soldiers, and is actively managing Facebook to read people’s thoughts. Also, Adams will discuss the importance of transparency in government public affairs and how, when dealing with contentious areas of scientific research, the best tack is often to be open, honest, and direct.

Jared Adams joined the DARPA Public Affairs Office in 2014, first serving as the agency’s press secretary for three years before becoming the chief of communications in July 2017. Prior to DARPA, Adams served in senior public affairs positions in the Washington, D.C. area with Harris, SAIC, and Raytheon. In addition to his in-house communications experience, Adams has provided public relations counsel to several high-profile organizations, including Dell, Microsoft, Verizon, U. S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and U.S. Northern Command.

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

January 20 - Special NCAS "Led Zeppelin" MeetUp

Real or Imaginary? Led Zeppelin in Wheaton, January 1969:
Rock band Led Zeppelin released their first album and were on their first North American tour...Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Spokane, L.A., San Francisco, Iowa City, Detroit, Wheaton, Boston, New York.  Wait a minute--Wheaton?!?!  As in, Wheaton, Maryland?

Yes.  At least, some people say so, that they were at the show.

Filmmaker Jeff Krulik will present his take on this enduring local legend, on the 50th anniversary of the very night the concert was alleged to have taken place, January 20, 1969.

"Led Zeppelin Played Here"
AFI Silver Theatre
8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD

Sunday, January 20, 2019
8 PM

The showing of this movie is not an official NCAS event, but we thought it might be of interest to our members, so we're promoting this as a Meetup.  Advance tickets for this movie may be purchased at https://silver.afi.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/f-0100002297
Film trailer: https://youtu.be/f0Oe__0j0AU

Before the show, join fellow skeptics for Drinking Skeptically at 5:30 PM at McGinty's Public House (911 Ellsworth Dr, Silver Spring), a very short walk from the AFI Silver Theatre.

After the show, enjoy a total eclipse of the Moon starting at 10:34 PM!  (No ticket required, only clear skies.  Totality will occur from 11:41 PM to 12:43 AM.)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January 12 - Science Education and Storytelling: Combatting Denialism With Better (and True!) Stories


Presented by Sean B. Carroll, Ph.D
Dept. of Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


From Dr. Seuss to Disney, Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, we grow up and live in a world teeming with stories. In all forms of media - books, films, television, radio, and the internet, stories are the currency of everyday life. Yet they are strangely absent from the science classroom.

Despite a universal appreciation and thirst for stories, and considerable evidence for their pedagogical power, stories are underutilized in formal education, and in learning science in particular. One of my main goals as a scientist, educator, and storyteller is to encourage the use of stories in science education.  I will discuss why stories have an important place in the science classroom, and how they can help further the inroads being made in the teaching and acceptance of contentious subjects such as evolution.

Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning evolutionary biologist, author, educator, and film producer. He leads the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the largest private supporter of science education activities in the US, is the Executive Director of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and is the Andrew and Mary Balo and Nicholas and Susan Simon Endowed Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland. He is also Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin.

A prominent science communicator in print and on film, Carroll is the author of eight books, and has served as an executive producer of nearly thirty feature or short documentary films including The Farthest: Voyager in Space which recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Science Documentary. Carroll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.  http://seanbcarroll.com/

Saturday, January 12, 2019
1:30 pm

Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
7584 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 

(Note: New Location.)

Shadow of a Doubt - January 2019

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

January 2019
  • January 12 lecture - Science Education and Storytelling:Combatting Denialism With Better (and True!) Stories by Sean B. Carroll, PhD
  • Weather cancellations
  • NCAS Meetup - Led Zeppelin
  • February 9 lecture - Jared Adams, Director of Public Affairs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will debunk DARPA myths.
  • 50th Anniversary of the Condon Report
  • HISTORY's "Project Blue Book" Premieres
  • Science Channel's New Houdini Docuseries
  • Drinking Skeptically - January 20
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

Click to see Shadow.

    Shadow of a Doubt - January 2019

    The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics


    • January 12 lecture - Science Education and Storytelling:Combatting Denialism With Better (and True!) Stories by Sean B. Carroll, PhD
    • Weather cancellations
    • NCAS Meetup - Led Zeppelin
    • February 9 lecture - Jared Adams, Director of Public Affairs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will debunk DARPA myths.
    • 50th Anniversary of the Condon Report
    • HISTORY's "Project Blue Book" Premieres
    • Science Channel's New Houdini Docuseries
    • Drinking Skeptically - January 20
    • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
    • Shadow Light
    • Member renewals


    January 2019


    NCAS Public Lecture Series

    Science Education and Storytelling:
    Combatting Denialism With Better (and True!) Stories

    Sean B. Carroll, PhD
    Department of Science Education
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Saturday, January 12, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
    NEW LOCATION
    Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
    7584 Leesburg Pike
    Falls Church, VA [map] [directions]
    (Near West Falls Church Metro stop)
    FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

    From Dr. Seuss to Disney, Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, we grow up and live in a world teeming with stories. In all forms of media - books, films, television, radio, and the internet, stories are the currency of everyday life. Yet they are strangely absent from the science classroom.

    Despite a universal appreciation and thirst for stories, and considerable evidence for their pedagogical power, stories are underutilized in formal education, and in learning science in particular. One of my main goals as a scientist, educator, and storyteller is to encourage the use of stories in science education.  I will discuss why stories have an important place in the science classroom, and how they can help further the inroads being made in the teaching and acceptance of contentious subjects such as evolution.

    Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning evolutionary biologist, author, educator, and film producer. He leads the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the largest private supporter of science education activities in the US, is the Executive Director of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and is the Andrew and Mary Balo and Nicholas and Susan Simon Endowed Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland. He is also Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin.

    A prominent science communicator in print and on film, Carroll is the author of eight books, and has served as an executive producer of nearly thirty feature or short documentary films including The Farthest: Voyager in Space which recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Science Documentary. Carroll is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.  http://seanbcarroll.com/

    https://www.ncas.org/2018/12/january-12-science-education-and.html



    WEATHER CANCELLATION STATUS:
    The Falls Church weather forecast for Saturday indicates a chance of snow after 1 PM.  Chance of precipitation is 60%.  The Capital Weather Gang forecast, as of January 9, is, "Models generally agree that Sunday morning into the afternoon is the period during which the steadiest accumulating snow may fall — which could make roads and sidewalks slick."

    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).


    NCAS Meetup:
    Real or Imaginary? Led Zeppelin in Wheaton January 1969:
    Rock band Led Zeppelin released their first album and were on their first North American tour...Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Spokane, L.A., San Francisco, Iowa City, Detroit, Wheaton, Boston, New York.  Wait a minute--Wheaton?!?!  As in, Wheaton, Maryland?

    Yes.  At least, some people say so, that they were at the show.

    Filmmaker Jeff Krulik will present his take on this enduring local legend, on the 50th anniversary of the very night the concert was alleged to have taken place, January 20, 1969.

    "Led Zeppelin Played Here"
    AFI Silver Theatre
    8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD
    Sunday, January 20, 2019
    8 PM

    The showing of this movie is not an official NCAS event, but we thought it might be of interest to our members, so we're promoting this as a Meetup.  Advance tickets for this movie may be purchased at https://silver.afi.com/Browsing/Movies/Details/f-0100002297
    Film trailer: https://youtu.be/f0Oe__0j0AU

    Before the show, join fellow skeptics for Drinking Skeptically at 5:30 PM at McGinty's Public House (911 Ellsworth Dr, Silver Spring), a very short walk from the AFI Silver Theatre.

    After the show, enjoy a total eclipse of the Moon starting at 10:34 PM!  (No ticket required, only clear skies.  Totality will occur from 11:41 PM to 12:43 AM.)


    February NCAS Lecture Jared Adams, Director of Public Affairs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will debunk DARPA myths.  Saturday, February 9 at 1:30 PM at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.


    The 50th Anniversary of the Release of the Condon UFO Report
    On January 9, 1969, the US Air Force released its Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (also known as "The Condon Report"). The report concluded, "...nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge. Careful consideration of the record as it is available to us leads us to conclude that further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby."

    USAF Captain David J. Shea was the Pentagon press spokesman for Project Blue Book.  See his recollections of that day from his September 2018 NCAS lecture, available on the NCAS YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2wfUiUodpM .

    In 1999, the report was transcribed for the Internet by NCAS and hosted at ncas.org by permission of The Regents of the University of Colorado:


    HISTORY's "Project Blue Book" Premieres
    by Scott Snell

    HISTORY (formerly the History Channel) premiered its new scripted drama series, "Project Blue Book," on Tuesday, January 8 at 10 PM ET (pardon the pun) and is rerunning it frequently.


    The following was shown at the beginning of the episode: "This series is inspired by Dr. J. Allen Hynek's investigations for the U.S. Air Force into the existence of UFOs.  The cases depicted are based on real events."

    As the show's promotional trailer showed, this is a 1950s period-piece version of "The X Files."  A scientist and an Air Force captain are partners in UFO investigations.  The scientist character is astrophysicist J. Allen Hynek, the real-life scientific consultant to Blue Book.  (His partner is Captain Quinn, an entirely fictional character.)

    I'm glad the program is airing at 10 PM.  That way, young people are less likely to see it and be misled by its distortions and outright fictions, such as:  1) A major element of the story is government surveillance of Hynek and his family;  2) There's an absurd sequence when Quinn takes Hynek in an Air Force plane to replicate the flight path of a UFO witness, and ends up crashing (with both men suffering only minor injuries, of course);  3) The UFO witness's plane is mysteriously radioactive, though Hynek says that planes flying above the troposphere "can acquire a temporary radioactive charge."  (The writer should've changed it to "can become very slightly radioactive for a time," due to                 interactions with cosmic rays at high altitudes.)  Hynek goes on to say that the plane's radioactivity is too high to be explained this way, contrary to the actual incident on which the story is based.

    Those problems aside, the episode does look good.  Perhaps there are trivial errors in the classic cars or clothing of the time, but I wouldn't know.  Though I did spot one flub that somehow slipped through the production team...the UFO witness flies over a football game (which is actually an historically correct detail from the October 1, 1948 incident).  But later in the program, the date of the incident is given as March 3rd...not a good fit for football season.

    After the episode concludes, there's a brief summary of the "real events" on which it was based, presented uncritically, leaving viewers with the impression that the incident is genuinely mysterious.

    The incident is typically referred to as the "Gorman Dogfight," here discussed by USAF Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, former head of Project Blue Book, in his 1955 book, The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects:

    The Condon Report also mentions it:

    "Project Blue Book" episodes are available online at


    Science Channel's New Houdini Docuseries
    Science Channel premiered Houdini's Last Secrets, a four-part series, on Sunday, January 6 at 10 PM ET.  "Each episode will be centered around one of Houdini's most daring stunts. The premiere look[ed] at Houdini's famous water torture cell escape to unmask the potential methods he may have used, and what the dangers involved could have been. He performed this feat many times in Washington D.C..."
    The episodes will also be available online at

    Note: an upcoming NCAS lecture (April 6 in Bethesda) will feature Ken Trombly discussing Houdini's crusade against fraudulent spiritualists.

    Drinking Skeptically!

    On Sunday, January 20 at 5:30 p.m., please join fellow NCASers at our Drinking Skeptically event:

    Location: McGinty's Public House
    911 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring, MD
    www.mcgintyspublichouse.com


    Drinking Skeptically is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and like-minded individuals. There's no cover charge and all are welcome. Don't drink? Don't let that stop you from joining us! Some of the world's most famous skeptics are teetotalers, and we are happy to have you! Remember that drinking skeptically means drinking responsibly. If there's one thing science has taught us, it's the effects of alcohol on the human body.

    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 third quarter of 2018 came to $21.25, meaning that over $4200 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!

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    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1870185

    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.

    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.
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    Shadow of a Doubt - December 2018

    The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

    • December 8 lecture - Genomic Medicine: Today and Tomorrow by Anastasia Wise, PhD
    • Special NCAS Meetup with Skeptics Guide podcasters
    • January 12 lecture on  Challenges of teaching evolution in public schools
    • A Report on CSICon 2018
    • Noted Critiques of Astrology Are Now Available at ResearchGate
    • Science Channel's New Houdini Docuseries
    • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
    • Shadow Light
    • Member renewals

    Click to see Shadow.

      Shadow of a Doubt - December 2018

      The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

      • December 8 lecture - Genomic Medicine: Today and Tomorrow by Anastasia Wise, PhD
      • Special NCAS Meetup with Skeptics Guide podcasters
      • January 12 lecture on  Challenges of teaching evolution in public schools
      • A Report on CSICon 2018
      • Noted Critiques of Astrology Are Now Available at ResearchGate
      • Science Channel's New Houdini Docuseries
      • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
      • Shadow Light
      • Member renewals

      December 2018

      NCAS Public Lecture Series

      Genomic Medicine: Today and Tomorrow

      Anastasia Wise, PhD
      Division of Genomic Medicine
      National Human Genome Research Institute

      Saturday, December 8, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
      NEW LOCATION
      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.



      Genomic medicine, utilizing genomic information in clinical care, aims to improve clinical management, prevent complications, and promote health.  With many names often used interchangeably, including genomic medicine, precision medicine, and personalized medicine, we'll discuss what genomic medicine is and the clinical testing that is available today to improve diagnosis and therapy. We'll explore common misconceptions as well as success stories regarding genomic medicine implementation, particularly disease diagnosis, and conclude with what may be possible in the future.

      Anastasia Wise is a program director in the Division of Genomic Medicine at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). She received her Ph.D. in genetics and genomics from Duke University and joined NHGRI in 2010. At NHGRI she serves as project officer for programs advancing the application of genomics to medical science and clinical care with a focus on perinatal sequencing, undiagnosed and rare disease genomic medicine, and sex chromosome analysis and association methods. Dr. Wise is also a project scientist for the Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health (NSIGHT) program, which aims to explore the potential implications, challenges and opportunities associated with the possible use of genomic sequence information in the newborn period. Her other research interests include gene environment interactions in complex disease, pharmaco/toxicogenomics, and ethical, legal, and social issues related to the use of genetic information.

      https://www.ncas.org/2018/11/december-8-genomic-medicine-today-and.html