Monday, October 11, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2021

Adam Ruben, PhD
Writer, Comedian, and Molecular Biologist

Saturday, September 11, 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

October 18: "It Came From the Science Fair" by Adam Ruben,  is now online for viewing on You Tube:

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. He has performed stand-up comedy and told stories on stage for more than 20 years. Adam has appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR. He currently hosts The Science Channel shows Outrageous Acts of Science and What on Earth? and is a writer for the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS show Elinor Wonders Why.  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.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members
In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, in 2020 NCAS automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later.  Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added.  Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge.  (Double life memberships may sponsor two.)  Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to This offer will continue until further notice. 

Shermer and Swiss
Magician/skeptic (and NCAS co-founder) Jamy Ian Swiss discussed his book, The Conjuror’s Conundrum, with Michael Shermer:

September PhACT Lecture
Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, September 18 at 2 PM ET.  Steven Novella, MD will discuss the various aspects of the "clean eating" fad, from avoiding GMOs, processed food, and the villain food of the week, to claims for antioxidants, superfoods, and miracle diets.  Event details at

Speaking of PhACT Yours truly, NCAS President Scott Snell (pictured at back left), enjoyed PhACT's hospitality at their annual picnic in Fort Washington State Park on Saturday, July 24.  PhACT members joined me in a toast to science, which had allowed us to safely gather for the occasion.  (Little did we know that the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant would be forcing caution onto social events just a matter of days later.) 

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 second quarter of 2021 came to $24.84, meaning that nearly $5000 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:

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