Friday, March 24, 2023

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2023


March 2023

NCAS Public Lecture Series

A Discussion of How to Talk to a Science Denier

 YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

Lee McIntyre, PhD
Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University

Saturday, March 11, 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)

For our March event, NCAS invites you to read the book How to Talk to a Science Denier BEFORE March 11, 2023. Then join us on Saturday, March 11 at 1:30 PM ET for an online Q & A with author Lee McIntyre.

Think of it as the ultimate book club meeting...your friends and acquaintances show up to discuss a book, and the author shows up too!

From the book's website:

"Can we change the minds of science deniers? Encounters with flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, coronavirus truthers, and others.

'Climate change is a hoax—and so is coronavirus.' 'Vaccines are bad for you.' These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed—they are misinformed. They cite cherry-picked evidence, rely on fake experts, and believe conspiracy theories. How can we convince such people otherwise? How can we get them to change their minds and accept the facts when they don't believe in facts? In this book, Lee McIntyre shows that anyone can fight back against science deniers, and argues that it's important to do so. Science denial can kill.

Drawing on his own experience—including a visit to a Flat Earth convention—as well as academic research, McIntyre outlines the common themes of science denialism, present in misinformation campaigns ranging from tobacco companies' denial in the 1950s that smoking causes lung cancer to today's anti-vaxxers. He describes attempts to use his persuasive powers as a philosopher to convert Flat Earthers; surprising discussions with coal miners; and conversations with a scientist friend about genetically modified organisms in food. McIntyre offers tools and techniques for communicating the truth and values of science, emphasizing that the most important way to reach science deniers is to talk to them calmly and respectfully—to put ourselves out there, and meet them face to face."

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Discussion Event:

1) Use a supported browser...
2) Use the link
3) The live stream begins shortly before 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.
5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.
6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

April NCAS SkepTour at the Museum of Illusions!
Let's get fooled on April 1 at the Museum of Illusions.

The Museum of Illusions DC is newly opened in the heart of Washington, and NCAS has arranged a group visit with discounts for Saturday morning, April 1.

From the museum website ( 
Discover a brilliant collection of perspective-changing rooms, enthralling installations, and spellbinding images. Our exhibits will teach you that nothing is ever quite as it seems, especially in the Museum of Illusions. Get ready to be mesmerized!

The Museum of Illusions Washington is a 21st-century museum conceptualized to offer an interactive and unique experience that tricks the mind, challenges the vision and makes you question all your senses. The museum is a collection of more than 50 exhibits on over 6000 square feet. All exhibits are based on science, mathematics, psychology and art allowing you to learn a lot about vision, perception and the human brain, but in a fun and interactive way!

Location: CityCenterDC, 927 H Street NW, Washington DC
One block from the Gallery Place Metro (Red/Green Lines)

We will meet at the museum at 10:45 for our 11 AM entry time. The museum suggests that we can experience the exhibits in about 45 minutes, but guests are welcome to stay longer.

NCAS has 15 discounted tickets at $24 each, including processing fee and sales tax.  (Full price is $27, $25 for students, military and age 65+.)
Send an email to NCAS with your name and phone number to  We'll respond with the payment link.  We'll have the ticket(s) for you when you arrive at the museum.

Afterwards, please join us for lunch at Clyde's of Gallery Place.

"The Woman Who Saw All" Coming to Bethesda
"The Woman Who Saw All" is "An amazing evening with magician Andy Morgan as he tells the story of his grandmother, Psychic and Spiritualist, Mamie Bell Johnson."  The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh Street, March 31 and April 1 at 8 PM.

March PhACT Lecture
Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, March 18 at 2 PM ET.  CSI Fellow (and NCAS Philip J. Klass Award laureate) Susan Gerbic will present "Science Activism does not stop during a world-wide pandemic: or How I spent my lockdown."  Event details at

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 by March 15 for more information.

Stuart Vyse is Interim Editor of Skeptical Inquirer
Following the passing of longtime Skeptical Inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier, Stuart Vyse was named Interim Editor.  Coincidentally, both Dr. Vyse and Deputy Editor Benjamin Radford have recently given NCAS lectures.  Dr. Vyse discussed his book, The Uses of Delusion, last June (, and Mr. Radford discussed his book, America the Fearful, last November (

Shadow Light
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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.