About NCAS

The National Capital Area Skeptics is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit, educational and scientific membership organization that promotes critical thinking and scientific understanding.

NCAS was founded in 1987 in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. We are advocates for science and reason, actively promoting the scientific method, rational inquiry, and education.

  • Promote critical thinking and scientific understanding.
  • Serve as an information resource regarding extraordinary claims.
  • Provide extraordinary evidence that skeptics are cool.
We promote our objectives with a variety of activities:
  • We present free monthly public events with speakers knowledgeable on a variety of topics each year from September through May. For what we've done in the past, see our Shadow of a Doubt bulletins.
  • We also present annual special events such as weekend workshops or all-day information programs on particular topics and issues. One such event was our day-long and evening "April Anti-Fools" program at NOAA Auditorium, with an entertaining focus on frauds and swindles. Another was our recent Science, Magic and Skepticism - Workshops at AAAS Auditorium followed that evening by Heavy Mental magic. These and other NCAS special events are chronicled in our Skeptical Eye newsletters.
  • We maintain an on-line Library of full-text documents on topics of skeptical interest, most of which were compiled by NCAS and not available elsewhere. These include the out-of-print  1968 Air Force/University of Colorado report on UFOs, the 1989 Department of Energy report on Cold Fusion, the 1887 University of Pennsylvania report on "Modern Spiritualism", and others. This is an on-going project, with more such documents in the pipeline.
  • Members receive our monthly bulletin, Shadow of a Doubt, which announces our upcoming public event, plus brief news items.
  • Members also receive our quarterly newsletter, the Skeptical Eye, with articles on subjects of skeptical interest. We include accounts of our most recent  events, articles written by members and guest authors who have done individual projects and investigations, as well as contributions from the publications of other local skeptics groups.
  • Periodically, NCAS presents the Philip J. Klass Award "for outstanding contributions in critical thinking and scientific understanding." The award has been given since 2006 and past winners are listed here.
  • We provide a members-only email list service for sharing information and coordinating projects.
  • We provide volunteer judges for school science fairs in the area. At each fair, we provide prizes in addition to those awarded by the school system, to encourage students developing critical thinking and science skills.
  • We collaborate with other, like-minded organizations, locally and nationally.
  • We also socialize. From time to time we get together for fun and food, perhaps with a movie we can laugh about or discuss -- just to remind ourselves that "Skeptics are cool !".

The stuff we do is fun, interesting, and important. We welcome your participation. Please join us.

List of Current NCAS Board Members

Executive Committee     ncas@ncas.org
Scott Snell, President
Melissa Pollak, Vice President
Walter Rowe, Secretary
Marv Zelkowitz, Treasurer

Other Board members:
Tom Bridgman
Nelson Davis, Jr.
Chip Denman
Grace Denman
Brian Gregory
Curtis Haymore
J.D. Mack
Mary Pastel
Philip Wexler

How to Contact NCAS
National Capital Area Skeptics
P.O. Box 8461
Silver Spring, Maryland 20907

Subscribe to receive our Shadow of a Doubt event bulletins by email