Don’t let the “camp” fool you. SkeptiCamp is NOT a kid’s camp. Nor does it involve the outdoors.
Rather, SkeptiCamp stands as a new model for conferencing among skeptics — a model that focuses on providing each of us a rich avenue to gain proficiency in the skills and knowledge of this domain.
Like the traditional lecture-oriented events that have dominated skepticism for decades, SkeptiCamps also feature talks — typically a day’s worth. But the similarity ends there.
To mount a traditional event typically requires the resources and expertise of an established organization. By contrast, the SkeptiCamp model places substantive events within reach of informal groups of skeptics anywhere around the world.
Traditional events often require the hassle and costs of travel to attend. With SkeptiCamp you can host a local event each year.
SkeptiCamps are typically free to attend — you ‘pay’ by helping to organize the event or ideally by offering a short talk to your peers on a topic that drives your passion for science and skepticism. At the very least we ask that you engage with and interact with your fellow participants.
SkeptiCamp events will normally take place at low-cost venues, such as a meeting room at one’s local library, community center or university campus. You can also find them in the back rooms of pubs and restaurants.
SkeptiCamps are open events, meaning that anyone can organize an event and participate, including giving a talk. No hurdles of permission or politics need be overcome to host an event. We do however encourage simplicity and collaboration in organizing to ensure that an inordinate burden does not fall upon the few and allow events to recur from year to year.
To keep these events substantive, the SkeptiCamp model does make two important requests of us. First, those of us giving talks must take questions during our talks when prompted by the politely raised hands of our fellow participants. Second, SkeptiCamp asks that speakers be prepared to provide a source on any claim likely to be challenged. We must guard against the damage that misinformation can wrought.
Tearing down the barriers to events that can make us better skeptics is what SkeptiCamp is all about. Join with us in this ambitious experiment to share what your know and to learn from your peers. You might even have fun doing so!