Anchorage Science/Skeptics Meetup

Posted on March 24th, 2008 by blue collar scientist

Last Thursday, I attended the Anchorage Science/Skeptics meetup as planned, and it was a ripping success! So much so that we’ve decided to do it again and again, and have set up a Google group for event announcements and member discussions.

Image courtesy the unknown barista who agreed to take the shot with Zach’s camera.

We had 14 people there at the peak, and at least three different conversations going on at any given time. Several people in attendance had heard about it from the announcement on Pharyngula, and a couple each from the announcement on Skepchick and Bad Astronomy.

Zach has already written up a review, so here are my highlights from the event:

  • Zach and Scott Elyard told the story of the T. Rex skull cast that they worked on at the Alaska Museum of Natural History. And what an epic it was.
  • Two people in the local media attended and determined they knew each other as colleagues.
  • Ceci, who had read of PZ Myers’ expulsion from Expelled not long before our event started, was fairly bursting at the seams and made sure to tell us all to go read Pharyngula when we got home.
  • Greg, Scott Rhode, Kent, and I discussed the difficulties of experimental design in psychology - a topic I’m barely educated in and yet strangely still opinionated about.
  • Harun Yahya’s Atlas of Creation was shown in all its 50-lb, glossy-paged glory, complete with photos of fishing lures represented as living insects.
  • Paleoart was not only shown, but produced, right there at the event!

I was down at one end of our long table, so I wasn’t able to track whatever was happening at the other end. We had that many people - we shoved together a bunch of tables into something approximately as long as an aircraft carrier, and then filled all the seats and then some.

We had a discussion of whether or not to do this again, and the consensus was yes, definitely. I was placed in charge of setting up a mailing list for event announcements and discussions amongst members. I unilaterally chose the name Science and Skepticism in Anchorage1 for the name of our little dis-organization, and as mentioned above I’ve set up a mailing list for us. Check it out and sign up if you’d like.

Based on our discussions, we’re planning to hold an event about every three weeks or so, on different days of the week so that everyone interested gets a chance to attend at least some events. We will also cycle between coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and probably even my living room, so that we don’t get stale staring at the same walls, or bogged down with the same kind of venue each time. There are also plans to conduct an occasional Barcamp type event, a mini-conference with our members giving short presentations on topics of interest.

So, if you want to get involved, head on over to our Google group and sign up!

  1. The name is intelligently designed to avoid an unfortunate acronym of the sort that a local used car dealer is saddled with. []

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4 Responses to “Anchorage Science/Skeptics Meetup”

  1. Zach Miller Says:

    I love it. May I also recommend Cafe Del Mundo, which is right behind Barnes & Nobel (in the same little strip mall as Classic Toys) and seats several. Great hot chocolate over there. :-)

  2. writerdd Says:

    Wow, cool! Keep us posted on future events so we can be sure to list them on the skepchick events calendar!

  3. Scott Elyard Says:

    That book was mclargehuge, and quite pretty. But honestly, it may as well have been about Lisa Frank drawings of Ponies with Wings, for all the value it had.

    Maybe less than that, even.

    But yeah, a grand time. So long as I, at least, continue to attend, paleoart might even be a permanent staple of these events!

  4. Grumpy Says:

    Cripes, I’m tall.

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