Last week, and over the weekend, I promised you all an announcement on Monday. Logistics got in my way. I apologize. So today, Monday: The Reckoning, I am here to give you the news!

The Women Thinking Free Foundation will be hosting its first official event on May 22! And its second official event on June 22! (And more more more!)

Our first official speaker agreed to the terms of her contract with us before she got famous. This is the skeptical version of “buy low, sell high”. For weeks, she was my top choice for a speaker, and then she started getting a little bit of buzz around the community regarding a blog post. I already pretty much love everything about her, and then the added bonus of hot buzz sealed the deal for me. I asked her. She said yes. Next thing I know, she’s an international news sensation!

Yes, our first speaker is BlagHag, Jen McCreight! Ms. Boobquake herself! She is also the brilliant creative mind behind Atheist Barbie! Not only that, but she co-founded Purdue University’s Society of Non-Theists. AND!! This fall she’s heading off to Seattle to get her PhD in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington. She’s young, smart, sassy, fun, strong, skeptical, and all around fantastic… and at 22, is making a real name for herself in the community. I can’t think of a better person to be the face of the launch of our organization. (And the fact that she was mentioned on the Colbert Report last night is pretty freakin’ rad!)

So next month, if you’re in the Chicago metro area, please come out to attend our launch! Jen will give a talk then we’ll all head downstairs for food and beers!

Tickets are $10, tax deductible, and are available through our website shop and will also be available at the door, space permitting.

May 22, lecture starts at 7:00pm

Galway Arms 2442 N Clark, Chicago - lecture will be upstairs

Cost: $10 online and at the door (cash or cards accepted) providing Jon Stewart and Katie Couric don’t hog all the seats.

Food and booze not included

Limited metered street parking is available.

$13 unlimited weekend parking is available at the Children’s Memorial parking garage at 2515 N Clark.

And Save the Date for our June event!

June 12, 10:00am, we will be taking a private tour of the FermiLab in Batavia, Il! It’s a 2.5 hour walking tour of the facility, and will (hopefully) be guided by one of the women scientists on staff!

The tour will be $30 per person, is limited to no more than 40 people, and will include lunch. More details to come!

What else do the Women Thinking Free have planned over the next few months?

  • David Gorski of Science Based Medicine
  • An adult science fair! (like grown ups, not like XXX)
  • Science in Art expo (rumored to include the works of Skepchick’s own Surly Amy!)
  • Pub Crawl Fundraiser
  • Science street fair
  • and in October we’ll start organizing Skepchicamp 2011!
  • more skepticism!
  • more women!

Keep an eye out for more announcements and events! We’re just getting started. Our goal is to make Chicago so skeptical that Oprah goes broke and Jenny McCarthy never returns.

Elyse

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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15 Comments

  1. Profile photo of DataJack
    April 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm —

    While this is amazing news, I worry for your health :) You are going to exhaust yourself at the pace you are going at.

    WTF
    FTW

  2. Profile photo of limadean
    April 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm —

    So many more reasons to move to Chicago.

  3. Profile photo of Brian
    April 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm —

    Sounds fantastic, Elyse! Wish I lived anywhere near Chicago, but neither the DC area nor I are moving west anytime soon. Maybe you can take WTF on the road someday. Cheers!!

  4. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm —

    @DataJack:

    I’ve got a pretty great board. And we’ve set up some organizing committees since I plan on cutting back to just 40 hours a week in June and July :)

    And I still need to get started on my TAM project!

  5. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm —

    @limadean:

    Come on! All the cool kids are doing it!

  6. Profile photo of QuestionAuthority
    April 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm —

    I know, Brian. I think even plate tectonics are working against us on that one. :-(

  7. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm —

    @Brian & @QuestionAuthority:

    WTF has skepticism; will travel.

  8. Profile photo of phlebas
    April 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm —

    Elyse,

    Are you worried that an abbreviation like “WTF” will keep people with kids from attending your events?

  9. Profile photo of Sam Ogden
    April 27, 2010 at 3:34 pm —

    @phlebas:

    She may be counting on it.

  10. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm —

    @phlebas:

    Our target demographic isn’t children so much as women highschool age and up. And outside of skeptical circles, we will be marketed as Women Thinking Free.

    And I have a, perhaps naive, faith in the general public’s sense of humor.

  11. Profile photo of phlebas
    April 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm —

    Fair enough :) You never know what might work. I think it’s kind of a risk to make for the sake of a pun, but I have less faith in the general sense of humor :) And while you might not be targeting kids, some of the people you are targeting might have kids.

    But it’s probably more my hangup than anything. I think skeptic groups spend far too much time at bars, whether it’s TAM, Skeptics in the Pub, or Drinking Skeptically. Not only are we shutting out people who don’t drink or are sensitive to the cigarette smoke that inevitably accumulates in those places, but we are forcing parents of younger kids to either find a babysitter or miss it completely.

    I’m just concerned for your sake that some parents will see your activity list, think something like the science street fair sounds interesting, but if all they know about your group is “WTF” then they will just shake their heads and go someplace else.

    Like I said, though – probably my hangup.

  12. Profile photo of chistat
    April 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm —

    @phlebas: In the wonderful land of Chicago, smoking is banned in bars!
    Many don’t allow kids, but most that serve food do, at least during certain hours.

  13. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm —

    @phlebas:

    As one of those restrained by children skeptics, I completely get what you’re saying.

    I tend to think that being pro-vax, pro-big pharma, pro-boobquake and anti-Oprah is probably no more damaging than our name.

    However, the board actually does have a pact to switch to a DBA if our name really does become a problem.

  14. Profile photo of Don
    April 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm —

    @Elyse:

    And I have a, perhaps naive, faith in the general public’s sense of humor.

    I feel I have to point out that if Boobquake has taught us anything it’s that there are lots of people out there who don’t have a sense of humor. OMG! Boobquake is SRS BIZNS guyz!

  15. Profile photo of Elyse
    April 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm —

    @Akusai:

    Yeah… I know… I am still telling myself that those are the vocal minority.

    But the idealist in me doesn’t want to believe that there are people out there thinking, “Man, I love what this group is doing! I want to participate! I want to be a part of it! But sometimes those letters in their name mean something else to some people. Back to the chiropractor I go!”

    Besides, the Skepchicks told me it was awesome and I had to do it! I can’t say no to those boobs… or the women that I sometimes notice are attached to them!

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