Best SkepchickCON ever! We hosted more panels, packed more rooms, and partied more . . . harder? Than ever before!
This year, CONvergence very kindly gave us a larger room for most of our panels. I’m happy to say that we consistently filled that room up to standing room only, and I got a ton of positive feedback on our programming. Several of our panels were even mentioned in this positive Daily Planet overview of the CON.
As we suspected, some of the most popular panels were our two climate change panels and our Science of Drugs and Alocohol panel, all featuring BoingBoing’s science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker and expert moderator Desiree Schell, along with other experts in the fields like John Abraham and Shawn Otto. The Female Orgasm panel I moderated with Greg Laden, PZ Myers, and fellow Skepchick Heina Dadabhoy was absolutely packed (at right), and I think we managed to be both educational and completely raucous, which is my favorite combination of things to be.
YouTube star Cristina Rad joined me and others for a discussion on trolls, which I was a bit nervous about. I don’t ever get nervous about panels, but this is a topic I’ve had my fill of, and obviously it’s a bit personal. Luckily, Stephanie Zvan stepped up and moderated like a champ. Cristina got video of it, and you can see it here:
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to/on YouTube, and I see that not much has changed:
The happy news is that the SkepchickCON and CONvergence harassment policies somehow didn’t prevent anyone from having a good time. There was dancing, and hugging, and kissing, and hell, probably even a good deal of sex that happened in line with our views on consent and mutual respect. And check out these awesome posters that CONvergence placed prominently all over the hotel:
One more thing to mention before I do a too-quick rundown of thanks – the Skepchick parties were, once again, completely rocking. This year we had an adjoining room with Freethought Blogs (both designed by the very talented Mel!), doubling the nerdy fun, and we had an entire fleet of rad volunteers. Plus, we had Mad Art Lab’s Anne Sauer mixing drinks and talking about the science of alcohol, which I enjoyed so much I’m going to force her to return next year and do demonstrations all weekend long. Sorry, Anne.
I’m sorry to anyone who came to the party to talk to me – I lost my voice by midday Saturday, and so I was nearly incapable of communicating from there on out.
A Bunch of Thanks!
The success of the entire weekend is due mostly to Kammy Lyon, our hardworking CON-organizer who has been planning SkepchickCON 2012 ever since the end of SkepchickCON 2011. Kammy worked with CONvergence staff, SkepchickCON speakers and volunteers, and the good employees of TGI Friday’s to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
Melissa Lee also gets a huge thanks for helping Kammy coordinate our team of volunteers, all of whom did a fantastic job setting up, running, and cleaning our party room, among other thankless jobs like watching our table. Thankless besides this, of course: thanks, all!
I’d also like to thank all you generous people who donated to make this event happen. We don’t get any cut of the CONvergence tickets, so we cover all our expenses via individual donations, both large and small. You’re all amazing!
Thanks to all the people who appeared on those fun and informative panels, including many of the Skepchicks, Mad Art Labbers, Teen Skepchicks, Queerekers (?), and Felicia all the way from Swedish Skepchick. Plus thanks to all the Freethought Bloggers who came out, plus stars like Maggie Koerth-Baker, Desiree Schell, Cristina Rad, and John Abraham. I was blown away by how great everyone did on panels, even if it was their very first, and even if they were teenagers who had no right to be so funny and informative.
Also just a brief note of thanks to Don, Chris, and Craig of Pixar, Charlie at Google, and Sheldon at Oleone! I jetted over to San Francisco immediately after CONvergence, and those guys made it an awesome, fun-filled trip despite the fact that I was nearly voiceless, exhausted, and let’s admit it: a little cranky, throughout the trip. Thanks guys!
Thanks to everyone who came out and made SkepchickCON and CONvergence a huge success. See you next year!