This weekend, people all over the world are celebrating Carl Sagan, the man who pointed out both that we are star stuff and that we are the residents of a tiny unimportant planet “tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” Few scientists could capture so well both the nearly incomprehensible wonder and the mind-boggling insignificance of being human.
In the highlights below, I’ve listed a few of the events celebrating Carl Sagan, including a live webcast you can attend no matter where you live. You can also check out the listings on CFI’s Carl Sagan Day page to find events near you. Or start something of your own! List your event in the comments and I’ll try to add it here—but no promises because I’m at this moment attending SkeptiCON!
You too? Come say hi! If we don’t meet at the CON itself, I hope you’ll stop by the after party on Saturday night at Farmer’s Gastropub, where a bunch of Skepchicks, Freethought Bloggers, other SkeptiCON speakers, and a crowd of skeptics, atheists, and freethinkers will be running a late-night chemistry experiment (poorly controlled, no doubt, but an impressive sample size I expect).
When: Sat., Nov. 10, 8:30 pm–?
Events for Nov. 9–Nov. 15
What else is going on this week? A science film festival, several talks on everything from autism-related pseudoscience to cognitive biases, a horror movie convention (which makes me wish I could go back in time and make my high school hold a zombie prom), and much more.
NYC, NY, Nov. 8–16
The 5th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival is going on all week. This is the world’s first film festival founded by scientists. They have documentaries, kid-friendly films, lab footage, and more. Get more info and ticket information here.
Erie, PA, Fri., Nov. 9
The Erie Atheists and Agnostics will be discussing Roy F. Baumeister’s book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty at the UU in Erie. More info here.
Philadelphia, PA, Sun., Nov. 11
Goddard Scientist Stuart Jordan is giving a talk at the Free Library on “Toward a Better Human Future,” followed by discussion. Find out more and RSVP here.
Coconut Creek, FL, Fri.–Sat., Nov. 9–10
If you’re in the Ft. Lauderdale area, check out the huge Carl Sagan Day celebration at Broward College, featuring James Randi as well as a “Dinner with the Stars” fundraiser. Get more info here.
Arlington, VA, Sat., Nov. 10
Join the National Capital Area Skeptics at a talk by science writer Marc Kaufman, “Life Beyond Earth: The Search is On, and the Results are Tantalizing,” a free event at the National Science Foundation.
Fairfax, VA, Fri., Nov. 9
The Helen A. Keller Institute is hosting a workshop on Ethics, Science, Pseudoscience, and Anti-Science in Autism, with psychologist Dr. James T. Todd.
Virginia Beach, VA, Fri.–Sun., Nov. 9–11
The second Blood on the Beach horror convention is being held this weekend at the Cavalier Hotel, featuring several cast members from The Walking Dead, a Weird Science cast reunion, a Zombie Prom, and lots more.
Little Rock, AR, Fri., Nov. 9
The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers are getting together for the 2nd Friday Art Night, an art walk with free beer and wine followed by a dinner meetup. Find out more here.
Louisville, KY, Tues., Nov. 13
The Louisville Area Skeptics are hosting Dr. Meghan Kahn, who will talk about “Olfactory Learning & Memory in Homing Pigeons,” at Patrick O’Shea’s on Tuesday night.
Canton, MI, Sat., Nov. 10
The Michigan Skeptics Association is hosting Dr. Zachary Blount, from the Beacon Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, for a talk on his research and his latest paper in Nature. Join the group to RSVP.
Springfield, MO, Fri.–Sun., Nov. 9–11
Skepticon 5, the free conference for atheists and skeptics, is on this weekend at the Springfield Expo Center. Many Skepchicks and Freethought Bloggers will be there, including Rebecca and PZ, as well as at the party on Saturday night at Farmer’s Gastropub, starting around 8:30. Hope to meet many of you there!
Columbus, OH, Fri., Nov. 9
The Atheists of Columbus are celebrating Carl Sagan Day in the back room of the Surly Girl Saloon. Find out more on the Facebook event page.
Phoenix, AZ, Sun., Nov. 11
Americans United for Separation of Church & State is hosting a talk by Mikey Weinstein, “Religious Extremism in the U.S. Military: Dangers & Implications.”
Los Angeles, CA, Sat., Nov. 10
The Evolution of Comedy Tour: Intelligently Designed Humor, with Ian Harris, Jason Resler, and Maurice Northup, will be in LA on Saturday night. Click here for tickets and more info.
Fri., Nov. 9: The Planetary Society’s Carl Sagan Tribute is sold out (see below for info on the live webcast), but you can still attend the after party at Mijares in Pasadena.
Sat., Nov. 10: The Backyard Skeptics are going to Mt. Wilson Observatory for “Raw Photons on your Retina night #2.” Space is limited, so join the group to RSVP.
Denver, CO, Sun., Nov. 11
The Evolution of Comedy Tour: Intelligently Designed Humor, with Ian Harris, Jason Resler, and Maurice Northup, will be in Denver on Sunday night. Click here for tickets and more info.
Salt Lake City, UT, Sat., Nov. 10
The Atheists of Utah-Zion Sect are hosting a family-friendly get-together at Hogle Zoo on Saturday. Click here for more info, including ticket prices.
Sydney, NSW, Fri., Nov. 9
The Sydney Atheists are celebrating Carl Sagan Day with two talks “Dark Energy, Acceleration of the Space’s Expansion Rate, and the Fate of the Universe: How Do We Know about This?” by Krzysztof Bolejko, and “Ode to the Higgs,” by Ian Bryce.
Toronto, ON, Fri., Nov. 9
CFI Ontario is hosting a talk on “Reducing Your Biases” Friday night.
Fri., Nov. 9
The Planetary Society is holding a Carl Sagan Tribute. The event itself is sold out, but you can catch the live webcast here tonight.
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