Announcing Skepchick Con 2009!

Ever since the awesomeness that was Dragon*Con, we Skepchicks have been plotting a convention of our own. We like the idea of working skeptical programming into an existing con structure, so we’ve been working with the folks from Convergence, the Minneapolis sci-fi con, and they’ve agreed to give us a skepticism track within the existing science track.

Convergence takes place July 2-6, 2009. Most of us will be there, and we want as many of you as possible. We’re working on getting some great guests to join us, too. PZ Myers will be there, and more will be announced as they are confirmed.

In addition to lots of great panels and discussions, we’ll be hosting a Skepchick Pajama party, which I’m sure will include your favorite drinks from the now infamous Skepchick Drink Contest, and will absolutely be far too much fun.

So don’t wait! Register now! If you get in before the new year, it’s only $35 (okay, it’s $38.25 after the convenience fees).

Keep your eyes peeled for more information as we get it.

See you there!

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  1. Dammit… I tried going to ConVergence a few years ago and hated it. I felt horribly out of place and bored out of my skull, and as a result wrote off sci-fi cons as just not my thing.

    Why are you people trying to lure me back there?! I don’t know if I can resist the draw of both PZ Myers and Skepchicks.

  2. @Ghost of MN: I had an oddly divergent feeling than yours reading about a Skepchick Con. I quite enjoyed TAM this past June in Vegas. However PZ nearly put me to sleep despite some of the very interesting things he had to say.

  3. I dunno. I’m considering this. Though if I go, I probably won’t leave the safety of the Skeptical Party Room. There are just to many weird people wandering around. I’ve always thought of myself as weird, but apparently I’m not weird enough to fit in at cons.

    I had a brief email exchange with PZ a few weeks ago, in which he expressed interest in putting me on one of the skeptical panels. Which I would totally do. If I were formally invited, I’d grit my teeth and return to the strange and unwelcoming world of ConVergence.

    (And yes, that’s a hint. I’d love to be on a panel.)

    I even have a ready-to-deploy challenge for anyone who claims to have psychic powers. I call it “The Ghosts of Minnesota Five Dollar Paranormal Challenge.” I’m not as rich as the JREF.

  4. Oh, and I will almost certainly get in an argument with PZ at some point about how best to deal with creationists.

    I don’t think chairs will be thrown, Jerry Springer-style, though. :p

  5. Oh I’m not coming unless chairs are thrown. I really don’t care who throws them or at what.

    Are these things really that weird? Just checking…I was considering Dragoncon because everyone seems to dress up and Phil Plait seemed to enjoy it a lot (he’s not too weird).

    I’d have to spring for a hotel room and such, so if there are locals willing to put people up or people looking for roomies to share, that might be rather nice. If skepchick had some sort of place people could find roomies and such that would be nice. Minneapolis is quite nice.

  6. @kittynh: Don’t be scared away by my testimonial. There are a lot of people who really, really, really enjoy these things, and you may well be one of them.

    I just don’t seem to mesh well with the culture of sci-fi cons, and there are reasons for that. For example, I have very little patience for the Geek Social Fallacies, which run rampant within fandom.

    But that’s my problem. Not theirs, and probably not yours.

  7. Hmmmmm…..I haven’t been to the Twin Cities in about 10 years. In fact, I think it will be 10 years that very weekend!
    I may just have to sign up! (and like the poster above, I’ll pretty much avoid the Sci-Fi dorks. Maybe we can meet in the bar and have a few beers)

  8. @The Central Scrutinizer: @bug_girl: oh, yeah….looks like they tack on a little convenience fee for online registration.
    and definitely go with the $38.25 because the $33.50 is for a partial membership so you have to pay another $20 at the door, which is completely pointless right now (makes more sense once the fee goes up).

  9. So I’ve been thinking about it for a few hours, and I’ve decided that I really can’t miss this. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I’ll be there. I will, however, spend most of the con hiding among the skeptics, cowering in fear from the cosplayers.

    So my earlier hint becomes an outright question: Who do I talk to about being on a science/skepticism panel? If it’s a matter of establishing skeptical street cred, check out my blog, which hasn’t been updated in ages due to being swamped with paid writing projects. But hey, it’s there, and it displays good skeptical thinking. I hope. Also, check out my appearance on the Atheists Talk radio show.

    (The neglect of the blog will be remedied soon, by the way. I haven’t commented on blogs in ages either, for the same reason, and I’ve started doing that again. So I’m moving in the right direction.)

    So, yeah. I’ll be there, and I’d love to be an acrive participant. Just protect me from the Klingons, please.

  10. @Ghost of MN: i’ll protect you from all the klingons except one: my personal hero, klingon elvis. i will make it my personal mission to introduce you. i really think that you’ll have a much better time at convergence with a sort of “home” group than you did solo. trust me.

    and if any other people are interested in sitting on panels and/or helping out w/ organizing, please let me know through the contact form on this site.

  11. @kittynh: I know absolutely nothing about you, so I’m in no position to make any claims whatsoever regarding your level of geekiness.

    And even if you are, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m a total geek. I just tend to not like what happens when geeks gather in large groups. I find the resulting social dynamic rather unpleasant.

    My only point was that as long you don’t share my aversion to organized geekery, you should have nothing to fear from ConVergence.

  12. Is that the week before TAM?
    I had initially thought about spending the 4th with a bunch of skeptics anyway. Time and place to be decided. Might as well go to Minnesota for a geek-out …

    My best shot at a layover to Vegas is going to be Chicago. That’s still about 200 miles short.

    Also, is there something else to be done in MN except sitting in a conference hall all weekend? Like, touristy stuff someone who’s never been there and never will afterwards might enjoy?

    Oh I’m not coming unless chairs are thrown. I really don’t care who throws them or at what.

    I thought “flying” chairs (levitating?) was more of a trademark of some other kinds of conferences?

  13. On further investigation, I seem unable to register, as the state and zipcode fields are required fields, and no option for non-US states (except Canada) can be entered.

    Perhaps they’re not expecting that kind of expansion …

  14. @exarch: there are lots of fun things to do in minneapolis…we have a great theatre and art culture, a killer local music scene, and lots of cool bars. and i will probably try to do a drinking skepchickally during the week between convergence and tam.

    also, if you want (and this goes for any other non-us people as well) we can figure out a way to get you registered (probably by doing a gift registration). email our contact link about it and we’ll work it out.

  15. @exarch: Yah, I can confirm that Minneapolis & St. Paul are beautiful cities and great for walking. I had a single day to explore on my own last year, and found that the people were so fabulously sweet (I got follow-up emails from my cab driver for several months after my visit).

  16. Damn. Now I guess I have to go. I’ve been considering it for years. I’m a big enough nerd, and I have a lot of friends in the gaming industry (we’ve got the 3rd largest board-game company in the US here- another bit of MN trivia for you), so I’m sure there will be plenty to do.

    I probably won’t go in costume, but I could easily do a pirate, klingon, Hagrid, or Zoidberg…

  17. @Dread Polack: yes, you do have to go. and now that you went and mentioned zoidberg, we will all be expecting to see you in costume.
    i can’t speak for the other skepchicks, but i will most definitely be in costume for the duration of the con. to me, that’s almost the best part.

  18. I doubt this is in the cards for me, as I’m probably going to be in Philadelphia wetting my pants over Galileo’s telescope at the Franklin during this time period. Oh, well, I’ll still make Dragon*con.

  19. @The Central Scrutinizer:
    If “ick” stands for Interesting Cute Kind. Then she certainly is. :)

    In regards to those on the fence about attending MPLS PZ/Skepchickon, just know that for every second you hesitate, you are causing the little Flying Spaghetti Monster to cry and fall off his Unicorn.

  20. All I could imagine was the big goth convention, Convergence, and PZ Myers talking about chopping up little bats and getting trampled in a sea of white clown face.

  21. So, The Central Scrutinizer sucks, and rebecca is coming?

    I tried thinking about Dread Polack in a Zoidberg costume to shake the mental picture.
    It’s even worse :(

  22. @carr2d2: “also, if you want (and this goes for any other non-us people as well) we can figure out a way to get you registered (probably by doing a gift registration). email our contact link about it and we’ll work it out.
    Not sure how swiftly that could be worked out considering the deadline for the $38 rate is tomorrow. But I could send the money to someone through Paypal. I think all the skepchick authors should be able to send to my e-mail adres using the blog tools. Could you send me the necessary details that way?

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