SkeptiCamp and Other Acts of Skepticism in Ohio

As some of you may know, I live smack dab in the middle of Ohio, which – unfairly or not – doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for the kind of open culture on which skepticism tends to thrive. When I first moved to the city of Columbus, around three years ago, it’s true that the skeptic landscape here was pretty bleak. The only organized skeptic group, Central Ohioans for Rational Inquiry, had died out a year or so previously, and there were a more than a few scattered skeptics looking for like-minded people. So, I rallied the troops by – of course – organizing regular Drinking Skeptically events, which are still going strong. But we’re trying hard to push into more activities and community outreach – and, if you’re in the area, we could use your help.

First of all, our second SkeptiCamp Ohio is May 8 at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. We still have room for speakers and volunteers! You can sign up to speak, and register to attend for free, at the website.

As a part of this SkeptiCamp, we’re also lucky to have the director of secular summer camp Camp Quest to offer a special one-day mini-camp for kids five and up. So if you have little ones, this is a really great opportunity for them to enjoy a day of skeptic activities. It’s also a great way to entertain them while you can listen to the speakers. :)

The ladies from Negative Entropy will also be there demonstrating some of the experiments they’ve chronicled on their blog, including flavor tripping, supertaster testing and fake stigmata.

We’ll also have a live recording of the Central Ohioans for Rational Inquiry podcast, the return of last year’s skeptic game show, and a bunch of great speakers and panel discussions. So you should totally come. If you can’t make it but would still like to help out, you can donate to us at the SkeptiCamp Ohio ChipIn page. All proceeds will be used for supplies for the event and any leftovers will be put towards future Ohio skeptic endeavors.

Plus, the weekend after SkeptiCamp, several of us are volunteering at our local science musuem COSI (voted top science museum in the country, by the way) for a “Myths of Science” day. We’ll be at kiosks around the museum leading simple critical thinking exercises and science experiments for museum-goers and their families. If you’d like to help out with that, check out the info at this Facebook page or contact me.

After these events, I’m hoping to do a little restructuring of the group to spur some new activity, including more speakers, community outreach and volunteering. If any of you are in the area and interested in stepping up to help, I definitely want to hear from you!


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. I have very fond memories of COSI from when I was a kid (I lived in Bowling Green, OH). Our science class would take a field trip there every year.

  2. Glad to see some skeptical work being done in the Buckeye state. If I weren’t on the extreme Eastern outskirts of the state and not facing a six hour roundtrip drive, I’d be definitely willing to lend you a hand.

  3. I’ll see what I can do, but The Girl and I are going to be busy for the next many weekends painting her new house. We also keep missing the Drinking Skeptically sessions, which I would love to go to. Let’s face it, I’m just lame.

  4. I didn’t know central Ohio had a skeptical group! I’m from Columbus and I went to OSU. Now I’m living in Lexington, Ky (which has even less of a reputation as an ” open culture on which skepticism tends to thrive”) and I can’t participate in all of the fun. :-<

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