For a while now, there’s been talk about the frequency of navel-gazing in the skeptic community. This article by Alom Shaha of the Guardian is the latest installment. He has some excellent points, some of which have been used in the past to criticize our “ONE OF US” mentality.
There are several things off the top of my head which I think we can all say are pretty committed to community outreach: SkeptiCamp, the Women Thinking Free Foundation, Skeptrack at conventions like Dragon*Con, and JREF. Forgive my American ignorance, but have any of these sorts of programs been set up in the UK (aside from JREF)? It’s pretty clear in the article that, while fun and educational for the in-group, Skeptics in the Pub is more of a players’ club than a community tool.*
Finding a way for larger, well known names to speak directly to students would be pretty great. I’d be willing to bet that an occasional aside in the direction of critical thinking instead of strict attention to the curriculum would have saved me some years of believing in ghosts and the like.
What would you like to see in regards to student outreach? How do we get out of circle-jerk mode and become an effectively productive learning tool? Can you help me get “Rock You Like a Hurricane” out of my head?
*This is not a criticism from myself personally! Please do not take it as one!
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.