EVENTS This Week—Darwin Stand-Up, Groundhog Day, Squishy Physics + MORE

It’s that time a year again when we all wonder, Will Darwin see his shadow? Darwin Day is coming up on the 12th, but many groups are getting a head start on the celebrating this week, with lectures on evolution and two separate stand-up comedy events (one Philly and the other in London). You’ll also find a ton of museum events, from free museum days and a Groundhog Day event for kids to more after-hours Science in the Dark events, where you can drink, play with glow sticks, and learn some science! There’s even ’shrooms—a lecture on them. In fact, the science of food is a common thread this week, with a few related events, including the Georgia Tech School of Physics interactive night on Squishy Physics.


Events for Feb. 1–Feb. 7

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region), in Canada, and in the UK. You can find a ton more going on all over the world in our events calendar.

Don’t see your area listed here or in the calendar? Shoot us an email, or let me know in the comments what area you are interested in.



Washington, DC, Tues., Feb. 5

Robert Ehrlich, professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University, is giving a talk at the Smithsonian about “The Search for Tachyons: Faster-Than-Light Particles.” $25; $16-$18 members.

Baltimore, MD, Sun., Feb. 3

As part of Darwin Month, the Baltimore Coalition of Reason is hosting a talk on “Common Misconceptions About Evolution,” by Roger D. Sloboda, Ira Allen Eastman Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College.

New York, NY, Tues., Feb. 5

The New York Younger Women’s Task Force is hosting a discussion of Dating While Feminist, complete with wine and snacks. RSVP here.

Philadelphia, PA, Sat., Feb. 2

Join the Philadelphia Atheists at GET REAL 2: The Evolution of Comedy, with stand-up, live music, and DJs.

Newport News, VA, Sat., Feb. 2

The Virginia Living Museum is hosting a Groundhog Day event for kids with activities, face painting, crafts, planetarium programs (extra fee), and a groundhog visit (the museum’s whistle pig).



Atlanta, GA, Sat., Feb. 2

Squishy Physics 2013 is a series of lectures on the physics of malleable materials, with an emphasis on foods, produced by the Georgia Tech School of Physics.

Peachtree City, GA, Sat., Feb. 2

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is giving a lecture on “Why Evolution Is True,” followed by Q&A and book signing. $15.

Durham, NC, Thurs., Feb. 7

The Museum of Life and Science is having a Museum AfterHours event about “The Science of Eats,” with demonstrations and hands-on projects with food and cocktails and physics! $18; $15 members. 21+ only.

Wilmington, NC, Fri., Feb. 1

Join the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear at UNCW for a debate between William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg on the topic “Is Faith in God Reasonable?”



Dallas, TX—Multiple

Sat., Feb. 2: Join the Fellowship of Freethought for a day at the Dallas Holocaust Museum—Center for Education and Tolerance, followed by a restaurant meetup.

Sun., Feb. 3: The FoF is also hosting an event on Sunday, an alternative to watching the Superbowl. They are getting together to work on hygiene kits for Atheists Helping the Homeless, followed by a potluck dinner and a movie.


Chicago, IL—Multiple

Sat., Feb. 2: Chicago Rational Future is hosting a talk by Ivan Phillips on “Bayesian Reasoning and Evolutionary Biology.”

Monday, Feb. 4: The Illinois Mycological (Mushroom) Association is hosting a book signing and lecture by Gena Bone, author of Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms.

Tues., Feb. 5: IgniteChicago features speed talks, where people take turns getting up and presenting something for 5 minutes, with 20 slides. Past talks have included “Why You Hate Comic Sans,” “How I Became Raiden the God of Thunder,” and “Joggling—Sport of the Future.”

Dearborn Heights, MI, Sat., Feb. 2

Minority Atheists of Michigan are hosting guest speaker Darrell C. Smith, author of You Are Not Alone: BlackNones.

St. Paul, MN, Thurs., Feb. 7

Thursday night is Social Science: In the Dark at the Science Museum of Minnesota, a 21+ event where you can drink and explore the museum with all the reflective, glow-in-the-dark, laser toys you can imagine.

St. Louis, MO, Tues., Feb. 5

The Academy of Science–St. Louis is sponsoring a free Science Behind Climate Change seminar series at the Saint Louis Zoo, including talks on “Modern Climate Science,” “Current Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture,” and “The Social Ecology of Climate Change.”

Stow, OH, Mon., Feb. 4

CFI–Northeast Ohio is hosting a talk by Margaret Poloma on “The Heart of Religion: How it Impacts Human Behavior.”



Tempe, AZ, Sat., Feb. 2

The ASU Origins Project is putting on a panel called “Great Debate: Climate Change, Surviving the Future,” moderated by Lawrence Krauss. $16; $10 with student ID; $26 VIP.



Salinas, CA, Fri., Feb. 1

The Public Star Shows at J. Frederic Ching Planetarium are on “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion” (for kids) followed by “Natural Selection” (for adults and mature kids) every Friday in February. Kids’ show: $5 for all seats (children under 3 are admitted free). Evening show: $6; $4 for students, seniors, and military.

San Diego, CA, Sat., Feb. 2

The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego is hosting a lecture by Robert Tapp on “Those Other Elephants,” about politics and science.

San Francisco, CA, Wed., Feb. 6

The Reason for Reason speaker series features Julia Galef on “A Rational Future: Why a better world tomorrow requires better cognition today.”

Fort Collins, CO, Sat., Feb. 2

Join the Fort Collins Secular Families at the Mother’s Center Preschool & Kids’ Activity Fair this Saturday. Free.

Reno, NV, Thurs., Feb. 7

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku is speaking at UNR as part of its Discover Science Lecture Series. Free.



Portland, OR, Mon., Feb. 4

This week’s OMSI Science Pub is about “The Evolution of Oregon’s Dynamic Geologic History,” a talk by Scott Burns, professor of geology. All ages. $5 suggested cover charge.


Kelowna, BC, Fri., Feb. 1

CFI–Okanagan is hosting a talk by Ryan Nichols: “Someone Call A Doctor: Philosophy of Religion is Dying.” $5; free to members.



Edinburgh, Mon., Feb. 4

The Edinburgh Humanist Society of Scotland’s guest speaker this month is Cathy Crawford, founding member of ImpAcTAID, talking on “HIV, AIDS and the Global Fund.”


Sun., Feb. 3: Join the London Black Atheists for Atheist Church this Sunday, featuring a talk by super particle physicist Harry Cliff, of CERN.

Thurs., Feb. 7: Central London Humanists and other humanist groups are getting together at Conway Hall’s “Stand Up for Darwin Comedy Evening,” featuring several science-based comedy acts. Get more info and RSVP here.


Want to promote your skeptical, atheist, humanist, science, or just all-around geeky event or group on our events calendar? Click here to send us the details.

Featured image by Cornelia Kopp.

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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