EVENTS This Week—MLK Day, Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, James Bond Playdate, Bionics & More!

It’s a week of historical import. Groups all over are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement. Plus there’s a HUGE sci-fi/fantasy convention in Boston, a science museum 21+ playdate, where you get to dress up as Bond character and roam the exhibits, and Science Cafes all over the place.

Many of you have generously donated to the Fight Childhood Cancer fundraiser, to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital as well as bring attention to cancer’s BFF, the man whose made millions off fake cancer treatments—Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. Thank you for your support in this.

We’re almost a quarter of the way to our goal to raise $5,000 for this cause with the added incentive of our first ever Skepchick Challenge. If we raise that amount, we’ll set up the Biggest Bloody Skeptical Smackdown in the Universe with Rhys Morgan, Rebecca Watson, and other skeptics and atheists beating the virtual shit out each other in a live-streamed Team Fortress 2 match.

If you want to see this happen AND you want to help kids with cancer AND give a skeptical smackdown of another sort to Burzynski, donate here! The deadline is midnight on January 22.


Events for Jan. 18–Jan. 24

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region) and Canada. 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.



Baltimore, MD, Sun., Jan. 20

The Baltimore Ethical Society is hosting artist and holocaust survivor Monique Goss to talk about “The Ethics and Morality of Restitution of Art.”


Boston, MA, Fri., Jan. 18–Mon., Jan. 21

Arisia, a huge sci-fi and fantasy convention, is going on this weekend in Boston, with anime, tabletop gaming, Steampunk, a masquerade (Sunday night), and more. $60 weekend; $20 Fri; $40 Sat; $30 Sun; $10 Mon.


New York, NY, Sun., Jan. 20

The NY Society for Ethical Culture is featuring Emmy-winning reporter Maria Hinojosa, host of NPR’s Latino USA, to talk on whether there is a new civil rights movement in the US.


Plainview, NY, Fri., Jan. 18

The Center for Inquiry-Long Island has invited Mark David Barnhill to talk on “Can Skepticism Be Taught?” Free event. More info here.



Bradenton, FL, Wed., Jan. 23

It’s time for Skeptics in the Museum: Stelliferous Live with the Suncoast Skeptics. Join them at Bishop Planetarium, where director Jeff Rodgers will give a talk on the stars, including that night’s sky, as well as other science news.

Raleigh, NC, Wed., Jan. 23

The Triangle Skeptics are hosting Ian Hewitt, Solar System Ambassador for NASA, to talk about

“Exploring Pluto and the Great Planet Debate.”

Charleston, SC, Sun., Jan. 20

Join the Low Country Humanists for a talk by Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club, about her experiences investigating and battling evangelical Good News Clubs in public schools.



Lake Hypatia, AL, Sun., Jan. 20

Join various Alabama organizations at the Alabama Freethought Association monthly gathering, with speaker, at Lake Hypatia this Sunday.


Little Rock, AR, Tues., Jan. 22

Science Cafe Little Rock is hosting a panel of dental science experts on the topic “Sink Your Teeth into Dental Science.” Free but limited seating.


Covington, KY, Thurs., Jan. 24

This Science Cafe takes place in Kentucky, but right on the border of Ohio, and it’s hosted by the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati. Archaeologist Kenneth Tankersley will be talking on “Mayan Volcanoes,” plus door prizes, including a free issue of Skeptical Inquirer for all who attend.
New Orleans, LA, Tues., Jan. 22
New Orleans NOW, the ACLU, and various other organizations are hosting a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade this Tuesday night.


Nashville, TN, Thurs., Jan. 24

Dress up as your favorite Bond character and explore the exhibits at the Adventure Science Center, part of their Way Late Play Date event for adults (21+). $25 (includes souvenir cup, 3 drink tickets, and planetarium show).


San Antonio, TX—Multiple

Sun., Jan. 20: TheFreethinkers Association of Central Texas (F.A.C.T.) are hosting a family-friendly Day at the Park for multiple local organizations, including San Antonio Skeptics and San Antonio Atheists.

Mon., Jan. 21: FACT families are taking part in an MLK march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., starting in the morning on Monday.

Tues., Jan. 22: Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs Wade at Esquire Tavern.


Chicago, IL—Multiple

Thurs., Jan. 24: Kimberly Veal of the Black Nonbelievers of Chicago is giving a talk, hosted by the University of Chicago Secular Alliance, on “Freethinkers and Freethought in the Civil Rights Movement.”

Thurs., Jan. 24: Join the Chicago Skeptics for a Skeptical Salon via Skype with magician and scam expert Brian Brushwood on Thursday. Seats are limited. Become a member to get the details here.

Fri., Jan. 18: This Friday, the Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series is on “Building Bionics” with Todd Kuiken, director of the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. $7.


St. Louis, MO, Fri., Jan. 18

The STL Nerdy Girls are having an open house atThird Degree Glass Factory, with art displays, glassblowing and bead-making demonstrations, live music, and cash bar (although under 21 are welcome!).


Berea, OH, Fri., Jan. 18

The Baldwin-Wallace Center for Innovation and Growth is hosting an observatory open house and lecture by Steven Kosztya, of the BW Department of Physics and Astronomy, about the Big Bang.


Mesa, AZ, Fri., Jan. 18

Hal Saferstein of the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP) is presenting a free class on Gilbert & Sullivan’sThe Pirates of Penzance, one of the classes on operas and arias he and Zenaido Quintana will be teaching through New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning. If you are interested in the full course, you can find out more info here.


Phoenix, AZ, Fri., Jan. 18

The Arizona Science Center is hosting a Science Cafe on “Learning in the Nano City,” with humanist Adriene Janik and technical professor Dee Dee Falls, on how technology can change (and is changing) how we learn. Free event (but parking is not).


Berkeley, CA, Sun., Jan. 20

The Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics are hosting a talk on the “Coming Back from the Dead in Jerusalem and Witchcraft at Salem: Why We Should Reject Christianity,” by philosophy professor Matt McCormick.


Los Angeles, CA, Sun., Jan. 20

Sunday’s CFI-West Feed Your Brain lecture is by Ian Ruskin on “To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine.” $8; students $4; CFI members free.


Sacramento, CA, Tues., Jan. 22

Join the Sacramento Freethinkers Atheists & Nonbelievers (FAN) to see Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist, performing Cats, Sheep and Goats for donations on Tuesday night.


San Diego, CA, Wed., Jan. 23

Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?” as part of the Helen Edison Lecture Series at UCSD. Free event. Parking is $4 after 5:30. Go out for drinks afterward with the San Diego New Atheists and Agnostics. More info here.


San Francisco, CA, Fri., Jan. 18

Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist, is performing Revival Friday night. Tickets are $12.



Montreal, QC, Fri., Jan. 18

CFI Montreal is hosting a talk by CFI-Canada director Michael Payton on “Animal Minds,” about understanding the nature and cognitive abilities of non-human animals.


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 Village Square.

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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