EVENTS This Week—Rebecca at NECSS, plus Skeptech, NC Science Festival & More

The Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) starts tomorrow, with great speakers and mini-events, including a live SGU, a science/improve mashup with George Hrab, Steve Novella, and others. Meet Rebecca, Eugenie Scott, Jon Ronson, Julia Galef, and many more special guests.

UpDATED: Or if you’re in the Midwest, join me and Teen Skepchicks Kate Donovan and Olivia James at Skeptech, a free conference on skepticism and technology, in Minneapolis. In addition to Kate, speakers and panelists include PZ Myers, Greta Christina, Stephanie Zvan, Maggie Koerth-Baker, Tim Farley, Jen McCreight, Brianne Bilyeu, and many more.

Not in the Midwest or Northeast US? Southeastern skeptoatheist science groupies should check out North Carolina’s statewide Science Festival and meet AC Grayling at a book signing in Asheville. The southcentral region has an international film festival, debates, a black nonbelievers BBQ, and more. In the Southwest, you can meet Herb Silverman and join the Phoenix Pride festivities and parade.

In the West, you’ve got the best fundraiser idea every, the Think & Drink wine social to raise money for the Orange County Freethought Conference, which Heina is heavily involved with. Or if you’re looking for family events, meet up with Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics for Butterfly Day in Riverside. Or check out some atheist comedy and activism opportunities in Colorado.

In Canada and the UK, you have lectures and events on everything from cognitive psychology to vampires, and those of you in Singapore and South Korea can find like minds at local freethought meetings.


Featured Events for April 5–11

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region), in Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and 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—Multiple

Sun., April 7: CFI-DC is hosting a members-only luncheon with AC Grayling. Register here. Join CFI-DC here.
Mon., April 8: George Washington University Secular Society and CFI-DC are hosting a talk by Nate Phelps, atheist son of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps. Free.
Thurs., April 11: Join the Washington Area Secular Humanists at the Secular Voters’ Forum, a chance to discuss the issues with candidates for the DC council.

Baltimore, MD, Sun., April 7

Rich Reis of the Washington Ethical Society is speaking at the Baltimore Ethical Society on

Ethics and the Environment—It’s Difficult but Not Impossible.

Shepherdstown, WV, Wed., April 10

The Shepherd University Secular Student Alliance is hosting skeptical performer George Hrab. Suggested donation $8.

Cambridge, MA—Sun., April 7

The Harvard Humanists are hosting two events on Sunday:

Also on Sunday is the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s Eighth Annual Walk for Change.

New York, NY, Fri., April 5, to Sun., April 7

The Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) is this weekend, with Rebecca and the guys from SGU (including a live show), plus Eugenie Scott, Jon Ronson, Julia Galef, George Hrab, and more.

Erie, PA, Fri., April 5

Join the Erie Atheists and Agnostics for a presentation and discussion with            Jon Camp, director of outreach for Vegan Outreach, on “The Secular Case for Extending Compassion to Animals.”

Harrisburg, PA, Wed., April 10

David Sedaris is doing a reading at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

Philadelphia, PA, Thurs., April 11

Join the Philadelphia Atheists at Get Real 3: Comedy Cabaret of Skeptic Proportions, with Sam Singleton. $15.

Williamsburg, VA, Sat., April 6

Join Southeastern Virginia Skeptics at the Lambda Alliance’s Annual Drag Extravaganza, after the W&M’s LGBTIQ Pride Festival.


Tuscaloosa, AL, Wed., April 10

Law professor Heather Elliot is speaking to the Tuscaloosa Secular Humanists on “The Basis of Law Without Religion.”

Louisville, KY, Tues., April 9

The Louisville Area Skeptics are hosting a Science Cafe with Meghan Kahn on “Learning & Memory in Homing Pigeons.”

North Carolina (all), April 5–21

The North Carolina Science Festival kicks off this weekend, with events all over the state. Check out the website for what’s happening near you.

Asheville, NC, Fri., April 5

AC Grayling is talking about his book The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism at Malaprop’s.

Wilmington, NC, Fri., April 5

Opening day of the North Carolina Science Festival starts with a Statewide Star Party! Sponsored by Cape Fear Museum and Airlie Gardens, stargazing and astronomy activities will be going on at various locations throughout the state. Free.



Hot Springs, AR, Sun., April 7

Join the Hot Springs Freethinkers for a talk by archaeologist Jamie C. Brandon on “Death, Ritual & Archeology.”

Dallas, TX—Multiple

April 4–14: The Dallas International Film Festival starts this week at various locations. $10 per movie.  
Sat., April 6: The Dallas Area Philosophical Society is sponsoring a panel discussion on “The Role of Religion in Society,” with a Buddhist monk, an evangelical Christian reverend, a founding fathers expert, and a representative of the Fellowship of Freethought, Justin Fisher.
Sun., April 7: The Black Nonbelievers of Dallas are meeting up for some BBQ and discussion.

University Park, TX, Tues., April 9

The Fellowship of Freethought is hosting a public conversation on the existence of god, with member Justin Fisher representing atheism and philosophy professor Sloan Lee, theism.


Naperville, IL, Wed., April 10

August Brunsman, executive director of the Secular Student Alliance, is speaking to the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland on “The Rise of the Religiously Unaffiliated.”

Skokie, IL, Sun., April 7

The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago is hosting a talk by Aaron Pelletier, “My Job as a Plastic Surgeon.”

Lenexa, KS, Sat., April 6

Geneticist Mindy L. Walker is giving part 2 of her talk “Evolution: It’s Just Genetics Over Time” to the Midwest Skeptics Society.

Minneapolis, MN, April 5–7

UPDATE: The Skeptech Conference is this weekend, with PZ Myers, Greta Christina, Stephanie Zvan, Maggie Koerth-Baker, Tim Farley, and Teen SkepchickS Kate Donovan AND Olivia James, among many others. I’ll be there on Saturday, so be sure to say hello! Free.

Liberty, MO, Sat., April 6

The Freethinking Family Fellowship is getting together for its 2nd Annual Foolish Fellowship Meeting/Scavenger Hunt.



Mesa, Prescott, and Tucson, AZ, Sat., April 6, and Sun., April 7

Herb Silverman, founder of the Secular Coalition of America, is speaking to the Prescott Freethinkers on Saturday and to Freethought Arizona and the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix on Sunday about his book Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.

Phoenix, AZ, Sat., April 6

March with the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix in the Phoenix Pride Parade and hang out at the Pride Festival.



Arcadia, CA, Sun., April 7

Join the Backyard Skeptics for Think & Drink: A Wine Social Fundraiser to benefit the May 2013 OC Freethought Conference. Cost: $20 plus a bottle of wine.

Los Angeles, CA, Sun., April 7

CFI-LA’s Feed Your Brain lecture this Sunday is on “Myths of Serial Killers, Psychic Detectives, and Criminal Investigations,” by criminologist Steve Egger. $8; $4 for students; free to members.

Riverside, CA—Multiple

Sat., April 6: Bring your family to Louis Robidoux Nature Center for Butterfly Day with the Inland Empire Atheists. In addition to the release of the butterflies, there will be crafts, music, food, and more. $3.
Thurs., April 11: Inland Empire Atheists are hosting a talk by David Layton on his book The Humanism of Dr. Who. $5 (sliding scale).

San Diego, CA, Sat., April 6

Join the Humanist Fellowship of San Diego for Luis Granados’ presentation on his book Damned Good Company.

San Francisco, CA, Sat., April 6

Join the Bay Area Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Freethinkers, and Skeptics for a talk about marriage equality with representatives of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Visalia, CA, Sat., April 6

The South Valley Skeptics are hosting a talk by biologist Paul Crosbie on “Adventures in Parasitology: Itchy Heads and Wormy Brains.”

Boulder, CO, Sat., April 6

Secular ACCES is hosting a fundraising dinner for SSaSS, BA, and Camp Quest. $15–$25.

Colorado Springs, CO—Multiple

Sat., April 6: The Citizens Project 2013 Citizens’ Religious Freedom Institute is this weekend. The one-day event focuses on the First Amendment protections in public schools. $25.
Thurs., April 11: Bart Ehrman is speaking on his book Misquoting Jesus at Colorado College this weekend. Free.

Denver, CO, Sun., April 7

Atheist comedian Jamie Kilstein and others are doing a free show this weekend at the Deer Pile.

Salt Lake City, UT, Sun., April 7

Deen Chatterjee, law and ethics professor, is speaking on “God, Fantasy, and Illusion” at the Atheists of Utah–Zion Sect’s monthly luncheon.



Kelowna, BC, Sat., April 6

CFI–Okanagan’s Café Inquiry this Saturday is on “Kierkegaard and the Meaning of Life,” with political science professor Barrie McCullough.

Regina, SK, Thurs., April 11

CFI–Regina is hosting a talk by psychology professor Chris Oriet on “Are Humans Reasonable?”



Thurs., April 11

Join the Humanist Society Singapore for a Humanist Café.



Seoul, Sat., April 6

Join the Rational Thinkers for a discussion about “Common Misconceptions,” followed by dinner.



Sun., April 7: This Sunday’s Conway Hall lecture is by Michael Lawrence about his film on questioning religion, Just Suppose. £3; free to members
Mon., April 8: Adam Knowles, chair of the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, is speaking on marriage equality to the East London Humanists.
Wed., April 10: Join the London Atheist Activist Group for a talk by Stephen Evans, National Secular Society, on religious threats to free speech. £2.
Thurs., April 11: The London School of Economics is hosting a free public lecture on “The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions,” with Rolf Dobelli.

Manchester, Thurs., April 11

Join the Greater Manchester Skeptics for “Interview with a Vampire Expert,” a talk with Deborah Hyde.


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.

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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  1. Can’t actually go to the NECSS events proper this year, but will hopefully be showing up to Drinking Skeptically on Saturday.

    1. I love that these conferences have more and more peripheral events like Drinking Skeptically/Skeptics in the Pub. It gives people a chance to participate and meet people if there schedule or budget makes the conference unfeasible.

  2. Yo dawg, I’m also paneling at Skeptech. Just so all my rabid followers will make sure to show up now :)

    1. I added you to the post as soon as I got your tweet! And it looks like they’ve updated the schedule on the site, too. That’s what I was looking at initially.

      I, for one, plan to get your autograph.

      Will you be there on Saturday at all, even though your panel’s Sunday?

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