If you happen to find yourself in The Old World this autumn, then you may want to attend one or both of these conferences…
1) TAM London 2010 will be October 16 – 17 in (duh) London. The speakers list is every bit as impressive as last year’s! The highlight, no doubt, will be the premier of Tim Minchin’s animated short film "Storm", which is destined to become a skeptical classic — watch the trailer here.
Before you ask, I won’t be at TAM London this year; the point is to make it Eurocentric, so American speakers are kept to a minimum. But of course, TAM 8 will be in Las Vegas this year from July 8 – 11. I’ll very much be there!
2) The 14th annual European Skeptics Conference will be from September 17 – 19 in Budapest, Hungary. That’s run by the European Council of Skeptical Organisations. I’ve heard Budapest is lovely, and someday I hope to get there.
If you’ve never been to a critical thinking conference, then you really should attend. And if you want to go to TAM, you’d better be ready to buy tickets when they become available; last year they sold out in less than an hour. There was a reason for that: it was awesome.
Don’t even bother lying. You want one too.
Tip o’ the sonic screwdrivers to Enigmanaut and Steve Plegge.
I’m very pleased to hear that TAM London DVDs are now available for pre-order!
They have 12 hours of skeptical and scientific wonderfulness on them, including performances by James Randi, Richard Wiseman, Brian Cox, Ariane Sherine, Simon Singh, Jon Ronson (who wrote Men Who Stare At Goats), as well as exclusive interviews, backstage footage, and lots more.
To give you an idea of what it’s all about, event organizer Tracy King (whom I thank very much for putting this together) has posted a preview on YouTube:
TAM London was last month, but has created a lasting impression: Skepchick Rebecca Watson and Neil Denny (from Little Atoms) interviewed a bunch of people at TAML, including speakers and audience members. It’s a fun listen.
Not only that, but there have been lots of followup posts and articles about it:
Skepchick’s Jon Ronson interview (NSFW language in the interview and on the page)
The blog called Using Me!
So, will there be a TAM London next year? We can’t say just yet, but we’re looking into it. Stay tuned!
For U.S. folks who get BBC America, the fantastic comedian, skeptic, and musician Tim Minchin will be on the Friday Night with Jonathan Ross show tonight!
Tim is brilliant; his performance at TAM London brought the house down. Jonathan Ross is something of a skeptic himself; he and his family attended TAML as well, and I found them to be funny, intelligent, and totally charming.
I can’t wait to see Tim on the show!
I know it’s on YouTube already, but I’d rather wait and see the whole show [Edited to add: the video has been removed]. We’ve been watching it here at Chez BA and it’s really funny.
Last week I posted a video interview I did with George Hrab at TAM London, but I was able to snag a couple more with other interesting and cool people.
Ariane Sherine qualifies for both. She is a warm, funny, self-effacing woman, yet organized the famous atheist bus campaign in England, as well as edited the book An Atheist’s Guide to Christmas (to which I contributed an essay on the Star of Bethlehem). I talked with her as things were getting cleaned up after the meeting, so there’s some background noise, but I think you can make out what she’s saying in this brief video interview.
I like her point a lot; atheists tend to be reviled in the U.S., but are just as misunderstood as Christians and Jews and Muslims are to each other, and vice-versa and every which way you want to permute those combinations.
I still have one more TAM London interview to post, and that’ll go up Wednesday morning. Stay tuned!