What is SkeptiCamp?
SkeptiCamp is modelled after the widely successful BarCamp format, often referred to as the “unconference”. Informal, open and community-organized, SkeptiCamp emphasizes participation: programming is provided by the attendees themselves the day of the event, from first-time speaker and casual skeptics to professional scientists and experienced lecturers. Everyone is encouraged to come ready to give a presentation on a topic that drives their passion for skepticism.
Where BarCamp focuses on technology, SkeptiCamp’s theme converges on critical thinking, science and evidence-based conclusions. Attendees keen to present should come prepared with specifics to back up their talks, and audience members are encouraged to challenge and question conclusions that lack adequate evidence.
This year, the focus will be on providing an opportunity for skeptics improve their presentation skills by speaking to a friendly audience of fellow skeptics.
Why the Focus on Presentation Skills?
Sharing the desire to think critically is surprisingly challenging. Everyone thinks they are a critical thinker. Speaking on skeptical topics to the general public can have a positive impact, but requires practice. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking when evaluating claims. It is not defined as a particular or rigid set of beliefs, but as an approach to making decisions that are based on sound reasoning, logic and evidence. Skeptics can help make these tools more widespread.