Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics – ending meetups

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Meetup_Logo_2015The Ann Arbor Science and Skeptics is ending its formal meetups.  The Meetup.com account will be closed, but not immediately cancelled.  If existing members are interested in taking over the account, they should have an opportunity to do so within a week or two after the meetup is closed.  An email from the Meetup.com site will be sent out with the specific details, such as costs, to those members who are subscribed to updates.

This annarborscienceskeptic.com website will remain active for the purpose of providing science and critical-thinking news and information for its subscribers.

For similar-related groups in the area, please consider checking out the Michigan Skeptics Association, Nerd Nite Ann Arbor, Center For Inquiry’s Skeptics in the Pub (Ypsilanti), University of Michigan’s Science Cafés, and University of Michigan’s Saturday Morning Physics.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send an email.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed and supported our science club for the past several years, as well as to all the guests and speakers who have helped lead some great discussions about their field of study and their research.

Download Now – “Observing the Universe: Telescopes and Dark Matter Skepticism

Mario-Mateo-HeadshotThis is the audio recording of the 04/19 meet-up with Dr. Mario Matteo, professor of Astronomy at the University of Michigan.  In this meet-up, Dr. Matteo discusses the importance of instrumentation in cosmology and astronomy, including his own development of several powerful telescopes.  And Dr. Matteo also explains why some of his work challenges current models of dark matter as an explanatory reason of the distribution of mass in nearby galaxies.

Some of the highlights of the conversation:

(12:50) What is meant by measuring velocities when using a telescope, (20:00) The skepticism of dark matter as an explanation for the distribution of mass in galaxies, (36:50) The excitement over the Gaia Satellite Mission, (45:00) What is a dwarf galaxy, (49:10) How gravitation lensing is used as data, and (1:08:50) Why Dr. Matteo doesn’t speculate on dark energy.

Chicago Skepticamp 2013

Skepticamp ChicagoThe Chicago Skeptics will be hosting its third Skepticamp on March 2, 2013.  Chicago Skepticamp 2013 will be at the Irish American Heritage Center, located at 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago, IL  60630.  Doors will open at 10:30 am. The event will run from 11 am to 6 pm.

Skepticamps are informal, lively gatherings promoting science and critical thinking.  Participants are encouraged to discuss and question both traditional skeptical topics and new subjects.  Attendance is free, though all attendees are encouraged to help by either speaking, helping set up/clean up, or making a donation.  No one, however, will be turned away because they don’t have a specific task.

Last year’s event attracted skeptics from around the Midwest.  A range of topics were presented from psychology to conspiracy theories to youth outreach.

Over 100 people are expected to attend Chicago Skepticamp 2013.  Everyone who will be attending Chicago Skepticamp 2013 should register at http://chicagoskepticamp2013.eventbrite.com/#.  More information will be available at http://chicagoskeptics.net/skepticamp/.

Founded in 2006, Chicago Skeptics seeks to promote science and critical-thinking skills. Chicago Skeptics sponsors speakers and organizes discussion groups.  They also organize social events and concerts.  Past events include speeches by Hemant Mehta, Brian Dunning, and Rebecca Watson.  George Hrab has performed three concerts for Chicago Skeptics.

More information about Chicago Skeptics can be found at http://chicagoskeptics.net/.  Chicago Skeptics are also on Twitter @chicagoskeptics.

Additional information about Skepticamps around the world can be found at http://skepticamp.org.

Event Contact:
William Brinkman
wbrinkman2007@me.com

Download Now – Dr. David Gorski: Science-Based Medicine

This is an audio recording of the 01/21 meet-up. This conversation is about alternative medicine and its lack of efficacy.

We also talk about the ethics of placebo treatments, treating patients with phantom limb condition, if popular herbal treatments that have some efficacy should be co-opted into science-based medicine, and a tangential conversation about what patients should ask their surgeon before an operation.

Interview: J.P. Fanton “The Healthy Fellow”

In preparation for our meet-up on Saturday, January 21st, that will cover alternative and complementary medicine (CAM), I’m re-posting an interview I had with J.P. Fanton, blogger and consultant over at HealthyFellow.com that originally appeared on Michigan Skeptics website.

Skeptics may find J.P.’s website and outreach to be an interesting, nuanced position when it comes to alternative health and holistic treatments.  And the rare exchanges we have had in the comments section of his website where I’ve raised skepticism to his blog posts, have been respectful and cordial.  I recommend subscribing to his website and/or following him on Twitter.

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