Stimulus/Response just got better

Posted: March 5th, 2014

Last year we tried something new at NECSS, a Friday evening show called “STIMULUS/RESPONSE” which combined education and entertainment — the show was a smashing success, so we had to bring it back for NECSS 2014. Best of all, tickets are open to the general public; conference registration is not required to attend!

Event Details

Date: Friday April 11
Time: 7:30PM
Cost: $20
Location: Katie Murphy Amphitheater, 227 W 27th St., NYC (located inside the Pomerantz Art & Design Center)

Register for NECSS:


Register for Stimulus/Response only:

Register for Stimulus/Response

ACT 1: Science Underscored

Have you ever wanted to hear foundational works of science and pseudoscience read while accompanied by an amazing backing band? Probably not, but trust us, it’s amazing! This year, in a first-ever NECSS experience, we’ll get noted skeptic, podcaster, and musician George Hrab, as well as author/musician Brian Francis Slattery, to read classic pieces of science and pseudoscience while a stellar band of NYC stalwarts improvises behind them. We can’t guarantee that you’ll learn anything new, but at the very least, you’ll love the music!


George Hrab, vocals
Brian Francis Slattery, vocals, fiddle, and banjo
Nate Landau, Bass
Adam Matlock, Accordion/Clarinet
John Pinamonti, Guitar
Charlie Shaw, Drums
Brian Wecht, Keyboards

ACT 2: A Day In The Life of Steve Novella

Last year, we had a group of some of NYC’s best improv comedians interview Jay Novella, and then use stories from his life as the basis of an improvised set. This year, we have the same group coming back to take on Steve Novella, so get ready to see one of the world’s most prominent skeptics like you’ve never seen him before!


Cathleen Carr
Bob Kulhan
Sarah Nowak
Natasha Rothwell
Micah Sherman

This fully improvised, uniquely NECSS event is an opportunity to engage with some of your favorite skeptical personalities in a way you just won’t find anywhere else. So please join us on Friday April 11 at 7:30 PM for Stimulus/Reponse: A Nexus of Science and Improvisation!

NECSS 2014 Registration is Open!

Posted: January 6th, 2014

NECSS 2014

NECSS is the Northeast’s largest conference dedicated to critical thinking and science education. Join us for three days of presentations, panels, entertainment, live podcasts, workshops, and social events. This year’s conference will be better than ever, and thanks to the success of our Student Sponsorship Program, we are again lowering student registration — a limited number of student spots are available starting at $25 for single-day and $45 for two-day registration! General admission registration is available for 2-day and single conference attendance, but act quickly! Not only does NECSS have a habit of selling out, but registration prices will increase after March 20, so register today!

DATE: April 11-13, 2014
LOCATION: FIT Manhattan Campus, New York City

Register Now

Keynote Speaker

Lawrence Krauss LAWRENCE KRAUSS is a theoretical physicist and Director of the Origins Project at the Arizona State University. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing, and is the subject of a new full-length feature film, The Unbelievers, which follows Krauss and Richard Dawkins around the world.

Main Conference Speakers

Cady Coleman CADY COLEMAN is a NASA astronaut and a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and the International Space Station. She was the lead mission specialist in charge of deploying the Chandra X-ray Observatory and she departed the International Space Station after logging 159 days in space.
Paul Offit PAUL OFFIT is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine and the author of Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine.
Elise Andrew ELISE ANDREW is the founder and maintainer of the Facebook page “I F****** Love Science,” which as of January 2014, has 9.4 million likes. She is a U.K. blogger, social media specialist, science communicator, and webmaster.
Steve Novella STEVE NOVELLA is a senior fellow at the James Randi Educational Foundation and academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, the host and producer of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and the author of the NeuroLogicaBlog.
Alison Gopnik ALISON GOPNIK is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. She is one of the foremost scientists studying children’s learning and development and was the first to argue that children’s minds could help us understand deep philosophical questions.
Sally Satel SALLY SATEL is a psychiatrist and lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine. She examines mental health policy as well as political trends in medicine. Among her many publication is her most recent book, Brainwashed – The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, with Scott Lilienfeld.
Massimo Pigliucci MASSIMO PIGLIUCCI is the chair of the Department of Philosophy at the City University of New York. He is also the editor in chief for the journal Philosophy & Theory in Biology. His most recent book is Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life.
Jamy Ian Swiss JAMY IAN SWISS has appeared internationally for presenters ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of The Art of Magic, and two collections of essays, the most recent is Devious Standards. His U.S. television appearances include 48 Hours, Nova, The Today Show, and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Deborah Berebichez DEBORAH BEREBICHEZ is a physicist, STEM advocate and financial engineer. She co-hosts Outrageous Acts of Science on Discovery Channel where she uses her physics background to explain the science behind extraordinary engineering feats.
Heather Berlin HEATHER BERLIN is a cognitive neuroscientist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She studies how to improve treatment and prevention of impulsive and compulsive psychiatric disorders, as well as the neural basis of consciousness and dynamic unconscious processes.
Julia Galef JULIA GALEF is a San Francisco-based writer and public speaker specializing in science, rationality, and design. She is currently President of the Center for Applied Rationality. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors of the New York City Skeptics and co-hosts their official podcast, Rationally Speaking.

Also joining us will be the full lineup of THE SKEPTICS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE and RATIONALLY SPEAKING podcasts, science-communicator JEANNE GARBARINO, cartoonist MAKI NARO, GenSpace founder OLIVER MEDVEDIK, educator and activist ANGIE MCALLISTER, physicist BRIAN WECHT, musician GEORGE HRAB, mezzo-soprano HAI-TING CHINN, composer MATTHEW SCHICKELE, educator MARC DAVID BARNHILL and the SKEPTICAL CONNECTIONS podcast. Plus, more speakers to be announced shortly (full lineup here)!


NECSS 2014 will once again be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. This year’s main conference proceedings will take place in the John E. Reeves Great Hall. This will be the first year that NECSS will be held in a true “conference hall” which will offer more opportunities to socialize with speakers, vendors, and your fellow attendees. We will again offer complimentary wireless internet access for all conference attendees.


The NECSS Workshops have quickly grown into one of our most popular offerings. Last year’s workshops sold out quickly, so this year we’ve decided to offer two workshop tracks: “SKEPTICAL ACTIVISM” and “SCIENCE COMMUNICATION.” The workshops will take place Friday, April 11 and we have a fantastic lineup of workshop leaders, including Steve Novella, Marc David Barnhill, Hai-Ting Chinn, George Hrab, Oliver Medvedik, and more to be announced shortly. Each workshop is strictly limited to 35 registrants, so we encourage everyone to register early as these WILL sell out!


Last year we tried something new at NECSS, a Friday evening show called “STIMULUS/RESPONSE” which combined education and entertainment — the show was a smashing success, so we had to bring it back for NECSS 2014. Noted physicist Brian Wecht and a very special panel will examine the “improvisational” nature of the world around us. Then members of the Upright Citizens Brigade and Peoples Improv Theater will once again be on hand to provide laughs based upon the panel discussion – extemporaneous and wholly improvised.

NECSS Weekend

We will again host a number of “extra” events throughout the weekend including our popular “Drinking Skeptically” socializer, an intimate, live taping of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, and more events to be announced! 

Sponsor a Student

Last, but certainly not least, we encourage everyone to consider donating to the NECSS Student Sponsorship Program. Thanks to the SSP this year we are able to offer a limited number of student registrations at a significantly discounted rate. But we want to make even more student spaces available, and you can help by donating to the Student Sponsorship Program. Best of all, your donation is fully tax deductible!

Be sure to follow NECSS on Twitter, become a fan on our Facebook page, or subscribe to the NECSS news feed for the latest updates. And, of course, we hope you can join us at NECSS 2014!

Register Now

P.S.  NECSS has a habit of selling out. So don’t wait – register today!

Save the Date for NECSS 2014

Posted: November 2nd, 2013

Save the date! Next year’s Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism will take place Friday April 11 through Sunday April 13 in New York City!

NECSS 2014 will feature an incredible lineup of presenters, panels, live podcasts, workshops, and entertainment. We’ve also listened to your feedback and are incorporating more opportunities for conference-goers to socialize with their fellow attendees. We think you’ll like what we have in store!

More information will be announced shortly, but to stay on top of all the latest information be sure to like the NECSS Facebook page and follow conference updates on Twitter.

NECSS is now on YouTube!

Posted: April 29th, 2013

The NECSS YouTube Channel is now live (! Over the coming weeks video from NECSS 2013 (as well as prior conferences) will be uploaded for everyone to enjoy. We’ve already posted this year’s keynote address by noted physicist Leonard Mlodinow and a special interview with science-writer Simon Singh focusing on his recent efforts to reform British libel law. You can also subscribe to the channel and receive updates when new videos become available.

Win an All Access NECSS Pass!

Posted: March 25th, 2013
NECSS 2013 All Access

Announcing the ALL ACCESS NECSS Pass

The private SGU show Saturday night is one of our most popular events, having sold out just days after conference registration opened. But we’ve had some cancellations for the show, and so we decided to do something special with the available seats: we’re combining them with registration to the main conference, the NECSS workshops, and the fundraising reception (plus some other goodies!) as part of a special ALL ACCESS NECSS package.

Two Ways to Win

There are TWO ways to win an ALL ACCESS pass: 2 passes will be auctioned off to the highest bidders and 2 passes will be raffled off to two randomly-drawn NECSS registrants.

The ALL ACCESS package includes registration for every NECSS event (including the now sold-out workshops!):
Main conference, Saturday and Sunday April 6 & 7
Friday Workshop Multipass, April 5
Friday opening show, Stimulus/Response, April 5 @ 8:00PM
Saturday Fundraising reception with NECSS speakers, April 6 @ 6:30PM
Saturday Skeptics Guide to the Universe private taping, April 6 @ 9:00PM

But there’s more! In addition to the above the winning bidders and raffle winners will ALSO receive the following:
A private Friday lunch with George Hrab, Steve Novella, and Jay Novella (and maybe a surprise or two)!
A private Saturday lunch with the entire SGU gang as they prep their live show!

Raffle and Registration Deadline is April 2

The auction starts at $300 for each pass (that’s LESS than the full-price of registering for each of the above events separately) and will end Tuesday April 2 at 12:00PM EST. We have set up two auctions on eBay for the passes, here and here.

Bid 1 Bid 2

Raffle winners will be chosen randomly from existing NECSS registrants as of 12:00PM EST on Tuesday April 2. The ONLY way to get an ALL ACCESS pass is to place a bid or to register for NECSS by noon on April 2. So if you haven’t yet registered for NECSS there is no better time than now!

Register Now

Winning bids are final and non-refundable.
ALL ACCESS passes are non-transferable. However, raffle passes may be declined and we will then select another random winner.
Winners who have already registered for the conference will receive all ALL ACCESS benefits, but no refunds will be issued for existing registrations.
We reserve the right to substitute ALL ACCESS package items if necessary.
Raffle winners will be chosen from all single day, 2-day, and student conference registrants as of 12:00PM EST on Tuesday April 2.