Workshops

In addition to the main conference programming Friday, Saturday and Sunday NECSS will offer educational (and fun!) workshops on Thursday July 12. Two concurrent tracks will be offered, comprised of four workshops each. Space is strictly limited and these workshops WILL sell out!

Main conference registration is required to register for workshops.

Details

  • Date: Thursday July 12
  • Time: 10:00AM – 05:00PM (lunch from 12:45PM – 2:15PM on your own)
  • Registration: $45 individually or $150 for an all-track workshop multipass
  • Location: To be announced

Workshop Details

Track A

  • Workshop 1
    • Time: 10:00AM – 11:15AM
    • Presenter: Kyle Marian
    • Title: How to Reach Wider Audiences Using Tools from Stand-Up Comedy
    • Description: Through a series of group exercises, we’ll explore comedy’s power to let your audience’s guard down and build connections whether you’re in a conversation or taking a stage solo. We’ll touch on why debates and preaching rarely change minds and explore skills from a comedian’s toolkit to get wider audiences to hear what you’re saying in a different light. All you need for this workshop is a notebook and pen, your sense of humor, and an example of a comedian you find hilarious.
  • Workshop 2
    • Time: 11:30AM – 12:45PM
    • Presenter: Russ Dobler
    • Title: Beyond the Echo Chamber: Skeptical Outreach Through Pop Culture
    • Description: In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to not only use depictions of science and skepticism in movies, TV and comics to start important conversations, but also how to lead by example when applying skepticism to pop culture.
  • Workshop 3
    • Time: 2:15PM – 3:30PM
    • Presenters: Jay Novella, Brian Wecht, Steve Novella, George Hrab
    • Title: Whaddaya Got?
    • Description: Do you have an interesting/cool/crazy idea that’s sure to be the next Mythbusters, Adam Ruins Everything, or Cosmos? Or a can’t miss plan to turn the world on to critical thinking? Is everyone in skepticism doing something wrong, and only you know how to fix it? In this fun, interactive workshop modeled on “Shark Tank,” you get to pitch your idea to a crack team of skeptics including Jay & Steve Novella from The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and they’ll provide feedback. Friendly reminder: Your idea may be (gently) criticized!
  • Workshop 4
    • Time: 3:45PM – 5:00PM
    • Presenters: Jay Novella, Brian Wecht, Cortney Novella, Steven Novella
    • Title: Epic Movie Characters
    • Description: What makes our favorite movie characters so compelling? This workshop will be a loose, free-flowing discussion of some of our favorite characters, and why we think they’re interesting, cool, and watchable. Audience participation highly encouraged!

Track B

  • Workshop 1
    • Time: 10:00AM – 11:15AM
    • Presenter: Brian Wecht
    • Title: Ask a Physicist!
    • Description: Have questions about string theory? Quarks? Black holes? Brian Wecht returns with this popular workshop for an open-ended discussion of all things “physical.” Brian will take questions from attendees as well as discuss the latest news from the world of physics.
  • Workshop 2
    • Time: 11:30AM – 12:45PM
    • Presenter: Steve Novella
    • Title: How to Read Scientific Articles and Science Reporting
    • Description: Learn how to interpret a scientific study, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and put it into a proper context, and to deconstruct how journalists report science.
  • Workshop 3
    • Time: 2:15PM – 3:30PM
    • Presenter: Latasha Wright
    • Title: Monitoring Behavior using Model Organisms
    • Description: Scientists, like children, are always asking questions. To answer these questions we try to design the right experiment. While no experiment is perfect, the joy of doing science comes when hypothesis and experiment collide. If you are lucky, the results of your experiment will lead to even more questions. In this workshop, we will use model organisms to play with asking questions and designing the right experiments to discover the answers.
  • Workshop 4
    • Time: 3:45PM – 5:00PM
    • Presenter: Hai-Ting Chinn & Matthew Schickele
    • Title: Support Group for Skeptics in the Arts
    • Description: Are you involved in the arts and surrounded by a lack of critical thinking, a surfeit of superstition, or a preponderance of woo? In this fun “support group” led by musicians Hai-Ting Chinn and Matthew Schickele, people from different artistic worlds (music, theater, visual arts, and more) will have a chance to get together and swap stories of their experiences of being skeptically-minded in a world with no obvious right answers. Non-pros and the simply curious welcome!