Featured Posts

New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

Read more

New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

Read more

Boston Skeptics in the Theater & Pub | Bill Nye: Science... Come join the Boston Skeptics at the Brattle Theatre on December 3, where we’ll be attending a screening of a new film about Bill Nye, aptly named “Bill Nye: Science Guy.” We’ll go somewhere nearby...

Read more

October 2017 Organizational Meeting Updates Thanks again to everyone who attended our October 2017 organizational meeting. There were a few items we had drafted and captured more ideas around that we would love to open up for comment and feedback...

Read more

  • Prev
  • Next

SitP: Holiday Hooligans’ War on Christmas

Posted on : 13-12-2011 | By : John | In : Event, Skeptics in the Pub

Tags: , , , ,


In what is becoming a tradition, we’ll be fighting the good fight against the Christmas traditions by celebrating them to max. Actually, we’ll be doing a Yankee Swap and socializing.

We’re a week early this month (due to the dread “Ch” word), but at the usual time and place, Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub in Harvard Square, 7 to 9 PM on Monday, December 19, 2011. Please bring a small, geeky, nerdy, cheap (under $10) skeptical gift so you can participate in the Swap, but if you’d rather not, then just come and socialize and laugh as the participants try to strategize. (I got an awesome pirate skull mug last year.)

RSVP on Facebook, if that’s your thing.

The Path of Autism Causation Research

Posted on : 09-12-2011 | By : Todd W. | In : Blog Post, Member Post, skepticism


Book Club: Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Posted on : 03-12-2011 | By : John | In : Book Club, Event

Tags: , ,


Henrietta and David Lacks, circa 1945.Our next book is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It is the story of HeLa cells, the first immortal cell line which has been and continues to be used extensively in many fields, including cancer research, vaccine development and testing, AIDS, aging, genetics, and the effects of radiation on living cells. It is also the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African American woman raised as a share-cropper on a Virginia tobacco farm who died a horrible death from cancer at age 30 in 1951. It is also the story of her family who only found out about the source of the HeLa cell line many years later. (Informed consent was apparently never sought or obtained.)

The book promises many topics for discussion, including medical history, cutting edge cancer and vaccine research, medical ethics and the exploitation of poor people for medical research, history of the underclasses in America, the importance of science education, and the current health care situation. (Many of Henrietta’s descendants can’t afford to receive the treatments derived from her cells, should they develop those diseases!)

Skloot worked with the Lacks family, particularly with Henrietta’s daughter Deborah to obtain their side of the story and to help them in their personal search for answers.

The book has received excellent reviews, both on-line and from friends, and I am looking forward to reading it.

We will be meeting on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 3 PM, most likely in the same conference room in the Northwest Science Building at Harvard that we have used recently.

Video: Mary Lefkowitz – Academic Fictions and Fantasies – Nov. 28th, 2011

Posted on : 03-12-2011 | By : maggie | In : Skeptics in the Pub, video

Tags: ,



Boston Skeptics’ Book Club Today!

Posted on : 03-12-2011 | By : Mary | In : Blog Post


Come join us at 3pm in the Northwest Building at the Harvard Campus (52 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA). We’re booked in Conference Room 169 and if you ask the guards in the front of the building they will let you know where to go. Or you can just follow the directions here.

Come and listen to the various (and true) ways in which the Earth may meet its end as we discuss Phil Plait’s Death from the Skies. Fortunately, the End Isn’t Near! (Now, who’s going to correct all those people with the signs?) Bring a snack if you want and come join us this afternoon.


Skeptics in the Pub with Mary Lefkowitz: “Academic Fictions and Fantasies”

Posted on : 13-11-2011 | By : John | In : Event, Skeptics in the Pub

Tags: , , ,


Cover of "Not Out of Africa"Dr. Mary Lefkowitz is Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Emerita at Wellesley College. She is the author of Not Out of Africa, Black Athena Revisited*, and History Lesson. She has also written several books about ancient Greece, including Women in Greek Myth and Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn from Myths and many others.

She will be talking about the “Black Athena Controversy”, the notion that Greek culture was stolen or borrowed from Egypt, and her attempts to talk about evidence-based history in the era of post-modernism and political correctness.

If this subject is new to you, as it is to me, having skillfully avoided academia in the 1980s and 90s, I recommend doing some background reading, or at least a bit of googling, in advance. (One of the Amazon reviews of one of her books compared arguing with Afro-centrists to arguing with anti-vaxxers, a conflict I’m more familiar with.)

We’re back to our usual place and time this month, upstairs at Tommy Doyle’s on Monday, November 28 at 7 PM.

Feel free to sign up on our Facebook event page.

[*] which she edited with Guy Rogers, though for some reason the Amazon page doesn’t mention him.

Book Club: Phil Plait’s Death From the Skies

Posted on : 05-11-2011 | By : John | In : Book Club

Tags: ,


Cover of "Death From the Skies"The world didn’t end two weeks ago, but it could happen at any time!

Our December book (if we survive that long) will be Phil Plait’s Death From the Skies.

We will be meeting at our usual winter quarters, in Harvard’s Northwest Science Building, 52 Oxford St, Cambridge, at 3 PM Saturday, December 3. We’ll either be in the cafeteria on the 1st floor at the south end of the building, or in the conference room at the north end.

Mary posted directions last month.

Sign up on the Facebook event page if you are so inclined.

Meanwhile, for your further enterrortainment, here’s the short version of the book.

Book Club Today: Update on the Meeting Spot

Posted on : 05-11-2011 | By : Mary | In : Blog Post


Hey everyone, just an update on Book Club at 3pm: We’re meeting at the same place we met for the last meeting, Conference Room 169 in the Northwest Building at Harvard (52 Oxford St). Directions are here. Andy and I shall be there early to let people in the building.

We’re meeting to discuss Stiff by Mary Roach. Bring a snack if you want (you may want to avoid anything that resembles organs and blood, so save the kidney pie for next time). You shan’t be disappointed!

Blog Post: An Open Letter to the United States Congress

Posted on : 04-11-2011 | By : Todd W. | In : Blog Post, Member Post, news


(This is cross-posted from Harpocrates Speaks.)

Dear Members of Congress,

I recently learned that you passed, overwhelmingly, a resolution (PDF) reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. I am left to wonder, why?

Have you, unbeknown to the rest of the country, implemented legislation to help create jobs? Have you worked to improve health care? Cut down our debt? Eliminate waste?

How much time did you take away from important matters to not only vote on this, but to draft, read, refer to committee, approve and all the steps required to bring this to the full House?

Book Club Update: Date Change!

Posted on : 21-10-2011 | By : John | In : Blog Post


The next book club meeting, to discuss Mary Roach’s Stiff, will be on Saturday, November 5 at 3PM in one of the usual places. See the main post below.