Tuesday 27 July 2010

Skeptics on the Fringe

A post by Patrick Redmond

In case you were unaware we are less than two weeks away from one of the most ambitious skeptical projects you will probably ever come across. Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe goes live from Saturday August 7th all the way to August 28th. Be assured that this is an incredibly impressive undertaking with three entertaining and educational strands and the promise of even more.

Here’s my promotional bit:

The Fringe of Reason is 6.00pm every evening for an hour. A flick through the programme reveals the great and the good of the skeptical sphere intermingled with less well known but highly interesting speakers in a series of lectures and panel discussions. I’m sure that people will turn up for the likes of Simon Singh and Richard Wiseman but some of the less mainstream talks look fascinating. Skeptical Shakespeare, Dichotomania, Spirit Photography and Challenging Joe Power are just examples of some of the fare on offer along with a live recording of the Righteous Indignation Podcast.

Devil’s Advocate runs from 1.15pm every day of the fringe and is presented by two of the Edinburgh Skeptics organisers Keir Liddle and Ash Pryce. Skeptics and comedians will rub shoulders in this interactive panel to address questions from skepticism and to participate in some “bizarre” challenges. The mind boggles.

Ghosts Busted takes place on five different evenings. Anyone who has ever visited Edinburgh will have bumped into one of the popular ghost tours that stalk the streets of the old town. Well here’s your chance for a skeptical take on those tales of supernatural shenanigans.

Here’s my thoughts:

As someone that helps out in organising Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub I know how much work can go into just setting up twelve talks in a year with a few associated events. Alex Buqe, Ash Pryce and Keir Liddle are running the usual Skeptics in the Pub meetings, the Sunday Sermon series of talks and have set this up through sheer persistence and enthusiasm. I am totally in awe of their achievement.

Further, this is part of the free fringe; there is no compulsory charge, just the request of a donation to cover the expenses that such an undertaking incurs. If you are going to the Festival, and there are plenty of other great shows up there to entice you too, the Skeptics on the Fringe is a must attend event. Please spread the word, turn up and support this incredible effort.

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