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Saturday
May252019

Better Know a Dictator: Dean A. Haycock on his book "Tyrannical Minds"

When: Sunday, October 21. 2018 @ 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Where: The Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Though men like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi lived in different times and places, and came from vastly different backgrounds, they shared many “dark” personality traits, but only in rare cases did they show signs of mental disorders. “Getting inside the heads” of foreign leaders and terrorists is one way governments try to understand, predict, and influence their actions. Psychological profiles can help us understand the urges of tyrants to dominate, subjugate, torture and slaughter.

Dean A. Haycock's new book, "Tyrannical Minds: Psychological Profiling, Narcissism, and Dictatorship," reveals how recognizing their psychological traits can provide insight into the motivations and actions of dangerous leaders, potentially allowing to us predict their behavior and maybe even teaching us how to stop them. As strongmen and authoritarian leaders around the world increase in number, understanding the most extreme examples of tyrannical behavior should serve as a warning to anyone indifferent to the threats posed by political extremism.

Dr. Haycock will discuss the book with us, and he will have copies available for purchase!

Dean A. Haycock is a science and medical writer with a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Brown University, and a fellowship at The Rockefeller University. The results of his research, conducted in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry, have been published in a variety of peer-reviewed academic journals. He is the author of several books and many articles written for the general public.

Brooklyn Commons features a wide selection of coffee, food, desserts, beer, and wine.

http://thecommonsbrooklyn.org

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Saturday
Mar302019

"Behind the Curve" viewing and discussion. How does this happen?

When: Sunday, April 14. 2019 @ 4:00 to 6:30 PM
Where: The Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Everyone's heard about it. Some of you have even held your noses and watched it by now. If so, you know there's more in this documentary on the flat Earth movement than there at first seems to be.

https://www.behindthecurvefilm.com/

We're taking a break from lectures this month, so instead we'll be meeting at our regular location (please note change in date and time!) for entertainment and discussion.

What really causes flat Earth belief? Can anything be done about it? Are we partially responsible??? We'll address these questions, as well as the very future of the New York City Skeptics!

Brooklyn Commons features a wide selection of coffee, food, beer and wine.

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Monday
Feb252019

Carylanna Taylor Presents the Science & Fiction of ANYA

When: Sunday, March 17. 2019 @ 1:30 to 4:00 PM
Where: The Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217


 Carylanna Taylor, co-creator of the movie ANYA https://www.anyamovie.com/will discuss how a casual thought experiment with her writing/producing partner Jacob Okada developed into a feature film. ANYA is a love story and genetics mystery coming in 2019. The film began in 2014 with Jacob's seemingly random question: how do species diverge? ANYA's story about a couple and the evolutionary geneticist who discovered the unusual source of their infertility was born.

To come up with a concrete, plausible source of speciation, we reached out to the National Academy of Science's Science & Entertainment Exchange. They connected us with two amazing geneticists at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ting Wu and Dr. Ruth McCole lent their research on ultra-conserved elements of DNA to the film and became our science advisors. Our collaboration led to a movie that is far richer than our original script: ANYA tackles contemporary issues in genetics such as diversity in the scientific community, research ethics, DNA testing among vulnerable populations, and gene-editing.

Because of the research that went into making the film, ANYA has already scooped headlines and is likely to scoop more. In November 2018 news broke that a Chinese scientist appeared to have successfully created a "CRISPR baby." We filmed a similar plot point in summer 2017!

In addition of the overview of ANYA's development, the lecture will include the film trailer, a sneak peak scene highlighting the knowledge gap between researchers and participants, and pre-recorded comments for The New York Skeptics Society by ANYA's science advisor, Dr. Ruth McCole.

Dr. Carylanna Taylor is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She spent over twenty years teaching and researching in Latin America and the US with a focus on migration, environment, and development. Her research received recognition through National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and Fulbright grants. An applied cultural anthropologist by training (PhD University of South Florida), Carylanna is passionate about sharing her appreciation for human diversity and scientific understanding. In 2012, she partnered with Jacob Okada in First Encounter Productions to apply her anthropology through film. Their work together includes a feature documentary about a NASA mathematician/painter (PAINTING THE WAY TO THE MOON, 2015) and their first narrative feature, a love story and genetics mystery (ANYA, 2019).

We encourage all attendees to register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carylanna-taylor-presents-the-science-fiction-of-anya-tickets-56735003924
Thursday
Jan242019

Darwin Day Lecture: Rise and Fall of Scientific Authority

When: Sunday, February 17. 2019 @ 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Where: The Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217


Join Robert P. Crease, our Darwin Day lecturer and the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, to learn about his upcoming book the Workshop and the World and why the very features that make science work also provide a veneer of legitimacy to science denial -- and how to combat that.

This event is free and open to the public.

Advanced praise for the Workshop and the World:

“A timely, sophisticated analysis of the plague of science denial, and possible correctives, via an examination of the ideas of ten profound thinkers.” — Kirkus, starred review

“Science is under assault. Crease’s vital new book explains how science acquired its authority, how that authority has benefited us all—and how the seeds of attack came from within science itself. Pulling off such an ambitious enterprise requires the training of a philosopher, the precision of a scientist, and the storytelling chops of a great biographer. Crease has them all.” — Charles C. Mann, author of 1491 and The Wizard and the Prophet

“A masterpiece that explains sophisticated concepts without shortchanging them, and demonstrates 'why the dwindling authority of science' threatens human life. ” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
Friday
Jan042019

Real/Fake Science

When: Friday, January 18. 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, New York 11206

To kick off 2019 New York City Skeptics is bringing you another installment of Real/Fake Science! Start the year off testing your ability to spot the fakers.

At this one-of-a-kind interactive mystery science event participants are invited to surf the line between fact and fiction. Cunning presenters will confound you with their alternate facts and surprising truths. Join fellow skeptics and prepare to be regaled with tales of real and fake science, recounted!

Space is limited, purchase your tickets now! All sales are final. Seating is on a first come basis. https://squareup.com/store/nycskeptics

 

Thursday
Nov012018

Massimo Pigliucci Book Launch: Nonsense on Stilts, How to Tell Science from Bunk

When: Sunday, November 18. 2018 @ 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Where: The Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

IMPORTANT: Please note time change. Start time has changed from 2 PM to 3 PM.

Come celebrate the second edition of Massimo Pigliucci's book, Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk.

From the dust jacket:

In this era of fake news and alternative facts, there is more bunk than ever. But why do people believe in it? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? In this fully revised second edition, noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in an entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and—borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham—the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a “taxonomy of bunk” that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.

“A tour of solid science, shaky science, and pseudoscience, this crash course in critical thinking by biologist and philosopher Pigliucci includes handy rules for evaluating the confused public discourse on climate change, evolution, and even UFOs.” (Discover)

“Pigliucci’s attack of high-stilted nonsense not only offers a great service in a world that is littered with irrational beliefs and pseudoscience, it is also an incisive and philosophically informed analysis of the nature of science and the pursuit of reliable knowledge. With books like [this] on the shelf, it is clear that there is more to skepticism than intellectual garbage disposal.” (Metascience)

The book is available for purchase here and here and copies will be available at the event.

Brooklyn Commons features a wide selection of coffee, food, beer and wine.

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