Subscribe to E-Mail Updates

Latest tweets

Entries in Public Lectures (32)


Caroline Fiennes

CHECKING UP ON CHARITIES: How do we know the claims charities make are true?

When: Tuesday May 28 @ 7PM

Where: Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St., 12th Floor, Room: Shetler 1 (map)

Free and open to the public!

You're a generous soul: so you sometimes give money and time to charities. But what do they do with it? Charities make a whole pile of claims about what they achieve, but how would we know whether those claims are really true?

Inspired by the evidence-revolution in medicine, Caroline Fiennes is leading the charge for evidence-based charities and philanthropy. She unashamedly brings a scientific approach to understanding what charities are doing, what they should be doing, and establishing whether they're any good at it.

Ben Goldacre on Caroline's recent book: "You’ve been waiting for this: evidence-based charitable giving." Simon Singh: "Caroline Fiennes explains how to balance heart and mind for people serious about philanthropy. She emphasizes with clarity the importance of evidence."

Copies of Caroline's book It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It - "the Freakonomics of the charity world" - will be available at a sneaky discount.


Mark Alpert


When: Wednesday March 6 @ 7PM

Where: Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St., 12th Floor, Room: Shetler 1 (map)

Free and open to the public!

Jim Pierce hasn't heard from his daughter in years, ever since she rejected his military past and started working as a hacker. But when a Chinese assassin shows up at Jim's lab looking for her, he knows that she's cracked some serious military secrets. Now, her life is on the line if he doesn't find her first.

The Chinese military has developed a new anti-terrorism program that uses the most sophisticated artificial intelligence in existence, and they're desperate to keep it secret. They're also desperate to keep it under control, as the AI begins to revolt against their commands. As Jim searches for his daughter, he realizes that he's up against something that isn't just a threat to her life, but to human life everywhere.

Join us first for a special lecture by science-writer-turned-author Mark Alpert as he discusses the incredible sceintific and technological advances -- including those advocated by Ray Kurzweil and the so-called "Singularitarians" -- that inspired his latest book, and where those advances might one day lead humanity.


Mark Alpert is the author of Final Theory, The Omega Theory, and Extinction. A former editor at Scientific American, he specializes in explaining scientific ideas to readers, simplifying esoteric concepts such as extra dimensions, parallel universes, and brain-machine interfaces. In his novels, he weaves cutting-edge science into high-energy thrillers that incorporate real theories and technologies.


Deborah Hyde

The Natural History of the European Werewolf

WHEN: Thur. November 15, 2012 @ 7pm

WHERE: Please note venue change - Shetler Studios, 244 W. 54th St (between Broadway and Eighth Ave.), 12th Floor, Room: Shetler 1

Free and open to the public!

Join us for a post-Halloween public lecture as Deborah Hyde takes an in depth look at the witch trials of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe to discover a mixed bag of serial killers, political murders, fervent religionists and innocent victims. She will also examine the werewolf, so often representing the darkness of the human soul. Through film, history, fairy tales and analysis we will discover who is truly worse - man or beast?

Deborah Hyde writes, broadcasts and speaks about belief in the supernatural. She is editor of The Skeptic magazine in the UK and former co-convenor of Westminster Skeptics. Her website is


Due to unforeseen circumstances, this lecture will take place at:

Shetler Studios
244 W. 54th St (between Broadway and Eighth Ave.)
12th Floor, Room: Shetler 1

Same time, 7PM. See you there!


Matt Strassler

The Einstein Obsession:

Science, Myth and Public Perception

WHEN: June 16th, 2pm

WHERE: Jefferson Market Library, 425 6th Ave. West Village, NYC

Free and open to the public!

Who hasn't heard of Einstein? We all know Einstein failed eighth grade math. (Although he didn't.)  We know he showed energy is the same thing as mass (or was it "matter"?), that he's the father of the atomic bomb, that he was an old man with frizzy hair, and that he was a patent clerk whose theory was that everything is relative and that nothing can move faster than light.  This messy assortment of half-truths and misconceptions permeates our culture and affects public perceptions of science, at many different levels.  In this talk we'll consider how our culture's obsession with Einstein impacts efforts to convey science to the public.

Matt Strassler has been a professor of theoretical particle physics and string theory at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, and Rutgers University. He is a former Sloan Foundation fellow and is an elected member of the American Physical Society. In addition to carrying out research related to the Large Hadron Collider (the big new accelerator in Europe that is looking for the Higgs particle), he runs a website, Of Particular Significance, whose purpose is to convey information about science, especially particle physics, to the public.



Donald R. Prothero

New Topic: The Holocaust-Deniers' Playbook: Science Denialism and the Threat to our Future

WHEN: December 10th, 2pm

WHERE: Jefferson Market Library, 425 6th Ave. West Village, NYC

Free and open to the public! NYC Skeptics is pleased to be able to reschedule this event after it was originally cancelled due to Hurrican Irene!

The denial of scientific realities (from global warming deniers and creationists to anti-vaxxers and AIDS deniers) is growing in our society. Not only is our acceptance of scientific "inconvenient truths" under attack, but even scientists themselves have been threatened. In this talk, I will outline the common tactics and thinking of science deniers, and discuss the implications of their assault on science for our future.

Donald R. Prothero is Professor of Geology at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He earned M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1982, and a B.A. in geology and biology (highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of California, Riverside. He is currently the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 25 books and over 200 scientific papers, including five leading geology textbooks and three trade books as well as edited symposium volumes and other technical works. He is on the editorial board of Skeptic magazine, and in the past has served as an associate or technical editor for Geology, Paleobiology and Journal of Paleontology. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, and the Linnaean Society of London, and has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Science Foundation. He has served as the Vice President of the Pacific Section of SEPM (Society of Sedimentary Geology), and five years as the Program Chair for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. In 1991, he received the Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society for the outstanding paleontologist under the age of 40. He has also been featured on several television documentaries, including episodes of Paleoworld (BBC), Prehistoric Monsters Revealed (History Channel), Entelodon and Hyaenodon (National Geographic Channel) and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts (BBC).