PA Skeptics: Now is the time

Now is the time…to think about establishing a network of PA folks to discuss the possible formation of a state skeptical/science & reason group. Would you like to be a part of organizing this group?

I’m looking statewide for a number of reasons:

  • There is not a large “skeptical” presence in any one part of the state (especially here in the southcentral area).
  • I hope an organization will have a say in statewide issues and policy (like education and consumer advocacy, etc.)
  • I want to tap into the excellent resources (people) all across the Commonwealth.
  • It would be great to cooperate with existing groups statewide.

So, this would be an inclusive coalition, a network that highlights all the efforts statewide. I don’t want to usurp local groups that exist already.

My initial thoughts (subject to manipulation) are that our group would have these types of objectives:

  • Advance the use of skepticism as a process and valid testing to address claims of how the world works
  • Organize lectures, workshops and educational events for the public
  • Serve as a media contact in response to paranormal and pseudoscience news and activities
  • Deliver a rational opinion to media outlets and our community & state leaders in response to dubious claims, pseudoscience or anti-science issues.
  • Scientifically investigate paranormal claims
  • Reach out to schools, civic organizations and youth groups to advance science-based processes and share the wonder of the natural world without superstition.

I have a few clarifications, however, that you should consider before you volunteer your contact info. This is not an “atheist” group. The scope will not include religious or civil rights issues except if they encroach into a scientific realm (i.e., evolution, miracle claims, race/gender equality). We already have established nonbelief/freethought groups across the state – that will not be the focus of this group.

An email group will allow us to communicate and discuss ideas. By joining the email group, you are not obligated to undertake any further responsibility and can drop off at any time. Non-PA residents are welcome to join in the discussion. If you are interested in helping shape such a network, please send an email to paskeptic@gmail.com with your name and location and I will add you to the PA Skeptics Google Group I’ve set up. Or, you can sign up yourself with an account (does not have to be a google email address) by going here and requesting membership. You can also wait and join any group officially if it eventually forms. I will spread that news far and wide if it happens. This is just the preliminary stages. I’d appreciate your help.

Sharon Hill

>paskeptic@gmail.com

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