Here concludes the “Top 10 SkeptiCamp FAILS”. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 from earlier this week.
#5 FAIL – “we can’t have person X speaking!”
An open invitation to give talks often comes as a shock to traditionalists in this domain. Superficially at least, it’s for good reason.
Allowing anyone to give a talk risks the spread of misinformation whether intentional or inadvertent on the part of the speaker. Who knows what kind of individual will sign up to speak, couching the topic of their talk in skeptic or sciencey lingo to avail themselves a golden opportunity to grind their axe before a captive audience?
Admittedly such an open policy flies in the face of a strategy of careful messaging that has marked the traditional events of skepticism for decades.
But there’s a method to this madness.
SkeptiCamps are not messaging events. Nor are they outreach events, though anyone with a desire to share and learn in an open environment is welcome to participate.
Nor is there anything wrong with outreach events. The upcoming Skeptrack at Dragon*Con in Atlanta provides a valuable service of attracting new skeptics from outside the community. But not every event needs to serve this goal.