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Skeptical Activism from the Bottom Up

For someone who may well be the only full-time skeptical investigator in the United Kingdom, my exact route into skepticism is somewhat hard to recall. Lacking any previously unshakable belief in something entirely unsubstantiative, there was no Damascene moment of dramatic volte-face for me. Instead, my discovery of the skeptical movement came piecemeal, in what is doubtlessly a story familiar to many people: watching a TV show led to finding a podcast, which opened up a world of skeptical media, which prompted me to search for local skeptics and, soon, to set up a skeptics society.

When I cofounded the Merseyside Skeptics Society in early 2009, Skeptics in the Pub groups had only recently begun to spread beyond the well-established London event, with groups in Oxford and Leicester before our own in Liverpool. If numbers tell a story of success, the growth in the Skeptics in the Pub movement is encouraging: seven years on, there are over forty active local groups. In effect, there’s barely a town in the country that doesn’t have a nearby skeptical presence.

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40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PART II ODYSSEYS SCIENTIFIC SKEPTICISM NUCLEAR POWER and the Psychology of Evaluating Risk MICHAEL MANN and the Climate Wars Superstition Masquerading as Science