Why Skepticon?: Skepticon is a Big Tent (Full of Dinos)

Why Skepticon?: Skepticon is a Big Tent (Full of Dinos)

Despite having occasional bouts of misanthropy and despairing of human abilities to reason and live together with justice and in peace, we would love to have everyone in the world come to Skepticon. (Imagine all the t-shirts we would have to order!)

But we see our continuing mission as serving a distinct set of communities, and even within these communities, not everyone will find Skepticon to their taste. That’s okay! We do try to have something for every sort of skeptic to like, and some things that will challenge the way you see the world.

So what sorts of people do we see as living in the Skepticon belt? Well, they need to have a certain tolerance for our love of dinos, at the very least. Beyond that, the Skepticoneers in our hearts would describe themselves in one or more of these ways:

  • Skeptical / Rational – advocating reason, embracing doubt, wanting to find and use the best available evidence, realizing that humans are fallible in so many ways, and generally ruining all the fun in everything. (just kidding)
  • Secular / Atheist – living life in this world, and not looking for truth or comfort in religion, dangerously angering our magic invisible dino overlords.
  • Science-loving – swooning over advances in physics, standing in awe of the implications of cosmology, geeking out over new biology, or materials science, or paleontology, or geology, or social sciences, or medicine, or chemistry, or …. well, anything that gets us closer to understanding reality, and to flying cars. We want the flying cars. Why are they not here yet?
  • Humanist – actively seeking the solutions to human problems in human efforts. Just not so much effort early on Sunday morning, please.
  • Social Justice-rific (that’s the adjective form, right?) – recognizing the pervasive and longstanding inequalities in society, and working to end them by the use of education, protest, and policy recommendations – to the unending horror of YouTube commenters and certain reddit inhabitants.

Beyond these philosophical identities, Skepticon aims to be an oasis, making welcome and serving the needs of marginalized groups as well as our more comfortable majoritarians. LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse, people of color, people with disabilities, and those financially disadvantaged: we want you all at Skepticon, and want you to feel welcome, represented, heard, and respected.

There is a lot of overlap in many of these identities, but there can still be friction as differing priorities come into conflict. To help everyone have a safe and enjoyable Skepticon, we’ve got these policies and you should definitely give them a look.

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