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May 7, 2011

Melbourne Eastern Hills Skeptics in the Pub – Events and Venue

At Melbourne Eastern Hills Skeptics in the Pub, we’ve had some big wins regarding events, securing MEHSitP LogoKylie Sturgess from PodBlack.com and the Token Skeptic podcast, and Warren Bonett from EmiggenBooks for our first event, which we’re running as a collaboration with Melbourne Skeptics in Richmond. This was a bit of a compromise as far as location goes, but a big win in terms of finding a venue who are prepared to host our events at no cost.

I recognise that some members might be disappointed that we’ve settled on a venue for talks which is closer to town, but it was necessary due to the low numbers of RSVPs for planned events. Without a clear idea of numbers, venues who don’t charge won’t talk to us. I’m reluctant to fork out up to $300 for a room when I’m not sure of being able to recoup my costs, so it seemed joining up with Melbourne Skeptics made more sense.

I’ve also had tentative agreement from Leslie Cannold to give us a talk, probably in July. This one will once again be held in conjunction with Melbourne Skeptics, as between our groups we have sufficient numbers to entice speakers like Leslie to present to us. Stay tuned as we firm up plans on this!

Speaking of Melbourne Skeptics, Chris Higgins has secured Dr Rachel Dunlop, Vice President of Australian Skeptics, for a talk in June if I remember correctly, which will also be great. We’ll announce more about this shortly.

SkeptiCamp Sydney, and our commitment to SkeptiCamp Melbourne

Chris Higgins, Linley Kissick, Kieran Dennis and myself recently took a road-trip to Sydney to attend the inaugural ‘SkeptiCamp Sydney’, the first of hopefully many of these events around Australia.

This free event was born after Jason Brown, from the SkepticZone podcast and Skepticator.com, made a commitment at TAM Australia last year during a panel on skeptical activism. You can read more about the event at http://skepticampaustralia.org which is the ‘umbrella site’ for duplicate events around Australia.

The event was a huge success, attracting around 100 attendees, and filling every single presentation spot (roughly 16 in total from memory), as skeptics from all walks of life and presentational experience took to the podium to present on topics ranging from the prevalence of ‘woo’ in nursing, to how aeroplanes fly!

Fueled with the enthusiasm of the moment, Chris, Linley, Kieran and I committed to running the first SkeptiCamp Melbourne, with a tentative date penciled in for September 2011. You read that correctly – September!

If you’re interested in lending a hand in organising, speaker wrangling, general dog’s-body, catering, tech support, resource management or anything else, please join the SkeptiCamp Melbourne organisers group on SkeptiForum (http://codenix.org/skeptiforum).

SkeptiForum

Speaking of SkeptiForum, I recently launched an online collaboration website for skeptics, allowing virtual teams to collaborate, plan and share resources relating to events or projects of a skeptical nature.

You can read more about it here, and by all means – participate and spread the word!

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