The Amazing Meeting (TAM) is coming on Jul 10-13, 2014. Based on my experience with NECSS and what I learned there, I'd like to promote the Skeptical community at the largest skeptical conference in the world.

I'm proposing that the Stack Exchange team sponsor my attendance and travel. In exchange, I'm more than happy to represent Skeptics StackExchange at the event, answer questions for other attendees, and represent the community.

What Is TAM?

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The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) is the leading conference focused on scientific skepticism. People from all over the world come to TAM each year to share learning, laughs, and the skeptical perspective with their friends and a host of distinguished guest speakers, panelists, and workshop presenters.

This annual gathering of critical thinkers is an unparalleled opportunity to make like-minded friends, enjoy some of the brightest minds on issues important to us, and leave with tools for spreading a helpful and skeptical message to those who might be hurt by charlatans and unfounded belief. TAM is like a vacation from the nonsense we confront every day, and a time to celebrate skepticism.

TAM is organized by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Now in its 12th year, TAM began when members of the JREF’s online community had the idea for a small gathering in Ft. Lauderdale. More than 150 attendees came to the first TAM in 2003, and since then, the JREF has sponsored fifteen such such events. In recent years, TAM has grown to attract well over 1,000 attendees.

JREF and its team of volunteers and staff are proud to bring you talks, panels, workshops, and entertainment featuring some of the brightest and most engaging people in science and skepticism. But the best thing about TAM is still the community and camaraderie.

What Would I Talk About or do at TAM?

I will of course Live Tweet the event (workshops and talks that I go to). In addition to that, I would:

  • Represent Skeptics StackExchange by handing out SWAG.
  • Encourage attendees at TAM to sign up and join the Skeptics site (for instance save the better SWAG for people who show me their Skeptics StackExchange account)
  • See about asking user submitted questions to the speakers (and maybe even mention that I am from Skeptics StackExchange for the videos of the presentations). What I want is for you to tweet your questions to me.
  • I am submitting a paper for the Sunday presentations.

What's in it for you?

The objectives of TAM are:

  • To feature a variety of presentations on how to best “fight back” against irresponsible promoters of paranormal and pseudoscientific nonsense in our society, whether through outreach, science education, activism, or new approaches online or in new media.
  • To provide top notch evening entertainment, including live music, magic, and comedy performances (which I don't expect to be part of the sponsorship, that's on my own dime); and
  • To foster community among the many hundreds of like-minded attendees, through social activities including conference meals and social events.

By attending the conference, I will be able to virtually bring you there as well as share new information and perhaps insightful quotes from people presenting. Again, I also want people to tweet at me @LarianLeQuella on Twitter so that I can ask the presenters your questions.

What's in it for me?

I love going to TAM and enjoying the company of like minded individuals. Also, this is an opportunity to subsidize some of the expenses involved in going to TAM since I would be required to take time off from work. I will of course be as responsible as possible in costs (I will be getting a roommate for the hotel, and I have some SouthWest points I can use for the airfare).

So ... any questions? Concerns? Ideas? Anyone else going?

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  • Any sense of how many users we attracted from your previous TAM visit? – user5582 Apr 26 '14 at 19:48
  • @Articuno I saw at least a couple. I also know that Tim Farley showed off SWAG I gave him on a podcast. – Larian LeQuella Apr 26 '14 at 19:56
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    Sweet. Can you try to schedule meetings with some other high profile skeptical outlets ahead of time? – user5582 Apr 26 '14 at 20:01
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    @Articuno I already have meetings set up with Australian Skeptics, Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, Ardent Atheist, and of course my local Granite State Skeptics group will be represented there. I am trying to set up more of course. – Larian LeQuella Apr 26 '14 at 20:26
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    Then, I definitely support this. It'd be great to get some extra visibility via skeptical blogs/podcasts/websites. – user5582 Apr 27 '14 at 4:57
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    What do you need from the community in order to secure sponsorship? An upvoted "we approve" answer? Or just no objections? – user5582 Apr 30 '14 at 19:35
  • @Articuno to tell you the truth, I don't know the inner workings. I would guess input and feedback from the powers that be, AND the community is my guess. – Larian LeQuella May 1 '14 at 1:28
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    By the way, I submitted a "Sunday Paper" again. This time I will be investigating this: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2586868/… – Larian LeQuella May 29 '14 at 17:23

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