Register for TAM 2013 Now Do not wait! TAM 2013 is only a few weeks away, so if you haven’t registered yet, do so as soon as possible! Tickets are selling fast and registration prices will increase after June 30. We are expecting over 1,000 attendees again this year and if we fill up will be forced to close registration.
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 11th 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.
The theme of this year’s program is “Fighting the Fakers,” focusing on scientific skepticism. The inimitable musician, skeptic, and Geologic Podcast host George Hrab will once again be returning as Master of Ceremonies.
A major motivation for going to TAM is that skeptics care deeply about people and they know that when people believe in nonsense, they often get hurt. And at TAM 2013 we will explore ways to fight back. This is central to the mission of the James Randi Educational Foundation— Randi has been fighting the fakers for decades, and the JREF works to continue and expand that impact.
The Amaz!ng Meeting has become the “must attend” event for everyone who loves science and skepticism, with TAM 2013 being our biggest event yet with more presenters than ever before.
Many of our stellar speakers this year have never been on the TAM stage before. Leading thinkers, science communicators, and best-selling authors like Susan Jacoby, Dan Ariely, Susan Blackmore, Jerry Coyne, Sanal Edamaruku, Susan Haack, Marty Klein, Cara Santa Maria, Michael E. Mann, and so many more are joining us for the first time this year, all focusing on scientific skepticism, and how to best respond as skeptics to harmful anti-scientific, paranormal or pseudoscientific belief.
All this even while many of our old friends — so many of the celebrities and skeptical figures featured at past TAMs like Penn Jillette, Michael Shermer, Jamy Ian Swiss, Steve Novella, and Todd Robbins — will be joining us again on the program, too. The level of expertise and knowledge that all of our generous speakers bring to the event makes us this one of our best programs ever — it is nothing short of, well, amaz!ng.
But just in case our incredible lineup of speakers hasn’t won you over yet, here are six more reason not to miss TAM:
- See skepticism in action (and $1 Million on the line!) with a live paranormal challenge on stage — JREF’s 2012 Live Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge last year was one of the most popular aspects of the event.
- Roll up your sleeves for science and skepticism. Get the training you need to Fight the Fakers with our ten hands-on education and activism skepticism workshops!
- Witness demonic possession and a live exorcism, provocative stand-up comedy by some of the brightest comedians working today, dumbfounding magic, mind reading and sideshow feats, and more at TAM’s popular evening shows.
- Hey, hey, they’re the NoGodBand – Dance the night away with your fellow heathens at Penn Jillette’s Private Rock & Roll, Doughnut and Bacon Party. Be forewarned: There will be obscenity. There will be scantily-clad people. You will learn nothing. And everyone is invited.
- Commune with the diverse and vibrant skeptical community—come and share learning, laughs, and the scientific skeptic perspective with fellow inquirers and a host of distinguished guest speakers. You’ll be at the largest gathering of scientific skeptics in the world!
- TAM 2013 is actually cheaper than other similar skeptic conferences when hotel, travel, and meals are factored in.
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 skeptics, 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.
Everyone who comes to TAM enjoys the ‘TAM experience,’ but for those who want to enjoy access to all regular events at The Amaz!ng Meeting, The TAM Experience Package is an upgraded registration option that includes the following: (a) regular conference registration; (b) the All Workshop Pass; (c) tickets to all TAM evening shows; and (d) special, reserved VIP seating in all main program sessions and evening shows. This is the perfect way to have a great time while supporting a great cause. (Note: The TAM Experience Package does not include buy in to the Skeptics’ Poker Tournament, tickets to the SGU fundraising dinner, nor the fundraising luncheon with James Randi and friends.)
TAM has become the largest conference to focus on science, skepticism and critical thinking over the past ten years, and has become the must-go-to event for skeptics and science advocates.
Register for TAM Today Join the more than 1,000 like minded people for four days of fun, fellowship, and critical thinking in Las Vegas!
The following preliminary schedule is for planning purposes. Blue events are included with TAM registration, while Orange events require an additional ticket purchase. Gray events indicate breaks in programing for meals not included with registration. A more detailed schedule will be will be made available closer to the event.
* Program subject to change.
These hand-on educational workshops and activist training sessions are separately ticketed events held before the main program begins on Thursday, July 11. Attendees may register for workshops separately or purchase an All Workshop Pass.
Note: An All Workshop Pass entitles you to enter any of the ten workshops, but because workshops run in concurrent tracks, you will not be able to attend each one.
Workshop 1A: How Your Camera Lies to You
First, we’ll take you through a brief history of photography, from daguerrotypes to polaroids to cameras around Mercury, to learn about how images are taken and processed. In the next phase, we’ll show you processing tips and tricks and what Photoshop is really doing when you tell it to “Reduce Noise” or “Auto-Levels” and how every processing step can introduce more anomalies. During the last third of the workshop, we’ll go through numerous examples of claimed paranormal, supernatural, or alien images and take you through how to analyze them to figure out what’s really going on. This workshop will be interactive with the audience being asked to guess what manipulation has been applied and how they would start to analyze each new image for what may be really shown. Presenters include Stuart J. Robbins and Bryan Bonner.
Workshop 1B: Blogging Skepticism (Sponsored by Skeptic Ink)
In this workshop, some of the top skeptic bloggers will offer share their tips and tools of the trade on how to move skepticism forward in the blogosphere. This workshop will introduce the audience with some of the common challenges involved blogging skepticism and ways to help avoid them. In addition, the workshop leaders will help you work through real-world workshop exercises and a panel will help answer your questions. Presenters include Edward Clint, Caleb Lack, Maria Myrbeck, Russell Blackford, Jacques Rousseau, and John Loftus.
Workshop 2A: Skepticism Across the Curriculum
While many skeptics seem to conflate science and skepticism, the two terms are not equivalent. Science, it turns out, is just one form of skeptical inquiry that encompasses many academic disciplines, including those in the humanities. This workshop will introduce the audience to scholarship confronting extraordinary claims across the disciplines. Skepticism may be profitably applied to everything from Ancient Aliens’ mangling of art and art history, literary and folklore studies, mythology, and archeology, to young-earth creationists’ vandalism of all forms of textual scholarship, from Beowulf and Arthurian legend to Biblical studies. These and other extraordinary claims can also be used in classrooms to teach the critical thinking skills needed in all contexts and to introduce the disciplines to popular audiences. Presenters include Robert Blaskiewicz, Miranda Hale, and Eve Seibert.
Workshop 2B: Crowd-Sourcing Skepticism
Increasingly, people are getting their information off the internet. If we can help make that process even a little more skeptical, we might be able to break the cycle of misinformation being spread from one generation to the next. We can help save people and society as a whole, time, money and even lives. With a concerted effort, we may be able to usher in a new age of global skepticism, where all beliefs are actually formed through rational processes backed by evidence. With tools like rbutr and @SkepticAction, and projects like Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, this workshop will show you how you can participate in making this happen. Get involved, and help us make the world a more skeptical place. Presenters include Shane Greeup, Susan Gerbic, and Tim Farley.
Workshop 3A: Physicists, Metaphysicists and Frauds
Skeptics have been trying to sort the para from the normal for over 200 years. Often it has been a challenge to properly account for physics, metaphysics and the possibility of fraud. In this workshop, we will review some classic investigations from the heyday of Spiritualism. Participants will work in groups to propose their own tests of more modern esoterica. Presented by Chip Denman.
Workshop 3B: Supporting Skepticism Around the World
Skeptical activists from Africa, Australia, Europe, and India will show how belief in pseudoscience and the paranormal cause harm all over the world. In this workshop, you will learn how you can support international skeptical activism from right where you are..
Presenters include D.J. Grothe, Sanal Edamaruku, Leo Igwe, Massimo Polidoro, Richard Saunders, and Nakul Shenoy.
Workshop 4A: Science Based Medicine
This science-based medicine workshop will explore the most common recurring themes in unscientific or so-called “alternative” therapies. Since there are too many individuals claims, products, and therapies to cover each individually, understanding the common and frequently recurring underlying themes of such therapies will help attendees evaluate new dubious medical claims for themselves.
Presenters include Steve Novella, MD; David Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS; Harriett Hall, MD; and Mark Crislip, MD
Workshop 4B: Preserving Skeptic History
This workshop will dig down to the roots of the modern skeptical movement and its paranormal counterparts, with the help of people who were there. Participants will gain tools for conducting their own research into the history of skepticism and paranormal claims, and learn how to share that historical understanding with the public. Presenters include Daniel Loxton, Tim Farley, Susan Gerbic, Bob Sheaffer, and Ray Hyman.
Workshop 5A: How Rational Are You?
How rational are you? Take our mini-RQ test and find out! This workshop will provide practical ways to become more rational, why rationality is more valuable than intelligence, and why smart people sometimes do stupid things. Presenters include Barbara Drescher and Kyle Hill.
Workshop 5B: Skeptics in the Dojo: Taking On The Martial Arts
The world of martial arts is all around us. Millions of people of all ages around the world participate in some form of martial art. Millions more know someone who is actively practicing. But do martial arts really work? What are the benefits, and what are the risks? Are the martial arts a proven means of self-defense? Or are they just clever and sometimes elaborate scams? Fortunately, the wonderful filters of science and skepticism can be applied to any aspect of life, and the martial arts are no exception. Presenters include Brent Weedman, Evan Bernstein, David Jones, John Rennie, and Jennifer Ouellette.
Our evening shows are among the most talked-about and memorable aspects of TAM. We offer skeptic-themed comedy, magic, and other top-notch entertainment every night of the program.
This year, evening events will include:
- Thurs. 9:00 p.m.
- What “THEY” Don’t Want You To Know
An Evening of Humor from Skepticism’s Leading Dis-Information Agents. Find out if hypnosis works on skeptics. See the world’s most convincing “proof of aliens” evidence. Watch audience members be transformed into psychics. Witness demonic possession and a live exorcism. See Banachek turn into his own worst nightmare.
What others are saying about Bryan and Baxter:
“They are disinformation agents working for a secret government black ops program.” – Jeff Peckman in the Wall Street Journal
“Hideously irresponsible and borderline criminal” – Fr. Daniel Gargullio III aka Dr. Gargoyle
“The Laurel and Hardy of the paranormal” – J. Allen Danalek (A Case For Ghosts)
“The Greatest Show on Earth!” – Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger)
- Fri. 9:00 p.m.
- ¡SATIRISTAS! — Live in Concert
Paul Provenza, the celebrated comic and social critic, presents a cadre of provocateurs and proud comic voices targeting hypocrisy, media distortion and the institutionalized ignorance infecting America. These skeptical comedians are distinguished by the savage bite of their wit, virtuosic command of irony and finely tuned bullshit detectors. Celebrating the spirit of the book of the same name, ¡SATIRISTAS! will chew the fat of traditional credulity and leave you wanting more.
- Fri. 11:00 p.m.
- Penn Jillette’s Private Rock & Roll, Doughnut and Bacon Party
Be forewarned —
This really is Penn’s private party. He’s paying for everything and JREF has nothing to do with it. This party will be whatever Penn wants; it’s not a JREF event.
there will be stupid rock and roll
there will be obscenity
there will be scantily clad people
there will be 1200 Krispy Kreme doughnuts and tons of bacon
you will learn nothing
Everyone at TAM is invited, and it is free to attend. There is a suggested donation to the JREF at the door of $20.00 or more.
Note: This event is neither paid for nor sponsored by the JREF.
- Sat. 9:00 p.m.
- Magic, Mayhem and Mentalism!
Produced by Jamy Ian Swiss, MAGIC, MAYHEM and MENTALISM! will feature a variety of literally amazing performers – magicians, mentalists, and more – in an all-star line-up. Our first foray into “Magic, Mayhem and Mentalism” at TAM 7 was a great success. This year we will be presenting an all-new lineup – featuring none other than the great Todd Robbins, the King of the Coney Island Sideshow, and star of the hit Off-Broadway show, “Play Dead!” We’re thrilled to have Todd back at TAM after several years, and this show promises to be a great one.
- Sat. 11:00 p.m.
- Skeptics’ Poker Tournament
Don’t miss this opportunity to compete against TAM speakers and other notable skeptics! Every round you survive seats you at another skeptic’s table. This special TAM event includes private cocktail servers and an open bar for the duration of the tournament.
The fundraising luncheons and SGU dinner are separately ticketed meals that are offered in addition to the meals included with conference registration.
Enjoy a private luncheon with James Randi and other VIPs from the program!
Don’t miss the opportunity to have an intimate catered luncheon with James Randi and other selected TAM luminaries. As a fundraiser for the JREF, we are offering an exclusive luncheon limited to 20 people.
Or how about Dinner with the cast of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe?
Join Dr. Steve Novella, and Jay, Bob, and Evan for this fundraiser dinner, a portion of the proceeds of which go to support the show.
We are back this year in the fantastic South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. This 2500+ room resort on Vegas’s growing South Strip offers a wide array of amenities. Along with the expected casino, pools, restaurants and lounges, South Point also houses a premium movie theater, bowling and even an equestrian center. Located a few miles south of the Strip, this hotel has all the convenience of Vegas without the hassle, and for folks driving from California, you arrive before the traffic gets heavy on the strip!
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89183
Phone: (866) 791-7626
Grandview Resort (next door to the Southpoint)
9940 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89183
Phone: (866) 752-9834
Other Hotel Options
No block of rooms are held at these hotels. Rates fluctuate. Please call or book online.
Emerald Suites (1 mile from the Southpoint): 702-948-9999
Silverton Casino (3 miles from the Southpoint): 702-263-7777
The M Resort (4.5 miles from the Southpoint): 702-797-1000