UPCOMING SKEPTALKS

 
Jenny Rice, Ph.D.

WHAT:  What Does Evidence Do?
When it comes to evaluating claims, skeptics tend to adopt the well-known Sagan Standard: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” But what, exactly, is evidence? After all, conspiracy theorists and pseudoscientists often present a great deal of “evidence” for their claims. In fact, many conspiracy theorists themselves repeat Carl Sagan’s standard as a motto, believing that they do indeed possess extraordinary evidence. In this talk, I discuss different ways that the concept of evidence is used rhetorically in conspiracy claims. We will take a deep dive into what “evidence” means–and the work it does–for conspiracy theorists, as well as why “bad evidence” is often so persuasive.

WHO:  Jenny Rice  is Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of Awful Archives: Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence. Her research focuses on public debates about “extraordinary claims,” including conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and the paranormal.

WHEN:  Thursday 11 August 7:30PM

Where:  Online. Details to come.

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Previous SkepTalks:

  9 June2022 How to Talk to a Science Denier – Lee McIntyre
12 May2022 Superstitions, Aliens, and Conspiracies: The Frontlines of Astronomy Outreach – Mike Simmons
14 Apr2022 Confidence Men: How 2 Prisoners Made History’s Most Remarkable Escape – Margalit Fox
10 Mar2022 The Reality of Reality TV – Yau-Man Chan
10 Feb2022 Who’s Making All Those Scam Calls – Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
13 Jan2022 Weirdness!: What Fake Science & the Paranormal Tell Us about the Nature of Science – Taner Edis
  9 Dec2021 Dangers of the “Lost Civilization” Trope – A.J. White
11 Nov2021 Machineries of Doubt: Climate, Cigarettes & Confusion – John Mashey
  9 Sep2021 The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project – Richard Saunders
12 Aug2021 What To Do About Misinformation (in Four Dimensions) – John Cook
  8 July2021 Tilting at Strawmen & Other Tricks of Climate Denial Enablers – Mark Boslough
10 Jun2021 The Truth Behind False Memories – Jill Yamashita
13 May2021 Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID – Tara C. Smith
  8 Apr2021 Why storytelling is vital to science communication – Sara ElShafie
11 Mar2021 Haunted Humanity: The Fringe Is Not Fringe, and That’s a Big Deal – Daniel Loxton
11 Feb2021 From Junk to Genes: The birth of new miRNA genes in the human genome – Nathan Lents
14 Jan2021 The Continuing Relevance of America’s Eugenic Legacy – Paul Lombardo
10 Dec2020 Deepfakes, GANs and Visual Misinformation – Nick Dufour
12 Nov2020 The Debate about Dark Matter:  Is the Matter Settled? – Don Lincoln
  8 Oct2020 Facilitated Communication: Holding on to (False) Hope – Janyce Boynton
10 Sep2020 Mad Myths: The Case for Using Persuasion to Promote Critical Thinking – Jay Diamond
13 Feb2020 Big Data: What it is, how it’s used, where it’s headed – Mike Olson
12 Dec2019 Are you sure that sippy-cup is safe? – Layla Katiraee
  7 Nov2019 Why Do People Reject Good Science? – Eugenie Scott
10 Oct2019 Shit Students Say: Chem trails, hollow earths, and other strange ideas – Steven Newton
12 Sep2019 Successful Skepticism: Creating Lasting Community – Tucker Phelps
  9 May2019 The Bitter M&Ms of Climate Change: Misconceptions and Misinformation – Brad Hoge
11 Apr2019 The Year in Anti-Science-Education Legislation – Glenn Branch
14 Mar2019 Australia’s Psychic Detectives and Psychic “Predictions” – Richard Saunders
14 Feb2019 What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists? – Eugenie Scott
10 Jan2019 Common Misconceptions About CRISPR Genome Editing – Kevin Doxzen
13 Dec2018 BAS BAH Fest
  8 Nov2018 A Skeptic’s Guide to Planet Hunting – Josh Lofy
11 Oct2018 Beyond a Candle in the Dark – Mick West
13 Sep2018 When a Biology Meets a Biology – David Almandsmith
10 May2018 Common Misconceptions in Anthropology – Julie Hui
12 Apr2018 Skepardy! — Bill Patterson
  8 Mar2018 A Quirky Colloquium Quashing Quantum Quackery — Miriam Diamond
  8 Feb2018 The Human Drive to Explain — Tania Lombrozo
14 Jan2018 Neuroscience and the Great Questions — Ransom Stephens
14 Dec2017 Top Ten Myths of Homelessness — Carrie Sager
  9 Nov2017 Myths of Mass Extinctions — Kevin Padian
12 Oct2017 Hurricanes and Heat Waves: Is This Climate Change? — Brad Hoge
11 May2017 Beyond the Choir – Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia — Susan Gerbic
13 Apr2017 An Invisible Plague: the Growing Threat of Tuberculosis — Lauren Popov
  9 Feb2017 Are Saturated Fats Bad for You? Separating Fat from Fiction — Kent McDonald
12 Jan2017 Harry Houdini vs. Psychics & Mediums — Mark Tarses
29 Dec2016 Too Good to be True? – Richard Saunders
10 Nov2016 Myths of Astronomy — Thomas Targett
10 Sep2015 Angle Trisection: A problem many tried to solve — Paul Stepahin
  9 Apr2015 Herding Cats and Teaching Science — Dan Pemberton
12 Feb2015 Quantum Pseudoscience and the Nature of Mind — Russel Willcox
  8 Jan2015 The Manson Family, Cults, and the Psychology of Commitment – Dr. Patrick O’Reilly
10 Oct2012 Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn’t Matter — Liza Gross
12 Sep2012 Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick — Sheldon Helms
  8 Aug2012 Documentary & Skype — “In God We Teach”
11 Apr2012 A Skeptical View of Climate Change Skeptics — Mark McCaffrey
14 Nov2011 Climate Change: From the Biotic to the Exotic — Minda Berbeco
12 Oct2011 A Unicorn in Your Tank: Magic Tablets That Won’t Improve Gas Mileage — Yau-Man Chan
14 Sep2011 Catastrophes! — Don Prothero