The Secrets behind a Skeptical Podcast

Richard Saunders, host of The Skeptic Zone podcast for 17 years, takes you behind-the-scenes on how a typical podcast is created each week. From conducting interviews and gathering information to the actual recording and editing. This is a chance for you to be part of a live recording of this well-known podcast.

WHO: Richard Saunders is the Chief Investigator for the Australian Skeptics and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and a Bay Area Skeptics favorite!

WHEN: 1 – 2:30 PM Saturday, February 10

WHERE: Community Room, Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley

Join your fellow skeptics for an after-workshop no-host dinner at a nearby Berkeley restaurant TBA!

Questions? Write

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Hangin’ Out with Leonard Tramiel at Chabot Space and Science Center
Leonard Tramiel, Ph.D. physics, has been a volunteer docent at Chabot Space and Science Center since 2000. Lots to see, including a Soyuz capsule that illustrates better than anything else why basketball players are not recruited to be astronauts. If you haven’t been to Chabot in a while, you won’t want to miss the new NASA Ames exhibit that includes, among other items, a full-scale model of the Artemis Rover, intended for launching next year. Have you met Leah and Rachel? The classic 1883 and 1915 refracting telescopes are still being used at Chabot, and – although you may not realize it – a surprising number of astronomical phenomena are visible during daylight. Leonard is a certified operator on both telescopes, and weather permitting, can give us a tour and demonstration of those observatories. There is also a planetarium show included in the admission fee. This is your second opportunity to hang out with Leonard; earlier this year he hosted a very popular HangOut at the Computer History Museum. If you missed that, here’s another chance!

As always, plan to spend some down time after the HangOut with your fellow skeptics. Food is available in the café.

WHEN: Sunday 10 September 10:00 AM – 12:20 PM

WHERE to meet: Café, Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland

ADMISSION: Adults $24. Seniors & children $19. (Includes a planetarium show)

DESCRIPTION: The Skeptical Box of Tricks
Ever wanted to learn how to bend a spoon just like the “psychics”? Or what about those people who use divining rods? Just how do they seem to be able to find water? Maybe you’d like to discover the truth behind those amazing patches and wrist bands that claim to improve your balance and strength. All these fascinating topics and more will be covered in this workshop hosted by one of Australia’s leading investigators into claims of the paranormal. As a bonus, Richard, expert in the ancient art of origami, will be teaching you how to make some classic paper models. 

(Join your fellow skeptics for an after workshop no-host dinner at a nearby Berkeley restaurant TBA!)

WHEN: Saturday August 12, 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Stay longer for Skeptic camaraderie on the picnic grounds of the zoo!

WHERE: Downtown Berkeley Library Community Room
2090 Kittredge Street

WHO: Richard Saunders starred as the “Skeptical Judge” on two seasons of the TV show “The One: The Search for Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic”. He is also the host of the weekly podcast “The Skeptic Zone”, now in its 16th year. Richard is a CSI Fellow, life member of Australian Skeptics and was part of the James Randi Education Foundation $1,000,000 challenge.

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DESCRIPTION: Sure, you went to the zoo when you were a kid, but it’s likely zoos have changed since then. Zoos (short for “zoölogical park”) just used to be places to go to see animals on display, but today’s zoos are much more. Zoos are central to the fields of conservation, species preservation and captive breeding, captive animal welfare, veterinary medicine, preservation of habitats, and much more. Edwords, a former San Francisco Zoo zookeeper, will give us a tour of the San Francisco Zoo, bring us up to date on best practices for animal care, exhibit design, and keeper safety, and changes in the roles and functions of zoos from the private menageries of royalty to today’s scientifically-oriented centers of conservation.

WHEN: Sunday July 23, 1:00 – 3:30 PM
Stay longer for Skeptic camaraderie on the picnic grounds of the zoo!

WHERE: San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, Sloat Blvd at The Great Highway
Meet at the Tiger Statue just beyond the Gift Store
Info on tickets, parking, and etc:

COST: $25 for adults. $22 for SF residents
Half price if you belong to certain informal science organizations. See list:

WHO: Livia Edwords was a zookeeper at the SF Zoo for ten years, and interned at both the Oakland Zoo and the Smithsonian National Zoo. For a decade, Livia worked in nearly every department in the zoo, and was responsible for the daily husbandry of a multitude of exotic and domesticated species. The majority of her tenure was spent within the Hoofstock Department, working alongside giraffes, antelope, rhinos and hippo. Her passion for spreading the message of wildlife conservation eventually earned her an opportunity to travel to Malawi as a representative of the zoo for conservation field work in 2019.

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WHAT: BAS Live Hangin’ Out with Leonard Tramiel at the Computer History Museum!

WHO: You and Leonard Tramiel.
Bay Area Skeptics member Leonard Tramiel is the perfect person to take us through Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, having himself been a pioneer in the computer and video game industries. His father Jack Tramiel was legendary as founder of Commodore (remember the Commodore 64?). Leonard was part of the team that developed Commodore’s first computer, the PET. After earning a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia, he went on to become a VP at Atari, where he worked on both computers and video games. Several of the machines he worked on are on display at the museum. Join us for a day of fun and history with someone who himself made personal computer and video game history.

WHEN: Saturday June 17, 2023 @ 11 AM

WHERE: Computer History Museum, 1401 Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View

Museum Admission: $17, but check Groupon for half price tickets for 2 or more people:

WHAT: A Workshop with Susan Gerbic
Are you having difficult discussions with people on the edge of falling into magical thinking rabbit holes? This workshop will provide you some skills to help with this problem that so many of us have experienced. We will discuss the concepts of debunking vs prebunking (also called innoculatin theory). We will start with a case study and use that to further the discussion on how to have difficult discussions. This is a workshop, not a lecture! Join us!

WHO: Susan Gerbic, a self-proclaimed “skeptical junkie”, is the founder of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) and the Monterey County Skeptics. A Skeptical Inquirer contributor, Susan is a fellow of CSI and winner of the James Randi Foundation award for 2017. In 2018, Susan founded (and continues to manage) About Time, a non-profit organization focusing on scientific skepticism and activism. While her particular focus has been on “Grief Vampires” (psychics), her activism encompasses all areas of skepticism. You can find out more at

WHEN: Saturday May 20, 2023, 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM

WHERE: Berkeley Public Library Community Meeting Room