On Saturday December 2nd, the Skepticon Dinner will be held at the St. Andrews Conservatory at 128 Nicholson Street Fitzroy.
Described as “the jewel of Melbourne’s iconic St. Andrews Hotel”, the Conservatory is ready to host a great night for skeptics. Thanks to the glass roof, we’ll arrive to a daylight atmosphere which will slowly yield to the light from bamboo lanterns as our Melbourne sun settles down around 8:30pm.
Of course you’ll scarcely notice thanks to canapés served on arrival, a three course meal and your choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to keep you sustained for a night of entertainment. This includes talented local and interstate acts. Enjoy science music from Nate Eggins, a.k.a. Conspiracy of One, Brisbane/Meajin’s favourite science songwriter and local artist Viki Mealings with her band Brittle Sun.
Get ready to revel in some magic with local favourite Nicholas J. Johnson, a.k.a. The Honest Conman along with some comedy from conference speaker Sue Ieraci.
In addition to a night of entertainment, dining and great conversation is the presentation of awards from Australian Skeptics Inc. One is a unique prize that inevitably draws some media comment. Namely, The Bent Spoon Award, which is awarded to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle. Nominations for this year are:
Justifiably, there are Australian Skeptics merit awards given for great talent and hard work. These are richly deserved, although there is no guarantee that they are given each year. At a time when we are surrounded by conspiracy theories, scams, pseudoscientific claims, discrimination and bigotry, the skeptic movement is motivated to recognise and reward individuals who contribute to critical thinking, scientific reasoning and who value diversity and inclusivity. This is particularly clear in the Goals of Australian Skeptics Inc.
To this end, the following awards may also be presented at the Skepticon Saturday dinner. The Fred Thornett Award – known as The Fred – is given for the promotion of, and educating the public about, issues of Science and Reason. The Barry Williams Award for Skeptical Journalism, also known as The Wallaby, acknowledges journalistic work that critically analyses or exposes issues related to pseudoscience or the paranormal. Skeptic of the Year is in recognition of a member of the Australian Skeptic community for exceptional work both in the immediate past and longer term. Depending on the topic, individuals chosen for these awards may have faced abuse and/or intimidation as they work toward these valuable goals. This is not lost on skeptics in Australia.
All in all the Skepticon dinner promises to be a memorable night and a definite highlight of the convention.