Hey Reddit! We are Skepticon team, we have created the largest free skeptic convention in the nation and are here to answer your questions and fulfill your wildest dreams!

We are:

*Jeffrey--Creative Director (wolfshui)

*Floyd--Marketing Consultant (dei2anged)

*Micah--Talent Management (MathClown)

*Lauren--Co-founder and MC (lartsy)

Other people who might chime in:

*Katie--Financial Director (katiehartman)

*JT--Co-founder (zerowing)

Skepticon will be held in Springfield, MO on November 9th--11th.

Proof: Here we are holding last year's calendar. And JT, pantsless proof

Oh yeah, and for every 100 upvotes, we'll be doing a shot of rum just to keep things interesting.

Edit: 100 upvotes, 1 shot of Kraken!

Edit: 200 upvotes, 2nd shot!

Edit: 300 upvotes, this went up Rob's nose!

Edit: Omg, front page PZ Meowers cat picture time!

Edit: 400 upvotes, we're running out of ideas for shot pictures

Edit: 500 upvotes. You monsters.

Edit: 600 upvotes, for the love of FSM, please stop upvoting

Edit: 700 upvotes, Cody joins and no amount of Biggie Smalls playing makes this not awkward.

Edit: 800 upvotes. Sorry.

Edit: 900 upvotes. And we are out of Kraken :( ...but I live next to a liquor store!

Edit: 1000 upvotes. Pandering to /r/rpg

Edit: 1100 upvotes. Calling Nurse Rob, Micah is starting to feel the effects of the alcohol!

Edit: 1200 upvotes. Things have gotten dirty.

Edit: 1300 upvotes. We got hungry. and hot.

Edit: 1400 upvotes! Drink Responsibly

Thanks guys! we had a lot of fun doing this. Keep asking questions if you want, but we've really got to stop drinking for the night. We'll try to get around to questions as we can! Hope to see you at this years con!

Comments: 785 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

ObfuscateEverything169 karma

Would I be an asshole for saying I'm skeptical that none of you are wearing pants?

SkepticonTeam318 karma

sakodak37 karma

I have seen entirely too much Rob ass.

SkepticonTeam97 karma


TheBaconTrain62 karma

Wuts going on in here guys? My name is Rob and I am the videographer for Skepticon BTW. Will take pants off if requested.

SkepticonTeam77 karma


TheSporkening58 karma

What are you sceptical of?

SkepticonTeam99 karma

The jesus, pseudoscience, etc.

TheSporkening45 karma

You are my kind of people. Would you care to cuddle?

SkepticonTeam75 karma

YES! Come cuddle with us. We'll allow it.

slimj756 karma

Why do you do this in Springfield, MO?

SkepticonTeam112 karma

It's where we all went to undergrad. Also, we wanted to make Springfield suck less.

slimj780 karma

I live in Springfield. I'm glad someone is trying to make this town suck less.

SkepticonTeam53 karma


MathClown19 karma

Great question! We do Skepticon on the extreme cheap and we all have ties here, so when we need to call in a favor (borrowing curtains, lights, finding storage space) we have lots of resources.


xeones43 karma

What makes Skepticon different (better?) than TAM? Though I see that Rebecca Watson will be at Skepticon which makes me already like you guys!

Edit: Skepticon is FREE?!? Amazing!!

SkepticonTeam39 karma

We are free! YAY!

MathClown33 karma

I haven't been to TAM, but Skepticon is free, community driven, and always looking for good ideas. We have no greenrooms, people are laid back, and almost everyone is approachable. We are also free. --Micah

Edit: Also, we have plans to livebroadcast the event, so if you can't come to Skepticon, Skepticon will come to you!

FirstLongTimeTime34 karma

To make things really interesting, i vote the shots be taken every 50 upvotes.

SkepticonTeam31 karma

I don't know if our livers can take it...

atea_feliz25 karma

don't pussy out. all the good skeptics are alkies.

SkepticonTeam27 karma

Get more upvotes and we'll do more shots!

neatospiderplant28 karma

In addition to this, I think every upvote should count as 50 upvotes.

lartsy12 karma


jonbeckman42033 karma

Is there anyway I can get a ride to the next one?

Also to JT, what prompted you to found Skepticon?

SkepticonTeam38 karma

We are hoping to get a forum up for rideshares soon.

Lauren says that she and JT decided to have a delicious skeptic baby and that's how Skepticon happened.

Zerowing32 karma

I count five members of the actual team there (Jeff, Micah, Lauren, Rob, and Katie). Of the five of you, how many are wearing pants?

SkepticonTeam48 karma


TheBaconTrain23 karma

Katie felt left out of the because she wasn't in the picture with us. Fixed it (poorly)


SkepticonTeam5 karma

The best.

OMGitsaGIRLonREDDIT22 karma

How have people reacted to making the Skepticon? How about your families? Do you think Westboro will be there?

SkepticonTeam42 karma

Floyd here, my dad actually wrote the first hate letter of SK4. Apparently we are -literally- doing the Devil's work. Since this event happens right before every Thanksgiving, it's nice to see family and hear about how I am burning in hell.

lartsy20 karma

Yeah, Floyd's dad sent me a nice email about how I was bringing him towards the devil. Good times.

OMGitsaGIRLonREDDIT10 karma

Hi Floyd! Yuck. Sorry for your dad's unsavory response. I guess we can't win 'em all, huh? Good luck with the burning in hell thing though. :]

lartsy3 karma

He will have plenty of company, lol.

lartsy5 karma

My family has been amazingly supportive, I love them!

pzer017 karma

No questions, just wanted to say keep up the good work!

SkepticonTeam14 karma

Thanks! :D

CT02127917 karma

Hi Floyd, you invited me here (Chris). What are some of the most common misconceptions about Skepticon and what do you guys who attend every year look forward to most about the event?

dei2anged20 karma

That it costs money and that it's an Athiestcon circlejerk.

I love seeing the community that comes together. I look forward to seeing downtown springfield turn skeptic for a weekend.

atea_feliz14 karma

this question is for Lauren... Charles Darwin vs the Honey Badger, who wins? :)

SkepticonTeam37 karma

Lauren says Charles Darwin is already dead and the honey badger doesn't give a fuck so....Honey Badger. FO SHO.

atea_feliz6 karma

They will both have to make an appearance at skepticon. along with a bottle of MadDog 20/20. FO SHO.

lartsy2 karma

Mad Dog 20/20 is always a good decision!

ferguson13313 karma

Hey guys! I Can't wait to see you all in November! Keep up the good work you are savin souls in the bible belt! - Phil Ferguson

MathClown4 karma

Looking forward to it!


Dalimey10011 karma

I mostly wanted to say thank you guys! Skepticon IV was my first foray into the magical world of secular/skeptic conferences. I remember being super overwhelmed by meeting all the wonderful people that previously I'd only read about (I was also super-SAP around the SSA booth...my bad). If I had to pinpoint a moment where I realized how much the secular movement meant to me, it would be here. So thank you so much.

I guess a question I do have is, how do you find the balance between big names speakers and some of the lesser known people who still have great things to say. I guess the refined version of that is, how do you choose who speaks at Skepticon?

SkepticonTeam11 karma

Simply put, namesize doesn't matter. We care about the message more than anything and this is just how it happens. What is impressive is that all the speakers donate their time to the event (no honorariums). --Micah

Zerowing10 karma

I'm out everybody! Karaoke calls!

Tell your friends to get in here and upvote the hell out of this thread. Get these hard-working organizers drunk!

SkepticonTeam10 karma

We'll never let go JT! WE'LL NEVER LET GOOOOO!

EverlyEvie9 karma

JT, will you hold my hand at Skepticon this year?

SkepticonTeam13 karma

Can we all hold hands and sing?

atea_feliz8 karma

a rousing chorus of Cum by Yah.

SkepticonTeam10 karma

Hymns...lots of hymns.

Zerowing8 karma

I will. :)

lartsy4 karma


Dr_Soodles9 karma

Is that gelato place still open? I haven't been down that street in a while. If it is open, I guess he won't have to worry about putting a sign up to keep you guys out this year.

dei2anged7 karma

Floyd here,yeah, our favorite sponsor closed down for good about two weeks ago. Their facebook page mentions that out had absolutely nothing to do with events on the past year. We have plenty of local sponsors that love us :D

Zerowing8 karma

Also, assuming you took a shot at 50 upvotes, what kind of rum?

SkepticonTeam28 karma


neatospiderplant8 karma

I don't have a question, but hubby and I are looking forward to attending for the first time. Just wanted to say thank you for all the hard work going into it!

SkepticonTeam12 karma

WOOO! Thanks for coming to our event.

NancyTheGrimm7 karma

Have you ever had a Christian (or any other theist) verbally attack you during a conference or at the after conference party? If so what happened?

If not what would you do if they did?

lartsy3 karma

There has been a little bit of hate mail...but we have a great team to help each other through the weird times. I think if someone verbally attacked me I would smile and ask them to please leave. Yep.

loish637 karma

I am really looking forward to being there. Is it true that your volunteers have the most fun? Of course its true! This is going to be my 3rd year, and 3rd year volunteering...the highlight of my year!

lartsy6 karma

It's people like you that make Skepticon sucessful, thank you so much!

SkepticonTeam3 karma

So glad to have people like yourself helping volunteer, we couldn't do it without you!

Knowbody_Nose6 karma

I just recently heard about Skepticon. I don't live too far, and I'm wondering if it is something that gets bigger every year? Is there ever a chance of getting Richard Dawkins or Neil deGrasse Tyson to speak?

SkepticonTeam12 karma

We seem to grow every year thanks to the amazing skeptic community and their support. We would say that there is definitely a chance to have Dawkins or Tyson, but you just never know. We like to pick speakers we think will be interesting not just popular.

SkepticonTeam36 karma

Also, Neil if you are reading this: COME TO SKEPTICON OMG

glitchx6 karma

  1. How ever are you guys going to top that fabulous trip to the creation museum (read: gift shop)?

  2. What's your guys' favorite ice cream/gelato/froyo/sherbet/etcetc flavors?

  3. Not a question, but this is for JT. I really appreciated your talk at SK4. I'm well acquainted with mental illness, so listening to you talk about your experiences with it hit close to home. You're beautiful, JT! ME LOVE YOU LONG TIEM.

SkepticonTeam9 karma

  1. George Hrab. Keith Jensen.
  2. Justice. Micah says chocolate chip cookie dough.
  3. Yes, JT's closing talk of SK4 was one of the greatest moments of SK4. We are looking forward to him closing SK5!

glitchx3 karma

I'm taking a break from school, so I unfortunately won't be going with ISSA this year. I'm going to do whatever I can to make it to SK5 on my own, and not just to see JT again. Thanks for the AMA guys. And Rob, nice ass. <3

lartsy3 karma

We hope you can make it! It would be great to have you again.

digitaldrake6 karma

Yo! This is James and Kasi. We can't decide what to name the beer we're sending for speaker gifts/auction items. It's a honey porter and so far we've thought of; sinfully sweet, heretic honey porter, prove it porter (with honey), sweet baby jesus honey porter, or devil made me do it. Any better ideas or the favored name of those listed?

SkepticonTeam5 karma

Floyd here, I once made a 5 gallon batch brown lager that we brewed with a pound of honey. One thing we found out is that it increases the alcohol content tremendously. So a name like, "Sweet Baby Jesus! Honey Porter" would really convey the sense of "Wow, I am now drunk Beyond Belief"

pugg_fuggly5 karma

All kidding aside, you might just have gotten somebody who had no idea you existed to attend. (me.)

SkepticonTeam3 karma

My only regret is that I have but one upvote to give. This is what we love to hear.

Rock_Hound5 karma

What are your thoughts on the Joplin mosque burning and the Wisconsin temple shooting? Do you get any local harassment during Skepticon?

MathClown6 karma

We are very concerned about about the arson. An attack on one minority is an attack on all minorities. In fact I am actually going to the meeting of the Ozark Interfaith Alliance (I know) about this tomorrow.

We do get some flack form the community, but most of the people who are bigoted against don't talk to us. Bigotry stems from ignorance, ignorance only exists in a lack of dialogue.


clockworkzebra4 karma

Is your cat really named PZ Meowers? If you got another, what fabulous name would you give him?

SkepticonTeam3 karma

Floyd here. Yep, she's really named PZ Meowers.

At SK2 I asked PZ Myers for permission to name my cat after him. He said sure, as long as I insured the animal was spayed or neutered. Deal.

The idea was that if I ever get a dog it would be named Richard Dawgkins.

yrtherenonamesonthis4 karma

Has the pub been chosen for the Skepticon after-hours events?

dei2anged6 karma

Not yet, we're toying with some new sponsorship ideas for that. Really we are looking to spread out across more venues. We packed Gastropub so much over capacity last year that they were running out of beer. We try to only support local businesses :D

aramink3 karma

What advice do you guys have for other secular groups wanting to start a Skepticon-type annual event? I'm with a certain Little Rock, Arkansas group, so I'm thinking particularly about Reason in the Rock, and how to make it GREAT. If we can make as much of a splash as Skepticon, I'll be thrilled!

MathClown4 karma

Don't advertise, make news.

Borrow and partner with other orgs to lower costs.

Make friends.

Keep in mind the narratives you are creating, stories are power.

If you want more particular info, PM me. --Micah

casualsocks3 karma

Waiting for the 1000 upvotes full nudes photo.

lartsy3 karma

...I am skeptical.

JustAnotherSimian3 karma

I have no questions, I just wanted to say that in support of rum drinking I gave you an upvote.

Keep up the good skepticism, guys!

MathClown3 karma

The Kraken and thanks!

jmutter33 karma

I'm a supporter of Skepticon and SSA, and I attended Skepticon last year. When I went, I was pleased by the lack of self-congratulation and pandering (perhaps with the exception of the Atheist Revival). How do you guys select your speakers, and do you ever turn people down? Why?

MathClown3 karma

First off, we turn people down a lot but we make sure to add their name, contact info, specialty into our database. If you want to speak at Skepticon, a link showing you speaking to a crowd is a very good idea.

In general: we pick our must-haves (if you rock it, you are probably speaking again) and we also pick topics that really should be at Skepticon and from there we find the best speakers for the job.


sakodak3 karma

You guys got a venue yet?

Is the hotel still the University Plaza? It's not up on the website yet.

SkepticonTeam6 karma

There is a link to the venue and hotel at the top of our registration form.

MathClown4 karma

This year we are going to be at the Expo Center, right across the street from the hotel. --Micah

Meades_Loves_Memes3 karma

I'm not sure I believe you.

MathClown5 karma

I'm not sure I believe you aren't sure that you believe me. --Micah

lartsy3 karma

Didn't you see our pantsless pic?

TimeSong4263 karma

You guys ever seen the first Pokemon movie? Loads of inspirational quotes there.

Also, can you pleeease consider touring or something? The south and Mid-Atlantic regions could use some scientific reason.

[deleted]3 karma


lartsy3 karma

Lauren here, I have never gotten a death threat, but I have lost friends over my atheism. I won't lie to you and say that it's easy, but the skeptic community is so welcoming and wonderful that you can easily find the support you need. Even though I am "out" as an athiest, there are still people or times that I am hesitant to say anything, so I don't blame you for staying in the closet but I hope that you will some day soon!

SkepticonTeam3 karma

Floyd here, hugs about the fear. I get very nervous at work every time I have to work on an order for a church or faith-based organization. I shuffle my feet and change topic as soon as I hear, "You should come out to..."

thisisphilip133 karma

I just wanted to say that the cat billboard near the plaza tower always makes me smile. Whoever made that should get a raise; it certainly turned my head. :)

SkepticonTeam5 karma

haahhahahahahahahahahahahahaha, you think we get paid.

cypridophobia3 karma

I don't have a question. Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome time last year. It was my father and I's first conference and now we are hooked. Can't wait for this year!!

SkepticonTeam3 karma

I'd like to believe we are a skepticism gateway drug! :D

antheia3 karma

My hubby and I were at SK3 and it was mind-blasting! Extenuating circumstances prevented us from going to SK4, but we are doing everything we can to get to SK5, however even if we can't be there physically, we'll be there in $pirit! You rock!!! Thank you SO much for all your hard work in putting on this legendary event! ((((HUGS))))

lartsy3 karma

Thank you so much!

Zerowing3 karma

What did JT get right? What did he get wrong? What would you say to bright-eyed skeptics who want to make a difference?


MathClown6 karma

JT is good at a lot of things, most of them are fishing for compliments. : )

My advice for bright-eyed skeptics is to keep trying. Your ideas are going to grow and you will get better at stating them with time. Also, come to Skepticon and talk to everyone. You will find some ideas that can change your mindset.


SkepticonTeam3 karma

Jt smells.

Also, if you are a young skeptic out there who wants to make a difference, your best bet is to just dive in! Join a local group, start a skeptic book club, juggle--do whatever strikes your fancy. Our movement needs people of all types and talents.

one_fish_two_fish3 karma

Hey guys! I love what you all do so much and I'm excited for SK5. That said, I noticed that the speaker list had relatively few people of color (2/20). This has been talked about a lot in the skeptic/atheist/etc communities (notably by Greta Christina), and the Reason Rally's speakers and performers were about 20% nonwhite (so double your percentage). Is this something you thought about when you were inviting speakers? Is increasing the visibility of speakers of color something you're committed to, now and in the future?

MathClown3 karma

Yes. I am in charge of speaker selection, and while this is my first year in this position, the lack of speakers of color something that bothers me. There are some really useful lists of speakers of color that I didn't know about when I first went about looking for speakers. Instead I used word of mouth as a heuristic of finding speakers, but unfortunately that leads to a continuation of the status quo.

That said, we are always looking for speaker suggestions. So, please help me make Skepticon the best convention it can be.