Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

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Upcoming Lectures

All events begin on a Sunday at 2pm in Baxter Lecture Hall on the Caltech campus. Lecture events usually feature a Q&A period after the talk, and a book signing by the author. Also, lecture-goers are invited to meet and talk to the speaker and socialize with fellow skeptics over dinner and libations at Burger Continental in Pasadena. Missed a lecture? Most can be ordered on DVD.


The Psychology of Magic (includes a magic show!)

Dr. Tony Barnhart (photo by Dimitri Sherman)

IN THIS DELIGHTFUL SHOW of mind and magic Dr. Tony Barnhart, a cognitive scientist and part-time professional magician (with over 20 years of performing experience), shows how magicians are informal cognitive scientists with their own hypotheses about the mind. His work on the science of magic has been featured in Science News for Kids as well as in national television shows, and he teaches a course on the Psychology of Magic at Northern Arizona University where he teaches students the principles of cognitive science through the art of magic. Don’t miss this entertaining and enlightening show and bring the kids!


Alan Turing: The Enigma

Dr. Andrew Hodges

IT IS ONLY A SLIGHT EXAGGERATION to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912–1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades—all before his suicide at age 41. In November a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing will be released, based on the classic biography by Dr. Andrew Hodges, who teaches mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford (he is also an active contributor to the mathematics of fundamental physics). Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936—the concept of a universal machine—laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. Hodges also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic story of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program—all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.

A book signing will follow the lecture. We will have copies of the book, Alan Turing: The Enigma, available for purchase. Can’t attend the lecture? Order Alan Turing: The Enigma from Amazon.


Admission Policy for Baxter Hall

Due to security concerns, Baxter Hall will be locked and the audience will be admitted only through the doors on the South side of the building by the lily ponds. If, for medical reasons, you cannot climb the stairs to the hall on the 2nd floor, someone at the main entrance (located in the middle of the West side of the building) will escort you to the elevator. Get directions to the Caltech Campus, Baxter Hall and Beckman Auditorium.

Pricing

Ticket prices for Baxter Hall are $10 for Skeptics Society members/Caltech/JPL community; $15 for nonmembers. Ticket prices for Beckman Auditorium are $15 for Skeptics Society members/Caltech/JPL community; $20 everyone else. Tickets for all Baxter Lecture Hall events are sold on a first come, first served basis at the door. Seating is limited. Your admission fee is a donation that pays for our lecture expenses. For Beckman Auditorium, tickets may be purchased in advance through the Caltech ticket office in 101 Winnett (MAP) at 626-395-4652, or at the door. Ordering tickets ahead of time is strongly recommended. Do not leave a message; call between 9am–4pm Monday through Friday.

Service Charge for Beckman Auditorium Tickets

For all tickets purchased by phone or fax for Beckman Auditorium lectures, Caltech will add an $8 service charge per ticket order (no matter how many tickets are ordered). No service charge will be added to tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event or purchased in person at the Caltech ticket office in advance.

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