The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Daniel Loxton Wins Victoria Book Prize

Pterosaur Trouble (book cover)2014 Victoria Children's Book Prize Winner

Daniel Loxton, author of Pterosaur Trouble (Kids Can Press) was named the winner of the 7th annual Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize worth $5000. Illustrated by Loxton with Jim W.W. Smith, Pterosaur Trouble is book two in the Tales of Prehistoric Life series. It follows the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus, a majestic flying reptile, as he encounters a pack of tiny but vicious dinosaurs.

Daniel Loxton is the editor of Junior Skeptic, the children’s science section bound within Skeptic magazine. Daniel previously won the 2010 Lane Anderson Award for his Junior Skeptic-based book Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.

All three volumes in the Tales of Prehistoric Life series (Ankylosaur Attack, Pterosaur Trouble, and Plesiosaur Peril) are available from Shop Skeptic, as are Loxton’s books Evolution and Abominable Science! (2013, Columbia University Press, co-authored with Donald Prothero).

Get all 3 books for $45

Weekly Highlights

INSIGHT at sheds light, offers critical perspective, and serves as a broadly accessible, evidence-based resource on mysteries of science, paranormal claims, and the wild, woolly, wonderful weirdness of the fringe. This week’s highlights are:

Donald Prothero
Reports of the Demise of Books
Are Greatly Exaggerated

Donald Prothero, author of over 35 books, considers claims that the future of publishing belongs exclusively to pixels over paper.

Read the Insight

Blake Smith
Of Pods and Monsters

Blake Smith defends the value of the examination of monster beliefs, arguing that “In the world of cryptozoology you, see the entirety of belief writ small.”

Read the Insight


Dr. Katherine Freese — Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter

The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe constitute only 5% of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science—what is the universe made of?—told by one of today’s foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter, acclaimed University of Michigan theoretical physicist Katherine Freese. Theorists contend that dark matter consists of fundamental particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. Billions of them pass through our bodies every second without us even realizing it, yet their gravitational pull is capable of whirling stars and gas at breakneck speeds around the centers of galaxies, and bending light from distant bright objects. Dr. Freese describes the larger-than-life characters and clashing personalities behind the race to identify these elusive particles. Order The Cosmic Cocktail from Amazon.

Watch this lecture

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Dr. Richard Sugg
MonsterTalk # 92
Fangs That Go Bump
in the Night

We’ve all seen the vampires of cinema and pop culture. Caped aristocrats, sparkling teens, monstrous revenants—which of these best corresponds to the real legends of vampires? Richard Sugg returns to talk about his fascinating research into historic vampire cases. He’s uncovered a recurring relationship between outbreaks of vampirism and poltergeist activity, which will be the subject of his next book.

Alfred Russel Wallace Centennial Celebration at UCLA

November 15, 2014, 9am – 4pm
Schoenberg Hall, UCLA Campus

UCLA will be hosting an exciting weekend in November commemorating the life and legacy of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), the co-discoverer along with Charles Darwin of evolution by natural selection and the father of biogeography.

Distinguished Speakers
9am – 12 pm
Andrew Berry, Jared Diamond, Ed Larson & Michael Shermer
1pm – 4pm
Frans de Waal, Tim Laman and Edwin Scholes, and Wade Davis
  • Full Day Registration: $35 ($30 tax deductible)
  • Half Day Registration: $25 ($20 tax deductible)

Registration includes coffee and light refreshments, souvenir program, field notebook and book signing opportunity. Seating is limited, register early. For assistance with registration, please call 310-206-6503.

More information

Order tickets

All proceeds will support the A.R. Wallace Fund, providing need-based financial support for field research and discovery in international settings.

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