The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


A Note from Michael Shermer, Executive Director

2020 was arguably one of the most dramatic years in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic, the shutdown of the economy, mass unemployment, and the November election fueled conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, pseudoscience, and quackery of all forms, keeping us busier than usual trying to stay up with what the best science advises us to do while at the same time debunking the proliferation of unscientific claims, such as that 5G causes COVID-19, that SARS-CoV-2 was invented by Bill Gates, that Big Pharma created a pandemic in order to sell us drugs and vaccines, that the virus was a Chinese bio-weapon, that very few people actually died of COVID-19. The support you provided us in 2019 enabled us to do all this and more in 2020.

Skeptic Cover Portrait Illustrations by Pat Linse


Sage graphic art advice for Skeptical Groups from Skeptic magazine’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Our magazine has reached its 100th issue! Please celebrate with us and enjoy a gallery of skeptical art reflecting more than 47 years of combined skeptical activism from Skeptic magazine by our Art Director Pat Linse, and Junior Skeptic Creator, Daniel Loxton.

Pat Linse discovered the skeptical movement in 1984, after reading a delightful L.A. Times article that explained the physics behind firewalking. As a graphic arts professional, Linse immediately volunteered her services to skeptics groups, but she didn’t get that many assignments. By the time she met with Michael Shermer in late 1991 to talk about creating Skeptic magazine, she had 7 years of bottled up enthusiasm ready to dedicate to the project. The Skeptics Society in its early years was largely a volunteer organization. Junior Skeptic author/illustrator Daniel Loxton also started by donating art work. So the creation of many of the illustrations in this art retrospective represents dedication and devotion to the cause.

View the gallery of skeptical art

The skeptical art retrospective has also been published in our 100th issue of Skeptic magazine, which will begin shipping mid-December and will be available to order on December 8.

Our Annual Report

We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve and we hope you agree and will continue to support our efforts in promoting science, skepticism, and critical thinking. Thanks to your continuing support we are looking forward to 2021 and are pleased to report on what we have been doing with your donations the past year:

Download the report (PDF)

The downloadable PDF report (above) contains an abbreviated version of the aforementioned gallery of skeptical art. The online gallery version reflects more than 47 years of combined skeptical activism including some additional wonderful art by Junior Skeptic author/illustrator Daniel Loxton.

Thanks to Your Support, Our Science Salon Podcast Has Grown Tremendously

Our popular Science Salon podcast (listen to episode 145 below) is now approaching 200,000 downloads per episode and many millions over all. We have carved out a niche for ourselves as the go-to source for in-depth conversations with leading scientists, scholars, and thinkers. Our guests in 2020 included Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Neil Shubin, Bart Ehrman, Ann Druyan, Matt Ridley, Stuart Russell, Maria Konnikova, Gerald Posner, Sarah Scoles, William Perry, Debra Soh, Stuart Ritchie, Leonard Mlodinow, Joseph Henrich, Marta Zaraska, Katherine Steward, Christof Koch, Hugo Mercier, Richard Dawkins, and many more.

Your donations have allowed us to put together a more professional studio, and with your support we can continue to increase the quality of the podcast recording. Listen to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and TuneIn.

Ways to make your tax deductible donations

You can make a donation online using your credit card, or by calling 1-626-794-3119. You may also mail us a cheque along with your completed printable donation form. The Skeptics Society is registered US 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. Your donations are tax deductible.



Michael Shermer with Greg Lukianoff — How Free is Free Speech?

In this wide ranging conversation focused on Greg Lukianoff’s co-authored (with Jonathan Haidt) book The Coddling of the American Mind, and his new documentary film Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story, about the free speech champion Ira Glassner, who headed the ACLU for decades, he and Shermer discuss:

  • the state of free speech today,
  • how coddled today’s students are,
  • the data on rates of depression and anxiety in students today,
  • possible causes of the coddling of the American mind: social media, screen time, culture of safetyism, culture of victimhood, helicopter parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play,
  • cancel culture and its effect on self-censorship and silencing speech,
  • current rates of deplatforming and canceling in academia,
  • the polarization of politics,
  • when self-censorship is healthy,
  • default to truth theory vs. default to skepticism theory,
  • How gullible are we, really?
  • how to combat the negative influencers on social media,
  • a brief history of free speech in the 20th and 21th centuries,
  • why people in power want to silence dissenters (even free speech advocates in power), and
  • the value of viewpoint diversity.

Greg Lukianoff is the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Lukianoff is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School. He specializes in free speech and First Amendment issues in higher education. He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate and Freedom From Speech. Read about his new film: Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story.

Listen to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and TuneIn.

Listen now

You play a vital part in our commitment to promoting science and reason. If you enjoy the Science Salon Podcast, please show your support.

LAST CALL! Sale Ends Dec 5, 2020

25% off everything in our online store

Our biggest sale ever is almost over! Now through December 5, 2020 — SAVE 25% on everything at Shop Skeptic, including: print subscriptions, print back issues, books, DVDs & CDs, Junior Skeptic PDFs, hoodies, t-shirts, and Skeptic lapel pins.

Shop Now. Save 25%

Sale ends at 23:59:59 Saturday, December 5, 2020, PT. Order by December 6 for shipments outside the US. Quantities are limited. Shipping not included. Shipping will be calculated during checkout based on destination.

LAST CALL! Sale Ends Dec 5, 2020

Save 40% on New Digital Subscriptions

Reg. $14.99
NOW ONLY $8.99

Now through December 5, 2020 — enjoy 40% off new digital subscriptions to Skeptic magazine at Subscribe now and download the current issue instantly. Three more digital issues will follow as they are released (in December 2020, March 2021, and June 2021).

Your subscription can be synchronized to your favourite handheld device(s) or read on your PC or Mac.

Subscribe now. Save 40%

Sale ends December 5, 2020. To get the 40% discount on digital subscriptions, they must be purchased at Questions about digital subscriptions? Email [email protected].

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Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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