I'll start with the good part: The discussion at the pub afterwards was great fun.
As for the talk itself, an impressive number of people were in the audience - it was one of the few at the conference that was open to the public. However, I was very disappointed in it. First Quammen spent a lot of time just talking about how interesting his work was, and then when he got to actual content, he was adamant that science writing was all about the people, since that's what readers wanted to read about. But if the goal is actually to educate the public about science, science writing should be about the science - not necessarily leaving out any vestige of human interest, but that should be secondary in the background. Otherwise, why does it matter whether a human interest story is about a scientist, politician, sports figure or movie star?
0 · July 7, 2012
I suggest we meet outside the venue by the benches next to the canal (on the other side of Colonel By Drive to the convention centre) and then head to the Exchange pub (http://www.theexpub.com/) just around the corner. I'll try to book a table for 10 people for 9pm. I'll be wearing my conference nametag, but people will have to be pro-active about seeking out fellow skeptics! If you can't find us outside the venue, head to the pub - table will be in my name.
0 · July 6, 2012
Hi, I'm new to Ottawa Skeptics (& fairly new to Ottawa/Canada - visiting postdoc). If anyone would like to go for a drink afterwards, I'd be interested! I'm not sure the best way of organising as I'll only have limited internet access tomorrow, but I'll be milling about in a green Origin of Species T-shirt & beard (and I'll try to look here before I go).
Also, today's In Our Time (BBC/Melvyn Bragg) was on historical/philosophical Scepticism & might be of interest - snipurl.com/iotscepticism
0 · July 5, 2012