Founded in 1988, Tampa Bay Skeptics is a nonprofit educational and scientific organization devoted to the critical examination of paranormal and fringe-science claims, and the dissemination of factual information about such claims. In 2004, TBS became a Special Interest Group of the Center For Inquiry–Tampa Bay.
• Particular areas of interest to TBS include UFOs, "psychic" power, astrology, fringe science & medicine, purported miracles and other New Age claims. Our interest in religion is restricted to claims that can be objectively tested and potentially verified, such as "weeping icons" or miraculous healings. TBS conducts its own investigations, follows the activities of other skeptics groups, monitors the press coverage of the paranormal, and publishes a quarterly newsletter, Tampa Bay Skeptics Report, which is also distributed gratis to members of the press and to many other skeptics groups around the world. [Note: Publication of the quarterly newsletter ceased in late 2013.] TBS also makes its representatives available to local and national media to provide a skeptical voice as a counterweight to the irrationalism and superstition that is increasingly prevalent in the television and print media.
• TBS does not reject claims out of hand, but rather is committed to objective and critical inquiry. In this vein, we share the philosophy of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) -- formerly known as CSICOP -- publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, an international organization that has nurtured the growth of local skeptics groups (such as ours) all over the world.
• TBS's "$1,000 Challenge" Whenever possible, TBS attempts to put claims to the test. Since 1989 we have had a standing $1,000 Challenge available to anyone able to provide TBS with verifiable scientific proof of any paranormal phenomenon. No one has yet succeeded, but we remain open-minded (though highly skeptical) and desirous of subjecting testable paranormal claims to objective scrutiny. Should anyone ever succeed in a test for TBS, we will arrange for a test by the James Randi Educational Foundation for its $1,000,000 Challenge.
• Membership in TBS [Note: Publication of the quarterly newsletter, and quarterly meetings, ceased in late 2013.] We encourage those who wish to help further the cause of skepticism to join TBS! You can take your first step by writing a check for $15 to cover your first year's dues. Annual membership includes four issues of Tampa Bay Skeptics Report, each snailmailed to you in advance of our quarterly meetings (see next section). Make your $15 check payable to "Tampa Bay Skeptics" and mail to: CFI–Tampa Bay (c/o O'Keefe) 4011 S. Manhattan Ave. #139, Tampa, FL 33611-1277