The mission of the Skeptical Society of St. Louis is to promote the application of critical thinking and scientific principles to everyday problems and complex societal issues. We use the term "skeptic" in our name to associate the organization with the ideas of Scientific Skepticism promoted by Carl Sagan and to distinguish the organization from philosophical skepticism or cynicism. To quote Dr. Steven Novella, host of the popular podcast The Skeptics Guide to the Universe,
"A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion."
Our primary activity is Skeptics in the Pub, an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and other like-minded individuals. We also provide special awards to 2 deserving students at the annual Academy of Science St. Louis Science Fair. These are monetary awards which are deposited directly into the student's 529 account for their future education.
A NOTE ON ATHEISM: While there is an overlap between the Skeptics and Atheists communities, we are not an atheist organization. Our focus is on the love of science and the desire to learn how to apply critical thinking within our lives. People of all persuasions are welcome!!