Tom TAM - The Amazing Meeting Australia
The Amazing Meeting (TAM) finally arrived in Australia this weekend, and it was a splendid event.
For those who don't know, TAM is an international gathering of self-proclaimed sceptics, which in this context means those who apply rational ideas and critical thought to all aspects of life. We get a lot of fun out of yeti hunters and ufologists, but more importantly we look at the quacks of alternative medicine and the sinister, life-endangering anti-vaccination lobby.
Most of the weekend was spent at conference style speeches and workshops featuring the likes of Dick Smith and Dr Karl.
Here's a snap of the panel on scepticism and the law, featuring (l-r) Martin Hadley, Nicholas Cowdery, Simon Singh and Julian Morrow:
The event took place over the whole weekend, which gave everybody the chance to meet up with some luminaries of the movement, as well as a whole bunch of like-minded folk. Here's me with some famous-to-a-self-selecting-minority mini-celebs:
The Amazing Randi, godfather of the sceptical scene.
Steve Novella, clinical neurologist and podcaster.
Eugeneie Scott, anti-creationism campaigner extraordinaire.
Sadly, Embiggen Books ran out of some extremely useful products early on:
But we did all get given official Placebo Bands, guaranteed as effective as $30 hologram/natural energy pathways/mumbo-jumbo based Power Band.
It was both fun and educational. Most of all, though, I found it inspirational. Next time I come across some bullshit woo-woo pseudomedicine out to con some innocent and possibly put them in danger, I won't just shrug but I'll do something about it. After all, children's lives may be at stake.