PZ’s SkepchickCON / CONvergence 2013 Panel Schedule

As long as Ashley Miller is publishing her con schedule, I might as well join in.

Thursday, July 4
5:00pm Evolutionary Psychology
10:00pm Worldbusters!
11:30pm Prometheus Debunked

Friday, July 5
12:30pm Bones
7:00pm Grosser than Fiction
10:00pm Penises of the Animal Kingdom

Saturday, July 6
5:00pm Geeks Without God LIVE
8:30pm The Real World vs. the Internet

Sunday, July 7
12:30pm Science and Religion: Friends or Foes?
2:00pm Ask a Scientist

The schedule lies a little bit. The Bones session (a hands-on exercise in dissecting an owl pellet) isn’t actually run by me — my wife Mary is the mastermind. I might just drift on by for a peek, but I shouldn’t steal the credit.

It’s not too late to register for CONvergence!


  1. David Marjanović says

    It’s not too late to register for CONvergence!

    It is, however, almost certainly to organize a trip there from here.

  2. David Wilford says

    Sorry, but it IS too late to pre-register for Convergence, so be prepared to pay $100 at the door.

  3. Nerdette says

    I thought 11:30 PM was rather late for a panel, so I looked to see what it was about:

    Prometheus Debunked
    One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year turned out to be a colossal pukestorm of bad science. Let’s all share and laugh about our favorite mockable moments. Panelists: Kevin Murphy, Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Bill Corbett

    So. Jealous. Riffing with the masters of Riff, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett?! You lucky dog you…

  4. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Registered and ready to go. Pretty fucking pumped for Prometheus Debunked.

  5. Randomfactor says

    Pretty fucking pumped for Prometheus Debunked.

    No WAY could his liver have grown back that fast.

  6. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    I actually haven’t seen Prometheus yet. I can’t think of a better way to watch it for the first time.

  7. kaboobie says

    I haven’t seen Prometheus either. If I can stay up late enough, I will be there for the riffing!

    I’m looking forward to the live Geeks Without God recording. I’ve been enjoying the podcast since it launched at last year’s CONvergence.

  8. Gregory Greenwood says

    Prometheus Debunked
    One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year turned out to be a colossal pukestorm of bad science. Let’s all share and laugh about our favorite mockable moments. Panelists: Kevin Murphy, Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers, Bill Corbett


    Even as a layman, when I watched Prometheus I couldn’t help but notice that it had something of a problem with bad science, serious plotholes, and a penchant for ‘ancient alien’ blather that, according to interviews with Ridley Scott, the director takes a little worryingly seriously.

    A few of my personal ‘Prometheus moment’ highlights include:-

    1) They did things like simply take off their helmets without even bothering to wonder how a breathable atmosphere suddenly popped up in an area of a planet with a toxic atmospheric composition, and without seeming to worry that what suddenly appeared could disappear again just as easily, and not even bothering to check to see if this atmosphere contained any potentially harmful chemical components or pathogens. Just take off your helmet, get a lung full, and hope you don’t all die pointlessly. Even more oddly, when Shaw tells off her collegue for taking the risk, he responds by mocking her completely legitimate concern – so she just goes along with it and takes off her own helmet, followed by the rest of the team. They are all prepared to risk their lives because some bozo responds to an obvious problem with what amounts to “Nah – it’ll be fine. Don’t be such a spoilsport“.

    2) Then there was the geologist who controls the map-making drones that have been used to create an interactive 3D map of the entire structure they are in, who still manages to get lost… somehow. And the captain who is looking at this map of the whole complex back on the ship, complete with blinking dots indicating the location of the two lost crew members, with whom he is in unobstructed radio contact, who for some unknown reason cannot simply guide them to the way out.

    3) And what about the exo-biologist who was terrified of calcified alien corpses but for some reason utterly unconcerned about a dangerous looking snake-like lifeform that he knows precisely nothing about.

    4)The security guard who finds the mangled and mutated body of the geologist just outside the ship, and doesn’t stop to wonder how it might have gotten there, or seem alarmed in the least by the discovery.

    5)The android David deliberately infecting another character with the black gunk (which he knows next to nothing about), thereby endangering the lives of everyone on board, possibly even his own, and all without any good reason for doing so.

    6)All the ‘Ancient Alien’ nonsense that permeates the entire film, from the initial opening sequence, through the cave art starmap that Shaw finds, to the titanic biology-fail where it is declared that the Engineers have the exact same genetic structure as humanity, and yet they seem to exhibit significant physiological differences that cannot be reconciled with that claim.

    7) Shaw’s mutant tentacle baby. Not only does it grow impossibly fast (both before and after birth, and without anything much in the way of nutrition), it does so without, you know, killing her in the process. And all this is acheived in fashion that bascially amounts to the black gunk having magical properties.

    8) A super-advanced automated surgical unit… that is not configured for use with female anatomy? I know that it is there for the use of Wayland, but if you had such advanced technology, why would you construct the device solely to be used on men in the first place? What if his daughter got injured?

    9) The inconsistency of Shaw’s abdominal wound from her impromptu caesarian – walking hurts, but running, jumping and abseiling are just fine.

    10) A long, narrow ship is falling toward us? Quick – run directly along its longest axis! Don’t turn to the side and easily escape being crushed!

    11) One second, Shaw is almost out of air and gasping for breath, only being saved by the escape pod. A few seconds later, without doing anything to change the air tank in her suit, she has air enough to go all the way back to the alien ships.

    12) David has some understanding of the alien language, and within a matter of minutes can suddenly tell Shaw through verbal instructions alone how to fly an unknown type of spaceship based on an entirely alien technology base vastly more advanced than that of the humanity of the fiction.

    Spotting these kind of things quickly overshadowed the actual plot line and character development for me, they became that obtrusive.

  9. bwells says

    Hate to sidetrack, and I don’t know how well-known he is in the US, but Dr. Henry Morgentaler has passed away!

  10. says

    Sadly, I’m going to be a few thousand miles away at the time. I really hope that Evopsych panel is recorded; the anti-EP posts were some of my favorite posts on Pharyngula last year (I’d always felt quietly uncomfortable with evopsych, but never quite articulated it right).

  11. moarscienceplz says

    Hey PZ!

    I’d love to see how you torture innocent zebrafish in your evil lair. Do you have time either before or after the con to show off your lab?