Convergence is coming

Everyone is announcing their schedule at Convergence: there’s the whole dang SkepChickCon schedule, Jason Thibeault and Brianne Bilyeu of FtB have produced theirs, and Dr Rubidium is doing a bunch of panels (wait…they let chemists in?). So I guess I’ll mention what I’ll be up to.

We have a little family affair every year in the Sandbox — these are hands-on activities, aimed mainly at kids, but everyone is welcome to show up.

CONvergence 2014: Bones.

Discover what an owl had for dinner! Dissect an owl pellet to solve the mystery and reveal clues about the owl’s diet and predator/prey relationships. What types of bones will you find in your pellet? Panelists: Mary Myers, Skatje Myers, PZ Myers

Thursday July 3, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm

CONvergence 2014: Create a Real DNA Necklace.

How do you extract DNA out of living things? What does your DNA look like? Find out and make a special necklace using your unique DNA! Panelists: Mary Myers, PZ Myers, Skatje Myers

Saturday July 5, 2014 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Then there are the panels, lots of panels. I cut back on the number I was on this year, because last year I did something like a dozen and it was exhausting.

CONvergence 2014: When Science Isn't Your Friend.

When has science hurt people in reality and what has that taught us about how science should be practiced? We’ll discuss everything from the Tuskegee experiments and Henrietta Lacks to continuing issues like surgery on intersex babies. Panelists: Stephanie Zvan (mod), Caleph Wilson, PZ Myers, Mary Brock, Debbie Goddard

Thursday July 3, 2014 8:30pm – 9:30pm

CONvergence 2014: Real Monsters.

Reality is stranger than fiction. The deep seas and uncharted lands hold unimaginably bizarre creatures. This panel explores some of the strangest, ugliest, and most unlikely creatures known to live. Panelists: Brianne Bilyeu, Ryan Consell, Matt Kuchta, Siouxsie Wiles, PZ Myers

Friday July 4, 2014 9:30am – 10:30am

CONvergence 2014: Ask a Scientist.

A general Q & A with expert scientists from a variety of fields. Panelists: Bug Girl, Dr Rubidium, Matt Kuchta, PZ Myers, Lathan Murrell

Friday July 4, 2014 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Friday July 4, 2014 5:00pm – 6:00pm

CONvergence 2014: Alien Conspiracy Theories.

The truth is out there, and we’ll help you find it! We’ll cover a wide range of alien-centric conspiracy theories and discuss the implications these have on individuals and society at large. Panelists: JD Horn, Jason Thibeault, Nicole Gugliucci, PZ Myers, Scott Lynch

That’s the Scott Lynch who wrote the Locke Lamorra fantasy novels, by the way.

Friday July 4, 2014 7:00pm – 8:00pm

CONvergence 2014: Coming Out Atheist.

Join us to discuss what it’s like to come out as an atheist in various parts of the country, with different religious backgrounds, and the intersection for many of us with coming out in other ways, such as in sexual orientation and gender identity. Panelists: Ashley F. Miller, Heina Dadabhoy, PZ Myers, Debbie Goddard, Brianne Bilyeu

Every year we do what is basically a biology of sex panel, held late at night after the kiddies have gone to bed. It tends to get a little raunchy and amusing — it also tends to be overwhelmed with attendees. If you want to get into this one, show up early.

CONvergence 2014: Superstimuli: My, What a Big _____ You H….

Doing stupid things to attract mates isn’t limited only to humans. From the peacock’s tail to the bird of paradise mating game, evolution itself makes animals go to ridiculous lengths for the sake of reproduction. Panelists: Emily Finke, Bug Girl, Sharon Stiteler, Matt Kuchta, PZ Myers

Friday July 4, 2014 11:30pm – 12:30am

There are lots of other panels going on — it’s non-stop brain stimulation all weekend long. There also the parties late at night. The Skepchicks host one party room — their theme this year is the Skepchick Space Lab — and Freethoughtblogs hosts the adjacent room, in 228. Our theme is…the Deep, to complement the spacey chicks next door.

Freethoughtblogs is hosting a party to celebrate the mysteries of the ocean: fierce sharks, grasping tentacles, an alien world right beneath us. Enjoy cool drinks, talk with deep thinkers, get eaten by a squid…oh, wait, no. No one will be eaten. Probably. We’ll just have fun.

You’re all coming, right? Bloomington. 3-6 July. It’ll be fun.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    No it isn’t. Convergence is over. Korra defeated Vatu and left the door to the spirit world open so that…

    Wait, this isn’t the “Legend of Korra” forum, is it?

    (Slinks away, very, VERY embarrassed.)

  2. says

    Ooh, I feel like doing some irresponsible quote-mining:

    This panel explores some of the strangest, ugliest, and most unlikely creatures known to live: Brianne Bilyeu, Ryan Consell, Matt Kuchta, Siouxsie Wiles, PZ Myers

    J/k, love them all, even the ones I don’t know.

  3. brett says

    I’m not going to lie, when I saw that headline my initial reaction was “Oh shit, am I living in a Dead Space game?”

  4. kaboobie says

    My husband and I enjoyed out first CONvergence last year and are delighted to be returning.

  5. mareap says

    Got my ticket, got my hotel, got my wheelie walker oiled up (ankle injury) and all ready to go!!

  6. frankb says

    My family and I will arrive late on Thursday (my daughter has class Thursday morning). The skeptic panels will be my main interest. I will be the one in a leather top hat.

    In May I found out that Minnesota grocery stores are now stocking 3% beers and wine coolers, nothing stronger. I think I shall bring my own because once I find a parking spot I am not leaving it.

  7. Stardrake says

    Leo Buzalsky @2–This year the CONvergence coffee room (CoF2E2) will be open 24 hours throughout the con. So at least there’s a caffeine supply…

    And those who like to torture language should check out The Pun-El (named for that great Kryptonian comedian) at 11:30 PM on Friday, in Plaza 2. A solid hour of puns! The worse the better! Be there! Aloha!

  8. Suido says

    My favourite convergence was when Anomander Rake killed Hood, then Dassem Ultor killed Rake. Meanwhile, Karsa Orlong was beating up hounds and Iskaral Pust was jousting with Kruppe.

    Not a Malazan forum? Harrumph. Being on the wrong continent and missing epic convergences sucks.