Humanist Symposium

Humanism in Kenya will be hosting an international event called the „Humanist Symposium“ on November 4th, 2023, focusing on balancing secular values and cultural diversity while respecting religious freedoms.

It’s FREE to attend, but RSVP is required.

Don’t be left out!

The Skeptics’ Guide to Vexillology – Dr Tom Williamson

Flags! They’re everywhere, from battlefields to Pride marches to the World Cup. But what secrets and mysteries do flags hold? Why do some people get upset if you say Union Flag instead of Union Jack? Are remainers right when they say they want their star back? Why do the bad guys have such well-designed flags? And just what does it mean to fly at half mast?

Tom Williamson, whose fascination with the subject began with investigating his grandfather’s souvenirs, will attempt to answer these questions and more in this taste of vexillology, the study of flags. Every aspect of this diverse field will be covered, so look forward to history, politics and design. Flags: not just colourful pieces of cloth!

Graduating with a PhD in Systems Biology from the University of Manchester, Tom Williamson has decided to do nothing with it whatsoever and instead spends his days designing tills for some of the UK’s biggest charities. When he’s not doing that, Tom is one half of the Retrospecticus podcast, a show that examines The Simpsons and the events in modern history that surround it.

Outside of that, Tom developed the word salad generator Wisdom of Chopra, a website that was used to win an IgNobel prize!

„Trick or Treatment“ by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh

This month’s work is the 2008 book „Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine“ by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh. This book is a pillar of skeptical thinking and a must-read for anybody concerned about alt-med.

Trick or Treatment evaluates the scientific evidence for acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and chiropractic, and briefly covers 36 other treatments. It finds that the scientific evidence for these alternative treatments is generally lacking. Homeopathy is concluded to be completely ineffective: „It’s nothing but a placebo, despite what homeopaths say“.

Modern Humanism in Africa – Kato Mukasa

For this talk, Kato will be drawing from two of his more recent books: The God Business and the Death of Reason in Africa (2021), and: Modern Humanism, and How to make it work for the People.

He will explore the history of religion in Africa, both traditional religions and those imported by colonists, and the effect that religion has had on the lives and the thinking of people in Uganda and further afield throughout Africa.

Kato will also talk about his view of practical Humanism, how it should not be restricted to conferences and lecture theatres, but be taken to the grassroots where it can be seen in action. Modern Humanism is more concerned with activism and there are several ways through which Humanism can be made more relevant

Kato Mukasa is a Ugandan lawyer; he is the Executive Director of Legal Relief Frontiers LTD, a non governmental organization which provides Legal Relief services to the poor in Uganda. Over the years in his practice as a lawyer he has handled human rights cases which involve supporting LGBTQ rights, abused children, rape victims and victims of land evictions among others. He has espoused these views on local media and has a number of published books, such as „Challenging the myths about homosexuality“.

Kato is also a humanist in a country where only 0.2% of the population identify as non-religious. Having had a keen interest in religion in his early teens, he was eventually expelled from his Catholic high school for refusing to attend mass.

He is the chair of Uganda Humanist Association the oldest Humanist organization in Africa, and a former member of the board of directors of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

In 2007 he co-founded the Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity and Accountability to promote critical thinking and human rights. Its monthly campus discussions are attended by people of faith and non-believers. It also sponsors students and assists young mothers in acquiring entrepreneurship skills, among other programs. He is the founding director of Pearl Vocational Training College and Pearl Mukasa Memorial High School, schools which provide education to the marginalized urban and rural poor, young mothers and needy students.
Sadly it is perhaps not surprising that views such as these, in a very traditional and religious country, have made him the target of attacks.

Science Friction – how surface interactions shaped the world – Laurie Winkless

We are surrounded by stickiness. From the bike tyre that grips the road and the Post-it note that’s become an office mainstay, to your non-stick frying pan, and the ice that transforms waterways each winter. All of these things are controlled by tiny forces that operate on and between surfaces, with friction playing the leading role. In this talk, Laurie will explore the role of friction in both the manufactured and natural worlds. She will describe how our understanding of surface science, and our ability to manipulate stickiness, have developed throughout history, transforming the world around us. If you’ve ever wondered how the ancient Egyptians could move colossal stone blocks, or why earthquakes happen, you might find the answers here.

This talk is inspired by Laurie’s latest book, ‘Sticky: The Secret Science of Surfaces’. Published by Bloomsbury in the UK and Europe on 11 November 2021, it will reach other markets in early 2022.

Laurie Winkless is an Irish physicist and author. After a physics degree and a masters in space science, she joined the UK’s National Physical Laboratory as a research scientist, specialising in functional materials. Now based in New Zealand, Laurie has been communicating science to the public for 15 years. Since leaving the lab, she has worked with scientific institutes, engineering companies, universities, and astronauts, amongst others. Her writing has featured in outlets including Forbes, Wired, and Esquire, and she appeared in The Times magazine as a leading light in STEM. Laurie’s first book was Science and the City. Her second, Sticky: The Secret Science of Surfaces, is available now (in hardcopy, e-book and audio formats) from all good bookshops.

Trianle Skeptics in the (Virtual) Pub – Belief in Psychics: What’s the Harm?

What’s the harm in people believing in psychics and mediums? It’s all fun and games, isn’t it?
Well, until you lose your life savings to a con-artist, and your life is destroyed. In this talk, Rob Palmer will reveal the consequences – up to personal financial ruin – that frequently befall the vulnerable victims of these predators. The presentation will provide real-world examples of this type of crime, show why these beliefs are so prevalent in the 21st century, explain why it is easy for most anyone to become a victim, and discuss the battle being waged by skeptical activists to fight this largely unrecognized scourge.

SkeptiCamp Monterey 2022

The First Skeptic Conference of the year!

ZOOM meeting
YouTube channel – join the conversation

Schedule and speakers’ topics

All times Pacific – Speaking times are flexible – bear with us (Česká republika je o 9 hodin napřed!)


9:46am  – Welcome from Susan Gerbic, founder of Monterey County Skeptics and Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia (GSoW).  

10:30am – Facepalm – the absurdities of the Truth Movement – Claus Larsen & Steen Svanholm

About: As editors of, an independent medium which aims to investigate the core claims of the Truth Movement, Steen Svanholm and Claus Larsen have investigated conspiracy theories for more than a decade.

Summary: Conspiracy theorists present their alternative explanations as far better supported than “the official accounts”. In reality, the theories are not only lacking in evidence, they are also absurd and often contradict each other. The lecture will also explain the thinking behind these problems and how the Truth Movement handles the absurdities in an Orwellian manner.


11:00am – Linda Rosa – Attachment Therapy: the most cruel quackery

11:45am – Rob Palmer Critical Thinking 101: Inoculating Yourself Against False Beliefs

Summary: Our brains evolved on the African savannah well enough to allow survival in that unforgiving environment. But our thinking is far from perfect. We are primed to trust the opinions and anecdotes of people we know. We conclude that something is true based on inadequate personal experience, less-than-perfect memory, faulty logic, and a host of cognitive biases. All of this can lead us to believe in things which do not comport with reality, and often results in bad decisions and even harm. In this talk, Rob Palmer will discuss these topics from a skeptical perspective, because understanding our innate cognitive shortcomings can help us think more rationally, better avoid errors, and live better lives.

Rob Palmer is affectionally called The Well-Known Skeptic – find his column for Skeptical Inquirer here.


12:15pm –  Kyle Polich – Cryopreservation: a skeptical survey

Summary: Cryogenics are a speculative technology aimed at preserving a dying human body in a way that enables thawing and revival once medical science has discovered a cure. To date, no such revivals have been achieved in human beings. Should we be calling cryogenics “woo”? If I can afford it, what are my odds? Where is Walt Disney’s head? These questions and more will be explored.

Bio: Kyle is the host of the popular podcast Data Skeptic – find more here.


12:45pm –  Adrienne Hill – Tic Tok Tics with Teens and the Pandemic

Summary: Since the second wave of the pandemic, a surge of patients with “acute onset tic-like behaviors” have been seen in Calgary and around the world. The headlines in the news have blamed Tik Tok, social media and even the teens themselves for being attention-seeking. Adrienne will discuss what is currently known about these unusual cases.

Bio: Galactic overlord of both time and space within the boundaries of Calgary, Alberta – she is the giver of talks on moose and the superiority of Canadian maple syrup vs Australian maple syrup.

1:30pm – Lunch – hang around and socialize with attendees and speakers


2:00pm – Richard Saunders – International Skepticism in Action – The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project

Summary: Richard Saunders gives us an overview of the largest survey every undertaken into the question of whether it is possible to see into the future using paranormal powers.


2:30pm– Mano Singham – Why the age of the Earth has oscillated wildly over time

Summary: The age of the Earth seems to be a settled question in the scientific community, But estimates of its age have oscillated wildly in the past, starting with it being considered really old (even infinitely old) to becoming very young (of the order of thousands of years) to becoming sort of old (hundreds of millions of years) to younger again (tens of millions of years) to the current view of it being really old (of the order of billions of years). This talk will look at the interplay of scientific and religious thinking that was driving this fluctuation.

Bio: Mano Singham is a theoretical physicist and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His recent research interests are in theories of knowledge and physics and philosophy. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which is titled The Great Paradox of Science: Why Its Conclusions Can Be Relied Upon Even Though They Cannot Be Proven that was published by Oxford University Press in 2019.


3:15pm – Craig Good – Eating Sceptically

Summary: A lot of people worry about eating the “wrong” food. Well-funded campaigns have spent years convincing you that some foods are good, some are bad, and some are downright evil. It doesn’t have to be that way. Craig Good’s book, “Relax and Enjoy Your Food”, uses science and a little common sense to take away all that anxiety. In this talk Craig will discuss persistent myths about food, how to apply science to nutritional decisions, how to identify trustworthy sources of diet information, and how to eat fearlessly and guiltlessly.

Bio: Craig Good spent thirty one years at Pixar (and Lucasfilm before that), and is now an Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts. He’s guest-hosted and written for the Skeptoid podcast, and has been a guest on The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. He has wide-ranging interests that include food and science. When his daughter was diagnosed with anorexia he got an up close look at how important it is to have a healthy relationship with food. As the author of Relax and Enjoy Your Food he’s put on his science communicator hat to untangle the myths that keep us anxious and less healthy than we could be.


3:45pm – Allison Long – Maine Vaccines and GSoW

Summary: Allison will be expanding on her involvement with the Guerrilla Skeptics on Wikipedia project – mainly focusing on Maine, USA.


4:15pm – JD Sword – Operation Onion Ring – Or, How to Fool a Grief Vampire

Summary: JD will be speaking about his involvement with the April 2021 sting that caught medium Thomas John hot-reading a group of children 5-12 years old.

JD is a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer focusing on demonic topics