CSICon - About

photo of Nashville


Science and reason are taking quite a beating lately.

Popular culture, academia, and even the halls of government seem swarmed with alternative medicine hucksters, extraterrestrial conspiracies, psychic scam artists, and science-deniers who infuriatingly refer to themselves as “skeptics.”

It’s time for the real skeptics to get together and make a little noise of their own. And where better to do that than in Music City itself?

That’s right. It’s time to get empirical.

CSICon 2012 is coming to Nashville October 25–28, and it’s bringing the best and the brightest minds of science and skepticism for an unmissable assemblage of fascinating talks and presentations, enlightening panel discussions, eye-opening workshops, and more food and fun than you can fit into the Grand Ole Opry. And with all the anti-science activity taking place in the statehouse, what better time could there be for a bunch of skeptics to descend upon Tennessee?

David Gorski will set the record straight on alternative medicine. Physicist Lawrence Krauss will blow your mind with what science has learned about cosmic origins. Science journalist Chris Mooney will take you on a terrifying trip deep into the brains of Republicans and Democrats. Social psychologist Anthony Pratkanis will expose the tricks of the trade of flim-flam artists. Psychologist Richard Wiseman will help your brain tell the difference between a haunting and a hoax. And you’ll remember Elizabeth Loftus for making you realize how much you didn’t remember about the whole thing.

In the midst of all this intellectual firepower will be ample opportunities to decompress. Check out a special live edition of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast. Comedic musician George Hrab will have you laughing with both of your brain’s hemispheres. Skepchick Rebecca Watson will MC what might be the nerdiest Halloween party outside of a Star Trek convention, complete with live music and, yes, a moonshine tasting.

And of course, we’ll take another crack at communicating with the dead with our traditional Houdini séance. This is just a small sampling of all that’s to be experienced at CSICon 2012.

The Music City may never be the same again.

Register today!

Hotel for CSICon 2012

Sheraton Music City Hotel
777 McGavock Pike
Nashville, TN, 37214
Phone: (615) 885-2200

Single and double rooms are $119—just mention “CSI & Skeptical Inquirer.” This special rate is available until October 8, 2012. Hotel accommodations include free airport shuttle service and free parking at the hotel. You can read more about the Sheraton Music City Hotel and make your reservation at the discounted conference rate at the hotel’s website.

Read More & Reserve a Room

Joe Nickell on stage at CSICon 2011


Barry Karr,
CSI & Skeptical Inquirer
PO Box 703
Amherst, NY 14226
(716) 636-1425 ext 217

Blood Drive

Join CSI and the Skepchicks for our Halloween Blood Drive!

The Red Cross will be at CSICon collecting blood on Friday, October 26, from 10:00 AM–3:00 PM. Stop by to roll up your sleeve and help save a life!

Help the Red Cross maintain a safe and stable blood supply. Donate at CSICon.

CSICon 2011 presentation - fire

Policy on Hostile Conduct/Harassment at Conferences

Purpose and Scope of Policy

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) and its affiliates, including the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, are educational organizations. As part of our educational mission, we hold conferences from time to time. To ensure that everyone attending our conferences is able to participate in them fully, CFI and its affiliates are committed to providing a safe and hospitable environment at our conferences. Accordingly, CFI and its affiliates prohibit intimidating, threatening, or harassing conduct during our conferences. This policy applies to speakers, staff, volunteers, and attendees.

“Conferences” for purpose of this policy includes any educational meeting or gathering organized or sponsored by CFI or its affiliates to which nonemployees are invited. In other words, this policy applies to local or regional meetings, not just national conferences.

This policy supplements the policy on harassment set forth in the CFI employee handbook, which governs the conduct of CFI staff; it does not replace or supersede that policy. 

Prohibited Conduct

In general, prohibited conduct includes any abusive conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to enjoy and participate in the conference, including social events related to the conference. 

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, yelling at or threatening speakers or attendees, or any significantly disruptive conduct. By way of example, repeated interruption of a speaker by an attendee is prohibited.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, harassment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected group status, as provided by local, state, or federal law. By way of example, abusive conduct directed at someone because of their race is prohibited.

Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment. By way of example, unwelcome sexual attention, stalking, and physical contact such as pinching, grabbing, or groping are prohibited.

Critical examination of beliefs, including critical commentary on another person’s views, does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. One of the underlying rationales of this policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas, not to inhibit it.

Consequences of Hostile or Harassing Conduct

CFI and its affiliates have a zero-tolerance policy for hostile and harassing conduct. If a person engages in hostile or harassing conduct, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include, but is not limited to, expulsion from the conference. Threats of hostile conduct that are made prior to a conference may result in exclusion from the conference.

The exact remedy for hostile or harassing conduct will depend on an evaluation of all relevant circumstances, such as the severity of the conduct and prior violations by the person engaging in prohibited conduct.

When there is a reasonable basis for believing the conduct is illegal, appropriate law enforcement authorities will be notified.

Reporting Hostile or Harassing Conduct; Investigations

Persons who are the targets of, or witnesses to, hostile or harassing conduct should contact conference staff. At smaller meetings, conference staff, including the person(s) in charge of the meeting, will be introduced at the beginning. At larger conferences, conference staff will wear identification and/or will be identified in the conference program. 

At larger conferences, phone numbers for hotel/venue staff, local law enforcement, and local emergency medical personnel will be provided to conference attendees to facilitate prompt response to complaints and/or requests for assistance.

Reports of hostile or harassing conduct will be promptly addressed. On some occasions, where conference staff are witnesses to the prohibited conduct, immediate remedial action may be taken. Where a report of hostile or harassing conduct is made to conference staff after the conduct has occurred, reasonable measures will be taken to establish the facts. This will typically include discussion with witnesses, if any, and the person accused of engaging in the prohibited conduct. Inquiries into hostile or harassing conduct will be carried out as confidentially as possible given the circumstances.


CFI and its affiliates will make a written record of all complaints/incidents as soon as practicable. These records will be used in connection with implementing this policy. These records will be maintained in the Office of the President & CEO of CFI and will not be disclosed to individuals outside of the organization except as required by law.

feet on a dancefloor
Darwin costume from CSICon
Grand Ole Opry

CSI - The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Skeptical Inquirer - The Magazine for Science and Reason CFI - The Center for Inquiry
©2012 Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Opinions expressed at this conference are those of the individual speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of CSI or CFI. Program subject to change.