October 18, 1980 |
|Other names||The Skepchick|
|Known for||Skeptical Rogue to Steven Novella on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, science communication, atheism|
Rebecca Watson (born October 18, 1980) is an American blogger and podcast host. She is the founder of the Skepchick blog and also co-hosts The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She also previously co-hosted the Little Atoms podcast.
Watson founded Skepchick in 2005, describing it as "an organization dedicated to promoting skepticism and critical thinking among women around the world." Originally the site consisted of a forum and a monthly online magazine, Skepchick Magazine, which was launched January 15, 2006.
In 2006, Watson released The Skepchick Calendar, a pin-up calendar featuring pictures of skeptical women for every month. Proceeds provided the attendance fee for several female applicants to attend the James Randi Educational Foundation's The Amaz!ng Meeting. New calendars have been made in subsequent years, including Skepdude Calendars since 2007.
On February 12, 2006, Watson created a blog titled Memoirs of a Skepchick, as an addition to the magazine. Eventually the blog, now simply titled Skepchick, became the main site, as Skepchick Magazine was discontinued in July 2006. Fourteen other bloggers beside Watson now contribute regularly, including one man.
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe 
Watson's first appearance on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast was on episode 33 (March 9, 2006), where she was interviewed about her work on Skepchick. She returned on episode 36 (March 29, 2006) as a regular member of the panel.
The Public Radio Talent Quest 
In May 2007, Watson entered The Public Radio Talent Quest, a contest aimed to find new public radio hosts. The contest claims to have received more than 1,400 entries. Watson's entries won the popular vote in every round, and she was declared one of three winners who each would receive $10,000 to produce a public radio pilot.
Watson's pilot, Curiosity, Aroused, was an hour-long program focused on science and skepticism. It featured interviews with Richard Saunders of Australian Skeptics and Mystery Investigators, and Richard Wiseman, author of Quirkology and Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She also investigated claims of poisonous amounts of lead in lipstick, went on a ghost tour in Boston and visited a Psychic Fair.
Personal life 
On July 11, 2009, she and Sid Rodrigues were married in a surprise ceremony during The Amaz!ng Meeting 7. On April 8, 2011, she announced that she and Rodrigues were separated and seeking a divorce.
Elevator incident 
In June 2011, Watson described an experience at an atheist conference, concerning an approach by a man in an elevator, who invited her to his room for coffee and a conversation late at night, after she had talked extensively about disliking being "sexualized" at atheist conferences. In a video blog, among other things, she stated that incident made her feel sexualized and uncomfortable and advised, "Guys, don't do that". Her statement sparked a controversy among the skeptic community. Her critics said she was overreacting to a trivial incident, most notably Richard Dawkins, who wrote a satirical letter to an imaginary Muslim woman undergoing female genital mutilation, sarcastically contrasting her plight to Watson's complaint. This in turn caused him to be criticized by many, including several figures in the community. Watson announced that she would not buy or endorse Dawkins's books and lectures in the future. She also wrote that, as a result of Dawkins's criticism, her Wikipedia article was vandalized and offensive images were posted on her Facebook page. 
Later in September, a staff reporter of the Mail & Guardian summarized the incident as "a fairly useful debate about feminism, sexism and appropriate sexual boundaries between men and women [that] descended into all out troll warfare and an attendant witch-hunt to persecute sexists in the atheist community."
- Simpson, Neal (September 2007). "Blogger looks to take her war on pseudoscience to the airwaves". Brookline TAB. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Mouallem, Omar (August 2008). "Making a Living of Bullshit Detecting". Vue Weekly (671). Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Skepchick.org November 24, 2005 at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
- Skepchick.org December 23, 2005 at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
- "Skepchicks". Bad Astronomy. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- 2007 Skepchick & Skepdude Calendars The Skeptic Magazine blog's announcement[dead link]
- It’s snowing, so I started a blog. first skepchick blog post
- Who's who on Skepchick
- The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe episode archive
- A very special audio blog posting. Vote for me! - blog post announcing her first entry in the PRTQ
- Public Radio Talent Quest
- Watson, Rebecca (2007-10-27). "PRX Announces Winners of Public Radio Talent Quest". PRX. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Simon, Clea (January 2008). "Showing a talent for radio". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Watson, Rebecca (2007-12-16). "Curiosity, Aroused: The Pilot". WordPress. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- "Big News from PRX and CPB" (Press release). 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- Simon, Clea (July 2008). "At WCRB, it's a grand old tradition". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Skepchick Congrats Becca and Sid
- Skepchick A Note About My Personal Life
- Rebecca Watson (2011-06-20). About Mythbusters, Robot Eyes, Feminism, and Jokes (YouTube). Event occurs at 4:55. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting. And I would like to talk more, would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?"
- Rebecca Watson (2011-06-20). About Mythbusters, Robot Eyes, Feminism, and Jokes (YouTube). Event occurs at 5:36.
- Taranto, James (July 7, 2011). "Commander in Tweet". The Wall Street Journal.
- Watson, Rebecca (24 October 2012). "It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too". Slate. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Mandy De Waal. "Dawkins, Watson and the elevator ride". Mail & Guardian, 9/2/2011.
- 153289 Rebeccawatson at the JPL Small-Body Database Browser