The Amaz!ng Meeting

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The Amaz!ng Meeting
Status Active
Genre science and skepticism
Location(s) Las Vegas, Nevada
Country United States
Inaugurated 2003
Attendance 1,650 in 2011
Organized by James Randi Educational Foundation

The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) is an annual conference that focuses on science, skepticism, and critical thinking. The conference started in 2003[1] and is hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation or (JREF). Repeat speakers include Penn & Teller,[2] Phil Plait, Michael Shermer and James 'The Amazing' Randi. Outside the plenary sessions the conference includes workshops, additional panel discussions, music and magic performances and a live taping of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.[3]

Speakers at TAM are selected from a variety of disciplines including scientific educators, magicians, and community activists. The organizer of TAM London, Tracy King, said "People come to TAM because they want to learn and hear from leading speakers on subjects which interest them, but they want to have a good time doing it. Our mix of academics, comedians and writers ensures an incredible event where the public can meet like-minded people without feeling like being into science or geek stuff makes them a minority."[4]

Robert S. Lancaster with James Randi receiving the Citizen Skeptic Award, July 11, 2009.


In 2010 The Skeptics Society and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry became co-sponsors of the event, providing both financial and promotional support.[5]

In 2015, TAM will take place at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas and will be themed “A Celebration of a Reasoned Life”. Festivities will include a tribute to James Randi who announced his retirement from the JREF board at the end of January 2015.[6]

Paranormal Challenge[edit]

Beginning in 2009, the Amaz!ng Meeting has also hosted a public test of The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge for the performance of any paranormal, occult or supernatural event, under proper observing conditions.[2] At The Amaz!ng Meeting 7, it was announced that the $1 Million Challenge prize would not expire in 2010 as previously announced.[7]

Special Awards[edit]

The James Randi Education Foundation has presented special awards at the Amazing Meeting to people who they label champions of skepticism. Robert S. Lancaster received the 2009 Citizen Skeptic award for his work on the website Stop Sylvia which critically examines the claims of self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne.[8] At that year's TAM London the award for Outstanding Contribution to Skepticism went to Simon Singh in recognition for his successful appeal against a libel charge by the British Chiropractic Association.[9] In 2010 at TAM London then 15-year-old Rhys Morgan received a special grassroots skepticism award from Randi.[10]

In 2012, Reed Esau won the James Randi award for Skepticism in the Public Interest for his Skepticamp outreach program.[11]

In 2013, Susan Gerbic, founder of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project, and skeptical activist, was honored for skepticism in the public interest.[12]

In 2014, Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education received the award for skepticism in the public interest.[13]

Locations and dates[edit]

In addition to the Las Vegas-based conferences the JREF also sponsors international TAM conferences, with the first TAM London taking place in 2009 and TAM Australia, co-sponsored by Australian Skeptics,[14] in 2010.[3] A related series of events titled The Amazing Adventure has been held featuring trips to the Bermuda Triangle (2007), an Alaskan cruise (2007), the Galapagos Islands (2008), Mexico (2009), and the Caribbean (2010).[15]

Dates Location Attendance Speakers making a first appearance Notes
January 31 - February 2, 2003 Ft Lauderdale, FL 150[2] Lt. Col. Hal Bidlack, Star Gazer Jack Horkheimer, Jose Alvarez, Phil Plait, Center for Inquiry's James Underdown and Skeptic's Dictionary author Robert Todd Carroll
January 15–18, 2004 Tuscany Casino in Paradise, NV 250 Magicians Banachek, Lance Burton, and Jamy Ian Swiss, comedian Julia Sweeney, writer Ian Rowland, Quackwatch webmaster Stephen Barrett, National Center for Science Education's Eugenie Scott, American Physical Society's Robert L. Park, and editor of Skeptic magazine Michael Shermer[16] The Amaz!ng Meeting 2
January 13–16, 2005 Stardust Resort & Casino, Paradise, NV[17] 500[1] Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, journalist Christopher Hitchens, psychologist Richard Wiseman, magicians Andrew Mayne and Jerry Andrus, actor Dean Cameron and paranormal investigator Joe Nickell[17] TAM 3 From Eve to Newton The Apple of Knowledge
January 26–29, 2006 Stardust Resort & Casino, Paradise, NV 800 ACLU president Nadine Strossen, planetary scientist with the Voyager program Carolyn Porco, MythBusters Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage and Kari Byron, Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann, astrophysicist Ed Lu, Magicians Mac King and Todd Robbins, activist Ellen Johnson, psychologist Stanley Krippner, philosopher Daniel Dennett, political analysts Lawrence O'Donnell and Karen Russell, and comedian Paul Provenza[18] TAM 4 Science in Politics and the Politics of Science
January 18–21, 2007 Riviera Casino, Winchester, NV 800[19] Magicians Penn & Teller, National Public Radio host Peter Sagal, computer scientist Neil Gershenfeld, editor of Reason magazine Nick Gillespie, editor of Scientific American magazine John Rennie, Children's author Diane Swanson, politician Lori Lipman Brown, activist Margaret Downey, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, journalist Anderson Cooper, singer Jill Sobule and editor of The Onion Scott Dikkers[20] TAM 5 Skepticism and the Media
January 25–27, 2008 Plantation Hotel & Conference Center, Plantation, FL Stop Sylvia webmaster Robert S. Lancaster, Skepchick Rebecca Watson, sci-fi author Mike Stackpole, Skeptoid host Brian Dunning, activists Bart Farkas, Jeff Wagg, Mark Roberts and Kelly Jolkowski[21] TAM 5.5 Skepticism and Activism
June 19–22, 2008 The Flamingo in Paradise, NV 900 Keynote speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson,[22] biology professor PZ Myers, Australian skeptic Richard Saunders, screenwriter Matthew Chapman, mathematician Arthur T. Benjamin, medical blogger Steven Novella, Bad Science writer Ben Goldacre, What's The Harm?'s Tim Farley and journalist Sharon Begley[23] TAM 6 I, Skeptic - Modern Skepticism in the Internet Age
July 9–12, 2009 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV 1100+[2] Keynote speaker and television producer Bill Prady,[24] Center for Inquiry's DJ Grothe, science writer Jennifer Ouellette, Joseph A. Albietz III, Stephen Bauer, statistician Daniel W. "Chip" Denman, Skepdoc Harriet Hall, Ray Hall, musician George Hrab, CSICOP's Ray Hyman, Alison Smith and Fintan Steele[25] TAM 7
Oct 3-4, 2009 Mermaid Conference Centre, Blackfriars, London, UK 500[26] James Randi (by Skype), Adam Savage, writer Jon Ronson, particle physicist Brian Cox, Simon Singh, Ben Goldacre, Richard Wiseman, comedian Robin Ince, writer Glen Hill, musician Tim Minchin and journalist Ariane Sherine TAM London. Tickets sold out within 24 hours[27]
July 8–11, 2010 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV 1300[1] Keynote speaker Richard Dawkins[28] hosts of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, musical satirist Roy Zimmerman, author Simon Singh, evolutionary scientist and contrarian Massimo Pigliucci, social psychologist Carol Tavris, comedy writer David Javerbaum, Brain Science Podcast's Ginger Campbell, jazz musician Mike "Jonesy" Jones, author Jennifer Michael Hecht, Skeptical inquirer editor Kendrick Frazier and politician Sean Faircloth[29] TAM 8[29]
October 16–17, 2010 Hilton London Metropole, London, UK Richard Dawkins, Alan Moore, Andy Nyman, Adam Rutherford, Richard Wiseman, Susan Blackmore, Cory Doctorow, Marcus Chown, Melinda Gebbie, Tim Minchin and (by video) Stephen Fry TAM London 2010[30]
November 26–28, 2010 Sydney Masonic Centre, Sydney, Australia Simon Singh, James Randi, Dr Paul Willis, Skeptoid magazine's Brian Dunning, Krissy Wilson, Kylie Sturgess, astronomers Pamela Gay and Fred Watson and Rachael Dunlop TAM OZ[14]
July 14–17, 2011 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV 1650 Keynote speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson, Science Guy Bill Nye, Astronomers Pamela Gay and Lawrence Krauss, Evolutionary Biologist Richard Dawkins, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, Ben Radford and medical blogger David Gorski TAM 9 From Outer Space
July 12–15, 2012 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV Psychologist Deirdre Barrett, SGU's Evan Bernstein, Bob Novella and Jay Novella; Eugenie Scott, Robert Blaskiewicz, paranormal investigators Bryan & Baxter, radio show host Kelly Carlin, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, writer Miranda Celeste Hale, executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation Elisabeth Cornwell, Christopher DiCarlo, Rachael Dunlop, Stuart Firestein, Julia Galef, geologist Sharon A. Hill, experimental psychologist Bruce Hood, human rights activist Leo Igwe, Lyz Liddell, neurologists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, illustrator Sara Mayhew, Carrie Poppy, artist Amy Davis Roth, Eve Siebert, linguist Karen Stollznow, JREF Field Coordinator Brian Thompson, and Michael Vassar TAM 2012 Skepticism and the Future[31]
July 11–14, 2013 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV Susan Jacoby (Keynote), Dan Ariely, Banachek, Joshie Berger, Evan Bernstein, Russell Blackford, Susan Blackmore, Bob Blaskiewicz, Peter Boghossian, Bryan & Baxter, Edward Clint, Mark Crislip, Elisabeth Cornwell, Jerry Coyne, Chip Denman, Barbara Drescher, Sanal Edamaruku, Mark Edward, Tim Farley, Faye Flam, Susan Gerbic, David Gorski, Shane Greenup, D. J. Grothe, Susan Haack, Miranda Celeste Hale, Harriet Hall, Kyle Hill, Sharon A. Hill, Ray Hyman, Leo Igwe, David Jones, Marty Klein, Reed Kuhn, Caleb Lack, John W. Loftus, Daniel Loxton, Michael E. Mann, Max Maven, Sara E. Mayhew, Maria Myrback, Bob Novella, Jay Novella, Steve Novella, Jennifer Ouellette, Penn & Teller, Massimo Pigliucci, Massimo Polidoro, Don Prothero, Paul Provenza, John Rennie, Stuart J. Robbins, Todd Robbins, Edwina Rogers, Jacques Rousseau, Cara Santa Maria, Richard Saunders, Joe Schwarcz, Robert Sheaffer, Nakul Shenoy, Michael Shermer, Eve Siebert, Karen Stollznow, Jamy Ian Swiss, Brian Thompson, and Brent Weedman TAM 2013 Fighting the Fakers[32]
July 10–13, 2014 Southpoint Casino, Enterprise, NV Announced: Daniel Dennett (keynote), Mariette DiChristina (keynote), Bill Nye (keynote), Jon Armstrong, Banachek, Evan Bernstein, Jamila Bey, Bob Blaskiewicz, Peter Boghossian, Ginger Campbell, Patricia Churchland, Edward Clint, Kernan Coleman, Chip Denman, Barbara Drescher, Julia Galef, Susan Gerbic, David Gorski, D. J. Grothe, Miranda Celeste Hale, Harriet Hall, Ray Hall, Kyle Hill, Sharon A. Hill, George Hrab, Karl Kruszelnicki, Robert Kurzban, Krystyn Lambert, Daniel Loxton, Scott Lilienfeld, Elizabeth Loftus, Sara E. Mayhew, Bob Novella, Jay Novella, Steven Novella, Paul Offit, Donald Prothero, James Randi, Jacques Rousseau[disambiguation needed], Kyle Sanders, Sally Satel, Richard Saunders, Eugenie Scott, Michael Shermer, Eve Siebert, Karen Stollznow, Jamy Ian Swiss, Eddie Tabash, Carol Tavris, James Underdown, and Richard Wiseman TAM 2014 Skepticism and the Brain[33]
July 16–19, 2015 Tropicana Casino, Las Vegas, NV TBD TAM 2015 A Celebration of a Reasoned Life[34]


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  33. ^ "The Amazing Meeting 2014". Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  34. ^ "The Amazing Meeting 2015". Retrieved February 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]