October 18 – Happy Birthday, Rebecca Watson

Posted October 18, 2016

I love that I get to talk about people doing “jobs” that don't exist in most career handbooks – or that didn't exist when I was a kid. Yesterday, it was a rock balancer. Today, it's a blogger, vlogger, and podcast host.

Rebecca Watson says that she had little interest in science in school or college but became more interested once she was an adult. She came to this interest through being a magician and meeting other magicians, including James Randi. Through that, she became aware of the skepticism movement and – voila! She is now a professional skeptic!

We often use the word skeptical (and related words) to mean doubtful about or disbelieving in a particular claim. Like: “I told my mom that I beat the world's record for chin-ups, but she was skeptical LOL.”

But to be a skeptic generally – to walk around in life as a skeptic, or to participate in the skepticism movement – isn't really about doubt or disbelief, and it isn't really being negative. Instead, it means using logic and reason, it means being a critical thinker.

Okay, being a skeptic is a BIT about disbelief. Because it means not accepting something without evidence, and it means not believing everything you hear from friends or read on the internet. But it also means not necessarily dismissing things you hear from friends or read on the internet!

It means using the scientific method, which is the best tool humans have ever invented to find out what is true.

When Watson became involved with the skepticism movement, in the early 2000s, there weren't a lot of women in the movement. So, in 2005, Watson started an organization called Skepchick. The goal was to promote skepticism to women. It included a forum and a monthly online magazine, but now it is a blog with 15 contributors (Watson, 13 other women, and one man).

Watson became a co-host of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, a speaker at skeptics' events, and vlogger (video blogger). An asteroid is named after her!
Interested in checking out skepticism?
There is a 
TeenSkepchick website you
might like.

Or how about Junior Skeptic
online magazine? 

Also on this date:

Persons Day in Canada

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