Sunday, February 06, 2005

Will the Circle be unbroken?

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Well, the baton has been passed (temporarily, at least), and, a week and a half hence, the Skeptics' Circle will find its way to Orac's world here at Respectful Insolence. St. Nate did a fantastic job rounding up some great skeptical blogging for the first edition of the Skeptics' Circle, posted Thursday. I hadn't been planning on starting to seriously solicit submissions until mid-week, but I just got my first submission today and was so tickled that I couldn't resist putting up a first call for submissions. (Don't worry; the peer-review process is nothing like what's shown in the cartoon above. I was just thinking about the last paper I managed to get published in a peer-reviewed journal, where the process at times seemed a lot like the cartoon. If your submission is skeptical, I'll post it.) What we're looking for, as St. Nate stated, is described thus:
The Skeptics' Circle is a biweekly carnival for bloggers who apply critical thought to questionable stories. Subjects include frequently repeated urban legends, quackery, pseudoscience, misinterpreted or denied history, analyses of misleading media, and any other articles or essays that fight misinformation with facts.
(For more detail on what the Skeptics' Circle is all about, St. Nate has provided a manifesto with examples here.)

St. Nate
has set the bar quite high hosting the excellent first edition. I hope to be able to equal or even (let's be honest--I'm a surgeon and we're a competitive lot by nature) surpass his fine work. But I can't possibly do it without you. So, please, submit examples of your best skeptical blogging to orac_usa at hotmail (dot) com. Include the words "SKEPTICS' CIRCLE" in the Subject: header, so that I definitely notice it in case it gets caught in Hotmail's spam filter. Also, please include the URL/permalink for the post, along with a brief (one or two sentence) description of what the post is about. Preferably the post should consist primarily of your writing, rather than a brief one- or two-sentence comment on an article or another blogger's post. That doesn't mean your submission can't or shouldn't be a commentary on an article or post (some of the best blogging is just that format, particularly skeptical blogging, where it is often necessary to set the stage with quotes from an article making claims you want to debunk). It's just that one of the purposes of the Circle is to showcase your best writing and thus get more people to read it. It's your chance to really strut your skeptical stuff!

The deadline will be 9 PM EST, Wednesday, February 16, and the Circle will be posted in the early morning of Thursday, February 17. Later entries might be considered at my discretion if I haven't yet finished putting the Circle together at the time I receive them. I'll post a couple of more reminders between now and the deadline. If you're interested in hosting The Skeptics' Circle sometime, drop an e-mail to the master of The Skeptics' Circle, St. Nate, at saint_nate at hotmail (dot) com

Help me make this one great!

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