Monthly LecturesMonthly lectures are held on the third Saturday of each month (except in the summer).
Unless otherwise noted below, all meetings are held at 2:00 PM at the Community College of Philadelphia's Main campus in Center City Philadelphia, PA.
We usually use one of these meeting rooms:
All meetings through March, 2013, will be in room C2-28.
Click here for a campus map. (Click on the CBI building to see a panoramic view of the lobby!)
Click here for a street map of the area.
Free parking is available in the college parking lot on 17th St, across the street from the parking garage. The lot is open from 1 to 6 PM.
PhACT thanks Dr. David Cattell and the Philadelphia Community College for providing us with an excellent meeting space.
The general public is more than welcome to attend our lectures. You do not need to be a PhACT member to attend.
For information, contact Bob Glickman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive MeetingsExecutive meetings are held prior to the monthly lectures, at 1:00 p.m. Any member may attend.
Saturday, June 15, 2013 - PhACT Picnic10:00 to 2:00 Mondauk Common Park (our usual location)
We always have fun visiting, eating, and playing sports. Bring your own food, you can cook on the grill. And bring stuff to throw. We have reserved the pavilion in the woods on the Southeast corner of Mondauk Common park in Upper Dublin. This is good fun for the whole family.
We will again have a book swap - it can be a great free way to build up a science/skeptic book collection - or help someone else do so.
Broad street runs between Susquehanna and Limekiln roads. From the PA turnpike, go to the Fort Washington exit and take Rt 309 north, take the second exit and turn right onto Susquehanna. Make a left at the second light onto Broad Street, park in the second parking lot on the left, and follow the little sand path up to the pavilion.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - AIDS denialism.Nicoli Nattrass will talk about the key themes in her new book 'The AIDS conspiracy: Science Fights back'. This will include why we need to worry about AIDS conspiracy beliefs (because they are linked in South Africa and the US to the rejection of evidence-based medicine and unsafe sexual behaviour), and the importance of understanding the social and historical basis of these beliefs especially with regard to the role of racial repression and medical abuse. This background is fairly well known, so her talk will concentrate on where she breaks new ground in understanding the role of individual agents in promoting AIDS conspiracy beliefs -- and how this has enabled pro-science activists to counter these ideas. Her talk will also explore the world of AIDS denialism, which like AIDS conspiracy beliefs, makes a 'conspiratorial move' against HIV science by arguing that the science has been corrupted and cannot be trusted. She will argue that AIDS denialism also gains social traction through organization around four symbolically important roles: hero scientists, living icons (HIV positive people refusing antiretrovirals), cultropreneurs (offering alternative unproven remedies), and praise singers (sympathetic journalists and filmmakers). Her talk will conclude by showing that these roles have also provided targets for the pro-science community to fight back.
Nicoli Nattrass is the director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town and a regular visiting Professor at Yale where she teaches courses on development and the AIDS epidemic. She has published widely on inequality, AIDS, and the struggle for antiretroviral treatment. Her work on the economics of preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child was used in the successful court case launched by the South Africa Treatment Action Campaign against the then AIDS denialist government of Thabo Mbeki. In her subsequent research on the role of ideas in shaping South Africa's response to AIDS, she focused on the AIDS denialism and AIDS conspiracy beliefs. Her recent book, 'The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back' discusses the social roots of such beliefs in the US and South Africa whilst pointing also to the importance of powerful individuals in promoting and shaping these ideas. Information on her recent publications is available at www.cssr.uct.ac.za/researchers/nattrass and www.amazon.com/Nicoli-Nattrass/e/B001H6OQWE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0.