17 August 2011

Think Inc. - a science and rationalism conference in Melbourne

The Think Inc. science and rationalism conference is just one month away, on 18th September. The three guys behind the Melbourne event have somehow managed to sign on heavyweights like Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michael Shermer to give talks on the following topic – In the next 10 years, what does the global community need to do in order to survive and flourish?

Apparently Think Inc. is the first large scale science and rationalism conference put together by the young organisers (James and Sean are 24, and Desh is 30). The three have had some experience in organising large music events, but it’s impressive that they’ve convinced such intellectual giants to come all the way down to Melbourne to edify us antipodeans. Being at the arse end of the world and thus so far removed from all the rationalist action in the US and Europe, having Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, deGrasse Tyson and Shermer gracing our sunburnt country is like receiving drought-breaking rain. There’ll also be Aussie speakers representing, but let’s face it, the foreigners are the main crowd-pullers.

Sadly, Hitchens and Hirsi Ali will only be figuratively gracing this wide brown land. Hitchens’s cancer treatment has made him too ill to travel, and Hirsi Ali won’t be physically attending the conference for security reasons (she has received death threats from local religious fanatics. Oh the joys of being a hunted woman simply for opposing Islam). They’ll both be giving their talks via live video link. Yes, it’s a disappointment, but their oratory power will be little diminished. It’s still going to be the Hitch directly addressing us in that inimitable way he has with words.

Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to grab yours ASAP. And if you’re a science teacher, those generous Think Inc. lads are offering you a FREE seat! How awesome is that!

Here’s the suitably blockbuster-esque promo video for the conference.

I look forward to meeting my Melbourne readers at Think Inc. You folks are going to be there, yes?


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