I agree that the SGU preaches to the choir but that's no bad thing in my view. We sceptics need all the practical help and encouragement we can get in the current environment, which is feeling more and more like something straight out of The Handmaiden.
On that note, I think it would be worth identifying ways in which the SGU's content could be e nhanced to provide even more support and have been thinking about a couple of possible new segments. One would be "Who's That Wackjob?"
in which one of the rogues lists a series of outlandish anti-science beliefs and the others (as well as listeners,of course) try to guess who is being described. Trump's cabinet nominees alone would provide the basis for a good number of episodes.
Secondly more seriously (although I was actually serious about the first one) how about a segment which covers practical actions that we can take to help stem the tide of woo and irrationality that's threatening to drown us? Called "...a single step"
(working title only, based on "The longest journey starts with..." but I'm sure we can come up with something better) the segment could be very brief and could consist of ideas contributed by listeners, either of their own devising or things that they've experienced or spotted going on.
Some examples of single steps that occur to me:
- Go to a Skeptics in the Pub meeting - brief discussion what Skeptics in the Pub is, what makes a good one succesfull, how to start your own group if there aren't any nearby etc.;
- Arrange a talk/practical workshop on a skepticism related subject in your local/your chidlren's school: eg could involve inviting working scientists in to give a talk.
- Making promotional material: ideas for bumper stickers, posters, cards to be stuck to notice boards
I'm sure there are dozens of other ideas, certainly more than enough for a year's worth of segments. There could also be some means of listeners reporting what they've done in terms of taking their own single steps - via a dedicated Facebook page, using a Twitter hashtag etc.
My feeling is that doing something practical which engages the hive mind of the skeptical community in a creative and interesting way could really add something and that a rogue led discussion of these practical actions could work very well. I'm not thinking of evangelising as such - the last thing that most people want is a couple of skeptics turnign up on their doorsteps trying to persuade them to developing critical thinking skills, just lost of small, subtle steps which, cumulatively, add up.
What do you think folks?
Bye for now from a cold UK.www.twitter.com/andrewzcooper