So earlier today I wrote about Skeptologists, which I'm doing next week.
Step 2 in The Plot To Grind Phil Into Dust is the Conference on World Affairs. This annual conference is held in Boulder, this year from April 7 - 11, and is really something extraordinary. Committees covering various topics -- science, politics, music, and so on -- choose people from all over the world to come to Boulder and spend a week sitting on panels talking over issues of the day. That may sound a little dull, but it's anything but. The speakers are at the top of their game, chosen for expertise, breadth of knowledge, and really their wow-factor. An expert who is dull as a bowling ball won't get invited, typically.
What you end up with are about 100 vivacious, interesting, smart people, all in one place. It's incredible.
I am on the science committee, so I was able to invite some folks I know, including James Randi, Alex Filippenko, and Brian Cox (though Brian may not be able to come due to issues I'll be posting about later; we're working on that). But the list of others coming includes other luminaries like my buddies Andy Ihnatko and Seth Shostak, and (squee! squee!) Rachel Maddow. The complete list of panelists is on the CWA site.
It's a solid week of hanging out with smart people, which is one of my all-time favorite things to do. If you live anywhere near Boulder, then this is an event you don't want to miss.
Next, Step 3: Texas and the UK. Posts about those coming soon.