The Interview was originally published at Skepoet at the Crossroads of Critical thinking in 2009. That blog is now defunct. (Note: These interviews seem particularly naive to me now).
Living in Georgia, I have been interested in the Skeptical movement in the South for a long time. So the development of the Southern Skeptical Society has brought me much joy. So I did a brief interview with Brad Fusilier, founder and president of the Southern Skeptical Society.
C. Derick Varn:When did you become the President of the Skeptical society?
Brad Fusilier: The Society was founded in February of 2009 and, surprised at the amount of interest, we decided to assign titles shortly thereafter.
C.D.V.: Why do you think there has been an increase of Skeptical related activism in the South East?
Brad Fusilier: I find that people in general are realizing there is a skeptical support system. Previously, as I did, most people feel they may be alone in their world view. The internet has had a tremendous impact on the public’s perception and recognition of all the ways they can be active in the movement. The south isn’t exactly overrun with rationality. It is very inspiring to see so many getting interested and connected.
C.D.V.:What projects do you see in the immediate future for the Southern Skeptical Society?
Brad Fusilier: We are currently working on a podcast. Still in the format/content stage but we have some pretty good ideas on the table and we are really excited about that. Outside of that it depends on funding. There are, several members working on a ‘Truth About ALT/MED’ publication that we plan to distribute far and wide focusing on Pharmacies and Private Medical Practices. We also selected and prioritized a few things that we would like to do from the “What Do I Do Next” publication in eSkeptic from the Skeptics Society. Anyone who is interested in being active in the cause should definitely go to the essay and check it out. Lots of really good information. We have compiled quite a few “To-Dos” so it is difficult to say what is coming next. Once we complete the “corporate” steps toward NPO status it will enable us to focus on some of the other projects we would like to do.
C.D.V.:What cities do you see as the hubs of “skeptical activity” in the South East?
Brad Fusilier: I am not sure if there are any “hubs” there are quite a few skeptical organizations popping up throughout the south. We have several State Reps for the SSS that belong to some of these groups and one of the plans for the SSS is to establish, based on the location of the reps, groups where none currently exist in hopes of creating “hubs”. We also hope to be able to help support some activities for these groups with the help of donations to the SSS. I would have to say that is one of the main goals I (we) hope to accomplish through the SSS – Networking.
C.D.V.: What events are planned in the near future for SSS?
Brad Fusilier:We do not currently have any events planned but we do have a few ideas on the table. I would like to do a Southern Skeptic*CON in the Spring of 2010. Still in the idea stage, though.
C.D.V.: Do you feel like that American society is becoming more skeptical as a whole?
Brad Fusilier: I don’t know about American Society. I think we, as skeptics, seem to be doing a better job at reaching the non-skeptical. But it is 2 steps forward 3 steps back. People in general should want more evidence for the things they “believe”. If one of them were told that their child was on drugs or they had a terminal illness, they would want to see evidence. But you tell them that because they heard a noise in their house it is haunted or Jesus on a tortilla chip is a message from God and that is all they need. I can’t wrap my mind around that.
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