#FtBCon Schedule Released!

Hopefully you’ve already heard all about our network’s online conference this weekend. If not, here’s the blurb:

FtBCon is a free, online conference organized by the Freethought Blogs network. It will take place on July 19-21, 2013 and will focus on social justice, technology, and the future of the freethought movement. Without travel, registration, or hotel costs, FtBCon will be accessible to freethinkers around the world. Conference sessions will be held through Google+ hangouts, and attendees will have the opportunity to interact with each other in chat rooms and to submit questions to moderators.

We’ve released our schedule for the weekend, with the caveat that there will be plenty more added to it. To stay up-to-date, track the Lanyrd page. But here’s what we have so far, to get you excited!

Friday 19th July 2013

  1. Welcome 5pm to 6pm

  2. Sex & Skepticism 6pm to 8pm

    Sexuality is an area of human experience where pseudoscience and woo frequently prevail. How can skepticism and atheism enhance sex? What are the harms of allowing quackery and unexamined biases into the bedroom? Our panelists have a wide range of experiences with sexuality and skepticism, and their views on these questions will be diverse and thought-provoking.

  3. Critical Thinking 8pm to 9pm

    Our three panelists will discuss the importance of critical thinking, the many cognitive shortcuts that prevent us all from thinking critically at times, and the ethical considerations involving critical thinking.

  4. Mission Creep 9pm to 10pm

    Jason Thibeault discusses his life’s path through various social justice awakenings, and how social justice movements – atheism and skepticism included – all inevitably convergently evolve toward intersectionality.

Saturday 20th July 2013

  1. The Right Way to be Wrong 8am to 9am

    Privilege, by nature, can blind us to the ways we harm others. Just as the religious majority, unwittingly, steps on our toes, we can often step on the toes of other minorities or women. This can lead to hurt feelings and anger directed at us as the toe steppers. How should we react once our toe treading is pointed out to us? What tools can you use to overcome the initial emotional backlash for said toe stepping? Why is telling people to “Get steel toed boots” not an answer?”

  2. Climate Change 9am to 10am

  3. Atheism is Not Enough 10am to 12pm

    As proven by the deep rifts that exist within movement atheism, a common acknowledgement that there is no god is often not enough ground on which to build a coherent, lasting community. Social justice movements often encounter tipping points where they either take into account the natural allies that are other movements, or they fail. This panel will discuss how movement atheism should not be the end-point of a journey into social justice, but the beginning.

  4. Evangelical Atheism 12pm to 2pm

    How to confidently engage in conversations about atheism with your friends, family, and peers. Picking your battles. Growing your arsenal of arguments. How to speak to fundamentalists without losing your mind.

  5. Science Communication 12pm to 1pm

  6. Atheism, Science, and Art 2pm to 3pm

    Artists within the secular, scientific and skeptical communities online discuss using their art to popularize their preferred field. Hosted by Amy Roth and Glendon Mellow.

  7. Reproductive Rights 2pm to 3pm

    A panel of reproductive rights activists come together to discuss access to abortion in current events , clinic escorting and some common religious and non-religious arguments against abortion. Our panel consists of clinic escorts – including one panelist who volunteered before FACE laws went into effect (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances), health care professionals, an author and several bloggers who write about reproductive rights. Our panelists hail from Minnesota, Kentucky, Virginia and Ireland.

  8. Creationism 3pm to 4pm

  9. God is Love? Relationships in a Godless World 4pm to 6pm

    Despite the popular assertion, one does not need to believe in a god to have love in their lives; however, disbelief surely shapes the kinds of loving relationships atheists can have. What effect does lack of a god belief have on things like sexual desire, shame, and the types of relationships we feel comfortable with? A panel of people with different experiences and perspectives discusses some of the issues and takes your questions!

  10. Skepticism and the DSM 6pm to 7pm

  11. Representation and Young Adult literature 8pm to 9pm

  12. Atheist Music 9pm to 10pm

    Join us to hear a few songs and have a casual chat with ukulelist and FtB blogger Ashley Miller, and Australian singer-songwriter Shelley Segal. In 2011 Shelley published An Atheist Album, and she has played at the Reason Rally, the American Atheist Convention, Women In Secularism and other events. Panel facilitated by Brianne Bilyeu.

  13. Science, Skepticism, and Environmental Activism 9pm to 10pm

    The press often portrays environmental activism as being at odds wiith science, but the putative divide is news to those working on protecting biodiversity. A panel of bloggers from the biodiversity-centric Coyot.es Network discusses.

  14. Video Games, Religion, and Morality 10pm to 11pm

    Religion and morality systems in video games are often grossly oversimplified, to the point where choices are entirely binary and you’re often forced, as a gamer, to do things that you might otherwise find appalling, like working in service of a god or gods. How are these heady topics handled in the slowly-maturing video game industry? Who’s already doing this stuff right? How can these topics’ treatment be improved?

Sunday 21st July 2013

  1. Improving the Image of Atheists 10am to 11am

    The session would focus mostly on comic books as a tool for improving the lives and perceptions of people, for example discussing how Marvel has made an atheist (Tony Stark) one of the most beloved fictional characters in current media and how we can get them to focus more on that aspect of him as part of his heroism, or create our own media with characters that do the same.

  2. Meet the Pathfinders 11am to 12pm

    Three of the volunteers fo the Pathfinders Project, a yearlong international service and research trip sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief, will be discussing the project, themselves, why they are involved, and why humanist service is so important.

  3. The Air Up There: Atheist Communities in Canada 11am to 12pm

    The atheist community is often dominated by an American perspective, but what about its closest neighbour? What lessons can non-American atheists learn from the similarities and differences between the US and Canadian experiences? A panel of Canadian atheists from across the country discusses and takes your questions.

  4. Female Protagonists in Video Games 12pm to 1pm

    Women make up 45% of the gamer population, a number that’s constantly climbing. And yet, female protagonists in games are few and far between — and when games are exclusively fronted by female characters, they get far less marketing budget than their equivalent male-led titles. Why?

  5. What the Military Taught Me About Feminism 1pm to 2pm

  6. Atheists in Pop Culture 2pm to 4pm

    TV, Movies, Comic books… our popular culture is soaked in depictions of religious people, but what about atheists? How are atheists portrayed in the public sphere? How can we do better? A panel of atheists gets at the real issues.

  7. The Immortality Debate 2pm to 3pm

    Religions generally promise some form of immortality to capitalize on our fear of death. Atheists have to come to accept that we will die, and there are various strategies for doing so. One of the prevalent ones is asserting that death is a good thing which enriches life, and that immortality is bad in principle. This would not be a panel about Kurzweil-style life extension or dreams of uploading, but rather a discussion about whether hypothetically an unbounded lifespan is fundamentally a good thing that humanity should strive for, or a corrupting influence that would do more harm than good. I do have my bias, but a panel with people who’ve come to informed conclusions on both sides is the ideal, no strawmen on either side.

  8. Organizing a Regional Con 4pm to 5pm

  9. And Now We Drink 8pm to 9pm

    Join the FtBloggers for closing toasts as we wrap up our first FtBCon.

#FtBCon Schedule Released!

14 thoughts on “#FtBCon Schedule Released!

  1. 1

    Looks like the Chronic Pain panel I’ll be on at 12pm EDT Saturday hasn’t hit the official schedule yet, but that’s the when that I’ve been given. Already got my headset ready, and I have a backup in case that one goes down. W000!

  2. 2

    You can see all the retweets by following these Tweeps ->
    Miri Hashspam List

    Unfortunately no point subscribing to the list as Twitter doesn’t show retweets from list members and all the #FTBCon tweets will be retweeted by these accounts… Discovered as part of the fun of trying to remove hashspam. “Uberfeminist” has already threatened to spam the hash to me on Twitter, having tried to read xyr blog on multiple occasions I can confirm with a 99% confidence interval you will be missing nothing by having “Uber” filtered, šŸ˜€

  3. 3

    Are all of these times for the Central (U.S.) time zone?

    I don’t want anyone to be miss anything because they had the wrong time. Would it help people to also see the UTC times, or can people figure that out for themselves easily enough?

      1. Joe

        If you save the schedule to Google calendar (and possibly the other calenders, I haven’t tried) it should automatically set it to your time zone – at least, it did for me.

  4. 4

    Hi Miri, do you know if it’s possible to watch the talks/panels later? The stupid time difference between the States and Europe would mean I couldn’t make any of the ones I really wanted to see…

        1. For me, I am assuming that “queequak” is being sarcastic, or being a drive-by commenter. I suggest that we just assume that JV stands for someone on the ‘Junior Varisty’ team of Athiests. (Note: for non-Americans, JV is the team just below the Varisity team. JV is usually made up of freshmen and sophomores while the Varsity is your Juniors and Seniors or talented underclassmen). Take the JV insult as you will…..

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