TAM9 from Outer Space | The Amazing Meeting!
This year’s TAM convention event was held at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 14-17, 2011.
TAM is the abbreviation for the convention known as “The Amazing Meeting!”
The convention is hosted by James Randi and the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF).
First a bit of background about James Randi, the event’s organizer and founder: James is known internationally as an escape artist and stage magician, who in his free time demystifies scams, supernatural phenomena, paranormal activity, and pseudoscientific claims. His foundation, JREF, founded in 1996, is a non-profit organization whose goal is to “promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society and culture today.”
The convention or meeting which started back in 2003 is in its 9th year and running. It has kept the scientists, skeptics, and atheists coming with over 1,600 attendees coming out to the Vegas Valley this year. An increase in over 600 people from last year’s event.
The conference this year was a mixture of speakers, workshops, socializing, and group gatherings. It was a terrific opportunity for like-minded skeptics, atheists, and scientists to come together to discuss ideas, make friends, and learn new things.
Educate and Investigate the Paranormal
The core of the James Randi Educational Foundation is to educate and encourage critical thinking. They provide tools for the public to investigate pseudoscientific, paranormal, and supernatural claims. Their goal is to raise awareness about the necessity to critically examine unverified claims.
JREF Academic Scholarships
JREF helps students by awarding $2,000 in academic scholarships. They have two scholarships of $1,000 each that are awarded to worthy students. One scholarship is given to undergrads and one to graduate students. The winners are selected by a committee that includes a professor of philosophy, a physicist, a physician, and a social scientist. This year’s awards will be announced August 30, 2011.
The Million Dollar Reward
James’ long-standing challenge to psychics and the paranormally-obsessed is $1,000,000 to any person or group that can offer proof of any supernatural event or ability, including any religion, psychic, magician, or anybody up for the challenge. It has never been won.