How synchronicitous. Last night I was watching Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and friends doing their back-garden BioBlitz survey and thinking “That looks like fun, I should get the kids doing that”, when this landed in my inbox:
Are you interested in biodiversity? If so, come and join us as we identify as many species as possible over 24 hours…
BioBlitz at University of Reading Whiteknights Campus, 7th and 8th June 2013, where people come together to identify as many species as possible. We are bringing together scientists, naturalists, local community groups, students and the public to learn about the vast biodiversity on Whiteknights campus. How can you get involved? Everyone is welcome to this free event; take a look at our events page to see what activities are happening over the 24 hours. Join us on one of our guided walks, help us with ID in the lab, come along to a lecture about local wildlife or just visit the environmental fair.
The Rationalist Association and our good friend Alom Shaha have recently launched The Apostasy Project, a worthy initiative to provide guidance and support to those losing their religion.
Alom came to Reading SitP last year and spoke about his experiences as an atheist within a Bangladeshi Muslim community. Another of our recent speakers, Jonny Scaramanga, tells of his difficulties leaving Christian Fundamentalism.
“For me the fundamentalist experience was desperately lonely, but the secular one was even worse, because it involved leaving behind the few friends I did have. I would have been grateful for a place that combined a chance to make friends with a place to discuss important questions.”
I’d like to think that Skeptics In The Pub is such a place to make friends. But I’m under no illusion. People struggling in deeply religious communities, where admitting one’s lack of faith means estrangement from family and friends, need more support than a monthly gathering of geeks in a pub can provide.
So while I hope that we at SitP will continue to help in our own small way, I’ll also be making a donation to the Apostasy Project. I hope you will too.