Past Events

We’ve had hundreds of meetings, not all necessarily individually listed on this site. We’ve done a wide variety of things including everything from hanging out with visiting celebrities in bars to book clubs, movie outings and even planning our own very successful Skepticamps!

Some of the things we’ve done:

  • Private concerts
  • Picnics
  • Book discussions
  • Movies
  • Lectures
  • “Drinking Skeptically” Nights
  • Spirited debate
  • Just hangin’ out

And we’re not done yet. If you’d like to suggest a meetup, or if you’d like to see even more of our past (and upcoming!) events, please visit our Meetup page.


Skeptical Salon: Every Last Tie by David Kaczynski

Thursday, August 24, 2017
7:30 PM

Location: Maynard’s (address on Meetup)

Maynard has kindly offered to host the Skeptical Salon for August! And it’s a short book, so it won’t get TOO much in the way of your summertime adventures.

The impact of mental illness on a family is a sensitive topic, so bring some consideration along with your snacks and drinks. We’ll be reading Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family by David Kaczynski. Possible discussion topics: diagnosis/misdiagnosis, denial on the part of close relatives, hope versus red flags, coming to terms with reality, and the lack of sociopolitical resolve in identifying and treating mental illness.

About the book:
In August 1995 David Kaczynski’s wife Linda asked him a difficult question: “Do you think your brother Ted is the Unabomber?” He couldn’t be, David thought. But as the couple pored over the Unabomber’s seventy-eight-page manifesto, David couldn’t rule out the possibility. It slowly became clear to them that Ted was likely responsible for mailing the seventeen bombs that killed three people and injured many more. Wanting to prevent further violence, David made the agonizing decision to turn his brother in to the FBI. 

Every Last Tie is David’s highly personal and powerful memoir of his family, as well as a meditation on the possibilities for reconciliation and maintaining family bonds. Seen through David’s eyes, Ted was a brilliant, yet troubled, young mathematician and a loving older brother. Their parents were supportive and emphasized to their sons the importance of education and empathy. But as Ted grew older he became more and more withdrawn, his behavior became increasingly erratic, and he often sent angry letters to his family from his isolated cabin in rural Montana. During Ted’s trial David worked hard to save Ted from the death penalty, and since then he has been a leading activist in the anti–death penalty movement. The book concludes with an afterword by psychiatry professor and forensic psychiatrist James L. Knoll IV, who discusses the current challenges facing the mental health system in the United States as well as the link between mental illness and violence. 

Skeptics in the Pub: July Edition

Saturday, July 29, 2017
12:30 PM

Location: The Long Room

Second verse, same as the first! Drinks and discourse (or just the discourse!) with similarly-minded folks at a casual summer Meetup. The Long Room is a coffeeshop by day and kid-friendly until 5pm.

We’re still looking for speakers for our meetups… could you be one? Send us a message if you’re interested and available, or know someone who might be.

OF INTEREST: Science and the Future of Food (Argonne OutLoud)

Thursday, July 20, 2017
6:00 PM

Location: Argonne National Laboratory

For millennia, food has been one of life’s simpler and necessary pleasures. In our modern age, food has become increasingly complex – from farmers seeking new ways to feed a growing global population under fluctuating environmental conditions to mitigating the rise of deadly food allergies.

Join the Argonne National Laboratory to learn how three Argonne and the University of Chicago scientists are bringing science to bear on the future of food.

Jack Gilbert, Microbial Ecologist
Cristina Negri, Agronomist
Joshua Elliott, Research Fellow

The event is free, but advanced registration is required for all guests 16 and older.

Non-U.S. citizens: As additional time is required to process non-U.S. visitor access to Argonne’s campus, please register no later than two weeks prior to the event.

If you have questions about the Argonne OutLoud series, please contact 630-252-5501 or outloud@anl.gov.

Thursday, July 20
6-7 p.m. – Reception
7-8 p.m. – Lecture and audience Q&A

Hosted by:
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 S. Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439

PLEASE NOTE: This event is marked “of interest” as something our members might be interested in, but there is no formal, organized Meetup arranged yet. Interested in making it a “real” event? Let us know and you can be the point of contact for your fellow skeptics!

OF INTEREST: Dietary Supplements: Stories of Regulation, Safety, and Evidence

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
7:00 PM

Location: The Radler

A healthy athlete dies of complications from heatstroke during training. The medical examiner finds a legal botanical dietary supplement played a “significant role” in the death. How are regulatory agencies able to respond? What are dietary supplements and how are they regulated in the United States? How do I find information about dietary supplements I want to take? Dietary supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and many Americans take them every day. Glimpse the behind-the-scenes world of dietary supplements and learn how to arm yourself with the best available information to make informed choices about your health.

Alyssa Tonsing-Carter, PhD is a Senior Research Scientist and the Program Manager for the UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. Dr. Tonsing-Carter received her BS in biology in 2009 from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio where she studied the use of Echinacea for breast cancer. She received her PhD in pharmacology in 2014 from Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana studying the plant polyphenol, resveratrol, in combination with a common chemotherapy drug against drug-resistant breast cancer. For her postdoctoral training, she moved to Chicago to join the UIC Botanical Center studying how botanicals may cause harm when taken with other medications, and in 2016 she continued that work in her current position. Outside of the science, she enjoys reading, hiking, bouldering, cocktails, and food.

This program is hosted by the Chicago Council on Science & Technology, and presented in partnership with The Radler.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is marked “of interest” as something our members might be interested in, but there is no formal, organized Meetup arranged yet. Interested in making it a “real” event? Let us know and you can be the point of contact for your fellow skeptics!

OF INTEREST: Get Your Head in the Clouds

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
6:00 PM

Location: BrickStone Brewery

“The influence of clouds on the climate: past, present, and future”

On Tuesday, June 20 at 6:30pm, Green Drinks Kankakee will be hosting presenter Dylan Gaeta, a University of Chicago PhD student in the Department of Geophysical Sciences. He will be speaking about how clouds play a role in climate change and how they are best used in climate predicting models.

Clouds are, in fact, the largest source of uncertainty in our attempts to quantify Earth’s climate sensitivity. They possess a unique quality in that they can either warm or cool Earth’s surface, depending on their composition and spatial location in the atmosphere. Dylan is taking part in StratoClim 2017, an aircraft research mission that is taking measurements of clouds without satellites, by flying into the stratosphere to take measurements of water vapor and cirrus cloud composition. At the heart of it all will be the scientific questions we’re concerned about and seek answers to CO2 induced climate change.

Green Drinks is an international organization consisting of local monthly meet ups to network and discuss sustainable and environmental topics. Green Drinks Kankakee meets the third Tuesday of the month at Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonnais. Networking starts at 6pm and the presentation begins at 6:30pm. This is a free program and open to the public. For more information contact Julie Larsen at 708-828-4325.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is marked “of interest” as something our members might be interested in, but there is no formal, organized Meetup arranged yet. Interested in making it a “real” event? Let us know and you can be the point of contact for your fellow skeptics!