QED 2013

Last month, I attended QED for the first time. I’ve not been in previous years due to the cost, but having more disposable income now, I’m making an effort to get round the various conferences.

They certainly had a good speaker line up. I don’t think it was as good as TAM, but is better than the BHA’s conference this year, and both TAM and BHA Con are twice the price that QED was. In value for money terms, it was OK. There was no food provided during the weekend, so the £99 ticket price is actually more when you factor that in.

I also attended the Gala Dinner, which was supposed to have Brooke Magnanti on our table. She missed the dinner, which I didn’t mind too much as I was hosting her at Leeds Skeptics a few days after, but I might have been rather disappointed if not.

The speakers themselves varied in quality. Natalie Haynes was a bit of a disappointment because her speaking style is incredibly erratic – she was constantly darting back and forward on the stage and her talk had very little structure. It was still interesting and funny, but could have been a lot better. Rose Shapiro also seemed a bit out of her depth when it came to public speaking.

Stevyn Colgan justified his place as opening keynote though, with a brilliant talk about applying skepticism to police work, Rachael Dunlop was as entertaining and charming as ever, and Carrie Poppy delivered a brilliant talk too. Brian Thompson was a delight as Master of Ceremonies as well – imagine an American version of Andrew Copson and you’ve got a pretty accurate picture.

The star of the show for me, and I imagine many other people too though, was Lawrence Krauss, who presented an outstanding talk on how you get a universe from nothing. Well worth watching the video for that once it is posted.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 11:34 am and is filed under Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.