image of Phil Plait near the Space Shuttle Dr. Phil Plait, aka "The Bad Astronomer"
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Invited Talks and Testimonials

Dr. Plait talking about the Moon Hoax at Dryden Dr. Plait has given talks about Bad (and good!) Astronomy across the United States and in Australia as well. Some of the venues at which he has spoken include NASA's Kennedy Space Center, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute (home of Hubble), the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, and many other world-class museums and planetaria. He has spoken to educators at national, state, regional, county and local meetings, and also speaks at local astronomy club meetings, schools, and community groups. See here for a list of venues at which Dr. Plait has spoken.

His talks are universally well received. Backed by good science and critical thinking, he always uses a healthy dose of humor to skewer his pseudoscientific targets. His talks include images, audio, and video clips packed into an entertaining and informative Powerpoint slideshow, and last from 30 minutes to an hour.

"At his session, conference attendees fill the room, sit on the floor when there are no chairs left on which to sit, and stand outside the door if the room is full in order to hear the message Phil has to convey."
Sharon Janulaw, President-Elect, California Science Teachers Association

As of this writing, he has talks about

  • "The Moon Hoax Hoax", where he discusses and gleefully tears apart the "evidence" that NASA faked the Apollo Moon missions (a crowd favorite);
  • "Bad Astronomy", a more general presentation featuring standing eggs on end, and a discussion of Hollywood science and the lack thereof in several blockbuster movies (including "Armageddon", "Deep Impact", "Enterprise", and even "The Simpsons", with lots of video clips);
  • "Mars Attacks!", debunking claims that aliens on Mars have built cities and even a giant statue of a human face;
  • "Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You", about, well, seven ways a black hole can kill you! This light-hearted presentation gives you a tour of all the nasty ways black holes can ruin your day, from swallowing you whole to frying you with exotic radiation.
  • "In the Beginning", a dissection of young-Earth creationist claims about the age of the Earth and the Universe, and why they are wrong (note: this is not a religion-bashing talk; but it does take an unfliching look at the deceptions and outright lies told by many proponents of a young Earth).

Dr. Plait can also give talks on almost any topic in astronomy given a few weeks notice (for example, for a talk at a science museum he created a talk about current astronomical satellites and the work they are doing to further scientific knowledge -- this talk is updated as new observatories are launched), and will be happy to talk to you about your needs.

Dr. Plait feigning surprise at James Randi's The Amazing Meeting in 2005 Dr. Plait's presentations have yielded him accolades wherever he goes. Here are testimonials from:

As James "The Amazing" Randi, internationally noted magician and skeptic, said about Dr. Plait's "Planet X" talk at the first Amazing Meeting held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in January, 2003:

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait proved himself a Good Speaker at our recent conference. He received a standing ovation and uniformly high marks from the audience. Since his field is constantly being filled with more nonsense that deserves treatment at his hands, we're asking him to appear next year, as well. Just seeing his name in the line-up will bring in the registrations, I know.

Not afraid to drop in a few bits of humor along the way, Phil made us very aware of just how damaging to public awareness these assaults of unreason are; he did this by simply showing us how silly and unfounded the claims of the pseudos are, and how we can apply simple reason to refuting them. He not only knows his subject, but can deliver it effectively and with conviction. He's a dedicated man.

James Randi,
President, The James Randi Educational Foundation
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.