Society of Skeptics

Home /Academics/Distinctively Blair

I see Skeptics as a way to bring the world to Blair students and, in doing so, help inspire them to tackle the problems of the world around us.

Jason beck, director of Blair's Society of Skeptics

Blair’s Society of Skeptics program was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Without exception, every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas come to campus to share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, ask questions and debate points of view.

The program's roots date back to the late 1970s when former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established a regular forum for student discussion and debate. History teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into an acclaimed weekly lecture series. Since Dr. Miller’s retirement from Blair in 2020, history department chair Jason Beck has led the Society of Skeptics, and the program has continued without interruption.

At Skeptics, students learn to listen critically to different perspectives; equally important, they are encouraged to engage in provocative question-and-answer sessions, and discussions about Tuesday-evening presentations often extend into Wednesday as students and teachers continue to debate salient issues in classrooms and dormitories. Annual lectures include the endowed annual Herman Hollerith Lecture on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the James Youngelson ’53 Lecture on Ethics and Responsibility, as well as a young alumni panel that shares post-Blair academic and professional experiences and perspectives.

Many students make it a point to attend every Skeptics lecture throughout the year; by participating regularly in the program, students demonstrate that they can direct their own learning, engage with the world beyond Blair, and place what they are learning in the classroom into a larger global context. For more information about upcoming speakers, to read about some of the program's most popular lecturers and to view an archive of recent speakers, please click on the buttons above.

This program is funded in part by The Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund. 

Skeptics Calendar

December 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Sun, Nov 28
Mon, Nov 29
Tue, Nov 30
Wed, Dec 1
Thu, Dec 2
Fri, Dec 3
Sat, Dec 4
Sun, Dec 5
Mon, Dec 6
Tue, Dec 7
Wed, Dec 8
Thu, Dec 9
Fri, Dec 10
Sat, Dec 11
Sun, Dec 12
Mon, Dec 13
Tue, Dec 14
Wed, Dec 15
Thu, Dec 16
Fri, Dec 17
Sat, Dec 18
Sun, Dec 19
Mon, Dec 20
Tue, Dec 21
Wed, Dec 22
Thu, Dec 23
Fri, Dec 24
Sat, Dec 25
Sun, Dec 26
Mon, Dec 27
Tue, Dec 28
Wed, Dec 29
Thu, Dec 30
Fri, Dec 31
Sat, Jan 1

Upcoming Speakers

Recent Speakers

Society of Skeptics Ends Fall Season with Young Alumni Panel

Ending the fall semester’s Society of Skeptics series on a high note, Blair will welcome back five former students for the annual Young Alumni Skeptics. This year’s event has generated a good deal of interest given the panel’s focus: Young Women in Tech.

Society of Skeptics Welcomed Bohdan 'Dan' Lucky, Former NASA Engineer

With over 57 years of engineering experience at institutions such as NASA and Boeing, Mr. Dan Lucky has rich stories about everything from helicopter manufacturing to working with some of the world’s first computers. Mr. Lucky visited Blair Academy to share those experiences on November 30 at 7 p.m. 

Vice President & Head of Video for The Arena Group, Alan Springer, Visits Skeptics

Blair Academy was pleased to welcome renowned sports journalist Mr. Alan Springer to the Society of Skeptics on November 16 at 7 p.m. With over 28 years’ of experience working in the sports industry as a journalist and recently named Vice President and Head of Video for The Arena Group, Mr. Springer spoke to Blair students about his professional journey.