Statement from Edinburgh Skeptics Committee – 11/3/18

There has been recent discussion in the wider atheist/ Skeptical community following the serious allegations of harassment and abusive behaviour towards women by US scientist and prominent atheist/Skeptic Laurence Krauss.

Much of this was set out in a recent Buzzfeed article that details several separate allegations with multiple witnesses and accusers – https://www.buzzfeed.com/peteraldhous/lawrence-krauss-sexual-harassment-allegations?utm_term=.fiQWMw4mJK

Edinburgh Skeptics would like to put on record that any such behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We absolutely support the women who have made these allegations and any prospective speaker, volunteer or attendee at any of our events who acts in this way will not be welcome.

We want the Skeptical community to be known as a place which celebrates science, reason and critical thinking in an environment that is secure and open to everyone regardless of gender. There are far too few women in Skepticism and actions like this do much to fuel the belief that we are not such a place.

As a group that regularly promotes events under the banner of Skepicism and prides itself on being inclusive, open and welcoming to all, it grieves us that the reputation we, and many groups throughout the UK have built up over the years is being tarnished by the actions of Krauss and his apologists. This is not and should not be who we are. At our Fringe events last year over 70% of our speakers were women, our 2017 Science Festival had 7/8 female speakers and many of our committee and leaders over the years have been women. We will continue to champion the cause of women in science and ensure that our events are always a place where we continue to Respect People but Challenge Ideas.