Wednesday 25 February 2009

Whence British Sk(c)epticism?

I come home. There's a large yellow envelope on the mat. The latest issue of Locus, I surmise, preparing my brain to peruse "the magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field". But no, it's not Locus - the envelope proclaims "Skeptical Inquirer". Great, one of my favourite mags.

But on opening the envelope I find the autumn 2008 issue of "The Skeptic" - a magazine I recall I've recently subscribed to. So, still great - I'd been wondering when I'd receive the first issue of my subscription. This issue has a special feature entitled "Making UFOlogy History", which, it turns out, comprises book reviews by David Clarke.

I'm pleased to receive a British sceptical publication, but confused by the Americanized spelling of the title, and surprised to find that the yellow envelope is franked with $3.60 in postage - presumably, I discover from the masthead inside the mag, from Amherst, New York.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I'm delighted that such a publication exists (that's why I subscribed). But the fact that "The Skeptic" is published by the American organisation "The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry", and sent to me from the US, surely says something significant - though I'm not quite sure what - about the state of the UK sceptical movement.

All I can say is, "Roll on TAM London!"