From the Chairman

David Bloomberg

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. The issue you're reading now is the first late REALL News we've had, but we'll do our best to also make it the last. This is the May issue, and you should be getting the June issue in another couple weeks. My schedule has been hectic lately, and combined with other factors, May just became too short a month.

Speaking of my hectic schedule, I'd like to apologize for the poor quality of the last video we showed (at the May meeting). Normally I preview them before showing them to the group, but I didn't have time and we hadn't had a problem before. Coupled with the library security guard's inability and/or unwillingness to fix the sound system, a video of what was probably a very interesting lecture turned into a poorly-lit slideshow with bad sound. I will be contacting both the library and the producers of the video about those problems, in hopes of avoiding them in the future.

Of course, one way to avoid poor video quality is to have real live speakers at our meetings. So, if you have a topic you'd like to present to our members, please call/write/e-mail me to let me know, and we'll see about setting up a date for it. Remember that our meetings are generally on the first Tuesday of the month. I say "generally" because June's meeting has been cancelled (the library's rooms were all "booked" up for their annual book sale) and the first Tuesday in July is Independence Day (not to mention, my anniversary).

The same goes for writing articles, of course. We are always looking for new authors!

Illinois Science Teachers Association

On a completely different topic, the Illinois Science Teachers Association (ISTA) will be holding its annual conference this year right here in Springfield. Those of you who are longtime REALL members may remember that REALL, along with Gateway Skeptics (St. Louis' local skeptics group), the National Center for Science Education, and the St. Louis Association for Teaching and Education went in together on a booth at the conference two years ago, when it was held in Collinsville. At that booth, we distributed information on countering creationism, along with other topics of interest to both skeptics and science teachers.

With the conference being held in Springfield this year, I would like REALL to again participate. However, in addition to the money necessary for a booth, we need people in that booth who are familiar especially with the evolution/creation controversy, both the scientific arguments and the political ones. Two years ago, we were faced with everything from a creationist scientific equipment salesman in the booth across the way, who harangued us at every opportunity, to school teachers whose districts wanted them to teach creationism, and who were looking for information on what they could do about it.

If you're interested in contributing some time to manning the booth, please let me know as soon as possible.

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