I contacted Genie to see how she was enjoying her retirement from the National Center for Science Education (hasn't gotten the hang of it yet, she says) and why she picked this topic this year.
I was looking for a topic that would be appropriate to skeptics, and at previous TAMs I've spoken about current events in both climate change and the creationism/evolution controversy. I wanted to do something different.
Scientists are always being accused of faking data by those whose agendas the data conflict with, so I thought talking about frauds and fakes would be fun. And then I saw that nice site with the useful taxonomy (urban legends, pranks, hoaxes, and frauds) and the talk wrote itself from there. Fun examples in every category -- and I certainly have not exhausted the possibilities!
At the end of her talk, James Randi presents Eugenie with the James Randi Award for Skepticism in the Public Interest. This award recognizes her outstanding achievements as an advocate for scientific skepticism and her promotion of science education. I seriously could not think of someone more deserving than she for such an award.
All photos credit: Bruce F Press Photography. Used with permission by copyright holder, Bruce F Press Photography.