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I mentioned yesterday how I’ve recently met Richard Dawkins. I owe people an explanation. 

I’ve recently (October 2012) found a group called Merseyside Skeptics; a collective group of like-minded people, meeting in my city, Liverpool. Merseyside Skeptics along with Manchester Skeptics decided to pool their resources and skills together to create the ONLY science and skeptical convention in the UK – Qed. This convention has been existing for 3 years now and keeps getting better, so I’ve heard. 

As soon as I started attending Skeptics I purchased my Qed ticket, even though the line-up had not been announced (dedication to the cause). Anyway, it ended up Dawkins headlining the whole thing – Qed is sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation – as you can imagine, I was quite excited. 

Not only was my idol headlining, but the other speakers were great, here’s a brief overview;

– Stevyn Colgan
– Robin Ince
– Helen Czerski
– Dicky Dawko
– Rachael Dunlop 
– Natalie Haynes
– Lawrence Kraus!
– Mark Lynas
– Brooke Magnanti
– Carrie Poppy
– Adam Rutherford
– Richard Saunders 
– Rose Shapiro
– Brian Thompson
– Helen Dale 
– Jeff Foreshaw
– Andy Lewis
– Brendan O’Neill
– Tannice Pendegrass
– Sid Rodrigues 
– Simon Singh
– Mitch Benn 
– Chris Coltrane
– Michael Legge

As you can tell it was a great weekend and I’m eternally grateful to the organisers. Lots of speakers surprised me, my favourite had to have been Stevyn Colgan (writer for QI), first person I spoke with, genuinely nice guy and he drew this on my arm as a leaving gift.

Now for the Richard Dawkins encounter:

It was the night before the main event, the hotel bar was filled with geeks of all diversities, I was bouncing from person to person in excitement, a few of the speakers turned up, including Robin Ince, Lawrence Kraus and Mitch Benn, all of whom made me giggle. Then suddenly a staring amongst my fellow skeptics, the Twitter TV was a-buzzing with rumours that Dawkins had arrived and was having dinner with Lawrence Kraus. I went outside the room (very hot) to sit with a few people, came back into get a drink and who do I see? None other than Dicky Dawko 

He was being mauled at by skeptics and me being an idiot, decided to push myself infront of the queue and calmly (not so much) tell him how much I liked him and that I wanted him to have my Christopher Hitchens drawing, he politely declined. After a little more conversation with people, he walked from one side of the room to the other and left. 

A few of my friends said that they experienced what they would like to call ‘ElevatorGate’ with Richard, I think he was doing it on purpose. 

His presence continued throughout Qed and I think he even watched me flipping off the entire room at the convention on the goodbye video.

Some photos below… 

This was the God Panel, Robin Ince was very animated throughout this, the room was so full. Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Kraus both turned up to spectate. 

This was another panel with Dawkins and the delightful Mitch Benn, who kept picking me up calling me spacegirl and gave me a free signed CD. 

Hope you’re all jealous! 

Posted in convention, liverpool, manchester, qed, richard dakwins, science, sitp, skeptics