This was the day of the conference. The conference was the inaugural conference of the Non-Religion and Secularity Research Network, an organization primarily made up of scholars interested in the non-religious. The organizers of the conference were kind enough to invite me to give one of three keynote presentations. The other two keynote speakers, David Voas and Colin Campbell, are luminaries in the field. I’m not sure how I ended up on the schedule with them, but I consider it quite an honor.
Aside from one question from a reporter who basically suggested I was over-stating my case, my presentation seemed to be well-received. I’ll spare readers the details (the paper is under review, too, so I can’t really post it here), but my presentation was written up on one of my favorite blogs: Epiphenom. I met the author of that blog at the conference; he’s a very nice guy.
The conference ran all day and about a dozen of us went out for dinner afterward where I made plans to meet up with one of them during the next few days to talk about collaborating on some research. After dinner I took a train to London with one of the conference organizers and we talked some more shop. She then helped me navigate the Tube (the London subway) so I could find my hotel in Hammersmith. Debi’s brother, Steve, who is doing a post-doc in Paris, came over to London to tour around with me for the few days I was going to be there after the conference. I planned to stay only a few days originally, but when I went to book my flight, the cost of returning Saturday, Sunday, or Monday was equivalent to paying for a hotel and food through Thursday. So, I opted to stay a few more days, which gave me a chance to not only see London but also to meet up with some of the people who attended the conference as well.