If you happen to live in the Northeastern United States and are involved in skepticism and science advocacy, you probably know the name Julia Galef.�� In fact, even if you don’t live in the Northeastern United States and are involved in skepticism and science advocacy, you may know the name.
Julia is a writer, blogger, speaker and skeptic who has managed to become an important figure in public engagement in just a couple of years of involvement.�� She’s been heavily involved in the establishment of the New York City Skeptics and contributed enormously to events like NECSS.�� She also regularly hosts their podcast and has an excellent blog which she shares with her brother Jesse.
I’ve always liked Julia’s writing and addresses a lot.� She provides excellent intellectual analysis, but her style is light and entertaining, which is very important in making it accessible and maintaining broad appeal.� She has a great sense of humor which she manages to weave into her commentary very cleverly and subtly, making it all the more entertaining to read.
Julia is also exactly the kind of person who skepticism needs the most.�� The stereotype of the skeptic is generally a rather stuck-up, old bitter white male, and Julia is none of those (well, except she is Caucasian, but none of the others.)� Rather, she’s the kind of engaging, youthful face of an ever expanding and inclusive movement.�� Julia is also not prone to limiting things to the more traditional venues for skepticism.�� Recently she wrote of her trip to Burningman, the kind of event one typically does not associate with skeptic types.
But unfortunately, this post is not simply about gushing over how great Julia is and how much everyone appreciates her seemingly limitless enthusiasm for empirical skepticism and science in popular culture.
I recently found out that Julia had been badly injured in a household accident.�� She received some very serious burns after knocking over a pot of deep-frying oil, and has second and third degree burns over most of her legs.� Julia has been in the hospital for more than a week and is expected to be there for at least another week to ten days.� She stated that she will be “regrowing my skin and relearning to walk.”
(Note: I feel okay saying this because she has posted it on her public Facebook account and the topic has been discussed on forums and boards, so I’m pretty sure she’s not keeping it a secret.)
Like everyone else who heard this news, I was shocked and saddened that such a horrific accident had happened to such an admirable person.�� In fact, I figured that my best wishes for her recovery deserved, at the very least, a blog post.
As for everyone else:
Since I know Julia is passionate about her contributions to skepticism, why don’t you go check out her blog and podcast.� Not only is the content great, but like any other author, I’m sure she loves having her stuff read.�� Also, be sure to leave her some love in the comments, because she really needs it right now.
Keep on getting better, Julia, and if your moral starts to wane, remember how many of us appreciate what you do and are enthusiastically waiting to see you again, once you are fully recovered!