Thursday, June 4, 2009

Critical Thinking Club of St. Paul Meeting

St. Paul Critical Thinking Club

June 14, 2009

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

Kelly Inn, I-94 at Marion, St. Paul

Breakfast and Presentation $10.00

Presentation only $3.00
Speaker: Stew Thornley

Accuracy in Research: The Virtue of Skepticism

We need to plan for the room setup and meal, so if you are going to attend, please RSVP to

“Errors of fact are so thick in the environment around us that writing a book without absorbing any of them is like walking in a rainstorm without getting wet,” baseball historian and analyst Bill James once wrote. Misinformation often replicates itself to the point that it takes on life of its own, eventually becoming so accepted as factual that even a careful researcher may fall into the trap of assuming the claims to be true and not feeling the need to verify them.

Too often an important part of research that is overlooked or underemphasized is factchecking. This presentation will explore how misinformation spreads, the roadblocks to accuracy, and methods for checking facts. Beyond the techniques is an attitude toward accuracy that is just as important as know-how.

Stew Thornley is an author of books on sports history, including histories of the Minneapolis Millers minor league baseball team, and the Minneapolis Lakers major league basketball team, as well as a definitive history of baseball in Minnesota. Another book, Six Feet Under: A Graveyard Guide to Minnesota, is about notable people buried in Minnesota.

Stew has been a member of the Society for American Baseball Research since 1979, and served as the organization's vice president from 2002 to 2004. (See

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