Pseudoscientific Pursuits

image courtesy Muffet
A69143a5 seeable

Taught by Jen Messier

Jen is the co-founder of the Brainery and lives in Flatlands with her partner and (too many) cats. She knows a little bit about a lot of things and can teach a lot of classes on the fly. Currently really into hydroponics, cyanotypes, and dyeing things poorly. 

You can ask her anything at

This is an old class! Check out the current classes, or sign up for our mailing list to see if we'll offer this one again.

This class might be over, but get first dibs on new sessions and brand-new classes by signing up on our ultra-rad mailing list.

There is a wonderful list on Wikipedia of topics that are considered pseudoscientific, lacking in someway or another hard scientific proof of their efficacy or existence. And they're all totally weird and fascinating enough to spend weeks talking about! The Bermuda Triangle? dowsing? the Bates Method for Better Eyesight? - awesome!

Though we'll never cover them all in two weeks, let's focus on the ones that portend to tell us about our future lives and personalities through observable signs. 

We'll start by tackling one of the biggies - astrology! People have practiced astrology practically forver (well, since the 2nd century BC), and 31% of Americans believe in it, so let's talk about where it came from, the ways it's developed over time, and some of its main tenets.

We'll cover some others too and try and answer other BIG questions about them: Why was phrenology all the rage in the first place, and who was the first person to think that the shape of your head could determine your defining characteristics?

Why does, in the world of handwriting analysis, large lettering supposedly mean you're more social while small means you're more technically oriented?  

And what's the deal with palm reading anyway? How does your "head line" correspond to your intellectual capacity, and where, when, and why did the whole thing begin? 

This class'll have a little homework - digging around for some research topics and reading a couple articles, but in the process you'll end up with enough anecdotes about crazy things to last a lifetime! Definitely also suggest other random pseudosciences your're interested in covering.

Cancellation policy