Astronomy, archaeology and ethnology or social anthropology have always attracted public interest and spurred imagination, apparently because they all share the interest in something remote in space or time and, therefore, hardly – if at all – accessible. No wonder, then, that the astronomically-related concepts possessed by the archaeologically and ethnographically documented societies, profoundly different from what has been the mainstream of modern Western civilization, have not only inspired serious scientific research but have also fueled wild speculations. The participants of the 2012 SEAC conference are encouraged to present such unfounded theories and interpretations and bring them under scientific scrutiny. This thematic focus of the conference has been motivated by the fact that the year 2012 has become the subject of a large number of publications, websites, films and public lectures, whose authors claim that, for the winter solstice of 2012, the ancient Maya foretold either devastating natural disasters of different kinds, even the end of the world, or a radical change in human consciousness leading to a new age of profound spirituality and social harmony. Most of these speculations derive from arbitrary, bizarre or utterly fantastic interpretations of Maya calendrical system, astronomical knowledge, and prophetic texts. Since their popularity, growing at an exponential rate during recent years, will expectedly culminate in 2012 – when the SEAC, incidentally, will celebrate its first katun (Maya 20-year cycle) anniversary – and considering that many other cultures have been victims of similar charlatanic and fraudulent theories, the year 2012 seems to be particularly appropriate for their critical examination and confrontation with methodologically sound interpretations based on the available evidence. Given this emphasis of the conference, we also welcome contributions on theoretical and methodological issues relevant for cultural astronomy and its sub-fields. Rather than general and purely theoretical discussions, the contributors are asked to present concrete case studies exemplifying the utility of certain approaches for solving specific problems. These guidelines notwithstanding, the Scientific Organizing Committee will carefully consider every proposal for presenting results of original research related to cultural astronomy.