CFI Speakers Bureau


The Center for Inquiry (CFI) Speakers Bureau is a tool for campus groups, community groups, and conference organizers to find quality speakers on topics related to CFI’s mission of fostering a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

If you would like to book a speaker, you may email them at the address provided on their profile. Unless indicated otherwise, CFI does not typically act as an intermediary between speakers and groups.

“CFI Speakers” are staff, board members, and volunteer representatives.

If you have questions about the CFI Speakers Bureau, please contact the CFI Outreach Department at outreach@centerforinquiry.net.

Viewpoints and information presented by speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.


Found 44 Result(s)

Donald B. Ardell


Donald B. Ardell is an outspoken freethinker who promotes a philosophy of REAL wellness, “REAL” being an acronym for Reason, Exuberance, Athleticism and Liberty – the four dimensions of a lifestyle conducive to well being and happiness. Don is a devotee of Robert Green Ingersoll and often performs a variety of speeches, poems and quotations …

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Anthony Barnhart


Anthony Barnhart is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Arizona State University, where he began his graduate career with the intention of being a language researcher. To this end, he has published research examining the processes underlying handwritten word perception, a …

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Joe E. Barnhart


Joe E. Barnhart, Ph.D., recently retired to write his novels, became Professor of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas in 1974. He became a contributing member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, the Southern Society for Philosophy and …

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Ophelia Benson


Ophelia Benson is the joint-author (with Jeremy Stangroom) of The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense, Why Truth Matters, and Does God Hate Women? She blogs at Butterflies and Wheels and is a columnist for Free Inquiry and The Freethinker.   0 SharesShareTweet

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Heather Berlin

Cognitive Neuroscientist · New York, New York
Topics: Cognitive Science, Debates, Psychology
Subtopics: Art & science, Mental illness

Dr. Heather Berlin is a cognitive neuroscientist and Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She practices clinical neuropsychology at Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and is a Visiting Scholar at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She explores the neural basis …

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Marwa Berro


Marwa Berro is a writer and professional translator from Beirut. An apostate from Islam, she grew up between an international expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah guerrilla warfare culture in Lebanon. She runs the popular blog Between a Veil and a Dark Place, where she explores womanhood and politics post-Islam, with a recurring focus on …

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Ben Blanchard


Ben is an organizer and activist best known for his service work through the Pathfinders Project, a yearlong international service trip sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief. The Pathfinders supported clean water, education, human rights, and environmental conservation work around in eight countries the globe, as well as providing the framework for the Humanist Service Corps. …

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Mark Blumberg


Mark Blumberg is a behavioral neuroscientist and the F. Wendell Miller Professor at the University of Iowa. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in 1983, majoring in Physics and Philosophy. That year, he began graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he received his doctorate in Biopsychology in 1988. After leaving Chicago, …

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Baba Brinkman


Baba Brinkman is a Canadian rapper, science communicator, and award-winning hip-hop playwright based in New York, NY. Best known for his “Rap Guide” series of science-themed plays and albums, Baba has toured the world and enjoyed successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and off-Broadway. The series so far includes rap guides to Evolution, Human Nature, Business, Wilderness, Religion, …

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Diane Burkholder


Diane Burkholder is a cisgender, queer, mixed race, Black feminist community organizer who has lived in Kansas City since 2011, via South Dakota and California. Her education is in sociology (CSU-Long Beach) and Ethnic Studies (San Francisco State University). She’s a co-founder of One-Struggle KC, a coalition of Kansas City activists seeking to connect the struggles …

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Tom Clark


Tom Clark is founder and director of the Center for Naturalism and developer of Naturalism.org, a leading web resource on worldview naturalism, its implications and applications. He is also author of Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and its Uses and many articles on naturalism, science, free will, consciousness, addiction, and criminal and social justice. He even wrote …

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Christopher DiCarlo


Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He often teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto (in Scarborough). He is also a lifetime member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada. He has been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences …

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JT Eberhard


As a student, JT Eberhard co-founded the Missouri State University Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which became one of the nation’s largest and most active college skeptic groups within a year.  He would go on to lead the group for five years. He previously served as the High School Specialist with the Secular Student …

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Luke Galen


Luke Galen is currently a professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University. His main area of research and teaching focuses on the psychology of religion. He is currently researching the psychology of secularity and nonreligious individuals especially in regards to moral behavior. He …

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Noelle George


Noelle George is a secular activist who grew up in Seattle and studied chemical engineering at the University of Washington. She didn’t become passionate about secular activism until she moved to Houston, TX in 2004 and was often asked, “Where do you go to church?” Noelle moved to Houston to work for a Fortune 500 …

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Will Gervais

Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky · Lexington, Kentucky
Topics: Cognitive Science
Subtopics: Evolutionary psychology, Psychology of religion

Dr. Will M. Gervais teaches courses on the psychology of religion and morality, social psychology, and research methods. He directs Kentucky’s Beliefs and Morality (BAM!!!) Lab, which investigates the psychological intersection of atheism, religion, and morality. Dr. Gervais’s research has focused broadly on the psychology of atheism for over a decade. His work has appeared …

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Thomas Gilovich


Thomas Gilovich is the Irene Blecker Rosenfeld Professor of Psychology at Cornell University and codirector of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California and his PhD in Psychology from Stanford University. His research focuses on how people evaluate information in their everyday …

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Sheldon Helms


Sheldon W. Helms is a professor of experimental psychology at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA, where he runs The Ohlone Psychology Speaker Series, hosting top-name skeptics, scientists, and authors who contribute to the teaching of critical thinking. A longtime skeptic, Sheldon has spoken for dozens of secular and skeptical groups across the country about a variety …

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Judy Johnson


Judy J. Johnson, PhD, is a psychology professor at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta. Her ongoing research is on the nature, development, and measurement of dogmatism. She is the author of What’s So Wrong with Being Absolutely Right: The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief, published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 2009. Dr. Johnson completed a Fellowship …

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Dacher Keltner


Dacher Keltner was born in Jalisco, Mexico, the offspring of two early members of the counterculture.  His mother, a literature professor, and father, an artist, raised him and his brother in Laurel Canyon in the late 60s, where those North Hollywood hills were filled with revolution.  When his mother secured her first job as a …

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Marty Klein


Dr. Marty Klein is a California psychotherapist, sex therapist, and international lecturer in sexuality and public policy. He has been an expert witness or invited plaintiff in many important state and federal obscenity and anti-censorship cases. His landmark book America’s War On Sex, with a foreword by the ACLU’s Nadine Strossen, was honored as Book of …

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Caleb Lack


Caleb W. Lack, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, professor, and scientific skeptic operating out of Oklahoma. Dr. Lack is the author or editor of six books, most recently Critical Thinking, Science, & Pseudoscience: Why You Can’t Trust Your Brain (co-authored with University of Cape Town philosopher Jacques Rousseau). He has also authored or co-authored more than 45 scientific publications relating …

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Lauren Lane


Lauren Lane is a Founder and the President of Skepticon, a national conference located annually in Springfield, MO that promotes skepticism, science education and community building. During her tenure as an undergraduate, Lauren held various leadership positions in the Missouri State University Chapter of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular student group that revolutionized student activism. …

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Scott Lilienfeld


Scott O. Lilienfeld is  Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta. He received his A.B. from Cornell University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of Minnesota in 1990.  He is founder and past editor of the Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, most recent past President …

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Eric Maisel


Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of more than fifty books. His books include The Future of Mental Health, Humane Helping, and 60 Innovative Cognitive Strategies for the Smart, the Sensitive and the Creative with Routledge, Rethinking Depression, Life Purpose Boot Camp, Overcoming Your Difficult Family, Coaching the Artist Within, The Van Gogh Blues, Mastering …

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Amanda Marcotte


Feminist author, blogger, and gadfly Amanda Marcotte has been described as “funny. Really funny,” with a “wit is as sharp as the survival knife.” (Sacramento News & Review) Her “writing zings, it crackles, it leaves a mark, and never sugarcoats.” (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of Daily Kos) And she tends to frantic ire from anti-feminists such …

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Marissa Alexa McCool


Marissa Alexa McCool, 32, is a podcaster, author, performer, speaker, ​and an LGBT rights/atheist activist. She’s a trans woman, married, partnered, and a parent. Born in Akron, Ohio and currently residing in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her family, she graduated the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with degrees in English, Cinema and Media Studies, and …

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Dale McGowan


Dale McGowan double-majored in music and evolutionary anthropology at UC Berkeley and taught interdisciplinary courses centered on writing and critical thinking at the college level, as well as music theory and music history. As a writer, Dale has variously focused on science, parenting, and the interface between religious belief and unbelief. His books include Sharing Reality: How …

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Seth Mnookin


Seth Mnookin is Director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing and a Professor of Comparative Media Studies/Writing at M.I.T. His most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, won the National Association of Science Writers “Science in Society” Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prize. …

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Barbara Oakley


Barbara Oakley, PhD, PE is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Diego; and Coursera’s inaugural “Innovation Instructor.” Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. Dr. Oakley’s research has been described as “revolutionary” in the Wall Street Journal—she …

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Tamas Pataki


Dr. Tamas Pataki is an honorary senior fellow at the University of Melbourne and an honorary fellow of Deakin University. He studied philosophy at the University of Melbourne and psychoanalysis at University College, London University. He has been a lecturer in philosophy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Tasmania and University of …

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Darrel Ray


Darrel Ray, Ed.D. is an organizational psychologist and student of religion for over forty years. Raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, he knows religion from the inside out. He has a BA in sociology, an MA in religion and an Ed.D. in counseling psychology from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. For thirty years, Dr. Ray …

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Desiree Schell


Desiree Schell is the host of Science for the People, a syndicated live radio show and podcast that broadcasts across North America. The program explores the connections between popular culture, history and science, and promotes critical thinking beyond the ranks of current skeptics. Desiree interviews researchers, authors and experts to help listeners understand the evidence and …

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Azim Shariff


Azim Shariff is an Associate Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair of Moral Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where he is director of the Centre for Applied Moral Psychology.  His research on morality, religion, and technology regularly receives global media coverage, and has appeared in top academic journals such as Science, Trends in …

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Keith E. Stanovich


Keith E. Stanovich is Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto.  He is the author of over 200 scientific articles. Stanovich is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and of the American Psychological Society.  From 1986-2000 Stanovich was the Associate Editor of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, a leading journal of human …

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Nikki Stern


Nikki Stern writes political, social and cultural commentary with what NPR host Kurt Andersen describes as “even-keeled grace, tolerance and common sense.” She is the author of three books and a contributor to three anthologies that deal with aspects of peaceful resistance Her first book, Because I Say So: Moral Authority’s Dangerous Appeal, reviewed her …

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Kylie Sturgess


Kylie Sturgess is the President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia and an award-winning Philosophy teacher with over ten years experience in education. She has lectured on teaching critical thinking, feminism, new media and anomalistic beliefs worldwide, and regularly writes editorial for numerous publications. In 2011, she was the winner of the Best Individual Activist …

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Valerie Tarico


Valerie Tarico is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings. Raised in a staunch fundamentalist family, Valerie attended Wheaton College, where the Billy Graham Center features a museum about the history of Evangelism in North America. She obtained a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from …

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J. Anderson Thomson


J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D. (Andy) is a psychiatrist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia Student Health Services, as well as theInstitute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy. He is the forensic psychiatrist for Region Ten Community Services. Andy …

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Lionel Tiger


Lionel Tiger is the Charles Darwin Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Rutgers University. His title reflects his pioneering role in introducing biosocial data into the social sciences. Since the mid-1960’s he has been deeply involved in bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences. He has asserted that the words used appear to imply …

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J.D. Trout


J.D. Trout earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and History in 1982 at Bucknell University, and his doctorate in Philosophy in 1988 at Cornell University, where he was a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in history and philosophy of science. While there, he also did graduate work in Psychology. He then spent a year as …

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Indre Viskontas


Indre Viskontas is a sought-after science communicator across all mediums. She co-hosted the 6-episode docuseries Miracle Detectives on the Oprah Winfrey Network and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, major radio stations across the US, including several appearances on the NPR program City Arts & Lectures and The Sunday Edition on the CBC in …

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Kayley Whalen


Kayley Whalen is an activist who works at the intersections of humanism, racial justice, transgender and queer issues, immigration, disability advocacy and drug policy reform. She is the Digital Strategies and Social Media Manager at the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Digital Strategy Co-Director at Trans United Fund. She is multi-racial Latina/white. She skated with the DC …

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Benjamin Wolozin


Benjamin Wolozin received his B.A. in Chemistry from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. and M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with a focus in neuroscience.  Dr. Wolozin is currently a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine. 0 SharesShareTweet

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