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 62 Result(s)

Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar


Faisal is an Iraqi-born award-winning human rights activist, satirist, speaker and writer. He is an advocate for Universal Human Rights, secularism and the free market of ideas, and is enthusiastic about the intersection of technology and advocacy. He is also the founder of multiple online platforms that together have more than 400,000 subscribers and millions of …

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Julian Baggini


Julian Baggini is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including How The World Thinks, A Short History of Truth, The Edge of Reason, The Virtues of the Table, The Ego Trick, and Freedom Regained. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as for the think tanks The Institute of Public Policy …

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Elizabeth Barre


Elizabeth Barre is a comparative ethicist who works on questions that lie at the intersection of moral philosophy and the history of religion, with a specific focus on Muslim, Christian, and secular political ethics. She has written about the ways recent Muslim debates about liberalism, democracy, and the separation of religion and politics are similar …

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Jennifer Beahan


Jennifer Beahan is the Executive Director for CFI–Michigan. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CFI–Michigan and is working to build a secular community throughout Michigan. Her interests include volunteer management, program development and evaluation, secular activism, and women’s rights. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education (K-12), and in addition to her work …

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Jeremy Beahan


Fundamentalist raised and educated, Jeremy graduated from Grace Bible College and Cornerstone University with a dual degree in social studies and religious education. While training for ministry Jeremy underwent a dramatic de-conversion as a culmination to many years of questioning. Today Jeremy works to promote critical thinking and skeptical inquiry in his local community. When …

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Ryan Bell


After nearly 20 years in congregational pastoral ministry Ryan left his church in 2013 and shortly thereafter began an exploration of atheism and humanism and wrote about his experience at the Year Without God blog. His experience and writing became an international phenomenon and was covered by CNN, BBC, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and dozens …

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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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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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Russell Blackford


Russell Blackford is a philosopher, literary critic, and freelance writer (his professional fiction credits include The New John Connor Chronicles, a trilogy of novels written for the Terminator franchise). His formal qualifications include First Class Honours degrees in Arts and Law, and separate PhDs in philosophy and English literature. Dr Blackford is editor-in-chief of The Journal …

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Ed Brayton


After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He is now the owner of the popular blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars. He has appeared …

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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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Bart Campolo

Humanist Chaplain at the University of Cincinnati · Cincinnati, Ohio
Topics: Activism & Organizing, Debates, Humanism
Subtopics: Leaving religion

Over three decades of Christian ministry, Bart Campolo became increasingly committed to building loving relationships, working for a better world and cultivating a sense of gratitude for the wonders of life.  Now, as a community builder, counselor, podcaster, and humanist chaplain at the University of Cincinnati, Bart aims to inspire and assist people around the world who are …

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Doug Cowan


Doug Cowan is a professor of Religious Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo, and specializes in religion and film, television, and popular culture. Lately, he has become particularly interested in the spiritual relationship we have with things, with the objects around us and with which we fill our lives. He has …

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Ryan Cragun


Born and raised in rural Utah, Ryan Cragun was raised Mormon. He was a devout Mormon – including serving as a Mormon missionary in Costa Rica – until 25 when his graduate training helped him turn a critical eye to his religion. He became a secular humanist shortly after leaving Mormonism. He completed his PhD …

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Heina Dadabhoy


Heina spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. Her forthcoming book, A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam, represents her aim …

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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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Margaret Downey


Margaret Downey has had a prolific career in secular activism. Downey is the founder of the Freethought Society, Anti-Discrimination Support Network, Mentor Connection, Tree of Knowledge, Helping Hands Committee, and the Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, Scouting For All, The Humanist Institute, and the Thomas …

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Catherine Dunphy


Catherine Dunphy is the Associate Humanist Chaplain at the University of Toronto, a founding member of the Clergy Project, and its former acting Executive Director. She was trained as a Roman Catholic Chaplain and is currently writing a book, Apostle to Apostate, about the founding of the Clergy Project and her experience of losing her …

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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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Taner Edis


Taner Edis was born in Istanbul, 1967, to Turkish and American parents. After completing his undergraduate work at Boğaziçi University, he received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in theoretical physics. Taner is currently a professor of physics at Truman State University, his present research interests focus on the philosophy and history of science. Fascinated …

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Dan Everett


Dan Everett is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Prior to Bentley he served Professor of Linguistics, Anthropology, and Biological Sciences and Chairman of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, where he was the first and only faculty member to hold the …

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Paul Fidalgo


Paul Fidalgo has been communications director of the Center for Inquiry since 2012. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, and has worked previously for FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy and the Secular Coalition for America. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years …

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David Fitzgerald


David Fitzgerald has been called “one of the busiest atheist activists in the Bay Area.” In addition to serving on the board of San Francisco Atheists and CFI-SF, he has also been the Director/Co-Founder of both the world’s first Atheist Film Festival and Evolutionpalooza!, San Francisco’s oldest annual Darwin Day celebration. In addition, he is …

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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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Vyckie Garrison


Vyckie Garrison was once a prominent member of the Quiverfull community, a rapidly growing Christian fundamentalist movement that bans birth control and encourages huge, “Biblical families” such as the Duggar Family of TLC’s 19 and Counting fame. Garrison edited and published a Christian “pro-life, pro-family” newspaper for 16+ years in northeast Nebraska while home-churching, home birthing, …

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Candace Gorham


Candace received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from North Carolina Central University. She received her Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wake Forest University. Candace’s religious background is varied, including Jehovah’s Witnesses and Methodist. At 18, she joined a very charismatic ministry during which time she was ordained as an evangelist, prophetess, …

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Tawfik Hamid

Potomac Institute for Policy Studies · Arlington, Virginia
Topics: Religion
Subtopics: History of religion, Islam, Religious extremism

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and one time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of a terrorist Islamic organization JI with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaherri who became later on the second in command of Al-Qaeda. Some twenty-five years ago, he recognized the threat of Radical Islam and the need for …

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Marci A. Hamilton

University of Pennsylvania · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Topics: Politics, Religion
Subtopics: Separation of church and state

Marci A. Hamilton is the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice,  and Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also the founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, www.childusa.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit academic think tank at the University of …

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Mark D. Hatcher


Mark D. Hatcher is a PhD candidate of Neurophysiology at Howard University and CFO of Black Atheists of America. He started Secular Students of Howard University (SSHU). SSHU is the first officially recognized secular organization to be held at a historically black college or university. Mark has given talks for the Center for Inquiry, The …

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Susan Jacoby


Susan Jacoby is an author, most recently of the New York Times best seller The Age of American Unreason, about American anti-intellectualism. She lives in New York City and is program director of the New York City branch of the Center for Inquiry. Jacoby, who began her career as a reporter for the Washington Post, has …

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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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Barry Kosmin


Dr. Barry A. Kosmin is Research Professor in Public Policy & Law and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He is a joint editor of the on-line international journal Secularism & Nonreligion. Dr. Kosmin has been a principal investigator of the American Religious …

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Stephen Law


Stephen Law is Reader in Philosophy at Heythrop College and Head of the Center for Inquiry in the UK. He has published many introductory philosophy books, including books for children. His popular books include The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking and The Complete Philosophy Files (for children). Stephen is a well-known humanist and atheist. He wrote the …

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William Lobdell


William Lobdell, 47, is an award-winning journalist, author, blogger, speaker, college lecturer and media consultant. He is owner of Four Boys New Media, an online publishing company that operates Greer’s OC, williamlobdell.com, Lobdell’s OC, and two digital magazines that will debut in the fall. His company also offers corporate media consulting. He worked for 18 …

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John W. Loftus

Debunking Christianity · Angola, Indiana
Topics: Religion
Subtopics: Leaving religion

John W. Loftus is a former Christian minister and apologist with M.A., M.Div., and Th.M. degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and the Philosophy of Religion, the last of which was earned under William Lane Craig. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity and The Outsider Test for Faith. He …

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Chris Lombardi

Secular Coalition for America · Washington, DC
Topics: Politics, Religion
Subtopics: Lobbying, Separation of church and state

Chris Lombardi joined the Secular Coalition in May of 2012. Chris moved to Washington D.C. in 2007 where he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on a diverse portfolio of issues. Hailing from the midwest and a proud Hoosier, Chris graduated from Indiana University in 2002. Chris can confidently claim to be one of …

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Allan Mazur


Allan Mazur, a sociologist, and engineer. Allan is professor of public affairs in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He is author or coauthor of over 150 academic articles and eight books, most recently Implausible Beliefs in the Bible, Astrology, and UFOs.  Mazur …

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Monica Miller


Monica R. Miller is Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Lehigh University and among other publications, author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge, 2012). Miller currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow with The Institute for Humanist Studies (Washington, DC), Co-Chair and founder of Critical Approaches to the Study of Hip Hop and …

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Yasmine Mohammed


Yasmine is an Arab-Canadian university educator, activist, and author who has a blog called Confessions of an ExMuslim. She  is currently working on writing her memoir. In it, she describes how, even though she was born and raised in North America, she endured the same traumas that are familiar to Muslims across the planet. As a child, …

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Maryam Namazie


Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She hosts a weekly television programme in Persian and English called  Bread and Roses. She is on the International Advisory Board of the Raif Badawi …

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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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John Perkins

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research · Melbourne, Victoria
Topics: Religion
Subtopics: Islam, Leaving religion, Religious criticism, Religious extremism

Dr. John L Perkins is an economist, atheist activist and a regular contributor to Freethought magazines. He has qualifications from universities in Melbourne and London. Outside of his econometric activities he has a keen interest in the effects of religion on societies including economic, social and human costs. He has taken a particular interest in …

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Nate Phelps


Nate Phelps is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which gained infamy from their protests at soldiers’ funerals around the United States. He is the sixth of thirteen children, and was taught his father’s extreme version of Calvinism from an early age. This was accompanied by extreme physical punishments and …

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Anthony Pinn


Anthony B. Pinn is the Director of Research at the Institute for Humanist Studies and the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University.  Pinn is also the founding director of the Rice University Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL). CERCL seeks to explore and enhance in …

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Aron Ra


Aron Ra is the author of Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism, the host of the Ra-Men podcast, director of the Phylogeny Explorer Project, and a regional director for American Atheists. Aron is one of the “YouTube atheists” and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. His videos promoting secular science education have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by …

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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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Andrew Seidel


Andrew Seidel is the Director of Strategic Response at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, where he fights to keep state and church separate. He regularly writes for Freethought Now!, and other popular outlets such as Friendly Atheist, Religion News Service, and ThinkProgress, and in more scholarly venues like Constitutional Studies and the Education Law & Policy Review. …

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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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David Smalley


David Smalley grew up Christian, but started to question his beliefs as a teenager. His questioning and seeking after the truth led to his atheism and now he is the host of the podcast and radio show Dogma Debate and the founder of Secular Media Group, LLC. David is a secular humanist activist and works toward the goals …

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Chris Stedman


Chris Stedman is the Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University and the Managing Director of State of Formation, a new initiative at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue. Chris received an MA in Religion from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago, for which he was awarded the …

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Troy Stoops


Troy Stoops was born into a radically fundamentalist family, the foundations of which were explicitly theological. His father was a homosexual, his mother mentally ill. Their preacher approved their union as a way of suppressing these satanic influences. Glossolallia, the handling of poisonous snakes as a test of faith, liberal doses of hellfire, and a …

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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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John Suarez


Dr. John M. Suarez is a retired Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, and the founder and director of the Section on Law and Psychiatry.  He is a lifelong social activist, concerned with Civil Rights, Social and Economic Justice, the Environment, Public Education and the First Amendment.  He is on the Board of Trustees of Americans …

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Robert Talisse


Robert Talisse is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Political Science, and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from City University of New York Graduate School. Professor Talisse has published widely on political philosophy, ethics, and American pragmatism.  His current research focuses on …

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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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Gleb Tsipursky


Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth-oriented behavior, rational thinking, and wise decision-making. He serves as the President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to popularizing these topics. Its main current focus is the Pro-Truth Pledge, a project that aims to reverse the tide of lies and promote truth in public discourse through combining …

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Gretta Vosper

Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity · Toronto, Ontario
Topics: Atheism & Secularism, Philosophy, Religion
Subtopics: Ethics & morality, Meaning of life

Named one of 2009’s Most Compelling Women in Canada by More Magazine, Gretta Vosper has been in the spotlight since founding the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity in 2004.  Her national bestselling book, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important that What We Believe, quickly became a national bestseller and attracted media …

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Judith B. Walker


Judith Walker is a graduate of Wellesley College with a degree in sociology and anthropology. She earned her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law and served as an Assistant Colorado Attorney General in the Higher Education Unit representing Colorado state institutions of higher education. She joined the University of Colorado Foundation in …

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Charles Wynn


Dr. Wynn has lectured about science and science education in Puerto Rico, Canada, Malaysia, China, Australia, England, and Russia. His critically acclaimed science trilogy, The Five Biggest Ideas in Science (John Wiley & Sons), Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends and Pseudoscience Begins (Joseph Henry Press), and The Five Biggest Unsolved Problems in Science (John Wiley & …

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Phil Zuckerman


Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and the founder of the secular studies program at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California. He is the author of several books on secularity, including The Nonreligious (Oxford, 2016), Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2015), Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (Oxford, 2011), and Society Without God (NYU, 2008). He has also edited several books, …

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