Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday

October 14, 2014

October 21st, 2014 will be Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday. “The Father of the Modern Skepticism” was a polymath, magician, skeptic and writer. His book Fads and Fallacies In The Name of Science (Dover, 1957) was the work that kicked off the modern interest in skepticism.

Here at CFI, I acquired materials from Martin Gardner himself back in 2002 when he was preparing to move from North Carolina to be near his son. I acquired about 450 books and a couple filing cabinets of papers all relating to our mission here at CFI. I was fortunate to be able to meet him and discuss some of my research with him (see “My Reminiscence of Martin Gardner: A Lesson,” Skeptical Inquirer September/October 2010, pg. 42.)

We do not have any of Gardner’s papers on his math work, or other fields of interest. I searched for information for Richard Wiseman a few years ago about the author “S.W. Erdnase,” (a mystery within the magic community that Gardner had an interest), but I was unable to find anything in these papers.

Gardner’s papers relating to his Scientific American column on mathematics are located at the Stanford University Archives. I do not know if there are other archives of materials elsewhere.

Since 2010, there are annual events called “Celebration of Mind” which came from the Gathering for Gardner Foundation. The Gatherings for Gardner were conferences that met in honor of Martin Gardner while he was still living and the Celebration of Mind events began after his death in 2010. For more information on these, go to