The CFI Summit - An International Congress in the Pacific Northwest

Speakers - CFI Summit - An International Congress in the Pacific Northwest


Jim Alcock

Jim Alcock is a professor of psychology at York University. He is author of Parapsychology: Science or Magic? and Science and Supernature and co-editor of In the Psi Wars: Getting to Grips with the Paranormal. He is a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's Executive Committee.

Ophelia Benson

Ophelia Benson is editor of the provocative website Butterflies and Wheels, deputy editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine, and coauthor of Why Truth Matters (Continuum, 2007) and Does God Hate Women? (Continuum, 2009). She is a columnist for Free Inquiry and The Freethinker.

Greta Christina

Greta Christina is one of the most widely read and well-respected bloggers in the atheist blogosphere. She is author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless and has been writing about atheism and skepticism for her own cleverly named Greta Christina’s Blog since 2005. She is a regular contributor to AlterNet, Salon, The Humanist, and Free Inquiry, and her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. She has been writing professionally since 1989 on topics including sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind.

Bill Cooke

Bill Cooke is director of transnational programs at the Center for Inquiry.

Elisabeth Cornwell

Elisabeth Cornwell initiated the OUT Campaign and, more recently, Non-Believers Giving Aid, which raised over $500,000 for Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross for Haiti relief. In addition to her work with the Foundation, she is an evolutionary psychologist whose research includes examining the underlying mechanisms of human mate selection. More recently she has been exploring the relationship of various psychological traits to religious belief across the spectrum from strong theism to strong nontheism. She is a member of the Center for Inquiry’s Board of Directors.

Michael De Dora

Michael De Dora is director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy and the organization’s representative to the United Nations. He also maintains the blog The Moral Perspective. Michael has appeared on numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Al Jazeera English, FOX News Live, Hannity, NBC New York, ABC New York, amNew York, NY1 News, Village Voice, Radio Netherlands, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, The Ron Reagan Show, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, and WBAI’s Equal Time for Freethought. He was previously executive director of CFI’s office in New York City (2009–2012).

Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn is the editor of Free Inquiry and executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism. He is also editor of The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief (Prometheus Books, 2007) and author of The Trouble with Christmas and a series of irreverent science-fiction novels. Flynn designed and is the director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, New York.

Kendrick Frazier

Kendrick Frazier is editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, a former editor of Science News, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also editor of a number of anthologies of SI articles, mostly recently Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience. He is a member of the Center for Inquiry’s Board of Directors.

Susan Gerbic

Susan Gerbic, affectionately called the Wikipediatrician, is the cofounder of Monterey County Skeptics, a steering member of the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), and a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. Gerbic is also founder of the “Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia,” “Skeptic Action,” “We Got Your Wiki Back!,” “Skeptic Love,” and “World Wikipedia” projects.

Will Gervais

Will Gervais is assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. His research concerns religion and supernatural thinking, examining the psychological causes and consequences of both religious belief and disbelief. He received his MA and PhD from the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral work focused on negative perceptions of atheists. His most current research project involves investigating people’s (often mistaken or exaggerated) intuitive perceptions of a link between religion and morality.

Debbie Goddard

From CFI's own ranks, we're thrilled that director of outreach Debbie Goddard has joined the Summit lineup. Apart from her outreach duties, where she coordinates with CFI branches and campus groups around the world, Goddard is director of CFI's African Americans for Humanism, a contributor to Skepchick, and a respected activist for progressive and LGBT causes.

Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, “The SkepDoc,” is a retired family physician and former Air Force flight surgeon who writes prolifically about science, alternative medicine, and quackery; she is a CSI Fellow and member of the Executive Council, one of the founders and editors of the Science-Based Medicine blog, coauthor of the textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions, and is on the faculty of the annual Skeptic’s Toolbox Workshop. She is on the editorial board of the Skeptical Inquirer and a columnist in Skeptic magazine. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon.

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), the first officially recognized secular organization at a historically black college or university. Mark has given talks for the Center for Inquiry, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington Area Secular Humanists and more.

Ray Hyman

Ray Hyman is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Oregon. His published research has been in pattern recognition, perception, problem solving, creativity, and related areas of cognition. He is a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s Executive Committee.

Susan Jacoby

Susan Jacoby is an author, most recently of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought. Jacoby began her career as a reporter for The Washington Post and is the author of ten books, including the New York Times best-seller The Age of American Unreason; Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age; and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. Freethinkers was named a notable book of 2004 by The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. The Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian also named it an “Outstanding International Book of the Year.”

S. T. Joshi

S. T. Joshi is a noted critic, anthologist, and scholar in fields ranging from atheism to Lovecraft studies. He is author of The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism, editor of Icons of Unbelief and other works, and editor of The American Rationalist.

Zack Kopplin

Zack Kopplin is a young science education activist who has campaigned to keep creationism out of public schools and other church-state separation causes. His online campaign to repeal a creationist science education law in his native Louisiana elicited some 70,000 petition signatures and endorsements from Sir Harry Kroto and seventy-eight other Nobel Laureate scientists. He was co-winner of the National Center for Science Education’s 2012 Friend of Darwin Award and winner of the 2012 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Education.

Barry Kosmin

Barry Kosmin is Research Professor in Public Policy and 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 online international journal Secularism & Nonreligion.

Dr. Kosmin has been a principal investigator of the American Religious Identification Survey series since its inception in 1990 as well as national social surveys in Europe, Africa, and Asia. His books on American religion include One Nation under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society (1993) and Religion in a Free Market: Religious and Non-religious Americans (2006). He is a member of the Center for Inquiry’s Board of Directors.

Scott O. Lilienfeld

Scott O. Lilienfeld is professor of psychology at Emory University. He is an editorial board member of the Skeptical Inquirer and Associate Editor of The Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Ronald A. Lindsay

Ronald A. Lindsay, JD, PhD, is president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism.

Daniel Loxton

Daniel Loxton is a Canadian writer, illustrator, and skeptic. He is the editor of Junior Skeptic magazine, a kids’ science section bound into the Skeptics Society’s Skeptic magazine. He is the coauthor of Abominable Science with Donald Prothero (2013) and the author and primary illustrator of children’s books, including Ankylosaur Attack, Pterosaur Trouble, and the Lane Anderson Award-winning Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.

Leonard Mlodinow

Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist, author, and screenwriter best known for coauthoring (with Stephen Hawking) the New York Times number-one best seller The Grand Design and the international best seller A Briefer History of Time. His other books include The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, a New York Times notable book of the year, and Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, for which he won the 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences.

Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell is CSI’s senior research fellow and the world’s only full-time, professionally trained (as stage magician, private detective, and scholar) paranormal investigator. The latest of his many books is The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible.

Bill Nye

Bill Nye is chief executive officer of the Planetary Society. He learned his love of astronomy from Carl Sagan while earning a mechanical engineering degree at Cornell University. From 1992 to 1998, he was the writer, producer, and talent for the Emmy Award–winning Bill Nye the Science Guy TV series, coproduced by Buena Vista Television (Disney) and KCTS (Seattle public television). More recently, his program 100 Greatest Discoveries aired on the Science Channel.

Benjamin Radford

Benjamin Radford is a research fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author, coauthor, or contributor to twenty books, including his most recent, The Martians Have Landed: A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes.

Edwina Rogers

Edwina Rogers joined the Secular Coalition for America as its executive director in May 2012. She boasts two decades of experience on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist and attorney, including roles as general counsel for several high-profile politicians. Rogers has extensive experience as a public policy expert and has worked for two presidents and four senators. In her most recent role as executive director of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative, she organized a coalition that included major employers, consumer groups, labor unions, and health-care providers, and successfully implemented the Patient Centered Medical Home model around the country.

Cara Santa Maria

Cara Santa Maria is a media personality and science educator. She hosted the Huffington Post web science series “Talk Nerdy to Me.” She now cohosts Hacking the Planet and The Truth about Twisters for The Weather Channel and is the newest host at the Young Turks Network.

Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott, PhD, is an internationally known expert on the creationism and evolution controversy and is the executive director of the National Center for Science Education. She is the author of Evolution vs. Creationism.

Katherine Stewart

Katherine Stewart is the author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. She started her career in journalism working for investigative reporter Wayne Barrett at The Village Voice, freelanced for a wide variety of publications, and published two novels. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, the Daily Beast, Bloomberg View, and Religion Dispatches. She lives with her family in New York City.

Eddie Tabash

Eddie Tabash is a constitutional lawyer in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from UCLA magna cum laude in 1973. He obtained his law degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in 1976. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Center for Inquiry, Council for Secular Humanism, and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has filed amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and the California Court of Appeal, arguing for separation of church and state. He has also represented the atheistic point of view in formal debates against such well-known religious philosophers as William Lane Craig and Richard Swinburne.

Leonard Tramiel

Leonard Tramiel is a physicist who spent twelve years as vice president of software at Atari, managing an internal group of software developers and designers while interacting worldwide with software developers and contract programmers. Since retiring from Atari at age forty-two, he has concentrated on advocating science education. He is a member of the Center for Inquiry’s Board of Directors.

James Underdown

James Underdown has been executive director of the Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles since 1999. He has written for both Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines and appeared widely throughout the media, including on Penn and Teller’s Bullshit, the Dr. Phil Show, Proof Positive, Miracle Detectives, History’s Mysteries, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. He was a panelist opposite Uri Geller on the 2012 season of Battle of the Psychics, shot in Kiev, Ukraine. Jim is the creator of the Steve Allen Theater at CFI–Los Angeles, the rock and roll band The Heathens, and is also the founder and chairman of the Independent Investigations Group, the world’s largest paranormal investigation team.

Judy Walker

Judy Walker, a former vice president for development at the University of Colorado, is now an independent scholar with a primary interest in the field of “living well without religion.” Walker began her work with CFI in 2008 as an instructor for the CFI Institute Summer Session where she taught a course titled “Naturalism Through Narrative: Knowledge, Ethics, and Identity in the Creation of Meaning.” She is currently a CFI Institute Fellow specializing in philosophical naturalism. Her work has been published in Free Inquiry magazine and other philosophical and freethought publications. She is also on the editorial board of the American Humanist Association’s peer-reviewed journal Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism and is a member of AHA’s Teacher Corps. She is a member of the Center for Inquiry Board of Directors.

Josh Zepps

A journalist and new media pioneer, Australia's Josh Zepps joins the Summit from his post as a founding host and producer at online talk network HuffPost Live, after hosting stints with such outlets as Bloomberg TV, the Discovery Channel, and as an anchor for CBS's Peabody Award-winning Channel One News. Josh describes himself as "a science nerd, a politics wonk, and a passionate advocate of secularism and reason."

Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman is professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College. His research interests include secularity, atheism, apostasy, and Scandinavian culture. His books include Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (Oxford, 2011), Atheism and Secularity (Praeger, 2010), and Society without God (NYU Press, 2008).

Don’t miss out on this year’s most spectacular conference.

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