2015 Progress Report

In Dark Times, Keeping the Flame of Reason Alight

CFI’s Annual Progress Report:
A Year of Unification in a Time of Upheaval

For all of our friends and supporters, the Center for Inquiry proudly presents its annual Progress Report. It is a document of the important work we have undertaken with long time members of our community, as well as a welcoming introduction to those just discovering all that CFI is and does. Our mission is to foster a secular society based on reason, science, and humanist values, and 2015 in particular was a year that demanded the most of our commitment to that mission.

With the help of people like you, we helped to open the eyes of the world to the brutal crackdown on free expression in countries like Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. The savage murder of secular activist Avijit Roy at a book fair in Dhaka began a tumultuous year in which the forces of religious extremism violently attempted to silence the voices of secularism and free inquiry. In many ways, this global struggle for the basic right to free expression was our defining challenge of 2015, driving us to do all we could to rescue those in similar danger. And in a year when the Christmas greetings on coffee cups were a prime topic of controversy, we worked to awaken the world to the genuine threats to religious freedom on bloody display in the streets of Bangladesh.

Back in the U.S., we fought the proliferation of pseudoscience and misinformation in our health care system, from the false promises of homeopathy to the dangers posed by the anti-vaccine movement. On issues as wide-ranging as same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, climate change, and religious freedom, we fought to dislodge faith and dogma from public policy, and pushed back against the forces of science denial. We didn’t win every fight, but from statehouses to the U.S. Capitol, and from the grassroots to the Supreme Court, CFI’s advocacy had an unprecedented impact on public policy.

Across the country and around the world, the brightest minds and biggest personalities in science and freethought got together with the members of CFI’s local branches to share big ideas and build active, thriving communities. In the summer, CFI held one of its most successful events to date, the Reason for Change conference in Buffalo.

CFI set new standards for high quality content in 2015, with bold, thought-provoking work from our magazines, Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer, and from our popular podcast Point of Inquiry, hosted by Josh Zepps and Lindsay Beyerstein.

Finally, it was a year of unification for CFI. We began 2015 by formally combining the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism into the Center for Inquiry. And as 2016 dawned, we began our merger with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science and welcomed our new CEO, Robyn Blumner.

We’re proud of all we’ve been able to accomplish in an incredibly eventful year. And the stage is now set for us to have an even greater impact in 2016 and beyond. It’s all thanks to the generous support of people like you, who believe that we can and must bring about a better world for everyone - no matter where they live or what they believe - by advancing science, reason, and humanist values.

We invite you to read all about our work over the year in our Progress Report 2015: In Dark Times, Keeping the Flame of Reason Alight. And remember: None of it would be possible without your support. For all that you’ve done, and for your ongoing contributions to our mission, we thank you.