Speakers

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of America’s leading spokespersons for science. He is the on-camera host of the PBS program NOVA ScienceNow, which explore the frontiers of all the science that shapes our understanding of our place in the universe. He is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan, where he also teaches. The research areas he focuses on are star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. In addition to many scholarly publications, Dr. Tyson is one of America’s most respected science writers, among his nine books are his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban AstrophysicistOrigins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith and most recently Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries.

Richard Dawkins

A British zoologist, born in Nairobi, in Kenya, Dawkins is one of the most prominent biologists alive today. Formerly Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford until his retirement, he is founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

He is the author of a number of best-selling books, including The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor’s Tale, Unweaving the Rainbow, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth.

Carol Tavris

Carol Tavris is a social psychologist, lecturer, and writer whose books include Anger and The Mismeasure of Woman. She has written on psychological topics for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Scientific American, Skeptical Inquirer, and many other publications. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and a member of the editorial board of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, she is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Her new book is Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, co-authored with Elliot Aronson, one of the most distinguished social psychologists in the world.

Bill Nye

Bill Nye is one of America’s leading popularizers of the scientific outlook. He is now the Executive Director of The Planetary Society. As a student at Cornell University, Bill Nye the Science Guy was introduced to the wonders of astronomy in a class taught by Carl Sagan himself. Nye later served as Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 University Professor at Cornell University from 2001 to 2006. As a scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, he hosted Bill Nye The Science Guy, which earned 28 Emmys during its six year run, and also The Eyes of Nye. His latest TV program, 100 Greatest Discoveries, airs in eight installments on the Science Channel. Nye has also authored several books, including his latest: Bill Nye The Science Guy’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.

Jennifer Michael Hecht

Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of award-winning books of philosophy, history, and poetry. Her Doubt: A History demonstrates a long, strong history of religious doubt from the origins of written history to the present day, all over the world. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism and Anthropology, won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s 2004 prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.” Hecht’s first poetry book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America’s 2002 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her most recent poetry book, Funny, won the University of Wisconsin’s 2005 Felix Pollak Poetry Prize, and Publisher’s Weekly called it “one of the most original and entertaining books of the year.”

James Randi

James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water “with a memory,” and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in the name of the supernatural. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1986. On October 19, 1993, the PBS-TV NOVA program broadcast a one-hour special dealing with Randi’s life work, particularly with his investigations of Uri Geller and various occult and healing claims being made by scientists in Russia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures and television appearances have delighted – and vexed – audiences around the world. In 1996, the James Randi Education Foundation was established to further Randi’s work. Randi’s long-standing challenge to psychics now stands as a $1,000,000 prize administered by the Foundation. It remains unclaimed.

Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette is the author of three popular science books for the general public: The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie ApocalypseThe Physics of the Buffyverse, and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006). Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Discover, Salon, Nature, Physics Today, Symmetry, Physics World, and New Scientist among other publications. She has strong interests in the intersection of science and popular culture, communicating science, and in fostering the next generation of science writers. In November 2008, Jennifer became director of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, a Los Angeles-based initiative of the National Academy of Sciences aimed at fostering creative collaborations between scientists and entertainment industry professionals. From February through April 2008, she was Journalist in Residence at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In May 2009, she was an instructor at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. She also blogs about physics and space science for Discovery News.

Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus is an expert in human memory having researched the subject for over 20 years. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 20 books including The Myth of Repressed Memory and over 400 scientific articles. Loftus has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Michael Jackson case, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and the Martha Stewart case. Loftus also she has worked on numerous cases involving allegations of “repressed memories”, such as those involving George Franklin of San Mateo, California, Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, and Gary Ramona of Napa, California.

 

Susana Martinez-Conde

Susana Martinez-Conde is Director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at Barrow Neurological Institute. She received a B.S. in Experimental Psychology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Ph.D in Medicine and Surgery from the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. She was a postdoctoral fellow with Nobel Laureate David Hubel at Harvard Medical School, and then an Instructor in Neurobiology at the same institution. She was a Lecturer at University College London from 2001 to 2003 before assuming her directorship at BNI the following year. Susana is an Executive Board Member and Executive Treasurer of the ASSC, and she serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Eye Movement Research and the ASSC’s official journal, Psyche. She has served as a guest editor at the Journal of Vision, and on numerous advisory boards for conferences, foundations and other institutions.

Stephen Macknik

Stephen Macknik is Director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at Barrow Neurological Institute. He received a B.A. in Psychobiology, Psychology, and Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D in Neurobiology at Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Nobel Laureate Prof. David Hubel at Harvard Medical School, and also with Prof. Zach Mainen at Cold Spring Harbor Lab. He led his first independent laboratory at University College London before coming to BNI in 2004.

Eugenie Scott

Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, is the Executive Director of NCSE. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, and can address many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups, and humanist groups. She holds honorary degrees from McGill, Rutgers, Mt. Holyoke, The University of New Mexico, Ohio State, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Colorado College, and The University of Missouri-Columbia. A dynamic speaker, she offers stimulating and thought-provoking as well as entertaining lectures and workshops. Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

Lawrence M. Krauss

Lawrence M. Krauss is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. He is an internationally famous theoretical physicist who focuses on the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics.  He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He is the author of seven best-selling books, including the international bestseller, The Physics of Star Trek and Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions from Plato to String Theory and Beyond. Dr. Krauss is one of North America’s leading activists for the public understanding of science and has been particularly involved in issues at the intersection of science and society, leading efforts by scientists to defend the teaching of science in public schools, and he has been a strong proponent of scientific integrity in government.

Pamela Gay

Pamela Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. She is perhaps best known for her work on the Astronomy Cast and Slacker Astronomy podcasts. In addition to her podcasting, Pamela also communicates astronomy to the public through her blog Star Stryder. Her writing has also appeared in Lightspeed MagazineAstronomy magazine and Sky and Telescope magazine. Pamela received a B.S. in astrophysics from Michigan State University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas in 2002. Today, she teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  She serves on the council of the American Association of Variable Star Astronomers and is part of the US organizing team for the 2008 Year of Astronomy.

Phil Plait

Phil Plait is an astronomer, author, and blogger. His Bad Astronomy blog is now hosted by Discover magazine and was chosen as one of the Top 25 Blogs of 2009 by Time magazine. Plait performed web-based public outreach for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (renamed Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope upon launch in 2008) and other NASA-funded missions while at Sonoma State University from 2000 to 2007. Prior to that, during the 1990s, he was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. Plait has been featured widely in the media and was host of the a three-part documentary series Bad Universe on Discovery Channel. His work has also appeared in the Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook of Science, and the Future and Astronomy magazine. He is author of two books: Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” and Death from the Skies.

Sara E. Mayhew

Sara E. Mayhew is an award-winning illustrator and manga artist who specializes in promoting skepticism, a love for science and evidence-based thinking through her storytelling. Her series, Secrets of Sorcerers, was named “Best Comic for Teens” by the International Anime and Manga Festival (IMAF). Sara was featured in Applied Arts magazine’s ‘Young Blood’ article on “…new talent commanding our attention”. In 2007, the Ontario Arts Council awarded her the Northern Arts grant. Currently, she is also working on her new series, Legend of the Ztarr.


PZ Myers

PZ Myers is the author of Pharyngula, the most heavily-trafficked science blog online. He is currently an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, works with zebrafish in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, and also cultivates an interest in cephalopods. He is a public critic of intelligent design (ID) and of the creationist movement in general. He has published numerous research papers in Nature and other notable scientific journals. Asteroid 153298 Paulmyers is named in his honor.

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer is the founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. Shermer is author to several books including The Mind of the Market, Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, and Why People Believe Weird Things among many others. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University (1991). He was a college professor for 20 years (1979-1998), teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College (1989-1998), California State University Los Angeles, and Glendale College. He has appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report20/20DatelineCharlie RoseLarry King LiveTom SnyderDonahueOprahLezzaUnsolved Mysteries (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!), as well as interviews in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown.

Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so), and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel. She recently published Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon.

Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman has an international reputation for research into unusual areas of psychology, including luck, deception, and the science of self-help. His three books, The Luck Factor, Quirkology and 59 Seconds, have all topped the best-seller lists and have been translated into over thirty languages. He has presented keynote addresses at The Royal Society, Microsoft, Caltech, and Google. Over 2 million people have taken part in his mass participation experiments, and his YouTube channel has received over 11 million views. He is one of the most frequently quoted psychologists in the British media, and was recently listed in the Independent on Sunday’s top 100 people who make Britain a better place to live.

Karen Stollznow

Dr Karen Stollznow is a Host of the Center for Inquiry’s Point of Inquiry podcast, and the Skeptics Society’s Monster Talk podcast. A prolific skeptical writer and investigator of pseudoscience and the paranormal, she is the “Naked Skeptic” columnist for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), the “Bad Language” columnist for Skeptic magazine, and a Contributing Editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Dr Stollznow is a linguist and researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, a Fellow of CSI, and a Research Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation.

George Hrab

George Hrab is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and heliocentrist. He has written and produced six independent CDs; published one book; recorded hundreds of episodes of an award-winning podcast; and even performed for President Clinton—all in a personal quest to improve his audience’s cognitive skills by reaching them through their funny bones and dance shoes. George has gained international notoriety by producing an award-winning weekly show called The Geologic Podcast which features humor, sketches, and skeptical/free-thinking commentary through various segments.

Desiree Schell

Desiree Schell is the host of the live radio show and podcast Skeptically Speaking. The show explores the connections between science and skepticism, and promotes critical thinking beyond the ranks of current skeptics. Desiree is also known for delving into the slippery social issues surrounding skepticism. Skeptically Speaking has been near the forefront of conversations about gender issues in skepticism, and about “Skepticism 2.0’s” rebirth as a demographically broad social movement. In her work as a labor organizer, Desiree creates curricula and teaches courses on effective activism.

Steven Novella

Founder and currently Executive Editor of Science-Based Medicine, SteveNovella is an academic clinical neurologist at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, the host and producer of the popular weekly science podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, and the author of the NeuroLogicaBlog, a daily blog that covers news and issues in neuroscience, but also general science, scientific skepticism, philosophy of science, critical thinking, and the intersection of science with the media and society. Dr. Novella also contributes every Sunday to The Rogues Gallery, the official blog of the SGU.

Rachael Dunlop

With her PhD from Sydney University Medical School, “Dr. Rachie” works full time in heart disease research and is a member of the New South Wales committee of Australian Skeptics. She is also part of the Mystery Investigators show for schools and co-organises the Sydney Skeptics meet-up group, and contributes to The Sceptics’ Book of Pooh-Pooh blog. In a previous life, Rachael worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency writing commercials for televison, radio and press and then as a graphic designer. Rachael has a passion for combining her knowledge of art and science through scientific communication.

David Gorski

David Gorski is an academic surgeon at Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he specializes in breast cancer surgery and serves as the leader of the Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Team, among other positions, at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. When not actively engaged in breast cancer research or taking care of patients, he is also the managing editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog and, working with Steve Novella, does his best to educate readers about what constitutes science- and evidence-based medicine and to combat the infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine, not to mention that he is responsible for a very popular skeptical blog written under a pseudonym that is not too difficult to find.

Jennifer McCreight

Jen McCreight writes for the popular blog Blag Hag, which became infamous partially thanks to “Boobquake.” She has also written articles for The Daily Beast, The Guardian, and a piece for the American edition of The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. Jen graduated from Purdue University in 2010 in Genetics and Evolution, and is working towards her PhD in Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. She is now on the Board of Directors of the Secular Student Alliance.

Ben Radford

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has written hundreds of articles and on a wide variety of topics, including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking, and science literacy.

He is author of six books: Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking (with Bob Bartholomew); Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us; Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures (with Joe Nickell); Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries; Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore; and The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes (with Bob Bartholomew, 2011).

Radford is a regular columnist for LiveScience.com, Discovery News, and Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Radford is one of the world’s few science-based paranormal investigators, and has done first-hand research into mysterious phenomena. He is perhaps best known for solving the mysteries of the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost in 2007, and the Hispanic vampire el chupacabra in 2010.

Heidi Anderson

Heidi Anderson is the Development Coordinator for a domestic violence/rape crisis center in Spartanburg, South Carolina and a freelance writer/speaker on sexuality. She is also a co-host of Parenting Beyond Belief, the official podcast for the Foundation Beyond Belief. She is the mother of two incredibly smart sons and the wife of one incredibly patient man. She can be reached through her Web site, fatoneinthemiddle.com, where essays on sexuality, skepticism, parenting, and body image can be found.

Jamy Ian Swiss

Jamy Ian Swiss has appeared internationally for presenters ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of books including a collection of essays entitled Shattering Illusions, and The Art of Magic. His U.S. television appearances include CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova and the PBS documentary The Art of Magic, Comedy Central, and repeat appearances on The Today Show. He has produced and written for television, including Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular. As a public speaker, Jamy uses “magical metaphors” to address business audiences, from advertising giant Publicis to technology and design groups at Adobe, Intuit, and Electronic Arts. An expert in deception, he has lectured to magicians in 13 countries; to prosecutors and law enforcement about con games and street scams; to casino and gaming industry executives about cheating and gaming protection; and to scientists and academics on “The Illusion of Psychic Powers”. A founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics, and of the New York City Skeptics, he hosted and performed for the opening night of the very first TAM, and he continued to perform or lecture at the second, third, fourth, and fifth TAMs.

Ginger Campbell

Ginger Campbell works as an emergency physician in rural Alabama, but she has expanded her love of teaching patients to sharing science with a world-wide audience via podcasting. She is best known for her highly-regarded Brain Science Podcast, which shares recent discoveries from the world of neuroscience in a way that people of all backgrounds can enjoy. Dr. Campbell is also the founder of SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG and she enjoys interviewing scientists and scholars from a wide variety of fields on her other podcast Books and Ideas. This is her second year at TAM.

D. J. Grothe

D. J. Grothe is President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. A contributing editor to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, he lectures and debates frequently on topics surrounding science and central beliefs at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He hosts the podcast and radio show, For Good Reason, discussing fundamental questions with the world’s thought-leaders, exploring the implications of the scientific outlook for society’s most cherished convictions. Formerly a “mind-reader” and magician, he studies the processes of deception and self-deception.

Elyse Anders

Elyse Anders is President of the Women Thinking Free Foundation, a non-profit organization working to increase awareness of science, critical thinking and skepticism in a world clouded with pseudoscience, homeopathy and psychic predictions. She is a mother of two, who wants to counter the misinformation & pseudoscience being promoted against vaccines by the likes of Jenny McCarthy and others. In November 2010 she spearheaded a successful effort to have a national movie theater chain removed anti-vaccine service announcement that were scheduled to air before films. She also writes for the popular blog Skepchick.

Richard Saunders

Richard Saunders is a podcaster, vodcaster and TV Skeptic as seen on ‘THE ONE.’ Richard is also Vice President of Australian Skeptics NSW. In his free time he is also part of the Mystery Investigators show for schools. Richard is also an origami expert and author of 30 books for children. He travels often to the USA to speak at conventions and meetings. He also founded Sydney Skeptics in the Pub.

Amy Davis Roth

Amy Davis Roth writes for the popular blog Skepchick and is co-founder of the science, skepticism, and art blog Mad Art Lab. She also runs a handmade art business called Surly-Ramics where she along with her husband, Surly Johnny create hand-formed and hand-painted ceramic jewelry. Their “Smart Jewelry” line has been seen on intelligent, sexy skeptics from Australia to Canada and back. She is a 4th generation visual artist who resides in the heart of Hollywood, California.

Banachek

Described as the “Cream of the Crop” when it comes to entertainers, Banachek is the world’s leading Mentalist.  His talents are so incredible that he is the only mentalist ever to fool scientists into believing he possessed ‘Psychic powers’ – and then he later revealed he was fooling them., Performers around the world such as the colorful Penn & Teller, James “The Amazing” Randi and television’s unique street magician Criss Angel seek his performing expertise.

Greta Christina

Greta Christina is a popular blogger and has been a freelance writer since 1989. Her writing frequently focuses on the topics of sex, skepticism, atheism, and politics. She is the author of “Bending,” an erotic novella that’s part of the three-novella collection “Three Kinds of Asking For It,” edited by Susie Bright for Simon & Schuster. I’m also the editor of “Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients,” a book of advice for sex work customers, written by sex workers and former sex workers, published by Greenery Press.

Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell is Senior Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has been called “the modern Sherlock Holmes,” the “real-life Scully” (from the X-Files), and other appellations. He is well into his fourth decade as an investigator of historical, paranormal, and forensic mysteries, myths and hoaxes. In contrast to mystery-mongerers on the one hand and so-called debunkers on the other, he believes that mysteries should actually be investigated with a view toward solving them. Nickell is the world’s only full-time professional paranormal investigator — the “Investigative Files” writer for Skeptical Inquirerscience magazine who travels around the world investigating strange mysteries at the very fringes of science. The role utilizes his varied background: former stage magician (Resident Magician at the Houdini Hall of Fame), private investigator (for a world-famous detective agency), and academic (Ph.D in English, focusing on literary investigation and folklore, and author of some two dozen books).

Sadie Crabtree

Sadie Crabtree is the Communications Director of the James Randi Educational Foundation. She has nearly a decade of experience helping labor unions, community organizations, and progressive nonprofits plan and win campaigns that change laws, change minds, and improve people’s lives. Her goal at the JREF is to share the skeptical movement’s investigative spirit with a broader audience than ever, and help the media expose the pseudoscientific con-artists who profit by deceiving others.

Justin Trottier

Justin Trottier is the National Executive Director at the Centre for Inquiry in Canada, a commentator in Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and a contributor to the National Post, the John Oakley Show on Toronto AM640 radio and the Michael Coren Show on CTS TV. He is the chief spokesperson for the Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign and Extraordinary Claims Campaign, and has spoken publicly on a range of skeptical topics ranging from UFOs to bigfoot.

Debbie Goddard

Debbie Goddard is the campus outreach coordinator at the Center for Inquiry Transnational in Amherst, NY. She is also the director of African Americans for Humanism, a program of the Council for Secular Humanism. Before working for CFI, she participated in local freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a student volunteer. She has also been involved with progressive issues and LGBT activism.

Jamila Bey

Jamila Bey is a journalist and comedian living in Washington, DC. She’s been a writer for hire for the better part of the last decade and is devoted to spreading the gospel of Logic, Reason, and Science to all those who may hear. Bey has investigated and reported for Bob Edwards, Cokie Roberts, Michel Martin, and Juan Williams, and she is currently writing a book about Atheism and American popular culture.

Sean Faircloth

Sean Faircloth is the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, the leading national lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans. Prior to joining SCA in 2009, Sean served a decade in the Maine State Legislature and in his last term was elected Majority Whip by his colleagues. Faircloth was an accomplished legislator, successfully spearheading over thirty pieces of legislation, including the deadbeat dad child support law which saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Faircloth had numerous legislative successes in children’s issues and justice system reform. While in office, he was selected to chair a Sex Crime Commission, the Early Childhood Commission, and a Commission on the Citizen’s Initiative Process.

Mark Crislip

Mark Crislip, MD has been a practicing Infectious Disease specialist in Portland, Oregon, since 1990. He is responsible for the Quackcast, a skeptical review of supplements and complementary and alternative medicine (SCAM); The Persiflagers Annotated Compendium of Infectious Disease Facts, Dogma and Opinion, a guide to infectious diseases; the Persiflagers Infectious Disease Puscast, a podcast review of infectious diseases, and Rubor, Dolor, Calor, Tumor, an Infectious Disease blog.

Julia Galef

Julia Galef is a blogger at Rationally Speaking, and with philosopher of science, Massimo Pigliucci, co-hosts the Rationally Speaking podcast, sponsored by the NYC Skeptics. After graduating with a B.A. in statistics from Columbia in 2005, Julia Galef spent several years doing research with social science professors at Columbia, Harvard and MIT, including a year writing case studies on international economics for Harvard Business School. She is currently a full time writer and editor in New York, NY, and has covered a wide variety of subjects.

Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with degrees in Mathematics and Biology. While there, he also helped establish their first secular student group, Students WithOut Religious Dogma (SWORD). He earned his Masters in Math Education at DePaul University and currently teaches high school math in the suburbs of Chicago.

He has worked with the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for America, received scholarships from American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and now serves on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief (a charity organization targeting non-theistic donors) and is the former chair of the board of the Secular Student Alliance (which creates and supports college atheist groups nationwide).

Hemant appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and his book, I Sold My Soul on eBay(WaterBrook Press), was released in 2007.

His blog, the winner of the 2011 Bloggie award for Best Weblog About Religion, can be read at FriendlyAtheist.com.

Maria Walters

Maria Walters is a writer for Skepchick.org and organizer of the Atlanta Skeptics. She is a skeptical activist, who, among other things, works to set up vaccination clinics and fundraisers to coincide with skeptical events. She is a strong believer in making skepticism and skeptical events a part of everyday life. She is a pop culture fanatic and often uses books, movies and comics as her reference material.