This annual gathering of critical thinkers is an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy some of the brightest minds on issues important to skeptical advocates, make like-minded friends, and leave with tools to help spread an educational message to your own community about unfounded, and possibly dangerous, beliefs.
The Amaz!ng Meeting 2015
July 16-19, 2015
The Tropicana Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV
Read a message from James Randi
The Amazing Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of advocates for science-based skepticism consisting of four days of compelling and informative talks and demonstrations. TAM is produced by the James Randi Educational Foundation and features the renowned author and advocate for critical thinking James Randi.
TAM 2015 will offer four full days of skeptical programing running from early morning until late night most nights, including:
- A CELEBRATION OF JAMES RANDI’s long and productive career.
- CONFERENCE SESSIONS featuring dozens of talks, panel discussions, and afternoon and evening keynote presentations.
- WORKSHOPS & PANELS offering hands-on training and take-home ideas.
- A live on-stage test of an applicant for the JREF™’s MILLION DOLLAR PARANORMAL CHALLENGE.
- A special gathering starring The Skeptics’ Guide to The Universe™, benefiting JREF.
- Exclusive, INTIMATE LUNCHEONS with Randi and other TAM luminaries.
- AUTHOR SIGNINGS with speakers from the TAM 2015 stage.
- An EXHIBIT HALL featuring TAM sponsors, partners, and rationalist organizations highlighting their services and products of interest to the skeptic community.
- And HUNDREDS of LIKE-MINDED FOLKS from all over the world celebrating science and critical thinking!
The following preliminary schedule is for planning purposes and is subject to change. BLUE events are included with Basic Registration, while ORANGE events require separate tickets. All events take place at The Tropicana Las Vegas.
Thursday, July 16 | Day 1
AM – PM
Welcome Reception and Informal meet-ups
Friday, July 17 | Day 2
Luncheon with Special Guest James Randi, to Benefit JREF
Special Conference Sessions Paying Tribute to James Randi and Martin Gardner
SGU Benefit Dinner
Additional Entertainment programming and Informal Meet-ups
Saturday, July 18 | Day 3
The Amaz!ng Celebration – a cocktail reception and tribute to James Randi
Festival of the Spoken Nerd: Full Frontal Nerdity & Informal Meet-ups
Sunday, July 19 | Day 4
Million Dollar Challenge
Many TAM participants arrive an extra day ahead and meet for DRINKING SKEPTICALLY on Wednesday evening. Details to follow.
Check back as more speakers are being added to the line-up daily!
Founder, James Randi Educational Foundation
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.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced seven independent CDs; published two books; recorded hundreds of episodes of an award winning podcast; and has even performed for President Clinton. He's travelled to four continents promoting critical thinking, science, and skepticism through story and song. George is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment.
Professor of Psychology, York University (Canada)
James E. Alcock has been a Professor of Psychology at York University (Canada) since 1973. Alcock is a noted critic of parapsychology and is a Fellow and Member of the Executive Council for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Skeptical Inquirer, and a frequent contributor to the magazine. He has also been a columnist for Humanist Perspectives Magazine. In 1999, a panel of skeptics named him among the two dozen most outstanding skeptics of the 20th century. In May 2004, CSICOP awarded Alcock CSI's highest honor, the In Praise of Reason Award. Alcock is also an amateur magician and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians .
Dr. Jim Baggott
Professor, author and award-winning science writer
Jim Baggott is an award-winning science writer. He trained as a scientist, completing studies at the Universities of Oxford and Stanford, California, and teaching at the University of Reading before leaving to gain experience in the commercial world. His books have been highly acclaimed and include Farewell to Reality: How Fairy-tale Physics Betrays the Search for Scientific Truth, published in 2013. His next book, titled Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015.
Dr. Deborah Berebichez
Principal Data Scientist, Thoughtworks
Deborah Berebichez is a physicist, TV host and science advocate. She appears on Discovery, The Science Channel, National Geographic and the Travel Channel. Her work has been featured on Oprah, MSNBC, Dr. Oz, CNN, TED, DLD, WIRED, WSJ and numerous international media outlets. She speaks five languages and is the first Mexican-born woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. She also completed two National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowships in applied math and physics at Columbia University and NYU. Currently she is a Principal Data Scientist at Thoughtworks in New York.
Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Evan Bernstein is a co-host of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe and The Skeptics Guide 5×5 podcasts. He also serves as the Connecticut chapter chairman of the New England Skeptical Society. Evan is a technical adviser for official NESS investigations, and is the SGU’s audio engineer for live remote events. He has been published as part of The Skeptical Blog Anthology book (The Young Australian Skeptics), and he has appeared as a guest on several skeptic-themed podcasts. Traveling the world with his co-hosts, Evan has given live presentations to private corporations and at educational seminars on topics including; the direct harms of pseudoscience, woo in the martial arts, and the truth behind paranormal investigations. Evan earned his BA in Communications from Central Connecticut State University, and by day, owns and manages his financial services corporation. He has been an active participant in the modern skeptical movement since 1996.
Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. He has been the Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta since 1993 and is a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation, the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and his most recent book is Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (2015).
Dr. Robin Elisabeth Cornwell
Robin Elisabeth Cornwell, PhD, is a research scientist currently investigating the effects and possible treatments for traumatic brain injuries. Her previous research and publications include cognitive development and decline, the effects of hormones on behavior, and human sexuality. She is currently on the boards for the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Policy Institute.
Yvette d'Entremont is your SciBabe. She’s always looked at the alternative medicine and pseudoscience movements with a skeptical eye. When Vani Hari, a.k.a. the Food Babe, took a swipe at her Pumpkin Spice Lattes? It was a call to arms. You just don’t mess with a native Bostonian’s PSL.
www.SciBabe.com was launched on Facebook and Yvette has been surprised and happy with the site’s early success. The formula of busting pseudoscience with a combination of real science and humor is pure Yvette (and her trusty sidekick, Science Dog).
Yvette holds a B.A. in theatre, a B.S. in chemistry, and an MSc in forensic science with a concentration in biological criminalistics. She currently runs SciBabe full time and resides in Southern California.
Investigative Reporter, The Sunday Times
Brian Deer is a British investigative reporter, best known for inquiries into the drug industry, medicine and social issues for the Sunday Times of London.
Statistician, Million Dollar Challenge; Board Member, JREF
Chip is the statistician behind the Million Dolllar Challenge and has been a JREF Board member since 2008. Chip is a co-founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics and serves on their executive committee. At the University of Maryland, Chip Denman is a Director in the Division of Information Technology and former Senior Lecturer in the Honors Program, where he created the course “Science & Pseudoscience” in which ESP, astrology and other extraordinary claims provide a context for understanding the way the scientific method is supposed to work.
Dr. Dean Edell
Medical Doctor and Radio and Television personality
Dean Edell is an American physician and broadcaster who hosted the Dr. Dean Edell radio program, a syndicated radio talk show which aired live from 1979 until December 10, 2010. He was also nationally syndicated in television as a medical news reporter and host of his own television shows including NBC's Dr. Dean.
Founder, What's the Harm?
Tim Farley is a computer security analyst who is best known for his skeptic website What's the Harm? He blogs on skeptic use of technology at skeptools.com, and his posts there have inspired
others to create skeptic projects such as GSoW and Skeptunes. He also regularly contributes to Skepticality, Virtual Skeptics, INSIGHT blog and Skeptical Inquirer, and is a former JREF Fellow.
Dr. J. (Jim) Emmett Gardner
Professor of Special Education, The University of Oklahoma
Dr. J. (Jim) Emmett Gardner is a Professor in the College of Education at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches in the Special Education Program in the Department of Educational Psychology. His principle areas of scholarship focuses on universal design for learning (UDL), and instructional and assistive technology applications for students with high incidence disabilities and/or at-risk of school failure. He is the eldest son of Martin Gardner, and skepticism is one of his ubiquitous personality traits.
Dr. Bruce Hood
Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Bristol
Dr. Bruce Hood is a Canadian-born British experimental psychologist who specializes in developmental cognitive neuroscience. He is currently based at the University of Bristol and his major research interests include the cognitive processes behind adult magical thinking. Founder of http://SpeakEzee.org
Dr. Harriet Hall
Harriet Hall, AKA The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician and former Air Force flight surgeon who writes about science-based medicine, alternative medicine, quackery, pseudoscience, and critical thinking. She is an editor of the Science-Based Medicine website and a Fellow and Executive Council member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Skeptical Advocate, DoubtfulNews.com and PracticalSkepticism.com
Sharon Hill is a scientist, skeptic, and advocate for critical thinking and evidence-based inquiry. She has a B.S. in Geology and a Masters in education focusing specifically on science and the public and is well-versed in topics including the paranormal, perception, belief, memory, natural phenomena, zoology, alternative medical claims, science education, and the environment.
Noted critic of parapsychology, and one of the founders of the modern skeptical movement.
Ray Hyman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oregon. In 1973, James Randi, Martin Gardner formed a skeptical organization which joined with Paul Kurtz and a few others to form CSICOP (now CSI) in 1976. Hyman has investigated paranormal claims for the CIA, the United States Military and various other governmental agencies.
Jamy Ian Swiss
Magician, Author, Speaker
Jamy Ian Swiss is a magician, author, and public speaker with more than 25 years of skeptical activism experience. He has appeared internationally for presenters ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. His U.S. television appearances include CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova and the PBS documentary The Art of Magic, and repeat appearances on The Today Show and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He is the author of books including two collections of essays, Shattering Illusions and Devious Standards, and of The Art of Magic, the companion to the PBS documentary, and co-wrote the chapter "Explaining Magic" in Visual Explanations by Edward Tufte. He has produced and written for television, including Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular, and created the Discovery Channel special, Cracking the Con Games. He is producer of New York’s longest-running Off-Broadway magic show, Monday Night Magic, now in its 18th consecutive season.
Associate Director, Million Dollar Challenge
Krystyn Lambert has become one of the most recognized female magicians in the world, thanks to her extensive domestic and international television performances and critical acclaim within the community of magicians. In addition to performing, Krystyn studied at UCLA in the department of philosophy, honors, with a focus on causation. She currently serves the JREF as the Associate Director of the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, where her experiences in magic and philosophical inquiry meet.
Professor, Spelman College
Colm Mulcahy is professor of mathematics at Spelman College, Atlanta, GA. He enjoys creating puzzles and mathematical card magic effects, some of which have appeared online in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and Scientific American. His latest book is Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects (AK Peters/CRC Press, 2013).
Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Jay has been a skeptical activist for 15 years who serves as a co-host and producer of The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe, a popular science podcast. Jay is also the producer and director of SGU Video Productions whose videos can be seen on the SGU YouTube channel. He also is the Director of Marketing and Technology for The New England Skeptical Society, a not for profit organization focused on promoting higher standards of education, especially in the areas of science and critical thinking. For the past 3 years, Jay has served on the board of directors for the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, a yearly conference held in NYC. Jay also is a regular contributor to The Rogues Gallery, a popular science and skepticism blog.
Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Bob Novella is a co-founder and Vice-President of the New England Skeptical Society. He co-hosts the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and blogs for SGU’s Rogues Gallery. He has also written numerous articles that are widely published in skeptical literature. Bob’s scientific interests lie in the extremes, from the gargantuan to the infinitesimal: astronomy and cosmology to particle physics and quantum mechanics. He is especially fascinated by the human capacity for self-deception and anticipated future technologies such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and human augmentation.
Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast
Dr. Novella is an academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to being the host of The Skeptics’ Guide podcast, he is the president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society. He is also the author of NeuroLogicaBlog, a popular science 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 Wednesday to Science-Based Medicine, a blog dedicated to issues of science and medicine. He is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and a founding fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine. He has a regular column in the Skeptical Inquirer – The Science of Medicine. Dr. Novella is also a Senior Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation and directs their Science-Based Medicine program.
John Allen Paulos
Professor of Mathematics, Temple University
John Allen Paulos is an extensively kudized author, popular public speaker, and former monthly columnist for ABCNews.com, the Scientific American, and the Guardian. Professor of math at Temple, a state university in Philadelphia, he earned his Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Wisconsin.
His most recent book is Irreligion . Other writings of his include Innumeracy (NY Times bestseller for 18 weeks), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (on the readers' list of the Random House Modern Library's compilation of the 100 best nonfiction books of the century **), Once Upon a Number (chosen by the LA Times as one of the best books of 1998), and A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (a brief tenant on the BusinessWeek bestsellers list). He's also written scholarly papers on probability, logic, and the philosophy of science as well as scores of OpEds, book reviews, and articles in publications such as the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Nation, Discover, the American Scholar, and the London Review of Books.
K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy, City College of New York
Massimo Pigliucci is K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York, a
fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and co-editor (with
Maarten Boudry) most recently of Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation
Problem. His essays can be found at ScientiaSalon.org.
Anthropologist, writer, actress, comedienne, and cartoonist
Natalia Reagan is an anthropologist, writer, actress, comedienne, and cartoonist. She has appeared on the “TODAY Show,” “Fox Edge News,” “Playboy Morning Radio,” and various other radio shows weighing in on different scientific subjects, from the evolution of boobs and butts to how pheromones play a role in human mating. Natalia also is the creator of “Science! It’s Your Friend” a tongue-in-cheek web series that seeks to answer fun science questions using comedy.
Dr. Dana Richards
Professor of Computer Science, George Mason University
Dana Richards is the official biographer of Martin Gardner. He received the Certificate of Intermediate Honors and the M.S. from the University of Virginia in 1976 and the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1984, all in computer science. He has been a programmer for Comress, Inc., and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia, and most recently a Program Director of Theory of Computing at the National Science Foundation. He has written or edited three books and numerous journal articles. In addition, he is a reviewer for many journals, and he has received numerous research awards. His research interest include comparisons of protein sequences, steimer tree algorithms, information dissemination in networks, parallel heuristics and methodology for computationally intractable problems, and parallel algorithms for median filters . Dr. Richards joined the faculty of George Mason University in the Fall of 1994 as an Associate Professor of Computer Science.
Chief Executive Officer, Secular Policy Institute
Edwina Rogers has served in public policy positions in the US Senate, White House, private, and international sectors for over twenty years. She has worked for two Presidents and four Senators, and founded or directed lobbying firms for public health issues.
Most recently, Ms. Rogers was Executive Director at the Secular Coalition for America, a non-profit coalition to represent the diverse and growing voice for separation of religion and government. Ms. Rogers has been a regular contributor of conservative newspaper columns, health and policy journals, and a regular strategist on cable news television.
Dr. Eugenie C. Scott
Dr. Eugenie C. Scott is the former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc., a not for profit membership organization of scientists, teachers, and others that works to improve the teaching of science as a way of knowing, the teaching of evolution, and the teaching of climate change. A former college professor, Dr. Scott is an internationally-known expert on the creationism and evolution controversy, and is called upon by the press and other media to explain science to the general public. The author of Evolution vs Creationism: An Introduction and co-editor with Glenn Branch of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for our Schools, she is the recipient of numerous awards from scientists and educators, and has been awarded nine honorary degrees.
Author and educator at University of California, San Diego
Sherry Seethaler, a science writer and educator at University of California, San Diego, works with scientists to explain their discoveries to the public. She writes a column for the San Diego Union Tribune answering reader's questions about science. Seethaler holds an M.S. and Master of Philosophy in biology from Yale, and a Ph.D. in science and math education from UC Berkeley. Her dissertation examined how students are taught to make sense of scientific controversy. She designed and taught the innovative university course Teaching Contemporary Scientific Controversies, and helped design UCSD's California Teach program, which prepares science and math students to teach. Her most recent work is, Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies.
Good Thinking Society
Having completed his Ph.D. in particle physics at the University of Cambridge and CERN, Simon Singh became a science journalist and has authored books such as “Fermat’s Enigma”, “Trick or Treatment? (Alternative Medicine on Trial)” and “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”. After being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association, Simon successfully defended his criticism of chiropractic and was at the forefront of the Libel Reform Campaign that resulted in the Defamation Act 2013.
TAM is back on the Las Vegas strip for 2015 at the newly renovated TROPICANA LAS VEGAS. Be close to the action and experience all Las Vegas has to offer within walking distance.
Tropicana Las Vegas
3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
JREF has secured a group rate of $79/weeknight and $109/weekend for conference attendees. The resort fee has been waived for our attendees, who are also provided with complimentary in-room internet access. Reservations can be made online HERE or by calling: 800.462.8767 and referencing The Amazing Meeting 2015.