CSIcon 2011 Speakers

The 2011 CSI Conference will feature the following lineup of speakers

 Amardeo Sarma's photo

Amardeo Sarma

Amardeo Sarma is the chairman of the German and European Skeptics Societies (GWUP, or the Society for the Scientific Investigation of Para-Sciences) and the European Council of Skeptical Organizations (ECSO). He is also the deputy general manager at NEC Laboratories Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. He founded the skeptical movement in Germany in 1987 and is a member of the CSI executive council.

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Barbara Forrest

Barbara Forrest is coauthor with Paul Gross of Creationism’s Trojan Horse. She was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005). While visiting CFI–Transnational in Amherst for a recent “Evolution’s Public Defenders” institute, Forrest sat down to share a preview of her presentation on the Louisiana Science Education Act, its implications for public education, and the response from the science education activist community. Read the interview »

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Barry Karr

Barry Karr is the executive director of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and a CSI fellow. He is a member of the management committee of the Center for Inquiry and a Skeptical Inquirer consulting editor.

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Ben Radford

Benjamin Radford is a research fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and the author of five books, including his most recent, Tracking the Chupacabra

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Ben Wolozin

Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, is a professor of pharmacology and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. He has published over 100 papers and book chapters and has been awarded four patents.

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Bill Nye

Bill Nye is the host of the hugely popular television programs Bill Nye the Science Guy and The Eyes of Nye. His latest TV program is 100 Greatest Discoveries. He is also the executive director of the Planetary Society. He received his BS from Cornell University and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Goucher College, and Johns Hopkins University.

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Blake Smith

Blake Smith is a writer and researcher of matters cryptozoological and paranormal.  His articles have appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer, and he blogs for The Atlanta Skeptics and writes about skepticism for The Examiner. Contact Blake at blake@monstertalk.org.

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Chris Mooney

Chris Mooney, a science and political journalist and commentator, is the author of three books, including The New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science. He is also a host of CFI’s Point of Inquiry podcast.

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D.J. Grothe

D.J. Grothe is president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. He has lectured widely on topics at the intersection of education, science, and belief at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and dozens of other universities. 

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Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received his bachelor degrees and MS degree from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason and a CSI fellow.  

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David Morrison

David Morrison is a NASA senior scientist and the director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of the Origin of Life, which is part of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. He has published more than 155 technical papers and a dozen books. In 2005, he received the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the American Astronomical Society. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor.

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"The Mad Scientist"

David Willey

David Willey was born in England and has degrees in both Physics and Education. He teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where he has received the “Teacher of the Year” award and “The President's Excellence in Teaching” award.
He works as a scientific consultant and designs physics apparatus. He, with his wife Raven, set a world record for the longest firewalk ever, 165ft of red hot coals. He has appeared on numerous TV shows world wide and is the "Mad Scientist" on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

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Debbie Goddard

Debbie Goddard is coordinator of CFI/On Campus and director of African Americans for Humanism. Before working for CFI, she volunteered with freethought and LGBTQ groups around Philadelphia and helped organize campus groups internationally.

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Edzard Ernst

Edzard Ernst qualified as a physician in Germany where he also completed his MD and PhD theses. His work has been awarded with thirteen scientific prizes and awards and two visiting professorships. He has published over 1,000 papers and over forty books. 

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Eugenie C. Scott

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

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Sir Harold Kroto

Sir Harold Kroto, PhD is currently a Francis Eppes professor of Chemistry at Florida State University. In 1996 he was knighted for his contributions to chemistry and later that year was one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, awarded for their discovery of C60 Buckminsterfullerene—a new form of carbon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and holds an emeritus professorship at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.

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Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD, aka “The SkepDoc,” is a retired family physician who writes prolifically about science, alternative medicine, and quackery; she is a CSI fellow, Skeptical Inquirer contributing editor, and an editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog. 

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Indre Viskontas

Indre Viskontas, PhD, is the co-host of Miracle Detectives, a documentary series on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She received her PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA.

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James Alcock

James Alcock is a CSI executive council member, professor of psychology at York University, and author of Parapsychology: Science or Magic? and Science and Supernature. He is also co-editor of Psi Wars.

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James McGaha

James McGaha is a retired USAF pilot, skeptic, astronomer, and director of the Grasslands Observatory. He has been actively promoting science and debunking pseudoscience for over thirty-five years. 

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James Randi

James Randi is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. He has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 1996, he established the James Randi Educational Foundation.

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James Underdown

James Underdown has been the executive director of the Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles since 1999. He has written for both the Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines and is founder and chairman of the Independent Investigations Group.

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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. His latest book is Tracking the Man-Beasts. His website is www.joenickell.com.

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Karen Stollznow

Karen Stollznow, a host of CFI’s Point of Inquiry podcast and CSI fellow, is a linguist and researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the managing editor of CFI’s Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, writes CSI’s online “The Naked Skeptic” column, and is a Skeptical Inquirer contributing editor.

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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. His most recent book is the Skeptical Inquirer anthology Science Under Siege.

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Lauren Becker

Lauren Becker is the vice president and director of outreach at CFI. She is also an associate editor of Free Inquiry magazine.

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Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and, most recently, Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science.

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Leonard Tramiel

Leonard Tramiel is coordinator for the Center for Inquiry–San Francisco. He received his BA from Santa Clara University and PhD from Columbia University.

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Massimo Polidoro

Massimo Polidoro, a journalist and writer, is cofounder and head of the Italian skeptics group CICAP. He began his career as an apprentice of James Randi and is now the author of over thirty books. A columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer, his website is http://www.massimopolidoro.com/.

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Melody Hensley

Melody Hensley is the executive director of CFI–Washington, DC. She has a background in volunteering and community organizing and has been involved with church-state separation and secular activism for over a decade.

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Michael Feldman

Michael Feldman is cofounder and president of New York City Skeptics, cofounder of Drinking Skeptically, and a principal organizer of the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism. In his spare time he practices law.

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Michelle Blackley

Michelle Blackley is the communications director of the Center for Inquiry, CSI, and the Skeptical Inquirer. She received her MA from New York University and is an adjunct instructor of communication at Buffalo State College.

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Paul Offit

Paul A. Offit, MD, is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Additionally, he is a professor of vaccinology and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a recipient of many awards and the author of four medical narratives. Offit recently spoke with CSI about his current fight to save children from the fatal consequences of pseudoscience. Read the interview »

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Phil Plait

Phil Plait is an astronomer, author, and blogger. He is the creator of Bad Astronomy, a blog hosted by Discover magazine. For ten years he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and has published two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies! He recently spoke with CSI about space exploration, space education, and the end of the world. Read the interview »

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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.

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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 has written and published extensively on the psychology of deception and on paranormal and other fringe claims. 

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson leads dozens of skeptical writers, artists, and activists on the Skepchick Network. She also cohosts The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.

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Richard Saunders

CSI Fellow Richard Saunders is also a vice president and Life Member of Australian Skeptics and a cofounder of the Mystery Investigators science show. He is the host and producer of The Skeptic Zone podcast and appears regularly as a skeptical commentator on Australian television and radio. He is additionally known internationally as a children's book author.

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Robert Blaskiewicz

Robert Blaskiewicz, PhD, is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Robert Sheaffer

Robert Sheaffer has been writing the “Psychic Vibrations” column in the Skeptical Inquirer for over thirty years. He is the author of UFO Sightings (Prometheus Books, 1998), and his website is at www.debunker.com. His new blog, Bad UFOs, can be found at www.BadUFOs.com.

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Ron Lindsay

Ronald A. Lindsay, JD, PhD, is president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Both as a lawyer and a philosopher, he has worked on issues involving the application of science to public policy, especially in the area of bioethics. His book, Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas (2008), was glowingly reviewed in Nature.

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Sandra Blakeslee

Sandra Blakeslee is a science correspondent for The New York Times and an author who specializes in the brain sciences. Her most recent book, Sleights of Mind, explains how magicians are able to hack into the human brain with ease.

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Scott O. Lilienfeld

Scott O. Lilienfeld is professor of psychology at Emory University. He is an editorial board member of the Skeptical Inquirer and editor-in-chief of the Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice

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Seth Shostak

Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute. He received his undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University and his doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology.  

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Stephen Macknik

Stephen Macknik is a laboratory director at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, where he studies various aspects of visual, sensory, and cognitive neuroscience. He oversees the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at the Barrow. 

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Steve Novella

Steve Novella is the director of General Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the editor of Science-Based Medicine, a blog dedicated to exploring issues of science in medicine. His practice includes general neurology with a special interest in neuromuscular disease. His research interests include ALS, myasthenia gravis, neuropathy, and erythromelalgia.

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Stuart Vyse

Stuart Vyse is a professor of psychology at Connecticut College. He earned his BA and MA in English literature at Southern Illinois University and MA and PhD degrees in psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He has published over thirty professional articles and book chapters on topics including autism, skepticism, belief in the paranormal, and behavior analysis. 

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Susana Martinez-Conde

Susana Martinez-Conde is a laboratory director at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, where she studies various aspects of visual, sensory, and cognitive neuroscience. She oversees the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience at the Barrow. 

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Ted Goertzel

Ted G. Goertzel, PhD, is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. He studies and teaches about social movements, leadership, and belief systems of the United States and Brazil.

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Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn is executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism and editor of Free Inquiry magazine and The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief

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William B Davis

William B Davis is an actor, director, writer, and noted skeptic who rose to fame as the iconic villain Cancer Man on the hit TV series The X-Files. Laced with skeptical thought, his memoir Where There’s Smoke... will be released in October. He has also hosted skeptical programs for The Discovery Channel.