Our Speaker’s Biographys
Seth Andrews The Thinking Atheist is a radio podcast and video series produced and hosted by Seth Andrews. It is arguably one of the most popular atheist podcast/shows with over one million downloads per month of over 200 shows. Seth does not call himself “The Thinking Atheist” (and it is improper to do so) but rather the identifier is meant as the slogan above.
Dan Barker is an American atheist activist who served as a Christian preacher and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984. Barker, along with his wifeAnnie Laurie Gaylor, is the current co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He has written numerous articles for Freethought Today, an American freethought newspaper. He is the author of several books including Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist.
Sean Carroll is an American theoretical physicist, an outspoken atheist and science popularizer. Carroll wrote a widely used textbook titled Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity. He is chiefly known for his blog, Cosmic Variance, though other people also blog there.
Brian Dunning is an American writer and producer who focuses on skepticism. He has hosted a weekly podcast, Skeptoid, since 2006 and is an author of 5 books on the subject of scientific skepticism. The Skeptoid podcast has been the recipient of several podcast awards including theParsec Award and Stitcher award. Skeptoid currently (as of May 2014) attracts 161,000 listeners weekly. Dunning has also created a spin-off video series and has written several books based on the podcast.
Jerry Coyne is an American professor of biology, known for his commentary on intelligent design. A prolific scientist and author, he has published dozens of papers elucidating the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor emeritus at theUniversity of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. He is the author of the text Speciation and the bestselling non-fiction book Why Evolution Is True. Coyne maintains a website also called Why Evolution Is True. He self-identifies as a determinist of the incompatibilistic variety.
Mark Edward is a professional mentalist who specializes in magic of the mind. He wrote several books on mentalism, séance theory and production and appeared on television as both primary consultant and on-air performer in such diverse programming as A & E’s Biography: “Houdini, the Great Escape,” NBC’s “The Other Side” and “Psychic Secrets Revealed.” His featured segment as a spirit medium on the pilot episode of Showtime’s “Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!” series entitled “Speaking with the Dead” helped secure an Emmy Award nomination for that episode in 2002. Mark Edward is not related to John Edward.
Elizabeth Loftus is an American cognitive psychologist and expert on human memory. She has conducted extensive research on the malleability of human memory. Loftus is best known for her ground-breaking work on the misinformation effect andeyewitness memory, and the creation and nature of false memories, including recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse.
Dr. Angela Mattke is a practicing Emergency Physician from Atlanta, Georgia. She trained as an intern in General Surgery in Pittsburgh, PA, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency in Detroit, MI. She is passionate about protecting patients from charlatans and quackery, and has given skeptically themed talks for the Australian Skeptics, Dragoncon’s Skeptic Track, and for the Atlanta Skeptics.
Joe Nickell is an American prominent skeptic and investigator of the paranormal. He has helped expose such famous forgeries as the purported diary of Jack the Ripper. Nickell is Senior Research Fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and writes regularly for their journal, the Skeptical Inquirer. He is also an associate dean of the Center for Inquiry Institute. He is the author or editor of over 30 books.
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.
Donald Prothero an American paleontologist, geologist, and author who specializes in mammalian paleontology. His research has been in the field of magnetostratigraphy, a technique to date rock layers of the Cenozoic era and its use to date the climate changes which occurred 30-40 million years ago. He is currently the author or editor of more than 30 books and over 250 scientific papers, including five geology textbooks.
Eugenie Scott is an American physical anthropologist, a former university professor and one of the strongest voices challenging the teaching of young earth creationism and intelligent design in schools. From 1987 to 2013, Scott served as the Executive Director of theNational Center for Science Education, Inc., a pro-evolution nonprofit science education organization with members in every state. She holds a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Missouri. A human biologist, her research has been in medical anthropology and skeletal biology. Scott is nationally recognized as a proponent of church/state separation and serves on the National Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other organizations.
Gad Saad is a Lebanese-Canadian evolutionary behavioral scientist at the John Molson School of Business (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) who is known for applying evolutionary psychology to marketing and consumer behavior. He holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption (2008–2018) and has a blog at Psychology Today titled Homo Consumericus.