Brian GreeneBrian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and is recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory. His books, The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality, have collectively spent 65 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.
Julia SweeneyJulia Sweeney is a comedian, well known for her years on Saturday Night Live and for her popular character, Pat. She has created several acclaimed one-person shows, in particular 2006's Letting Go of God which chronicles her journey from Catholicism to Atheism. She is currently on the two TV shows, Hulu's Shrill, and Showtime's Work-in-Progress. She is based in Los Angeles.
Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins is one of the most respected scientists in the world and an internationally best-selling author. Among his books are The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and his autobiography A Brief Candle in the Dark. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.
Britt Marie HermesBritt Hermes is a writer, scientist, and a former naturopathic doctor. She practiced as a licensed naturopath in the United States for three years and then left the profession after realizing naturopathy is a pseudoscientific ideology. She now writes to expose issues with naturopathy, the current rising profession in alternative medicine.
BanachekBanachek is respected as the greatest Mentalist/Mindreader in the world. It is very hard to find a single mentalist or magician living today that is not using one of Banachek's effects or applying one of his subtleties. He has put more magic on Television than any other magician in history. Luckily Banachek is also a skeptic and debunker of charlatans and mentalist techniques.
James AlcockJames Alcock is professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is a fellow and member of the Executive Council of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a member of the Editorial Board of the Skeptical Inquirer.
Kurt AndersenKurt Andersen is a brilliant analyst and synthesizer of historical and cultural trends, a bestselling novelist, a groundbreaking media entrepreneur, and the host of public radio’s Studio 360. Andersen is the author of the novels Heyday, Turn of the Century and his latest, True Believers. The New York Times called Turn of the Century "wickedly satirical" and "outrageously funny" and named one of its Notable Books of the year, while The Wall Street Journal called it a "smart, funny and excruciatingly deft portrait of our age." It was a national bestseller. Heyday was a New York Times bestseller which the Los Angeles Times called "a major work," and won the Langum Prize as the best American historical fiction of the year. True Believers was named one of the best novels of the year by The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle, called by Fortune "the best reverie on the 1960s and their legacy," and by Vanity Fair "a great American novel.” His non-fiction books include The Real Thing and, in 2009, Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America. He is also host and co-creator of Studio 360, the cultural magazine show broadcast on more than 200 stations and heard by near a million a million listeners each week and has won two Peabody Awards. He also writes for film (Walt Disney Pictures, Village Roadshow), television (HBO, Universal Cable Productions) and the stage. He was executive producer and head writer of two prime-time specials for NBC, starring Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and a creator of pilots for ABC and NBC. He was co-author of Loose Lips, a satirical off-Broadway revue that had long runs in New York and Los Angeles. From 2001 through 2004 he served as a creative consultant to Universal Television, helping to create cable channels and to shape Universal's TV programming.
Jann BellamyJann J. Bellamy is a Florida attorney and lives in Tallahassee. Jann became interested in so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) when the Florida Legislature tried to establish a chiropractic school within Florida State University in 2005. While opposing the chiropractic school, she became intrigued that scientifically implausible and unproven healthcare claims could be presented to the public as fact, even to the point of being codified into law. Since then, Jann has been involved in several organizations dedicated to educating the public about CAM and opposing its spread via legislation. Jann blogs regularly for Science-Based Medicine.
Kenny BiddleKenny Biddle is a science enthusiast and skeptical investigator of paranormal claims. He’s been involved in photography for over twenty years. He applies his knowledge, experience, and critical thinking skills to analyzing alleged paranormal photographs and video to determine the most plausible causes. His work has been featured in several skeptical publications.
Janyce L. BoyntonJanyce is an artist, educator, and advocate for evidence-based practices in the field of communication sciences and disorders. As a speech/language clinician in the early 1990s, she became involved with facilitated communication. Her story, first as believer, then as critic, is well-documented and was featured on Frontline's “Prisoners of Silence”. She left teaching to pursue her artwork, but has continued to be active in educating people about the dangers of FC and other facilitator-influenced techniques. An overview of her experiences with FC can be found in Stuart Vyse's "An Artist With a Science-Based Mission," published in Skeptical Inquirer (November 2018). Her 2012 article, "Facilitated Communication: What Harm it Can Do – Confessions of a Former Facilitator," published in the journal Evidence-Based Communication and Intervention, was the first of its kind. To date, she is one of the few facilitators world-wide to publicly acknowledge her role in producing FC messages and speak out against its use.
Troy CampbellTroy Campbell is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Oregon, a design psychologist, and a former Disney Imagineer. He develops psychological theories to design better ways to overcome bias, create great experiences, improve well-being, and communicate ideas, stories, and science.
John de LancieMr. de Lancie’s film credits include, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”, “The Fisher King”, “Bad Influence”, The Onion Field”, “Taking Care of Business”, “Fearless”, “Multiplicity”, "Women on Top", "Nicholas", "Good Advice", “Patient 14”, “The Big Time”, “Reign on Me”, “Pathology”, “Games”, “Teenius”, “Crank2" and “The Marriage Counselor”. Mr. de Lancie has appeared in numerous television shows including; “Torchwood”, “Breaking Bad”, “CSI”, “The Unit”, “West Wing", "Sports Night", “Judging Amy”, "The Closer", “Star Trek”, “Legend”, “LA Law”, “Picket Fences”, “Civil Wars”, “The Practice”, and “Touched by an Angel”.
Chip DenmanChip Denman has been a director of the James Randi Educational Foundation since 2008 and has served as the statistician behind the Million Dollar Challenge since its start. He is a co-founder of the National Capital Area Skeptics in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region. He recently retired from the University of Maryland where he created and taught the course “Science & Pseudoscience” for the University Honors Program.
Grace DenmanGrace Denman has been a leader in the arena of skeptical activism since co-founding the National Capital Area Skeptics in 1987. She has had the privilege of serving on the NCAS Board of Directors since its inception and has served as Treasurer and President. She is a Program Manager at the University of Maryland University College where she questions assumptions daily.
Mark EdwardMark Edward is a professional mentalist who specializes in magic of the mind. He has spent over thirty-five years in world-class venues from high-end night clubs and theaters to hundreds of private party and corporate events. He travels internationally as a skeptical activist, using his skills as a mentalist to teach and promote critical thinking.
Susan GerbicAffectionately called the Wikipediatrician, Susan Gerbic is the cofounder of Monterey County Skeptics and a self-proclaimed skeptical junkie. Susan is also founder of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project. She is a frequent contributor to Skeptical Inquirer (CSICOP) and Skepticality Podcast. She is the winner of the CSI In the Trenches Award from 2012, James Randi Award for Skepticism in the Public Interest 2013. She became a Scientific and Technical Consultant for CSI in 2015 and a CSI Fellow in 2017. Susan was awarded the James Randi Prize for 2017. In 2018, Susan founded and manages About Time a non-profit organization focusing on scientific skepticism and activism.
Jen GunterDr. Jen Gunter is an OB/GYN and pain medicine physician, author of The Vagina Bible and host of Jensplaining (CBC Gem). She writes about sexual health for the New York Times (The Cycle and You Asked). Her mission is to build a better medical Internet. She has been called Twitter’s gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and a fierce advocate for women’s health. She has also been called “strangely confident” by GOOP.com. One day she hopes to ask Gwyneth Paltrow for the physics equation that explains how a jade egg can be recharged with lunar energy.
Ray HallRaymond Edward Hall is a professor in the Department of Physics at California State University, Fresno, where for more than fifteen years he has developed and taught courses in engineering physics, quantum mechanics, and other scientific topics.
Bailey HarrisBailey Harris is a 13-year-old science author, speaker, and freethought/human rights activist. Bailey started writing her first book, My Name is Stardust, at the age of eight. She was inspired to write this first book after watching an episode of Cosmos where she learned that our bodies are made of stardust. Her Stardust book series is published by Storybook Genius Publishing and now includes Stardust Explores the Solar System and the upcoming 2019 release, Stardust Explores Earth's Wonders. These books support Bailey's mission to inspire a love of science and a sense of wonder at the universe.
Jeff HawkinsJeff Hawkins is a scientist and co-founder at Numenta, a research company focused on neocortical theory. His research focuses on how the cortex learns models of the world through sensation and movement. In 2002, he founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, where he served as Director for three years. The institute is currently located at U.C. Berkeley. Previously, he co-founded two companies, Palm and Handspring, where he designed products such as the PalmPilot and Treo smartphone. In 2004 he wrote “On Intelligence”, a book about cortical theory.
Ray HymanRay Hyman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oregon. As a psychologist he specialized in the Psychology of Deception. Along with James Randi, Martin Gardner, Paul Kurtz and a few others he was one of the founding members of CSICOP (now CSI- the Committee for Skeptical Investigation). He has served on various governmental committees investigating paranormal claims as well as individuals such as Uri Geller. Before he earned his PHD in Psychology he engaged in a variety of activities such as reading palms, performing magic and mentalism, and similar activities. Among the several honors he has received are: Honorary Doctor of Science from Simon Fraser University; awards from the International Brotherhood of Magicians for several magic effects he created; awards from CSI and other skeptical organizations for his efforts in investigating and exposing psychic frauds, etc. He is also founder of The Skeptic’s Toolbox which was first held at the University of Oregon during the summer of 1992. He has written books and many articles critical of parapsychological research and parapsychologists. He has appeared on many television shows as well as giving talks and demonstrations before live audiences. Perhaps his favorite activities are the many workshops he has conducted for skeptical groups in the United States and Europe on how do cold readings (fortune telling). The participants, during the course of a few hours, learn to give cold readings with 85% accuracy (as reported by those receiving a reading).
Jonathan JarryJonathan Jarry is a science communicator with the McGill Office for Science and Society, dedicated to separating sense from nonsense on the scientific stage. He brings his experience in cancer research, human genetics, rehabilitation research, and forensic biology to the work he does for the public. He is the creator, writer, and host of the YouTube show Cracked Science, which uses a late-night deep-dive format to debunk pseudoscience and denounce bad science. With cardiologist Dr. Christopher Labos, he co-hosts the award-winning medical podcast The Body of Evidence, which aims to contextualize findings in the realm of health research and answer the public's most pressing questions about the biomedical sciences while also being funny and entertaining.
Joe SchwarczJoe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s “Office for Science and Society” which has the mission of separating sense from nonsense. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. “Dr. Joe” has hosted a radio show on science for forty years, has appeared hundreds of times on television, writes a regular newspaper column and is the author of eighteen best-sellers. He has been awarded honorary degrees by Athabasca University, Cape Breton University, the University of Windsor and Simon Fraser University. Professor Schwarcz is also an amateur magician and often spices up his presentations with a little magic.
Kathleen DyerKatie Dyer earned a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2000. She worked teaching evidence-based medicine in a medical residency program for four years before assuming a faculty position at the California State University, Fresno, where she is currently a professor and department chair. Dr. Dyer primarily studies parenting practices pertaining to children's sleep, as well as parent education. She has a secondary research interest in the development of curiosity and critical thinking in college students.
Nathan LentsNathan H. Lents is Professor of Biology at John Jay College and author of two recent books: Not So Different and Human Errors. With degrees in molecular biology and human physiology, and a postdoctoral fellowship in computational genomics, Lents tackles the evolution of human biology from a broad and interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to his research and teaching, he can be found defending sound evolutionary science in the pages of Science, Skeptic Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and others.
Nick LittleNick Little is Vice President, General Counsel, and Legal Director of the Center for Inquiry. As CFI's attorney, he supervises the Center's litigation, both in the area of separation of church and state and the protection of the rights of non-believers, where he has brought multiple suits to require states to permit secular wedding celebrants, and in the area of skepticism, where he has filed CFI's groundbreaking consumer protection suit against CVS stores for their deceptive marketing of homeopathy. Educated at Oxford University, the University of Warwick, and Vanderbilt University Law School, Nick seeks to keep CFI involved in cutting edge litigation to further its mission of a secular society based on reason, science, and humanist values.
Elizabeth LoftusElizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California - Irvine. She holds faculty positions in the Department of Psychology & Social Behavior; the Department of Criminology, Law & Society, and the School of Law She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 22 books and over 500 scientific articles. Loftus's research has focused on the malleability of human memory. She has been recognized for her research with seven honorary doctorates and election to numerous prestigious societies, including the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science, the Western Psychological Association, and the American Psychology-Law Society. Loftus’s memory research has led to her being called as an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases. Some of the more well known cases include the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Oliver North, Bill Cosby, and the Duke University Lacrosse players.
Leighann LordStandup Comedian Leighann Lord was the New York City face of the African Americans for Humanism outreach campaign sponsored by the Center for Inquiry and it’s Millions Living Happily Without Religion campaign. Author Chris Johnson featured her in The Atheist Book: A Better Life. Leighann has been a co-host on the Emmy-nominated StarTalk with Neil de Grasse Tyson. She has shared her comedic and hosting talents at many secular conferences including American Atheists, American Humanists, Center for Inquiry, DragonCon – SkepTrack, The PA Freethought Society, NECSS: The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism, and PASHTACon. Leighann is also a CFI certified Secular Celebrant; officiating at milestone life events commemorated with a nonreligious worldview. And this year she was honored with the 2019 Humanist Arts Award from the American Humanist Association.
Michael MannDr. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State. His research focuses on climate science and climate change. He was selected by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002, was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geophysical Union in 2012 and the National Conservation Achievement Award of the NWF in 2013. He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the AAAS in 2018 and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. In 2019 he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Geological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org, author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and four books including Dire Predictions, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, The Madhouse Effect and The Tantrum that Saved the World.
David MikkelsonDavid Mikkelson is the founder and CEO of Snopes.com, the oldest and most respected fact-checking site online. Mikkelson founded the site in 1994 and today the site receives over 20 million unique monthly visitors. Mikkelson speaks worldwide about combating “fake news” and the rise of the digital age and its impact on investigative journalism. Managing everything from researching and writing articles about urban legends to overseeing the site’s technical infrastructure, Mikkelson made Snopes.com the go-to place for Internet users to query the veracity of anything questionable they encountered online. www.davidmikkelson.com
Loren PankratzLoren Pankratz, PhD, was a Consultation Psychologist at the Portland VA Medical Center and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health Science University. Among other responsibilities, he was Chairman of the Psychiatry Promotion and Tenure Committee for eight years under three different department heads. After retirement he maintained a forensic practice specializing in issues of deception, testifying across the country on topics like insurance fraud, Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and controversial accusations against clergy. Dr. Pankratz has written and lectured on a wide variety of unusual topics such as dancing manias, spiritualism, Greek oracles, ghosts, plagues, historical enigmas, mesmerism, moral panics, con-games, self-deception, faith healing, self-surgery, miracles, ethical blunders, quackery, and Renaissance science. He now spends his time writing and collecting books related to the history of deception.
Gordon PennycookGordon is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at the Hill/Levene Schools of Business and an Associate Member of the Department of Psychology at the University of Regina. Previously, he completed his PhD at the University of Waterloo and a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. Gordon's expertise is on the cognitive psychology of thinking and reasoning. In 2016, Gordon won an Ig Nobel Prize for his work titled "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit". Gordon was also named the Poynter Institute International Fact-Checking Network's "2017 Researcher of the Year" in recognition of his research on fake news and misinformation.
Piff the Magic DragonHoward Stern called him “a phenomenal talent,” Penn & Teller called him “a stunningly good magician,” Heidi Klum called him… but he sent it to voicemail. The star of NBC’s America's Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, think Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks and you’re on the right track. With over 100 million online views, sold out shows across the US and Canada and a residency at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip, Piff the Magic Dragon has proved he’s here to stay. Joined by Mr Piffles, The World’s Only Magic Performing Chihuahua™, the dynamic duo have performed all over the world in iconic venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, the O2, London and Sydney Opera house. He was the opening act for Mumford & Sons on their 17 date UK tour and graces the cover of their Grammy award-winning album “Babel”. Call him unique, call him an icon, whatever you call him, Piff will leave you asking… "how are you going to top a guy in a dragon suit?" (New York Times)
Kavin SenapathyKavin is a writer and journalist covering science, health, medicine, agriculture, food, parenting, and their intersection. Her work appears at SELF Magazine, Slate, Forbes, SciShow, SciMoms, and her Woo Watch column at Skeptical Inquirer. She's also the co-host of Point of Inquiry, the podcast for the Center for Inquiry. When she’s not writing and tweeting, she’s working at her family business, spending time with her husband and dogs, and being a “Science Mom” to an 8-year-old and 6-year-old.
Seth ShostakSeth is Senior Astronomer and Institute Fellow at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. For much of his career, Seth conducted radio astronomy research on galaxies, and has published approximately sixty papers in professional journals. He has written more than five hundred popular magazine, newspaper and Web articles on various topics in astronomy, technology, film and television. For a decade, he chaired the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Committee. Every week he hosts the SETI Institute’s one-hour science radio show, “Big Picture Science” Seth has written, edited and contributed to a half dozen books. His most recent tome is Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (National Geographic), and he is co-author of a college textbook on astrobiology.
Jim UnderdownJim Underdown is executive director of Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles, and the chair and founder of the CFI Investigations Group. He is also one of the co-hosts, with Kavin Senapathy, of CFI's flagship podcast, Point of Inquiry.