Speakers

Paul Kurtz

Paul Kurtz is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, chairman of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), the Council for Secular Humanism, and Prometheus Books, and editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry Magazine. He is also founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, Transnational. He is a former Co-President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). BA, New York University; MA and PhD, Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Humanist Laureate and President of the International Academy of Humanism.

Paul Kurtz is the author of 850 articles. He is also author or editor of 45 books, including, The Fullnes of Life (1974); The Transcendental Temptation; A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal (1985), The New Skepticism: Inquiry and Reliable Knowledge (1992), In Defense of Secular Humanism (1984), Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Humanism (1988); Eupraxsophy: Living Without Religion (1989); Philosophical Essays in Pragmatic Naturalism (1990); Toward a New Enlightenment: The Philosphy of Paul Kurtz (ed by Vern Bullough and Tim Madigan,1994);The Courage to Become (1997); Embracing the Powers of Humanism (2000); Skepticism and Humanism: The New Paradigm (2001); Skeptical Odysseys (2001); Affirmations (2004); Science and Religion (with Barry Karr, 2003).

Paul Kurtz has taught at Trinity, Union and Vassar Colleges as well as The New School for Social Research and City University of New York. He has lectured widely at Universities all over the world, including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, University of Callifornia, University of Michigan, Heidelberg, London, Sydney, Moscow State University and University of Warsaw.

Rebecca Goldstein

Rebecca Goldstein is a philosopher and novelist, whose work explores themes of intellect and passion, science and philosophy. She's the author of eight books, six of them fiction, including The Mind-Body Problem and Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics. Her last two books have been non-fiction: Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel and Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. She has received numerous awards for her fiction and scholarship, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

 

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, and has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received four honorary doctorates, several teaching awards, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He serves on the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and many editorial boards, and often writes for Time, The New York Times, The New Republic, and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, and is listed in Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and in Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” His latest book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature will be published by Penguin books in the fall of 2007.

 

Toni Van Pelt

Toni Van Pelt is the director of the Center for Inquiry-Office of Public Policy centered in Washington DC. Prior to her reassignment to Washington, Toni was the first executive director for the Center for Inquiry-Florida. In her role as the president of Florida National Organization for Women, she lobbied the Federal and Florida Legislature, helping to write and establish new law in the state. She is a veteran of Congressional and state political campaigns working for candidates as well as on issues. She has appeared on television, and has been interviewed by national and international media both press and broadcast. Her past career as the owner of a travel agency specializing in international travel has afforded her the opportunity to travel to many areas of the globe and has informed her worldview.

 

Pat Beauchamp

Pat is the Manager of Business and Finance for the Center for Inquiry, CSI, and the Council for Secular Humanism. She is the coordinator of the Explorer's Club and co-ordinates national conferences.