A Unified Center for Inquiry, Stronger Than Ever

January 14, 2015

The intelligence, commitment, and generosity of people like you have helped CFI and its affiliates work on a wide array of issues regarding science, reason, and secularism for decades, confronting challenges on many fronts, and building upon meaningful successes.

Through the Council for Secular Humanism, you have helped us to champion the rights of nonbelievers, promote a life-affirming and ethical worldview without the need for religion, and foster grassroots efforts to build communities among like-minded freethinkers.

Through the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, you have helped us to challenge the claims of the paranormal and pseudoscience, to take on the peddlers of dubious alternative medicine and alleged psychic powers, and investigate mysterious and extraordinary claims using evidence and critical thinking.

And through our central organization, the Center for Inquiry, you have helped us to advocate for science, reason, and secularism at all levels of society and government, to fight for free expression and belief around the world, and to work to keep religion from infecting public policy and from curtailing human rights.

Though this list is long, it is unified under a single mission: To make the world a better place by using reason instead of faith, by relying on science instead of superstition. We use the tools of skepticism, and we are guided by the principles of secular humanism. We believe, and have always believed,  that these are not separate causes, but simply different aspects of the same mission. Skeptics and humanists may focus on different issues, but they are unified in their underlying objectives.

The time has come to formalize this union.

Our petition to merge these corporations has just been approved by the State of New York.  Accordingly, we are delighted to announce that as of now there will be one unified Center for Inquiry. Its affiliate organizations, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, will cease to be standalone corporations, and become programs of CFI.

Which means of course that CSI and the Council aren’t going anywhere. They will remain as strong and as active as ever. For those whose interests tend more toward the skeptic or the humanist side, these programs will continue to offer the publications, programming, and initiatives that they always have. In fact, they will now be stronger.

They will be stronger because the merger of these three organizations into one corporation will mean a significant streamlining, with a reduction in complexity, redundancies, and costs, and a corresponding increase in efficiency. Programs of CFI will now be able to undertake more work than ever because of additional resources. It is a truly exciting time.

If you are a donor to any of the three organizations, or if you subscribe to Free Inquiry or Skeptical Inquirer, you will become a Member of CFI and will soon be receiving a membership card. (Further details about the new membership program, including its effect on associate members of Council and CSI, may be found at this link.) Donors who have given $60 or more in the past 12 months will become Contributing Members, enjoying a wider range of membership benefits. You will continue to have the choice to designate that future gifts be earmarked for CSI or Council alone, as well as for CFI as a whole.

You have helped bring us to this milestone. Your financial support, your advocacy efforts,  your choice to represent the values of science, reason, and secularism in your day-to-day life, have all contributed to the opening of this next great chapter for one of the world’s foremost freethought institutions.

As we begin this new adventure, stronger than ever and with new resolve, we thank you. Of the many parts that make up this newly unified CFI, most crucial among them is you.

We’ll be communicating more details about this merger soon! Stay tuned. And thank you for being there as we work to transform our world for the better.