CFI-NYC eBulletin - May 2009

Dear Center for Inquiry-New York City members,

You will likely notice that this May 2009 e-newsletter looks shorter than our past e-newsletters. Yet this is not because we are listing less events. In fact, we are now informing you about more New York City events than ever: 13 in April and 11 in May. The reason this e-newsletter appears shorter is that it is more concise; and the reason it is more concise is that we know you receive many e-mails, and we want to make this one easier to digest.

This e-newsletter will, on a monthly basis, continue to keep you up to date on all of our upcoming events, just in a bit less detail. For all relevant information, you can click through to our calendar, which lists each event in detail. We urge you to check our calendar continually throughout the month as we are constantly adding news events as they come up.

We hope this makes for a better e-newsletter. Feedback is welcome. As always, we are here to serve you.


Michael De Dora Jr.
Executive Director
Center for Inquiry-New York City

Upcoming Lectures

Thursday, May 7: National Day of Reason Fundraiser for Innocence Project

The New York Society for Ethical Culture, Center for Inquiry-New York City, Secular Humanist Society of New York, and the New York City Skeptics are coming together on May 7 to sponsor a fundraiser for the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing, and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. The Project, a fusion of science, reason, law and social justice, has freed 235 innocent men and women from jail -- 16 of them from death row -- since its inception in 1992.  The date of the event, May 7, marks the National Day of Reason.

The event will feature talks from former prisoner Barry Gibbs , who was wrongfully imprisoned for 19 years, and Innocence Project attorney Olga Akselrod .

Admission: free and open to the public. Suggested donation is $20. Donations will be taken throughout the event. All donations will go directly to the Project. 

When and where: Thursday, May 7, 6:30 p.m. at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (and Central Park West)

Click here for more details.

Monday, May 18: Peter Woit on String Theory

Peter Woit is a mathematician and physicist at Columbia University who will discuss string theory and why it is controversial, as well as prospects for new experiments and a better understanding of the mathematical theories used to describe the physical world.

Woit, who specializes in theoretical particle physics and the use of mathematics to address fundamental issues in physics, is the author of the 2007 book "Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory & the Continuing Challenge to Unify the Laws of Physics." Since 2004 he has run the blog "Not Even Wrong," which deals with news about current topics in mathematics and particle physics research, and has become a focal point for the controversy surrounding string theory.

Admission: free and open to the public.

When and where: Monday, May 18, 7:30 p.m., Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, corner of Prospect Park West and 1st Street.

Click here for more details.

Community Events

Monday, May 11, 7 p.m. : CFI/SHSNY Monthly Movie Night at Stone Creek Lounge. Click here for more .

Wednesday, May 13, 8 p.m. : The Thirteen Club, a conversation-based dinner on skepticism, at Tree. Click here for more

Sunday, May 17, 11 a.m. : Field trip to the American Museum of Natural History. Click here for more .

Sunday, May 17, 12:30 p.m. : CFI/SHSNY Monthly Brunch at Wild Ginger. Click here for more .

Thursday, May 28, 6:30 p.m. : CFI/SHSNY Monthly Book Club, on John Brockman's "What Have You Changed Your Mind About?" at Muhlenberg Library. Click here for more

Sunday, May 31, 1 p.m. : CFI-Harlem Monthly Discussion at Harlem State Office Building. Click here for more .


CFI-NYC's New Executive Director: Introducing Michael De Dora Jr.

CFI-NYC is pleased to announced the recent hiring of a new Executive Director: Michael De Dora Jr.  Mr. De Dora graduated from SUNY Albany in 2005 with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communication, and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Political Science at Brooklyn College.  Prior to joining CFI, Mr. De Dora worked for The City University of New York as a writer and editor.  He also organized CFI's Brooklyn activities, where he has helped achieve impressive results in recent months. 

CFI-NYC's outgoing Executive Director, Derek C. Araujo, was recently named Vice President and General Counsel.  Mr. Araujo will direct CFI's legal activities from CFI-NYC's Manhattan offices.

CFI Travel Club Adventure: The Western Carribean, Nov. 12-20, 2009

We are happy to announce the 6th Annual Center for Inquiry Travel Club Event.   Please join your host, Paul Kurtz, and staff sailing on Carnival Miracle®.

Enjoy 8 days of conversation, camaraderie and fun with like-minded folks. Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, visit the countries of Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. Savor 4 days at sea, stretching your mind and body, participate in challenging presentations and pleasant on-board activities.  November 12-20, 2009.

For more information and registration, visit  Everything, including all times, itinerary and pricing, is subject to change at any time.

CFI-NYC Launches Capital Campaign

CFI-NYC's current rented space at 80 Broad Street has many limitations. We have barely enough room for staff to function efficiently. We have no room for skeptics and secular humanists to gather. The next step of CFI-NYC's development is to take its place as a leading cultural institution. To this end, we are seeking to purchase a 5,000+ square-foot property in Manhattan (hopefully with room for expansion) to serve as the headquarters for our growing staff and to become a permanent home for reason, science, and secular values in New York.

We are challenging our friends - humanists, skeptics, and freethinkers in the New York area - to help us exceed our goal of raising $6.25 million. Our goal is based on the amount considered necessary to purchase and renovate a building that will suit our needs.

Our capital campaign brochure is available for download on our website at .To request a hard copy of our brochure, or to inquire about making a contribution, call Sherry Rook, Vice President of Development, at (800) 818-7071.

Show Your Commitment to Reason, Science and Secular Values

In the contemporary marketplace of ideas, one can find responsible, objective, and evidence-based information on everything from foreign policy to hormone replacement therapy. Yet when it comes to some of our most fundamental questions--about human values, the transcendent, or the borderlands of science--one often only hears from partisans of traditional religion, New Age practitioners, or anti-science movements.

With its network of scientists and other thinkers, its grassroots advocacy and public education organizations, and its popular and scholarly publications, the Center for Inquiry fills this gap, lending a credible voice to critical inquiry and the scientific outlook.

Help CFI promote and defend science, reason, and freedom of inquiry by becoming a Friend of the Center. Friends of the Center receive:

  • Free or discounted admission to CFI events
  • 10% discount for national events sponsored by CFI and its affiliates CSH and CSI
  • 15% discount on selected Prometheus Books titles
  • A colorful CFI vinyl decal
  • An enamel CFI lapel pin (Contributor level or higher)
  • Invitations to special events and private receptions (Benefactor level and donors of $1000 or higher)

Join the Center for Inquiry by becoming a Friend of the Center.