Schedule

Draft Conference Schedule, 11/05/07. This schedule is subject to change.  Stay tuned to this website for updates.

Friday, Nov. 9

6:00 – 7:00 PM

Registration & Welcome Reception (with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres)

7:00 – 7:30 PM

Opening remarks (Paul Kurtz, Chairman, CFI; Derek Araujo, Executive Director, CFI-NYC; Austin Dacey, UN Representative)

7:30 - 8:30 PM

Gala Award Presentations:

  • Carl Sagan birthday tribute (presentation by Ann Druyan & Neil deGrasse Tyson)
  • International Academy of Humanism presentation of Humanist Laureate awards to Christopher Hitchens* (in absentia) (journalist, literary critic, author of god is not Great); Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist, author, Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of NOVA scienceNOW); Ann Druyan (media producer, author, and writer (with her late husband Carl Sagan) of the television series Cosmos)
  • Matthew LaClair: recipient, James Madison Religious Liberty Award; presentation by Wendy Kaminer (lawyer, feminist writer, social critic) with a special message from Nat Hentoff (journalist, historian, and social critic)
8:30 – 9:00 PM

Address by Edward Tabash (lawyer, social activist, and champion of church-state separation): The Threat of the Religious Right to Our Modern Freedoms

Saturday, Nov. 10

9:00 – 9:30 AM

Check In

9:30 – 10:30 AM

Panel: Secularism Through History: from Spinoza to JFK: Susan Jacoby (writer, historian, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism); Rebecca Goldstein (philosopher, novelist, and author of Betraying Spinoza); Jennifer Michael Hecht (author, Doubt: A History).  Moderated by Austin Dacey (philosopher and author, The Secular Conscience)

10:30 – 11:30 AM

Panel: Science and the Public: Richard Dawkins (biologist, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion); Ann Druyan (media producer, author, and writer (with her late husband Carl Sagan) of the television series Cosmos); Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist, author, Director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of NOVA scienceNOW); Eugenie C. Scott (physical anthropologist, executive director of the National Center for Science Education); Victor Stenger (physicist, author of God: The Failed Hypothesis).  Moderated by DJ Grothe (host, Point of Inquiry).

11:30 – 11:45 AM

(Break)

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM

Panel: The Age of American Unreason: Religion & Politics in America: Wendy Kaminer (lawyer, feminist writer, social critic); Edward Tabash (lawyer, social activist, and champion of church-state separation); Michelle Goldberg (author, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism); Damon Linker (journalist and author, The Theocons).  Moderated by Susan Jacoby (writer, historian, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism).

12:30 – 2:00 PM

(Lunch Break)

2:00 – 2:45 PM

Video appearance by Christopher Hitchens* (journalist, literary critic, author, god is not Great)

2:45 – 3:30 PM

What is a Center for Inquiry? (Paul Kurtz, Chairman, CFI; Derek Araujo, Executive Director, CFI-NYC; Austin Dacey, UN Representative; DJ Grothe, Vice President of Outreach, Host of Point of Inquiry)

3:30 – 3:45 PM

(Break)

3:45 – 4:30 PM

Address by Peter Singer (Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University)

4:30 – 5:30 PM

Appearance by Richard Dawkins (biologist, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion)

Sunday, Nov. 11

9:00 – 9:30 AM

Check In

9:30 – 10:30 AM

Panel: Secularism: The Next Generation: Matthew LaClair; Mark Anthony Smith; Sarah Stone; Justin Trottier; and Nica Lalli, author of Nothing: Something to Believe In.  Moderated by Derek Araujo.

10:30 – 11:15 AM

Address by Alan Dershowitz (Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School)

11:15 – 11:30 AM

(Break)

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Panel: Secularism and Islam: The Next Islamic Enlightenment: Ibn Warraq (Islamic scholar and author, Why I Am Not a Muslim); Tawfik Hamid (scholar, author, and dissident of Islamic fundamentalism); Paul Berman (author, journalist and political commentator); and others.  Moderated by Austin Dacey.

12:30 – 1:00 PM

Concluding remarks

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Tour of the United Nations (elective) with Paul Kurtz, Derek C. Araujo, and Austin Dacey, CFI's official UN Representative.  Please RSVP by e-mailing adacey [at] cfinyc [dot] org.      

* Due to last-minute assignment to South America, Christopher Hitchens is unable to attend in person, but will appear in a provocative video interview made specially and exclusively for The Secular Society and Its Enemies.