Schedule of Events

Science, Public Policy, and The Planetary Community

Center for Inquiry’s 12th World Congress
Science, Public Policy, and the Planetary Community
Thursday April 9 through Sunday April 12 at Bethesda Hyatt, Bethesda, Maryland. Accessible by Metro.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 9

10 am – 3 pm Tour of the Capitol and Visitors’ Center FREE
host: Steve Lowe
(Metro ticket required, $3.30)
3 pm FOC Meet and Greet
4:30 pm Registration Desk
5 – 5:45 pm Staff Meet and Greet
Executive Room
6 – 7 pm Reception and Greeting
Crystal Ballroom
host: Toni Van Pelt
7 – 10 pm Panel: The Influence of Darwin
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Derek Araujo

Michael Ruse, professor and director of History and Philosophy of Science Program at Florida State University

Barbara Forrest, philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University

David Contosta, professor of history at Chestnut Hill College; author of Rebel Giants: The Revolutionary Lives of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

Edward Tabash, prominent civil rights lawyer, chairman of the First Amendment Task Force



Friday, April 10

8 am Registration
8:30 – 9:20 am

Patricia Scott Schroeder
Crystal Ballroom
The United States: A Former Global Leader in Science, Apologizes for the 2001–2008 Service Outage!
moderator: Toni Van Pelt

9:30 – 10:30 am Keynote: Susan Jacoby
moderator: Paul Kurtz
10:30 – 11:30 am Break/Poster Viewing
11:30 am – 1:15 pm Paul Kurtz luncheon address (separate ticket required)

Special Presentation
Crystal Ballroom
National Capital Area Skeptics present
the Phillip J. Klass Award to Paul Kurtz
2:15 – 3 pm

Philip Kitcher, the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University
moderator: Ronald A. Lindsay

3:15 – 5:30 pm

Science and Public Policy
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Stuart Jordan

Dr. John C. Mather, senior astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Drew Shindell, research scientist at NASA

Roger Bonnet, executive director of the International Space Science Institute and professor at Liege University, Belgium

Ren Fujun, executive director of the Chinese Research Institute for the Popularization of Science (CRISP)

5:45 – 6:30 pm James Randi: Search for the Chimera
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Joe Nickell
6:30 – 7:30 pm

Special Presentation: Humanism in India
Cabinet Judiciary Suite
moderator: Paul Kurtz

Innaiah Narisetti, chair of the Center for Inquiry/India and children’s rights advocate

Dr. Santi Sri Pandit, director of CFI/Pune; professor of international studies at Pune University, India

Dr. Sam Ilangovan, representative of Dravida Khazagam in Chennai, currently lives in the U.S.

6:30 pm Dinner (on your own)
8:15 – 10:30 pm Doc Scantlin and the Imperial Palms Orchestra
Cash bar in the hotel ballroom

Saturday, April 11

9 - 11 am

Skepticism and Science
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Kendrick Frazier

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine

Joe Nickell, senior research fellow at CFI; and full-time professional investigator of historical, paranormal, and forensic mysteries, myths, and hoaxes

Richard Wiseman, professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.

Armadeo Sarma, engineer and senior manager at NEC Laboratories, Europe

11 am - 12:30 pm

Panel: Planetary Ethics
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Ronald A. Lindsay

Stephen Law, philosopher and professor at Heythrop College at the University of London

Tom Beauchamp, professor of philosophy and a senior research scholar at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation

12:30 - 1:45 pm Lunch (on your own)
2 - 5 pm

Panel: Secularism and Islam
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Derek Araujo

Ibn Warraq, senior research fellow at the CFI specializing in Koranic criticism

Pervez Hoodbhoy, faculty member at the department of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University; author

Tarek Fatah, secular Muslim, Canadian political activist, writer, and TV host

Mona Abousenna, co-director of the Center for Inquiry/Egypt

Mourad Wahba, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Ain Shams in Cairo, Egypt

Concurrent Sessions

5 - 6 pm

Special Feature: Separation of Church and State
Cabinet Judiciary Suite
moderator: Tom Flynn

Edward Tabash, prominent civil rights lawyer, chairman of the First Amendment Task Force

5 - 6 pm

Special Feature: The Future of Skepticism
Old Georgetown Room
moderator: DJ Grothe

Kendrick Frazier, editor of the Skeptical Inquirer; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Benjamin Radford, managing editor of the Skeptical Inquirer; author

6:15 - 6:45 pm Music by Richard Einhorn
7 - 10 pm

Panel: Awards Banquet
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Jim Underdown

Lawrence Krauss, Foundation Professor and director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University.

James Randi, internationally known magician and escape artist who currently devotes his work to investigating and demystifying claims of the paranormal and pseudoscience

Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center for Inquiry/Transnational, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism; professor emeritus of philosophy at SUNY Buffalo.

Sunday, April 12

9 - 11 am Secularism Around the World
Crystal Ballroom
moderator: Norm Allen Jr.

Valeri Kuvakin, CFI/Russia
Mona Abousenna, CFI/Cairo
Floris van den Berg, CFI/Low Countries
Suresh Lalvani, CFI/London
Amardeo Sarma, CFI/Germany
Justin Trottier, CFI/Ontario
Fidel Niang, CFI/Senegal
11 am - 12:15 pm Student Panel
moderator: Debbie Goddard
Crystal Ballroom
Derek Rodgers, Dalhousie Atheist Community
Sarah Kaiser, Secular Alliance of Indiana University
Jason Ball, University of Melbourne Secular Society
Michael Amini, University of Washington Secular Student Union
12:15 - 12:45 pm Closing Remarks
Paul Kurtz
Toni Van Pelt