Enthusiastic Brights (Page 1)
Daniel C. Dennett is the author of Freedom Evolves, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. He is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, at Tufts University. He recently (2012) joined the philosophy faculty of the New College of the Humanities. As a philosopher, Dennett is primarily concerned with providing a philosophy of mind grounded in and fruitful to empirical research. He is an avid sailor. Read his New York Times article "The Bright Stuff", visit his home page, and/or see his video ("The Appeal of the Brights Movement") now.
After more than twenty years as a First Amendment Activist in the United States, she served as president of the Atheist Alliance International. In that capacity, Margaret garnered considerable publicity for freethought organizations and led AAI to its best attended ever conventions in Washington, DC. She has long been a voice for an inclusive society, having founded the Thomas Paine Foundation, the Freethought Society, and the Anti-Discrimination Support Network (a watchdog group that works to protect liberty of conscience). She is also a secular celebrant: Visit her website.
James 'The Amazing' Randi
He is author of The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. He founded and retired as director of the James Randi Foundation, which for years offered a $1,000,000 prize to anyone able to demonstrate paranormal phenomena under scientifically controlled conditions. No payout was ever necessary. Visit his website.
After teaching at MIT for two decades, he became the Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard. Pinker's experimental research on cognition and language won the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences and prizes from the American Psychological Association. He has also received several honorary doctorates and numerous awards for graduate and undergraduate teaching, general achievement, and his critically acclaimed books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is on the faculty of the New College for the Humanities. Pinker has also appeared in many television documentaries and writes frequently in the popular press, including in the The New York Times, Time, and Slate. Books
He is an internationally known evolutionary biologist and even as well know as an atheist activist. After writing The God Delusion (his book most widely sold internationally), Dr. Dawkins retired as Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and established the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. He had previously written numerous books, among them The Selfish Gene, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, Read his Guardian article: "The Future Looks Bright", or visit his web page.
The Kagins of Camp Quest
It was in 1996 that Helen Kagin, M.D. and Edwin Kagin, Esq. founded Camp Quest (Kentucky), the first summer camp for children of secular parents. This "Camp Beyond Belief" welcomes and serves children from any family rearing youngsters from a naturalistic outlook. The camps welcome all children, by whatever self-identity labels or affiliations. One message that a Camp Quest imparts to youngsters: "It is okay to be an atheist." The Kagins retired, but their endeavor continues (Ohio) and has spawned other similar camps in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., all reachable through www.Camp-Quest.com. Helen died in February, 2010. Edwin serves American Atheists as its national legal director and as its Kentucky state director.
Knighted in 2008 for his contributions in molecular biology, Dr. Roberts' interests range from the strictly serious (Research Director at New England Biolabs) to the strictly comedic (one of the real Nobel winners awarding the Ig Nobel awards). Educated in England, with doctoral work at the University of Sheffield in Organic Chemistry and postdoctoral research at Harvard, he worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under Dr. J.D. Watson. Subsequent research involved studying restriction enzymes, developing computer methods of protein and nucleic acid sequence analysis, and conducting varied genetic studies. For their independent discoveries in 1977 that genes could be discontinuous, he and Philip Sharp received the 1993 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
Mel is an attorney who has taught constitutional law at two Las Vegas Universities. He is also a mediator and arbitrator. In addition to letters to the editor, he has contributed many articles to local and national publications. Most recently, Mel served a full term as a very active and progressive president of the American Humanist Association. Mel has previously been president of the Humanist Association of Las Vegas and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Vegas, and an active member of the Las Vegas Interfaith Council. A Humanist celebrant, he has conducted numerous secular cermonies.
Bobbie, when an independent study teacher, dealt with 38 subjects in the adult division of the Los Angeles Unified School District. (She was once upon a time a Sunday school teacher whose first national article appeared in Christianity Today.) She also served as president of the Atheist Alliance International (2002-2006). Now, as AAI's representative to the Secular Coalition for America, she carries forward to that body the AAI's advocacy of "A Positive Voice for Atheism." Bobbie also travels extensively and participates in programs to strengthen both nationally and internationally the organizational network of freethought.
This secular humanist, having legally ‘fought his way to the top’ to reach the 'all-powerful position' of a notary public in his state, is known among freethought organizations as a humorous speaker. Herb Silverman even ran for governor in South Carolina as the candidate without a prayer. (He authored a memoir on that experience that draws chuckles from readers.) He now is president of the Secular Coalition for America, an organization he was instrumental in founding. Its mission is "to increase the visibility and respectability of nontheistic viewpoints within the larger culture and to protect and strengthen secular government as the best guarantee of freedom for all."