DR. MICHAEL SHERMER
Dr. Michael Shermer is an American science writer, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims.
He is the author of several books, including The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom and The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. He has also produced and co-hosted a television series, written a monthly column for Scientific American magazine, and serves as a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health.
As a public intellectual, he regularly contributes to various publications and has appeared on numerous television shows. Dr. Shermer received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in various fields of study and teaches at Claremont Graduate University. He was once a fundamentalist Christian but now identifies as a skeptic, advocate for humanist philosophy, and proponent of the science of morality.
DR. PETER BOGHOSSIAN
Dr. Peter Boghossian is an American philosophy instructor, activist, author, speaker, and atheism advocate. He is a full-time faculty member at Portland State University, with a focus on critical thinking, philosophy of education, and moral reasoning.
He is a speaker for various organizations and has been nominated as a member of the Global Secular Council. His book, A Manual for Creating Atheists, describes his method of "street epistemology" for encouraging critical thinking in religious believers. He has a long teaching experience and his main focus is to bring the tools of professional philosophers to diverse groups of people.
His publications can be found in various journals and he also teaches at Oregon Health Sciences University. He was a Councilman for the State of Oregon and teaches critical thinking, science and pseudoscience, philosophy of education, and atheism at Portland State University.
DR. CALEB LACK
Caleb W. Lack, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling Practicum Coordinator in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma, a licensed clinical psychologist and co-author of the book Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience- Why We Can’t Trust Our Brains.
He has published over 30 scientific articles and presented on a wide range of topics including children’s reactions to natural disasters, computer-based treatment of substance abuse, and innovative teaching and training methods.
He serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals and is a peer-reviewer and grant reviewer for national agencies. He has a clinical interest in evidence-based practice and specializes in the treatment of children and adults with anxiety disorders, psychological assessment, and has extensive experience with persons with chronic tics and Tourette’s Syndrome. He has been consulted and interviewed by various media outlets.
DR. CHAD WOODRUFF
Dr. Woodruff is a Social Neuroscientist and author of the book The Neuroscience of Empathy, Compassion, and Self-Compassion.
His research focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms underlying empathy, sympathy, compassion, and religious belief, using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure various brain signals. He particularly focuses on Batson's Empathy-Altruism hypothesis, which posits that failure to adopt another person's perspective leads to greater personal distress and the subsequent effect on EEG signals believed to reflect the activity of mirror neurons, which not only code the intentions of an individual but also seem to reflect the intentions of those with whom the individual interacts.
His lab typically employs 10-15 students who participate in all aspects of the research process, and among his most important findings are that putative mirror neuron activity has a complicated relationship with empathy in which one's empathic abilities increase with the ability of his/her mirror neuron systems ability to distinguish self from other (self-other discrimination).
JENNIFER WHITSON PH.D.
Jennifer Whitson received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Management and Organizations, and her BA from the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of The Emotional Roots of Conspiratorial Perceptions, System Justification, and Belief in the Paranormal.
Her research focuses on illusory and accurate pattern perception and how the experience of power changes the way we come to understand the world around us, and has both psychological and management implications. Her research has received numerous media mentions including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Telegraph, and Psychology Today.
She also replicated her experiment for Morgan Freeman’s TV show Through The Wormhole.