Eric Adriaans is the National Executive Director of Centre For Inquiry Canada. Eric has been a charitable sector professional since 1991 and has worked and volunteered with many of Canada’s most respected organizations. At CFI Canada, Eric has led an organization renewal with program focus on human rights, education and health sciences. Programs of interest include support to new Canadians and the connections to international events, Canada’s blasphemous libel law, the impact of superstition on people with albinism and the impact of religion and pseudoscience on public health and the Canadian health system. Eric has a B.A (Psychology and English) from Carleton University and is currently enrolled in Athabasca University’s Legislative Drafting program.
Dr. Hector Avalos is Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, where he was named Professor of the Year in 1996, and a Master Teacher in 2003-04. A former fundamentalist preacher and faith healer, Dr. Avalos is now one of the few openly atheist biblical scholars in academia. Born in Mexico, Avalos received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1982, and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1985. In 1991, he became the first Mexican American to earn a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies at Harvard. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence (2005) and The End of Biblical Studies (2007). His forthcoming book is The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics (2015).
Scott Carnegie is a father of four and a veteran videographer and media professional. He was an active member of the Mormon faith for much of his adult life and eventually embraced skepticism and the scientific process and now describes himself as an atheist. Scott gives presentations about Mormonism based on its cannon and his own experiences in order to entertain and educate.
Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, on topics including atheism, sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind. She is one of the most widely- read and well- respected bloggers in the atheist blogosphere, and was recently ranked by an independent analyst as one of the Top Ten most popular atheist bloggers. She is a regular atheist correspondent for AlterNet, the online political magazine with over 1,200,000 hits a week, and has been writing about atheism and skepticism for Greta Christina’s Blog since 2005. Her atheist and skeptical writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Skeptical Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the anthology Everything You Know About God Is Wrong.
Apart from her books, her best-known pieces of writing are probably “Are We Having Sex Now or What?”, “Atheists and Anger,” and “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing do Do With God.” “Are We Having Sex Now or What?” has been reprinted numerous times, most notably in the Alan Soble anthology “Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings,” and is taught in college and university courses around the world.
She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Ingrid.
Tracie Harris graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida, including areas of specialization in anthropology, communication and studio art. Raised in the fundamentalist Church of Christ, she began creating the online counter-apologetic comic strip, “Atheist Eve,” (2004-2013) shortly after her deconversion to atheism. Tracie became a member of the Atheist Community of Austin (ACA), and began volunteering as cohost for the award-winning program “The Atheist Experience” in 2006. She also currently serves on the ACA board of directors as secretary. She is a regular voice on the ACA atheist/feminist podcast “Godless Bitches” and has been an occasional voice on ACA’s “Non-Prophets.” Tracie presents to local atheist community groups about activism and has appeared as a guest on a number of atheist podcasts. She has participated as a presenter in Q&A sessions at meetings of the Atheist Alliance of America and American Atheists, and was featured as part of Chris Johnson’s “A Better Life” project in 2012 (highlighting purpose and meaning in the lives of atheists), and was a speaker at ReasonCon One in 2014.
PZ Myers is a biologist at the University of Minnesota Morris, with a special interest in developmental biology and evolution. He’s been battling creationists and bible-wallopers on the internet since 1993, and has gotten slightly curmudgeonly about it all. The blog Pharyngula is his outlet for venting his fury at faith, stupidity, and injustice, an occupation which somehow led to him being named American Humanist of the Year in 2009, and International Humanist of 2011 by the IHEU. He’s confident that science is the only tool we have for reaching new knowledge, regards faith and ignorance as vices, and finds happiness with his family.
Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson obtained a doctorate from the University of Calgary that focused on his technique of mapping the self, and he has applied that technology in academic publications on religious propagation, residential school syndrome, prior learning assessment and recognition, therapeutic interventions, aboriginal self development, and cross-cultural counselling. He has recently published on the evolution of Native Spirituality as a new religious movement. He is currently pursuing research into the nature of the terrorist self, male stigma as it affects men’s identity, and the role of ceremony in humanist self-development. This latter research interest will be the focus of his presentation to the River City Reasonfest conference.
Dr. Robertson is currently in private practise as a counselling psychologist in northern Saskatchewan. He also teaches a graduate class at Athabasca University on the evolution of psychotherapy and serves as a consultant to a local community college and to a national distance education university. He has previously presented to national and international audiences on issues related to prior learning assessment, self-structure, counselling in northern and remote communities, the effects of Indian residential schools, suicide treatment and prevention, and community development in mental health. He is a Humanist Canada board member.
Professor Schafer is Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, at the University of Manitoba. He is also a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy and an Ethics Consultant for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Department of Child Health. For ten years he was Head of the Section of Bio-Medical Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Manitoba. He has also served as Visiting Scholar Green College, Oxford.
Professor Schafer has received a number of awards and honours. He is a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, Honorary Woodrow Wilson Scholar, and a Canada Council Fellow. At the University of Manitoba he has received the Stanton Teaching Excellence Award, the Campbell Award for University Outreach, and the University Teaching Service Award for Teaching Excellence.
Arthur Schafer has published widely in the fields of moral, social, and political philosophy. He is author of The Buck Stops Here: Reflections on moral responsibility, democratic accountability and military values, and co-editor of Ethics and Animal Experimentation. His curriculum vitae lists more than 90 scholarly articles and book chapters, covering a wide range of topics, with a special focus on issues in professional and bio-medical ethics, business and environmental ethics. Professor Schafer is National Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which has published two of his Reports. He has made several hundred conference presentations in Canada and abroad, and has written dozens of newspaper articles for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Medical Post, and The Sunday Times (London).
Stephanie Zvan is a Minneapolis-based writer and activist. She hosts Minnesota Atheists’ long-running radio show, Atheists Talk. Her blog, Almost Diamonds, was chosen as Secular Woman’s blog of the year in 2013 for her work to make the secular movement more welcoming to everyone. She’s one of the organizers of the Secular Women Work conference and of Freethought Blogs online conference FtBCon(science).
Speaker lineup and schedule may be subject to change.