Conference Headliners

If you were planning a conference for atheists, a few potential speakers immediately come to mind: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Julia Sweeney, etc.

I think most atheists who live in large cities — or have the money and ability to travel to a conference — have met these big names already. If you *really* wanted to meet Christopher Hitchens, for example, it’s not all that hard to do it. He travels and speaks very often and just about everywhere. If you haven’t met him yet, you just haven’t been trying very hard.

With that in mind: Are there any atheist authors or speakers you would like to meet at one of these conferences but have not been able to yet?

If they were invited, would you be more inclined to register for and travel to the conference?


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Siamang

    Bill Mahr might be interesting, or at least entertaining.

  • http://purduenontheists.com Jennifurret

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind meeting you. Not trying to suck up, you just sound like a genuinely nice, fun guy. And since you’re in my age group, I don’t think I’d feel as intimidated meeting you as I would be meeting Dawkins or anyone else. Um..yep, yay =)

  • Slut

    I live in a small town, so I haven’t met any of the big names yet. The big names are what would draw me to travel to the conference. Well, Sam Harris, not so much. He lost me when he said atheists should uh..pretend not to be atheists or something like that.

    Others not mentioned I’d like to meet/hear: PZ Meyers, Hemant, Dan Barker, Michael Shermer, Susan Blackmore (!!!!!), Adam Lee, Alonzo Fyfe, and Earl Doherty (Jesuspuzzle.org). I’m sure there are more…

  • http://www.evolvedrational.com Evolved Rationalist

    Well, I’d like to meet Hemant Mehta, who unfortunately has never been to Pittsburgh to speak! We’ve got to fix that, Hemant! :-)

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Well, I’d like to meet Hemant Mehta, who unfortunately has never been to Pittsburgh to speak! We’ve got to fix that, Hemant! :-)

    You take care of travel and lodging, and I’m there in a heartbeat :-P

    Plus, I’m enjoying watching these Cubs/Pirates games lately…

  • http://www.evolvedrational.com Evolved Rationalist

    Hemant,

    Well, I’m going to be meeting you at the SSA Conference anyway, so I can just say la-la-la when the rest of your fans here give me jealous looks.

    (And here was little old me thinking that the presence of the great Evolved Rationalist alone would drag the Friendly Atheist over here to whack me out of my theistard-bashing ways and turn me to the ways of the Friendly! Humility was never my strong point. :-) )

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Actually, I’ve never been to an atheist conference. I do live in a big city, but I haven’t been active in the atheist community for all that long; I can’t afford to travel very much; and there haven’t been any conferences in San Francisco that I know about.

    So yes. Dawkins or Sweeney would very much be a draw for me. Dennett, too — “Breaking the Spell” has been very influential on me, and I cite it all the time. PZ would be a draw, too.

    And, of course, so would my favorite atheist bloggers, like Ebonmuse and Hemant.

  • http://www.atheistonline.ca Brad

    Up until last week I would have said Daniel Dennett. After getting a chance to meet him briefly after his talk on the Penn State Campus (which was a great talk btw), I dunno who’d top that list anymore.

    I’d love to meet Penn and Teller..one of the big reasons for my planned trip to Vegas next year for TAM…guess I’ll go with them. Bonus of that is getting to see a bunch of the usual suspects all at once. :)

  • Rose

    You!

    And Dale McGowan of Meming of Life/Parenting Beyond Belief.

    And Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer.

    And PZ, of course.

    Guess I’m a blogger groupie!

    Oh, and definitely, definitely, definitely Russell T. Davies and David Cronenberg. If those two alone were going to be in the same place at the same time I would drop everything and go.

  • Alycia

    Penn Jilette. David Cross.

    It would depend on how far the conference is from where I live. Time and money are more of an issue than who is speaking at the conference, though I would make more of an effort if it were one or both of these guys.

  • Spurs Fan

    Ani DiFranco!

  • http://www.rekounas.org rekounas

    I would like to see Richard Dawkins have week long meetings with Bush. I want CNN to cover the event and report on what shoes Richard is wearing this week.

    I want an event where 200,000 people cram into a stadium to here reason and logic. Is that too much to ask for?

    Why should the pope get that much air time? The guy symbolized pain and misery and guilt.

  • Emily

    RICHARD CARRIER.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    Hemant, I’d like to meet you and Nica Lalli. But I am not sure I’d go to a conference anyway, unless I was going to speak. I’ve kindof sworn off going to things as an attendee because it’s always so expensive.

  • Kate

    Is Raleigh/Durham considered a major city?

    Maybe the atheists are just afraid to come here. :)

  • christine

    And here was little old me thinking that the presence of the great Evolved Rationalist alone would drag the Friendly Atheist over here to whack me out of my theistard-bashing ways and turn me to the ways of the Friendly!

    Evolved Rationalist, are you Shalini Sehkar?

  • Spurs Fan

    To clarify my earlier remark, Ani DiFranco would probably be a better choice to be the musical entertainment at the conference. Though, her songs speak strongly of a worldview filled with rationalism and hope for humanity.

    And she’s just so amazingly beautiful!

  • http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/ C. L. Hanson

    As much as I hate to join the chorus of brown-nosers ;) the only “celebrity atheists” I’m really interested in meeting in person are the blog personalities: you, P.Z. , Greta, Ebonmuse. Wait a minute, I feel like I’ve seen this list somewhere….

    Coincidence… ? ;^)

  • Karen

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali!

  • Slut

    Oh yeah, I’d enjoy hearing Richard Carrier and also Penn & Teller.

  • Kevin

    Terry Pratchett and Scott Adams

  • http://www.evolvedrational.com Evolved Rationalist

    Evolved Rationalist, are you Shalini Sehkar?

    What makes you think so? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    *wink*

  • cyris8400

    I live in Oklahoma City and so far I’ve seen Dawkins and E.O. Wilson speak. I would definitely like to see Harris, Hitchens, Dennett, Hirsi Ali, Penn and Teller, maybe Shermer. The usual.

  • Sheri

    I would love to see Salman Rushdie, Susan Jacoby, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman, and Michael Shermer. (I have seen Dawkins, Hitchens, Dan Barker, and Julia Sweeney, but wouldn’t mind seeing them again.)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X