Podcast Ep. 119: Leighann Lord, Comedian

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, I spoke with Leighann Lord, a comedian and co-host of the StarTalk podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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Lord has performed stand-up on Comedy Central and HBO, has won several awards for her work, and written books including Dict Jokes and Real Women Do It Standing Up.

I spoke with her about how she went from a corporate job to a comedy stage, why performing at colleges has become tougher for comedians, and why unique outreach to African American atheists is worthwhile.

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Podcast Ep. 118: David Diskin, President of Camp Quest West

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with David Diskin, the President of Camp Quest West. Camp Quest is a summer camp for children that embraces science, natural wonder, and humanist values.

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Diskin has worked with Camp Quest West since 2010. He has been a long-time activist in California, co-founding the Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers and Sunday Assembly Sacramento. He also serves on the boards of California Freethought Day, the Secular Coalition for California, and the national Reason Rally Coalition.

We spoke with him about whether children of religious parents ever attend the camp, how the camp’s curriculum has changed over the years, and what he hopes Camp Quest achieves in the next few years.

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Podcast Ep. 117: John de Lancie, Star Trek‘s “Q”

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with John de Lancie, an actor best known for his portrayal of Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager.

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Podcast Ep. 116: Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, Cognitive Psychologist and Memory Expert

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive psychologist who specializes in the malleability of human memory. She has done groundbreaking research into why our memories are not always reliable and how we might create false memories that we fully accept as real.

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Since earning her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University, Dr. Loftus has published 23 books, more than 500 scientific articles, and is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine.

We spoke with her about how faulty memories can form in our minds, whether research into this subject is ethical, and if “believing the victim” is always the way to go.

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Podcast Ep. 115: Dr. Jerry Coyne, Author of Faith vs. Fact

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Jerry Coyne, author, most recently, of Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.

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Dr. Coyne is a now-retired Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He has written over 115 refereed scientific papers; 130 additional articles, book reviews, and columns; and a scholarly book about his field (Speciation, co-authored with H. Allen Orr).

He may be most familiar to listeners for his book Why Evolution is True (which spawned his blog of the same name).

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Coyne about why science and religion are incompatible, the problems with the “Regressive Left” on college campuses, and what he discusses with his atheist/scientist friends.

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