Madison, WI | March 8 - 10, 2013
Andrew L. Seidel graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a B.S. in neuroscience and environmental science, magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School, and completed his Master of Laws at Denver University Sturm College of Law with a perfect GPA. After practicing law in Colorado, he moved to Wisconsin to take a job with the Freedom From Religion Foundation as a Constitutional Consultant.
Amanda Knief is the Managing Director and In-House Legal Counsel for American Atheists. She is a public policy and constitutional expert on religious freedom and civil liberties, graduating with a JD from Drake University Law School and a BS in journalism and science communication from Iowa State University. She has previously worked as a legal counsel and legislative drafter for the Iowa Legislature and the lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America.
Chris Calvey is the event organizer for the Freethought Festival, and a leader of the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics (AHA!) at the UW-Madison. He holds degrees in Materials Science Engineering and Molecular & Cellular Biology from the UIUC, where he also founded the Illini Secular Student Alliance. He is currently pursuing a PhD, with research focusing on biofuel production in yeast. Prior to moving to Madison, he worked at the J. Craig Venter Institute and was a member of the team responsible for creating the world's first "Synthetic Bacterial Cell."
Dale McGowan is Executive Director of the Foundation Beyond Belief, and he is editor and co-author of Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, the first comprehensive resources for nonreligious parents. He writes the secular parenting blog The Meming of Life and presents seminars for nontheistic parents across the United States. He is the author of the new book, Atheism For Dummies.
Dan Barker is the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In his previous life, Dan was once a teenage evangelist, ordained pastor, Protestant missionary, and touring musical minister. He tells his remarkable story in the books Losing Faith in Faith, and Godless. Dan has travelled extensively to give lectures and debates at hundreds of university campuses across the world.
Darrel Ray has been a psychologist for over 30 years, practicing counseling and clinical psychology as well as organizational psychology and consulting. He has been a student of religion most of his life and holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology, a MA degree in religion, and a Doctorate in psychology. He is the author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, and Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.
Debbie Goddard is the Campus Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY. Her expertise in grassroots organizing stems from years of experience working with campus and community freethought groups. She is also the director of African Americans for Humanism, a program designed to support skeptics, doubters, humanists, and atheists in the African American community.
Desiree Schell is the host of Skeptically Speaking, a syndicated live radio show and podcast based in Edmonton, Alberta. Skeptically Speaking promotes critical thinking by encouraging listeners to understand the evidence, arguments, and science behind what’s in the news. Desiree has also been involved in social justice work and labor organizing, which inform her educational workshops on what makes effective activism.
Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. She has been a leading activist opposing creationism/intelligent design for over twenty-five years, and is an expert on the educational, legal, scientific, and religious issues surrounding evolution. Eugenie is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.
Greta Christina is one of the most widely-read and well-respected writers in the atheist blogosphere. She is a regular atheist correspondent for AlterNet, and has been writing about atheism, skepticism, sexuality, LGBT issues, politics, and culture on Greta Christina’s Blog since 2005. She is also the author of the new book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless.
Hemant Mehta is a high school math teacher from Naperville, IL, blogger at friendlyatheist.com, and author of I Sold My Soul on eBay. He has worked with several non-theistic organizations, including the Secular Student Alliance and the Foundation Beyond Belief. His new book: The Young Atheist's Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive is available now.
Jesse Galef, is the Communications Director for the Secular Student Alliance. Jesse graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science. Prior to joining the SSA in 2010, he also worked for the Secular Coalition for America and the American Humanist Association.
JT Eberhard is a professional atheist speaker, firebrand, and blogger at What Would JT Do? Previously, JT worked as the SSA’s Campus Organizer, specializing in assisting the formation of High School groups. JT also co-founded the Missouri State University Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which became one of the nation's largest college skeptic groups, as the host of the annual Skepticon convention.
Katherine Stewart is a journalist and investigative reporter based in New York City. She has written for Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications. In 2009, she published The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, a chilling exposé of the well-funded and highly coordinated efforts to use public schools to advance fundamentalist Christianity.
Kathy Goodman earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in 2011, and is currently an assistant professor at Miami University in Ohio. Her research interests involve diversity and equity in higher education, particularly for atheist college students. Kathy’s recent publications include: “Invisible, marginalized, and stigmatized: Understanding and addressing the needs of atheist students” and “Atheist students on campus: From misconceptions to inclusion.”