Board of Directors
Lawrence Krauss (President) is an internationally known theoretical physicist, bestselling author, and an acclaimed lecturer. He has also appeared regularly on radio and television, as well as in several feature films, including two directed by the legendary Werner Hertzog. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and outreach, inlcuding major awards from all three US physics societies, and the 2012 Public Service Award from the National Science Board, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. He has held numerous professorships and distinguished research appointments, most recently as Foundation Professor and Director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project, and was Chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from 2007 to 2018. The author of more than 500 publications and 10 popular books, his latest book, The Greatest Story Ever Told–So Far, was released in March 2017.Close
Amelia Huggins (Executive Director) is a conscientious leader with a diverse background leading robust and dynamic teams in higher education, volunteer organizations, and small to large companies. She has a bachelor of science degree in marketing, and a proven record of significantly advancing the mission of any organization she has been a part of. Fostering collaborations, building partnerships and creating win win solutions that advance knowledge to better humankind and the planet are passions of hers. She is fourth generation Arizonan and a true humanitarian.Close
John Edwards (Treasurer) is the President of Window Products Management (WPM). WPM is an architectural consulting firm that helps its clients design healthy, energy efficient buildings. John has a unique background as it relates to energy and glass, has written several published articles on the topic, and has contributed to architectural training programs. An Arizona native, John is a former Chairman of the Arizona Energy Management Council and served on a committee for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.Close
Joseph Logan (Secretary) is the founder and Managing Partner for Pinnacle Group International. Pinnacle Group is a leading boutique executive search specializing in recruiting professionals for companies in the endowment & foundation, family office, lower middle market PE and private debt sectors. For over 30 years, his firm has sourced exceptional investment professionals to help build successful investment teams. He is also a passionate environmental advocate who is concerned with raising awareness about the existential threat of global climate change and species extinction. Joseph splits his time between Carefree, AZ and Boulder, CO.Close
Steven Horne is an attorney in Atlanta, GA, and is a founding partner of the Horne Law Group. He holds two bachelor’s degrees; one in Management and the other in Marketing. He obtained his law degree from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, GA, where he specialized in International Law, with an emphasis in Public International Law, Human Rights, International Organizations, and Humanitarian Law. His international experience has come from multiple scholastic and employment opportunities overseas. His work abroad has been in Brazil, Japan, and the Virgin Islands. During his collegiate and Juris Doctorate education, he attended schools twice in Italy, then in Geneva, Switzerland, partnering with the United Nations, and lastly in England at the University of Oxford. His travels have taken him to 70+ countries and he currently sits on the board of directors for two international non-profits.Close
Board of Advisors
Anthony Grayling is Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. Until 2011 he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over thirty books on philosophy and other subjects; among his most recent are “The Good Book”, “Ideas That Matter”, “Liberty in the Age of Terror” and “To Set Prometheus Free”. For nearly ten years was the Honorary Secretary of the principal British philosophical association, the Aristotelian Society. He is a past chairman of June Fourth, a human rights group concerned with China, and is a representative to the UN Human Rights Council for the International Humanist and Ethical Union and is also an officer of various other international humanist associations.Close
Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist. He is based in Cambridge, where he has been Director of the Institute of Astronomy, a Research Professor, and Master of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society (the academy of science for UK and Commonwealth) during 2005-2010. In 2005 he was appointed to the UK’s House of Lords. He belongs to numerous foreign academies including those of the US, Russia, Japan and the Vatican and has received many international awards, including the Balzan, Crafoord, Bower, Gruber and Templeton prizes. He is the author of nine books including ‘Before the Beginning’, ‘Just Six Numbers’ and ‘Our Cosmic Habitat. In addition to his involvement in international science and policy, he has been concerned with the threats stemming from humanity’s ever-heavier’ footprint’ on the global environment, and with the runaway consequences of ever more powerful technologies. His most recent book ‘’On the Future: Prospects for Humanity’ addresses these issues.Close
Daniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He also co-directs the Program on Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Dan’s interests include climate change, energy technology, energy policy, and digital technology policy. He has studied climate change over the broadest range of Earth’s history, including how climate change and the chemical evolution of the atmosphere influenced the evolution of life in the past, and what steps might be taken to prepare for impacts of climate change in the future. He is currently working on understanding how tropical ocean dynamics relates to decadal climate variability and climate prediction. From 2009 to 2017, he served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST), contributing to many reports to the President on a variety of topics including energy technology and national energy policy, agricultural preparedness, climate change, big data and privacy, the use of forensic science in criminal justice, and STEM education.Close
Penn Jillette is an Emmy-winning magician, actor and New York Times Best-Selling author. As the larger, louder half of famed magic-comedy duo Penn & Teller, he is the longest-running headliner in Las Vegas history and star of The CW’s hit series, Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He is a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN digital.Close
Thomas Houlon and Patty Barnes are founder and directors of Spirit of the Senses, a Phoenix based organization exploring a vast range of ever-evolving ideas through informal gatherings – salons. Since 1983, Spirit of the Senses has been a mobile social experience of arts, science and culture for curious minds, meeting in private homes and spaces. In addition, Thomas and Patty lead Spirit of the Senses trips to New York City, Boston and California.Close
Julia Sweeney is an actress, comedian, writer and film director. She was born in the U.S. in Spokane, Washington in 1959. She’s appeared on numerous film and television shows and is well known for her years on Saturday Night Live. She has created several comedic one-person shows.
Julia spent four and a half years on Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1994. Her most popular recurring character was Pat, an androgynous person who caused people to become confused. She also wrote and starred in a film about Pat entitled It’s Pat! This film had a dismal reception at the box office and was universally panned by critics. That was basically the end of Pat, although the character still seems to be part of American popular culture.
After Julia left Saturday Night Live, she became most well known as a monologist. Her first one-person show was entitled God Said Ha! which chronicled a terrible year when she and her brother were both diagnosed with cancer. This show was a tremendous success; it played in several U.S. cities and on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater in 1997. The audio of the show was nominated for a Grammy. Quentin Tarantino produced a film version of the show, which Julia directed. It still plays on cable.
Julia’s second monologue was entitled In the Family Way. It chronicled Julia’s quest to become a mother and her eventual adoption of a child as a single person. She did theater runs of this show in New York off-Broadway and in Los Angeles.
Julia’s third monologue was Letting Go of God. It’s a story about her quest to find a God in which she could truly believe. She chronicles her discovery of science and her slow, but firm, adoption of a scientific worldview. She becomes openly secular, even withstanding the rejection of her parents. Julia performed this show all over the world, including in New York and Los Angeles. The play won numerous awards. The film of the show, which Julia directed, played on Showtime.
In 2013, Julia wrote a memoir, If Its Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother. It was published by Simon and Schuster.
In 2018, Julia opened her show, Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider, at The Second City in Chicago. It opened in Los Angeles in 2019.
In 2008 Julia married Michael Blum, and he adopted her daughter. Michael is a biophysicist. They lived in the Chicago area for ten years. In 2019, they relocated to Los Angeles.Close
Jenny Boylan is the author of fifteen books, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her column “Men & Women” appears on the op/ed page of the New York Times on alternate Wednesdays. She serves on the Board of Trustees of PEN America, the nonprofit advocating for authors, readers, and freedom of expression. From 2011 to 2018 she served on the Board of Directors of GLAAD and she was co-chair of GLAAD’s board of directors from 2013-17.Close
Gerry Ohrstrom is a private investor in New York City and former chairman of the Ohrstrom Foundation, a family foundation. His principal background is in manufacturing, investment banking, and private equity. In recent years Gerry has spent much of his time in the nonprofit sector. He is or has been a director of various corporations and nonprofit organizations, including the Reason Foundation, the Santa Fe Institute, Atlas Network, the Gruter Institute, the Intelligence Squared debate series, the Booker T, Washington Learning Center, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. His primary interests include education, scientific research, economics, public policy, and issues of poverty.Close
Noam Chomsky is one of the most cited scholars in modern history. Considered to be the founder of modern linguistics, he has written more than 100 books and received numerous awards, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal and the Ben Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science. He holds a joint appointment as Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and laureate professor at the University of Arizona and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the National Academy of Science. Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, contemporary issues, international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.Close
Sheldon Glashow is an American theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work helping unify two of the four forces of nature He is the author of over 300 research papers and articles as well as three books: “Interactions”, “The Charm of Physics”, and “From Alchemy to Quarks”. Currently, he is the Metcalf Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Boston University and Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, and a member of the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.Close
Susan Solomon is the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to coming to MIT in 2012, she was a scientist at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado. She is well known for her pioneering work in atmospheric chemistry, including explaining the cause of the hole in the Antarctic ozone layer. She is also the author of several influential scientific papers in climate science, including the understanding of how the ozone hole influences southern hemisphere climate. She received the US National Medal of Science in 1999. She has also received the Grande Medaille of the French Academy of Sciences, the Blue Planet Prize in Japan, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award, the Crafoord Prize of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the Volvo Environment Prize. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society in the UK. Time magazine named Solomon as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008. Two geographic features in Antarctica have been named after her, Solomon Saddle and Solomon Glacier.Close
Eric Sievers is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist serving more than 25 years in biotechnology and academia. An educator, speaker, inventor, and strategist, he has authored/co-authored over 60 professional publications including manuscripts appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, and The Journal of Clinical Oncology among others. He has led clinical development of approved cancer treatments including the antibody-drug conjugate, ADCETRIS, for the treatment of lymphoma.Close
Elizabeth Kolbert was a political reporter at The New York Times before joining the staff at The New Yorker, where she has been since 1999. Among her many pieces, her series on global warming “The Climate of Man,” won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award. The author of two books, her most recent, “The Sixth Extinction” was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Among her other honors, she has received a National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category for her work in the New Yorker, the Sierra Club’s David R. Brower Award, and the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union.Close
Ian Tattersall is curator emeritus in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He has carried out both primatological and paleontological fieldwork in countries as diverse as Madagascar, Vietnam, Surinam, Yemen, and Mauritius. Trained in archaeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and in geology and vertebrate paleontology at Yale University, his major research focus currently is on how modern humans acquired a unique style of thinking, and how we managed to dominate the planet while other human species went extinct.Close
Sidney Altman is a molecular biologist who studies the various roles of RNA, including catalysis. He is an Emeritus Professor at Yale University. He received his B.S. from MIT (physics) and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado (biophysics). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1989) and the Mikhail Lomonosov Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2016).Close
David Gross has been a central figure in particle physics and string theory and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his role in discovery the nature of the interactions between quarks that forms part of the Standard Model of particle physics. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley before spending three years as Junior Fellow at Harvard University. He went on to become a professor at Princeton University and in 1986, was named Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. He served as Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1997 to 2012 and is presently a Permanent Member there where he holds the Chancellor’s Chair Professor in Theoretical Physics.Close
Ian McEwan is an English novelist and screenwriter whose works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. Winner of numerous literary awards, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Society of Arts, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Supporter of Humanists UK and in 2000, was created Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). His most recent book Machines Like Me, poses fundamental questions about what makes us human.Close
Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s leading scientific intellectuals. An English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and bestselling author, he is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the first Charles Simonyi Professor for Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford until 2008. He is the author of 14 books, including The Selfish Gene, which helped to popularize the gene centered view of evolution. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to promote scientific literacy and secularism. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and also of the Royal Society of Literature.Close
Nicole Jon Sievers is an innovative problem-solver, speaker, writer, educator, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In 2011, Nicole founded the non-profit Stand For Courage bullying-prevention program, which employs stories, creativity, and popular-culture to recognize students leading bystander action to eradicate bullying. An avid supporter of the arts, she has served on the Seattle Music Commission since 2014, where she champions community-building, creative-arts, and educational initiatives while promoting Seattle’s vibrant music culture. Her 2015 book, “It’s Your Mind: Own It!” offers neuroscience-based information and tools for adolescents. She is also a producer in an upcoming documentary film about the bystander’s role in bullying prevention.Close
Richard Somerville is an internationally recognized climate scientist and an expert on communicating clearly to the public what scientists have learned about climate change. Among many honors, he has been named a Fellow of three major scientific societies: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He has received awards from the AMS for both his research and his popular book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change. He is an author, co-author or editor of more than 200 scientific publications. He is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, where he has been a professor since 1979.Close
Steven Weinberg holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments. He is a Nobel Laureate for his work on the electroweak theory, unifying two of the four forces of nature, and has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society, as well as to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his published research, he is a long-time contributor to the New York Review of Books and the author of 13 books including ‘The First Three Minutes’, ‘Dreams of a Final Theory’, ‘Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries’, and To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science’.Close
Elizabeth Loftus is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California – Irvine. She holds faculty positions in the Department of Psychological Science; the Department of Criminology, Law & Society, and the School of Law She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 22 books and over 500 scientific articles. Loftus research has focused on the malleability of human memory. She has been recognized for her research with seven honorary doctorates and election to numerous prestigious societies, including the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science, the Western Psychological Association, and the American Psychology-Law Society.Close
Sarah Rose Siskind is a science comedy writer and performer in New York City. She headwrites for StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson on Nat Geo as well as SciFi cartoons on Facebook Watch. She hosts a neuroscience show called “Drug Test” and writes jokes for a robot named Sophia. She once performed a birdcall on the Letterman show. This was probably what got her into Harvard. But she insists she deserves to be on a board with Richard Dawkins.
Follow her at @srsiskind.Close
Thomas Houlon and Patty Barnes are founder and directors of Spirit of the Senses, a Phoenix based organization exploring a vast range of ever-evolving ideas through informal gatherings – salons. Since 1983, Spirit of the Senses has been a mobile social experience of arts, science and culture for curious minds, meeting in private homes and spaces. In addition, Thomas and Patty lead Spirit of the Senses trips to New York City, Boston and California.
Rob Zeps is a successful business man and investor who is a black belt in jiu jitsu, as well as founder of Studio 540, a non-affiliated jiu jitsu school. A science enthusiast, he was an early backer of Beyond Belief, a series of seminars put on by The Science Network to promote science and reason.Close
Werner Herzog grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria and studied history and German literature in Munich and Pittsburgh. He made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then he has produced, written and directed more than sixty feature and documentary films such as, “Aguirre, The Wrath of God”, “Nosferatu”, “Fitzcarraldo”, “Grizzly Man”, “Encounters at the End of the World”, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” and “Lo and Behold”. Werner Herzog has published more than a dozen books of prose and directed as many operas.Close