David Diskin, President of Camp Quest West

David Diskin is the President of Camp Quest West. Camp Quest is a summer camp for children that embraces science, natural wonder, and humanist values.

David has worked with the group 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.

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, we spoke with David 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.

If you’d like to make a donation to Camp Quest, you can do so here.

John de Lancie, Star Trek‘s “Q”

John de Lancie is an actor best known for his portrayal of “Q” on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He’s also appeared on Breaking Bad and The West Wing. In September, he filmed a video for the Openly Secular campaign.

So what happens when two people who have never watched Star Trek get a chance to interview him on extremely short notice? We talk about the current golden age of television, what defines a great actor, and whether we need to use labels like “Humanist” at all.

We spoke at the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, where he was receiving the Humanist Arts Award.

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, Cognitive Psychologist and Memory Expert

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus is 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.

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.

At the recent American Humanist Association conference in Chicago, where she was receiving the Isaac Asimov Award, 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.

Notes:

Be sure to check out Dr. Loftus’ 2013 TED talk!

Dr. Jerry Coyne, Author of Faith vs. Fact

Dr. Jerry 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 books Why Evolution is True (which spawned his blog of the same name) and Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.

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.

(Image via Robert Kozloff)