2018 LogiCal-LA Speaker‘s Bios and Talk Titles
Our Friday evening Panel of Speakers
Bob Novella is a co-founder and Vice-President of the New England Skeptical Society. He co-hosts the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast and blogs for SGU’s Rogues Gallery. He has also written numerous articles that are widely published in skeptical literature. Bob’s scientific interests lie in the extremes, from the gargantuan to the infinitesimal: astronomy and cosmology to particle physics and quantum mechanics. He is especially fascinated by the human capacity for self-deception and anticipated future technologies such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and human augmentation.
Donald Ross Prothero is an American paleontologist, geologist, and author who specializes in mammalian paleontology. His research has been in the field of magnetostratigraphy, a technique to date rock layers of the Cenozoic era and its use to date the climate changes which occurred 30-40 million years ago. He is the author or editor of more than 30 books and over 250 scientific papers, including five geology textbooks.
Cara Santa Maria
Cara Santa Maria is an American science communicator, journalist, producer, television host, and podcaster. Santa Maria wrote her first blog for The Huffington Post in March 2010 before joining the publication as its founding science correspondent and host of the Talk Nerdy to Me web series from October 2011 until April 2013. She also co-hosted Take Part Live with Jacob Soboroff on Pivot TV. She officially joined the online political and social commentary program The Young Turks as an occasional panelist in May 2013. She currently hosts her podcast Talk Nerdy and co-hosts The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, and was a co-host of TechKnow on Al Jazeera America.
Ross Blocher emerged from a childhood of Bible memorization, literal Creationism, and numerous books about ghosts and aliens as an adult with a keen interest in belief and the paranormal. Along with his co-host Carrie Poppy, Ross investigates fringe science, spirituality and all manner of extraordinary claims first-hand for the podcast “Oh No, Ross and Carrie!” He is also a decade-long member of the Independent Investigation Group, helping design and administer challenges to test extraordinary claims for a $100,000 prize.
Margaret Downey is the founder and president of The Freethought Society. She has represented the Skeptic community for eight years at the worlds-largest fantasy and Science Fiction convention. DragonCon is held every Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. Margaret organizes and conducts the skeptic entry in the world-famous DragonCon parade. The entry includes funny characters and a “Skeptics in History” section. The entry is recognized as “the most educational” section of the parade and Margaret considers it the perfect example of positive Skeptic outreach.