Here are profiles of all the speakers for the WeCanReason Conference 2024! Please note that all speakers and the schedule are subject to change; this list is accurate at the time of publishing. Please sign up for email updates as well as watch this page for the full schedule of speakers.
Hemant Mehta is the founder and editor of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, and a podcast co-host. He is a former National Board Certified math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago and continues to coach a competitive public speaking team. He has written multiple books, published crossword puzzles in the New York Times, and was a Jeopardy! champion.
Dr. Eugenie C. Scott is the former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc., a not for profit membership organization of scientists, teachers, and others that works to improve the teaching of science as a way of knowing, the teaching of evolution, and the teaching of climate change. A former college professor, Dr. Scott is an internationally-known expert on the creationism and evolution controversy and science denialism, and is called upon by the press and other media to explain science to the general public. The author of Evolution vs Creationism: An Introduction and co-editor with Glenn Branch of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for our Schools, she is the recipient of numerous awards from scientists and educators, and has been awarded ten honorary degrees. Asteroid 249540 Eugeniescott was named for her in 2014.
Dr Scott will be speaking on “Why Kitzmiller v Dover is relevant 20 years later“. Kitzmiller vs Dover was a 2005 federal district court trial over the legality of a small Pennsylvania town’s requirement of the teaching of “intelligent design theory” (ID). The judge ruled that ID was a form of creationism, violated the First Amendment of the Constitution, and was therefore illegal to advocate in the public school classroom.
Kat works in the University of Alberta’s Registrar’s Office; however, she also plays a role in shaping the future of healthcare through her mentorship of pharmacy and medical students regarding the potential pitfalls of herbal remedies. Coping with the consequences of taking herbal supplements has given her a unique perspective that she shares with the next generation of healthcare professionals. Her experience transformed her into an advocate for informed choices and a catalyst for change. Kat encourages students to become vigilant advocates for their patients, armed with the knowledge that can prevent the kind of suffering she endured. Kat’s presentations highlight the importance of critically evaluating the safety and efficacy of these products.
Jonathan Jarry is a science communicator with McGill University’s Office for Science and Society (OSS), dedicated to separating sense from nonsense on the scientific stage. He has a Master’s degree in molecular biology and he brings his experience in cancer research, human genetics, rehabilitation research, and forensic biology to the work he does for the public. With cardiologist Dr. Christopher Labos, he co-hosts the award-winning medical podcast The Body of Evidence, which aims to contextualize findings in the realm of health research and answer the public’s most pressing questions about the biomedical sciences while also being funny and entertaining. He talks about science most Fridays on CTV Montreal News and is regularly interviewed in both English- and French-language media.
Jonathan’s topic is coming soon, but you may experience the the Hawthorne effect while you wait .. stay tuned!