Iain Martel - Chair
Iain has been co-chair of CASS since its inception. Currently working in university administration, he has a PhD in philosophy and spent almost twenty years teaching logic, critical thinking, philosophy of science and metaphysics at the University of Colorado, Reed College and the University of Toronto. A British citizen, it was during his graduate work in Colorado that he first experienced the horrors of the religious right: Focus on the Family, Promise Keepers, and the 40% of Americans who believe the Earth is only 6000 years old. After working with CASS, he now knows more about homeopathy and other pseudosciences than any rational person should.
Clifford W. Beninger
Clifford Beninger grew up in Sudbury, Ontario and completed high school there. He also completed a HBSc and MSc in biology at Carleton University and in 1990 began his PhD at the University of Ottawa, and conducted the research at the Canadian Forestry Service natural products lab in Sault Ste Marie Ontario. Since completion of his Ph.D. he has worked for the USDA and University of Guelph on a variety of research projects. He has 31 publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Chemical Ecology, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology and Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. He is also an editorial board member for the American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, and The Open Bioactive Compounds Journal. Currently Dr. Beninger is head of a company, ProScienceWrite, which is responsible for editing and writing articles for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Bart B. Van Bockstaele
Bart is a long-time computer programmer turned translator. He has written five books and co-written two on computer programming and other computer-related subjects. Bart is a correspondent for Wereldnet (Worldnet), a radio programme in the Netherlands, and the Canadian blogger for De Standaard, a leading Dutch-language newspaper in Belgium. Besides volunteering as a teacher at the Japanese-Canadian Cultural Centre and as a turtle-tallier for the Toronto Zoo, he is also active on Digital Journal and Newz4u, two small Canadian online news sites.
Carley Centen is a writer and communications professional. She recently completed an MA in Socio-Legal studies, an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on a critical analysis of the role of law and regulation in society. Her research focused on the regulation of protest and dissent in Canada, allowing her to explore one of her primary interests: freedom of expression and inquiry. Carley presently works as an Account Manager for a small digital media firm specializing in services for nonprofits in Ottawa. Her writing on everything from science to education and business has been published by a variety of print sources, including Metro News and the Canadian University Press, and in online blogs and magazines.
Gabriel Devenyi is a PhD candidate in Engineering Physics at McMaster University. He also holds a B Eng in Engineering Physics from McMaster. Engineering Physics is the study and use of modern physics theories such as Quantum Mechanics to produce and improve electrical and light based devices. Gabriel is studying the formation and interaction of nano-scale metal particles with light, and he is a founding organizer of the McMaster Association of Secular Humanists and actively involved in current running of the club. Gabriel is married to his wife, Diana, also a PhD student in Medical Physics at McMaster.
Chris Hebbern obtained his PhD in plant sciences from the University of Copenhagen. His current research involves the health effects of climate change in Canadian cities. He is co-organiser of the Ottawa Skeptics.
Chris graduated from the University of Liverpool, UK, with a degree in Zoology in 2005 and stayed at Liverpool to complete his PhD in environmental entomology in 2009. He moved to Canada in 2009 and since then has been a Postdoctoral Fellow funded by the Canadian and Ontarian Governments while working at Carleton University in Ottawa. His current research involves pure and applied topics in ecology and evolution, particularly urban ecology and entomology, and has been published in journals including Ecology Letters and Nature. In Ottawa he is a co-organiser of the Ottawa Skeptics and on the steering council of CFI Ottawa.
Brian Hicks is a senior accountant with the federal government. He has a BComm from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Management Accountant. Travel is a real passion, and having visited 75 countries around the world, he firmly believes it is one of the best ways to open one's mind. Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" is his favourite book of the past five years, and the impetus for his "coming out" as an atheist. Through CASS, he has been exposed to the horrors lurking in the shadowy recesses of mankind's less enlightened parts, and he is committed to shining a bright light into dark corners.
Edwin is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, where he is pursuing a masters degree in Political Science. His research focus is on religious expression within North American white supremacist groups. Edwin has given public lectures on the importance of critical thinking in public discourse, as well as talks discussing American white supremacist organizations. In his spare time, he keeps a skeptic-themed blog where he examines the claims of cult-archaeologists, medical con-men, and conspiracy theorists.
Steve Livingston has twin interests in the natural and social sciences: he completed his BSc in biology and BA (Honours) in psychology at the University of Winnipeg, and his MA in social psychology at The Ohio State University. As an experimental social psychologist he studied persuasion and prejudice, and taught psychology at Ohio State and the University of Toronto Scarborough. He believes strongly in the value of open inquiry, critical thinking, and evidence-based policy. He lives and works in Toronto.
Christopher Patriquin is currently training as an adult hematologist at McMaster University. Before this, he attained his MD (2008) and completed his core internal medicine training at the University of Western Ontario. Christopher has his honours bachelor of health sciences (BHSc) from McMaster University in 2004, with a focus on immunology. He has broad and diverse interests in all areas of the skeptical/critical thinking movement, but focuses primarily on dispelling the fallacious claims of complementary/alternative health practices and other pseudoscientific aspects as they pertain to medicine (ex. homeopathy, vaccine denialsim, etc.). As a busy trainee, his main outlets currently include educating his family, friends, colleagues, and patients to ensure they are informed and safe. In the future, he hopes to also be involved in policy decisions, to educate and protect people on a larger scale.
Brief bios and areas of interest of other members will be posted in the coming weeks.