Dr. Alan Guth
Alan Guth, Ph.D, is a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research focuses on what the theory of elementary particles can tell us about the birth and fate of the universe. He is best known for working out the "inflationary theory" of the universe, which holds that during the first fraction of a millisecond after the Big Bang, fundamental forces drove the newborn universe to expand at unimaginable speed -- vastly faster, even, than the speed of light. Guth's inflationary model accounted for some curious features of the modern universe which the older, more naively straightforward Big Bang theory could not. He is the author of a popular book, The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins, about the state of modern cosmology and his own experiences as a scientist.
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Dr. Stuart Hameroff
Anesthesiologist, Consciousness Researcher
Stuart Hameroff, M.D., is a professor of anesthesiology and psychology at the University of Arizona, where he is associate director and co-founder of the Center for Consciousness Studies. He is also a clinical anesthesiologist. He has written or edited five books including Ultimate Computing: Biomolecular Consciousness and Nanotechnology. Hameroff co-developed, with physicist Sir Roger Penrose, the "Orch OR" theory of consciousness. The mainstream view of consciousness holds that it arises from the complex interactions between neurons in the brain. Orch OR proposes instead that consciousness happens through "quantum computations" (interactions that take place according to the bizarre, alien logic of quantum mechanics) occurring inside the networks of tiny tubes (microtubules) inside of neurons.
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Dr. David Herrelko
David A. Herrelko, Ph.D., was a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. He is now the New Engineer Leadership Professor at the University of Dayton, where he helps engineering students prepare for their careers. He is also site leader at the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that does research and development in engineering and information technology for the U.S. government. Herrelko began his military career in 1970 and served for three decades in numerous posts supervising the research and development of military technology, including aerospace electronics, precision-guided weapons, and radar, reconnaissance, communications, and air traffic control systems.
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Alice S. Huang
Alice Huang, Ph.D, is senior councilor for external relations and a faculty associate in biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She began her career as a microbiologist and eventually became a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School, where she made important discoveries in virology. She has since moved on to a far-ranging career dealing variously with medicine, science and technology policy, science writing, and higher education. She holds several chairs and sits on several boards of major organizations, including the Foundation for Microbiology and the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products. Prior to coming to Caltech, Huang was Dean for Science at New York University. Her husband, Nobel laureate David Baltimore, is also a panelist on Closer to Truth.
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
Islamic Scholar, Chemist
Muzaffar Iqbal, Ph.D., is the founder-president of the Center for Islam and Science in Canada. Iqbal began his career as a biochemist and held academic and research positions at universities in the United States and Canada. Later he moved to Pakistan where he worked with the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, helping to develop scientific institutions in the Muslim world.
Iqbal's areas of active interest include the intellectual history of Islam, the Islamic philosophy of science, Islam and the West, and Islam and the contemporary world. He has written and edited several books. Apart from the ones that deal with Islam and the modern world, they include two novels, many short stories, compilations of ancient poetry, and a biography of Herman Melville. His most recent books are Islam and Science and God, Life & the Cosmos: Christian and Islamic Perspectives. Iqbal is also the editor of Kalam (www.kalam.org), a moderated listserv and news service dedicated to the promotion of a constructive discourse on Islam and science.
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Portia Iversen and her husband Jon Shestack co-founded the Cure Autism Now (CAN) foundation in 1995 after learning that their two year-old son Dov was autistic. Autism is a developmental brain disorder that affects the ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. Affecting around one in 500 people, autism has several varieties and spans a wide range of severity.
CAN has been very effective at increasing public awareness of autism and expanding government support for autism research. Recently, the foundation brought an autistic teenager named Tito, and his mother Soma, to the United States so that North American scientists could meet and study him. Before founding CAN, Iversen was a screenwriter and an Emmy Award-winning art director.
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Dr. William T. Jarvis
Public Health Expert, Consumer Health Advocate
William Jarvis, Ph.D, is a retired professor of public health and preventive medicine at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. His specialties include consumer health education and public health issues such as fluoridation of the water supply, immunization, pasteurization, and food technology. He is also an expert on the claims of alternative, pseudoscientific, deviant, and paranormal medical practices, as well as health fraud, quackery, and food faddism. Jarvis is founder and president of the National Council Against Health Care Fraud and is co-author of a textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent
Decisions, 7th Edition.
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Dr. Christof Koch
Christof Koch, Ph.D., is a professor of computation and neural systems at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Koch studies the neuronal basis of consciousness, and especially visual consciousness, since vision is the best understood of all the human senses. Not satisfied with the limits and vagueness of philosophy, Koch and other scientists are hunting for the "neural correlates of consciousness." In other words they are gathering hard data about which cells and circuits in the brain are active during specific conscious experiences. They hope such data will lead to new theories on consciousness, which many people see as life's central mystery. Koch is the author a popular science book, The Quest for Consciousness: A Scientific Approach, and a textbook, Biophysics of Computation. He is also an avid rock climber and adventurer.
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Dr. Steven E. Koonin
Dr. Steven Koonin, Ph.D, is provost and a professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). His research interests include theoretical nuclear, many-body, and computational physics, nuclear astrophysics, and global environmental science. He has served on a number of advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense and its various national laboratories. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Andrea Kovacs, M.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics and pathology at USC's Keck School of Medicine. She heads the Department of Pediatrics and is director of the Comprehensive Maternal/Child HIV Management and Research Center at the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. Since Kovacs took the reins there, HIV clinical trials for transmission rate from mother to infant have been brought to zero. Her expertise includes clinical virology, maternal/child AIDS treatment, and antiviral AIDS drugs in children.