Dr. Shri Kulkarni
Shrinivas "Shri" Kulkarni, Ph.D, is a professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). His research interests include: the super-dense remnants of exploded stars (pulsars, neutron stars and black holes); the gasses and dust clouds that fill the space between stars; and the development of new methods and instruments for observing the cosmos. In 2001 he was elected to the British Royal Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious international scientific societies.
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Dan Labriola, N.D., is a naturopathic physician with the Northwest Natural Health Specialty Care Clinic. Labriola works with cancer patients who wish to pursue both conventional treatment, such as chemotherapy and surgery, and alternative medical approaches, such as dietary, botanical and psychological therapies. His book, Complementary Cancer Therapies, has received praise from both the mainstream and alternative cancer communities for its balanced approach, making Labriola one of the few physicians in the United States to successfully bridge the two. He works as a consultant to hospitals, bone marrow transplantation centers, and cancer treatment facilities worldwide.
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Dr. Seth Lloyd
Seth Lloyd, Ph.D, is a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a principal investigator at the Research Laboratory of Electronics, and also holds an appointment at the Santa Fe Institute. Lloyd is interested in how systems of all kinds -- computers, atoms, brains, cells, societies, and the universe as a whole -- process information. He has done important work on the tricky but essential problem of scientifically defining "complexity," which is relevant to understanding all those systems. Lloyd is also a leading pioneer in the field of quantum computing, which involves harnessing the bizarre, counterintuitive properties of matter at the atomic scale to create, someday, a dazzling new class of computer.
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Dr. Peter Loewenberg
Peter Loewenberg, Ph.D, is a professor of history and political psychology at UCLA. He is also dean of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. Combining his expertise in psychoanalysis, political science and history, Loewenberg studies and teaches European history, political psychology, and "psychohistory" -- using the tools of psychology to explain historical trends and events, as well as their application to understanding the present-day world. He visits these themes in his writings, which include two books: Decoding the Past: The Psychohistorical Approach and Fantasy and Reality in History. He has lectured and taught widely in many countries. As a psychoanalyst, he also maintains a clinical practice.
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Dr. Donald E. Miller
Donald E. Miller, Ph.D, is a professor of religion and a social scientist. He directs the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC, which studies the civic role of religion in Southern California and collaborates with congregations, academics, funders, and faith-based organizations in creative ways.
Miller is co-editor of the book Gen X Religion and the author of several other books including: Writing and Research in Religious Studies; Homeless Families: The Struggle for Dignity; Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide; and Reinventing American Protestantism: Christianity in the New Millennium. Miller has also written widely in other media, and has issued reports and testimony to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations and the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Rajarshi "Tito" Mukhopadhyay
Tito Mukhopadhyay is an autistic teenager from India who is teaching scientists a great deal about autism. Autism is a developmental brain disorder that affects the ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. Most children with severe autism, like Tito, need so much care and are so difficult to reach that they are allowed to sink into lives of deep inner isolation; In fact, this was long thought to be inevitable. But Tito's mother, Soma Mukhopadhyay, reared and educated Tito so intensively that he was able to develop his keen mind to an unheard-of level of engagement with the physical and social world.
Though his speech is difficult to understand, he writes with eloquence (including poetry), has read widely, and can describe his condition as no one before him could. He says, for example, that he can only keep his attention on one sense at a time -- so he can see or he can feel, but not both, and switching from one to the other is a great effort. He also describes why he periodically needs to shake his limbs, spin and rock: otherwise Tito loses track of his own body and cannot stay grounded in his surroundings. Explanations like these are helping neuropsychologists to understand better than ever before how the brain -- whether autistic or normal -- works.
Soma Mukhopadhyay is the mother of the autistic child Tito. When he was 11, Soma brought him from their native India to the UK and then to America. Tito's unprecedented ability to describe what it is like to be autistic is giving scientists new insights into this mysterious neurological malady. Autism is a developmental brain disorder that affects the ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. People with severe autism are all but unreachable and live deeply inward lives the rest of us cannot fathom.
But Soma, a professional teacher and loving mother, was fiercely determined that Tito reach his full potential. She educated him intensively with what she now calls the "rapid prompting mechanism," forcing Tito to keep focused while she taught him to learn to read and write, to listen, and to engage with the physical and social world around him. Soma's labors with Tito not only saved him from a lifetime of psychic inner imprisonment, but offer the same chance to other autistics and their families to form rich relationships.
Dr. Bruce Murray
Bruce Murray, Ph.D, is a professor emeritus of planetary science and geology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Murray has been a mainstay of unmanned space exploration for over three decades. He was involved with the Mariner missions to Mercury, Venus and Mars in the 1960s and early 1970s, and was director of the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the time of the Viking landings on Mars and the Voyager flybys of Saturn and Jupiter. Murray is cofounder (along with the late Carl Sagan) and president of The Planetary Society, a large international public participation organization dedicated to exploring the solar system and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Murray is also co-producer of the Closer To Truth television series and a senior member of the Closer to Truth web site team.
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Dr. Nancey Murphy
Nancey Murphy, Ph.D, Th.D., is a professor of Christian philosophy at the Fuller Theological Seminary, a corresponding editor for Christianity Today, and an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. She also serves on the boards of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at Berkeley, and is a member of the Planning Committee for conferences on science and theology, sponsored by the Vatican Observatory.
Murphy is a leading scholar and a highly sought speaker at nationwide conferences on the relationship between theology and science. She is also a prolific writer. Her books include On the Moral Nature of the Universe, Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism, and the award-winning Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning. Most recently, she co-authored the award-winning Whatever Happened to the Soul?
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Dr. Wallace Sampson
Physician, Consumer Health Advocate
Wallace Sampson, M.D., is a clinical professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University and editor-in-chief at the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. Sampson studies and teaches about unscientific medical systems and aberrant medical claims. He sits on the board of directors of the National Council Against Health Fraud, and is affiliated with several other professional organizations that protect consumers from bogus healthcare claims and products.
Dr. Sampson is a highly-respected and well-known authority in numerous medical fields, including oncology, hematology, and pathology. He has held, and currently holds, responsibility positions in a wide variety of medical institutions and activities. He was formerly the Associate Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Sampson is also a prominent and active member of numerous professional organizations devoted to the protection of consumers from fraudulent healthcare products and claims. He has the ability to address a variety of audiences, and has written for publications as diverse as JAMA and the Saturday Evening Post.
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