The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) invites you to give during our annual Season of Reason fundraising campaign.
Over half of our annual support comes during this critical year-end period and we couldn't continue fighting charlatans and promoting critical thinking without it. This year, we’re asking you to help us raise a total of $300,000 to support our unique educational mission in 2013.
The JREF is an independent non-profit and all donations are used for the sole purpose of promoting critical thinking to the public and advancing the skeptical cause. In just the past year:
We exposed paranormal and pseudoscientific frauds, and raised awareness of the JREF's important work in major media around the world, including the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, NPR, BBC, Scientific American, Al Jazeera, Forbes, the Young Turks, Discovery News, Huffington Post, Wired, Bloomberg Business Week, and major outlets in Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Canada and Latin America. Not to mention Randi's name in the New York Times crossword puzzle!
We partnered with Wired and Huffington Post for ongoing Op-Ed pieces from Randi and D.J. Grothe, wherein we exposed Theresa Caputo (The “Long Island Medium”) and Dr. Phil (for his promotion of "psychic medium" John Edward) to public scrutiny, among many others.
In our annual Pigasus Awards, we “honored” Daryl Bem (who conducted questionable scientific research on psychic powers), Syracuse University (which promoted pseudoscientific “facilitated communication” for autistic children), the "Long Island Medium" Theresa Caputo, her host network TLC, and “psychic medium” James Van Praagh.
We expanded our line of free classroom resources to include both student and teacher editions, and published new JREF in the Classroom kits on topics ranging from dowsing to public hoaxes, all to help educators inspire an investigative spirit in the next generation of critical thinkers.
We launched the new CONsequence podcast and continued other digital programs, including The Randi Show and For Good Reason.
We published several new books on the iPad, Kindle and Nook, including Unnatural Acts by Robert Todd Carroll and Homeopathy and its Kindred Delusions by Oliver Wendell Holmes. They join our growing library of skeptical titles, including some of Randi's classic works such as Flim Flam, The Truth About Uri Geller and Faith Healers.
We continued our blockbuster annual skeptics conference, The Amaz!ng Meeting, in Las Vegas, with more than 1,250 supporters of science and critical thinking in attendance. This year we have been sharing the TAM 2012 presentations on our popular YouTube channel as free educational resources for the public, and we also published many previous TAM videos from our archives. These videos have already been viewed over a half a million times.
We will return to the sea with The Amaz!ng Adventure educational cruise — a TAM-at-Sea — exploring 2012 doomsday predictions in the Riviera Maya with dozens of seafaring skeptics already booked!
We enhanced our field efforts with several grassroots organization workshops at events around the United States, and regular action items and tips for skeptical activists on our website. We also published our grassroots database this year, which is the most comprehensive and up-to-date listing of skeptics groups we’ve published.
We supported, presented at, and/or distributed educational resources at dozens of skeptical educational events, including the Reason Rally, NECSS, Dragon*Con, SkeptiCal, QED, Carl Sagan Day, Reason in the Rock, Camp Inquiry, the American Humanist Association's annual conference, The World Skeptics Congress, THiNK in India, the Phoenix Area Skeptic Society's End of the World party, the Orange County Freethought Alliance, Freethought Festival, SkeptiCamp DC, and Denver SkeptiCamp. We will be at the 2012 Australian Skeptics Convention in just a few days!
We coordinated several dozen of Randi's lectures around the world, including a nine-day tour of India and a three week tour of Spain, Italy, and Germany. One of Randi's Italian lectures was broadcast to 35 movie theaters throughout the country as part of a public cultural series. Randi was also a featured speaker at the World Skeptics Congress, THiNK in India, the Porchlight Storytelling Series, the Reason Rally, the Magic Castle, the Academy of Magical Arts annual award show, Camp Inquiry, Dragon*Con, NECSS, the Barrow Neurological Institute’s annual gala, Carl Sagan Day, CFI - Portland, and at the University of Denver, Arizona State, University of Maryland, Broward College, University of Wisconsin, and Ohlone College. And he was honored this year to receive lifetime achievement awards this year from both the American Humanist Association and The Academy of Magical Arts.
We appointed two new JREF Research Fellows: Kyle Hill, a popular science writer focused on effective public communication of science; and Leo Igwe, who is spearheading the JREF's new initiative to combat harmful superstition and promote critical thinking in Africa. To this end, the JREF has already released Igwe's A Manifesto for a Skeptical Africa, and will host Igwe's monthly column, Skeptical Africa on randi.org. They join our team of other JREF Fellows, including Dr. Steven Novella, Dr. Karen Stollznow, Dr. Ray Hall, and Tim Farley.
We provided scholarships to students who focus on skepticism in their academic fields, and awarded grants to teachers who bring skepticism into their classrooms through innovative programs. We also launched a skeptical educator series on Randi.org, curated by Bob Blaskiewicz.
We've been involved with the production of a major documentary, An Honest Liar, which tells the story of Randi's life’s work and is expected out in late 2013.
We promoted our Million Dollar Challenge in major media and offered the prize to celebrity psychics and other public figures and organizations who had made paranormal claims or endorsed charlatans, including priceline.com, and Simon Cowell. We produced a video of a live Million Dollar Challenge event from the stage at TAM 2012, illustrating the proper way to evaluate a paranormal or fringe science claim, and inspiring activists and ordinary people around the world to evaluate these types of claims themselves.
...And much more!
None of this would have been possible if not for the support we received from concerned and dedicated skeptics and science advocates like you during last year's Season of Reason. Now we are counting on your generous financial help to fund our operations into the next year.
Your Season of Reason 2012 contribution will help us equip more educators to teach students skepticism, support more grassroots campaigns to fight charlatanry, and take on more public figures and celebrities who promote dangerous nonsense.
Our Gift to You
When you make a one-time donation of $100 or more or a monthly donation of $25 or more to the JREF's Season of Reason campaign, we will send you a limited-edition ceramic ornament, designed and handcrafted by Amy Davis Roth of Surly-Ramics. The design is based on a favorite photo taken of Randi during a recent lecture tour in Norway. We think he looks a bit like a certain lovable mythical figure, don't you?
Make a one-time donation of $100 or more or a monthly donation of $25 or more to support our work and get this beautiful handcrafted ornament.
Our Season of Reason oraments have become quite a collector's item and we do have a small stock of the previous designs. When you contribute $300 or more to the JREF's Season of Reason campaign, you will receive a set with all three designs (ornaments for 2010, 2011, and 2012).
Your Support is Needed Now!
We can't accomplish all of our important work without your help. With the JREF on the front lines like never before, we need more support than ever. Unless we can count on your generous financial help right now, our plans to increase our impact may have to be placed on hold. Your donation today will make an enormous difference for the future of skepticism and critical thinking.
If you believe that skepticism and critical thinking can make the world a better place, please do not leave the burden of supporting this work to someone else. We need you to help keep the light of critical thinking shining brightly in 2013. Please consider helping with your most generous gift today.
Your contribution will help us teach students to think critically about the world, support skeptical grassroots campaigns, and take on public figures and celebritites who promote dangerous nonsense.
We are depending on you to support the important mission of the JREF. Won't you help make this a Season of Reason today?
More About The JREF’s Work
The James Randi Educational Foundation was founded in 1996 to help people defend themselves from paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Our mission is to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about the paranormal and supernatural ideas that are so widespread in our society today. Through scholarships, workshops, and innovative resources for educators, we work to inspire an investigative spriit in a new generation of critical thinkers.
Here are some of the programs we offer:
- Skepticism in the Media | We look for every opportinuty to help people defend themselves against misinformation. James Randi, D.J. Grothe, Steven Novella, Banachek, and other spokespeople make regular TV and radio appearances to tell the truth about paranormal and pseudoscientific scams.
- Educator Grants | JREF Grants for Educators provides financial and other resources to K-12 teachers, and are intended to help offset the cost of developing or improving critical thinking and scientific skepticism programs in the classroom and beyond.
- Academic Scolarships | The JREF awards academic scholarships to deserving students in potentially any field of study. A committee composed of a physicist, a social scientist, a physician, and a professor of philosophy select the winners, with the awards being announced in the spring/summer each year.
- JREF in the Classroom | This free program for educators provides free curriculum modules that expose students to concepts identified in the national science content standards and AAAS science literacy benchmarks related to the scientific process: Science as Inquiry, and Science in Personal and Social Perspectives. JREF in the Classroom uses the investigation of pseudoscience and the paranormal to promote critical thinking, and focuses both on the methods of science and the best scientific data on such paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.
- The Amaz!ng Meeting | Each year in Las Vegas, we produce The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), a celebration of critical thinking and skepticism. In 2012 more than 1200 individuals worldwide came together to share learning, laughs, and life with fellow skeptics and distinguished guest speakers. We also host Amaz!ng Adventure cruises--skeptical conferences-at-sea that combine educational sessions with trips to destinations such as the Bermuda Triangle, Alaska, the Galapagos Islands, Mexico, and the eastern Caribbean.
- New Media Publishing | The JREF is committed to reaching new audiences through digital media. We're converting both old and new skeptical books into digital formats and making them available for the iPad, Kindle, and Nook. Our mission is to make these texts as widely available as possible so that students of critical thinking and skepticism—young and old—have access to this important information in the exciting realm of digital publishing. We're also creating clever casual apps for mobile devices, and producing and sponsoring podcasts to share unique ideas with the broader skeptical community.
- Science-Based Medicine Project | With the guidance of JREF Senior Fellow Steven Novella, M.D., the JREF works to provide the media and the public with trustworthy information about unproven alternative medical practices. Part of our Science-Based Medicine project is an opinion study, conducted in partnership with the Women Thinking Free Foundation, to help skeptics better understand the vaccine panic that endagers public health.
- Supporting the Skeptical Community | The JREF connects local groups with speakers, workshops, and organizing expertise to help grow the skeptical movement from the ground up. We provide skeptical networking and activist training at The Amazing Meeting each year and on our online community the JREF Forum. We also provide sponsorship funding and other support for local skeptical events such as Skeptics in the Pub and SkeptiCamp meetings across North America.
- Million Dollar Challenge | The JREF offers a $1 million prize to any person who can demonstrate a psychic, supernatural, or paranormal ability under mutually agreed upon scientific conditions. More than a thousand have applied, and hundreds have been tested, but no one has come close to passing even our preliminary test. The Challenge is now administered by Banachek, the only professional mentalist to have fooled scientists into believing he has real psychic abilities.