The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), has announced sixteen new Fellows, including James Randi and Phil Plait.

Phil Plait, who recently received a "Skeptic of the Year" award from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe listeners, had this to say: "They are a prestigious and venerable organization, and to be included with this particular set of people is astonishing."

Randi responded: "I am sincerely flattered and honored to be invited back into the CSI fold. Being again a part of the operation is most satisfying to me."

The list includes many others associated with the JREF, including TAM speakers Steve Novella, Massimo Pigliucci, Robert T. Carroll and Harriet Hall.

The JREF offers its hearty congratulations to all inductees. CSI's full press release is below.


Sixteen Notable Figures in Science and Skepticism Elected CSI Fellows

Amherst, NY  (January 12, 2010)—The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), publisher of SKEPTICAL INQUIRER science magazine, announced today the election of 16 new Fellows, chosen for “distinguished achievement in science and skepticism.” All have made major contributions to science and reason, critical inquiry, and public education. They include notable figures in a wide variety of scientific and scholarly fields and prominent writers and investigators from five nations and eight U.S. states. CSI promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. Fellows are elected periodically by CSI’s Executive Council. Candidates are nominated by other Fellows or by members of the Executive Council.

This is the largest number of new Fellows elected at one time since the original founding of the committee (then CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) in 1976.  The approximately 40 original founding Fellows included CSI founder Paul Kurtz, Martin Gardner, James Randi, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Sidney Hook, Ray Hyman, and B.F. Skinner. Present CSI Fellows include Susan Blackmore, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Ann Druyan, Lawrence M. Krauss, Elizabeth Loftus, Marvin Minsky, Steven Pinker, Eugenie Scott, Neil de Grasse Tyson, E.O. Wilson, and Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann, Sir Harry Kroto, Leon Lederman, and Steven Weinberg. A full listing of Fellows appears on the inside front cover of SKEPTICAL INQUIRER magazine every issue and on CSI’s Web site at .

In addition to the 15 new Fellows, CSI is very pleased to announce that James “The Amazing” Randi has also again been named a Fellow of the Committee and has accepted.  Randi was, of course, one of the original founders of the organization back in 1976.  For various legal and personal reasons Randi felt obligated to resign from CSICOP (as CSI was then called) during the height of the lawsuits brought against Randi and CSICOP in the early 1990s by Uri Geller and Eldon Byrd.

“We are ecstatic to be able to count Randi as a CSI Fellow once again,” said CSI Executive Director Barry Karr. “And we are pleased to add so many distinguished scholars, scientists, authors, and science popularizers to the already stellar list of CSI Fellows. They will no doubt prove to be sterling assets to the CSI brain trust as we move forward in the next century defending science, reason, and common sense against the purveyors of superstition, quackery, and irrationality.”

The complete list of newly elected Fellows follows below. Photos and more detailed biographical information is available at

CSI New Fellows:

  • Kimball Atwood IV, physician, author, Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Robert T. Carroll, emeritus professor of philosophy, Sacramento City College, writer.
  • K.C. Cole, science writer, author, professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism.
  • Christopher C. French, professor, department of psychology, and head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
  • Luigi Garlaschelli, chemist, Università di Pavia (Italy), and research fellow of CICAP, the Italian skeptics’ group.
  • Maryanne Garry, professor, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Harriet Hall, retired family physician, writer, Puyallup, Washington.
  • Stuart D. Jordan, NASA astrophysicist emeritus, science advisor to Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy, Washington, D.C.
  • Kenneth R. Miller, professor of biology, Brown University.
  • Jan Willem Nienhuys, mathematician, Waalre, The Netherlands.
  • Steven Novella, assistant professor of neurology, Yale University School of Medicine.
  • Jay M. Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and director of the Hopkins Observatory, Williams College.
  • Massimo Pigliucci, professor of philosophy, City University of New York-Lehman College.
  • Philip Plait, astronomer, lecturer, and writer.
  • James “The Amazing” Randi, magician, CSICOP founding member, founder, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF).
  • Seth Shostak, senior astronomer, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that promotes scientific inquiry, critical thinking, science education, and the use of reason in examining important issues. It encourages the critical investigation of controversial or extraordinary claims from a responsible, scientific point of view, and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community, the media, and the public. Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.  Learn more about CSI and SI at