Speakers & Topics 2010-2017

HSNM Monthly Speaker Program
Our speaker meetings provide well informed perspectives from distinguished presenters on significant social issues. Free and open to the public, fourth Saturday of the month. Upcoming Speaker Meeting Details. Check the HSNM Calendar for more meetings. (There will not be a Speaker Meeting in December.)

2017 Presentations

November: Basic Income for a Happier Society
Speaker: David Stelle, HSNM Member
More info (sorted alphabetically):
Basic income (Wikipedia)
Basic income around the world (Wikipedia)
Basic Income Earth Network
Basic Income for the US (by AdamAnimates)
Canada Has Unveiled the Details of Its Highly Anticipated UBI Program
A Canadian Province Just Passed a Resolution for Universal Basic Income
CEO Argues Universal Basic Income Is Necessary for Social Stability
Duty to Work, The
End our cultural obsession with work (by Big Think)
Even Children Receive Money in This Startup’s UBI Program [Germany]
Experts Say a Universal Basic Income Would Boost US Economy by Staggering $2.5 Trillion
Finland Has Finally Launched Its Universal Basic Income Experiment
Finland’s Universal Basic Income Program Is Already Reducing Stress for Recipients
Free Money: The Surprising Effects of a Basic Income Supplied by Government
Gates Foundation – Development Policy and Finance – Strategy Overview
GiveDirectly (Basic Income description) [Kenya]
H Philes, The – (David’s blog on Humans & Happiness)
Hawaii Becomes the First State to Pass a Bill in Support of Universal Basic Income
Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly Motion #83, Universal Basic Income
Scotland Will Begin Funding Universal Basic Income Experiments
UBI – Pilot Programs
UBI – Renaissance for 500-Year Old Idea
UBI – The Answer to Automation?
A Village in Kenya is quietly disproving the biggest myth about basic income
World’s Largest Democratic Country to Endorse Universal Basic Income [India]

October: Challenges of LBGTQ civil rights advocacy under the Trump administration.
Speaker: Adrian Carver, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico

September: What is Classical Music, and Why Do I Love it?
Speaker: Richard Grady, former music professor, trumpet player and HSNM member

August: Highlights of the 2017 American Humanist Conference.
Speakers: Helen Fuller and Carolyn Jo Glen (HSNM Members)

July: New Dangers to Reproductive Healthcare
Speaker: Kayla Herring, Planned Parenthood

April: Health Optimization – Changing the Trajectory in an Unhealthy Family
Speaker: Brent

March: Transgender Rights: A Threat of Serial Discrimination Officially Approved
Speaker: Adrian Lawyer
Adrian Lawyer is the director of the transgender speakers bureau in Albuquerque/State of New Mexico. Adrian is a female to male transgender person and is a fierce fighter for transgender equality. He will be speaking on the plight of transgender persons as it’s shaping up during the Trump Presidency, especially in light of Trump’s executive order rescinding President Obama’s allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their sexual identity and not of their birth gender.
More Info: Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico

February: “Brainstorming” Session
We are asking all members and prospective members to attend in order to plan HSNM’s activities for 2017 and 2018. Suggestions for social activities (picnics, ice-cream socials, pot-lucks or whatever), Darwin’s Day 2018, international woman’s day 2018, etc. Please bring your suggestions for projects and speakers, or any other topics you wish to discuss.

January: Kink and the Sexual Underground
Nancy Ava Miller is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She has a degree in Hypnotherapy, MEd, Cht and is a former teacher of TM. She also is a former Maryland school teacher.
Nancy’s real interest is in what used to be the sexual underground and lately is becoming very mainstream. Do you see people out and about with piercings, tats and leather? The “Shades of Grey” books are popular now, introducing the Fetish lifestyle to many. However, before there was “50 Shades of Grey” there was Nancy Ava Miller.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Nancy was being published and giving many workshops on what today we would call alternative sexual lifestyles. If you are curious about Kink and have a open mind please don’t miss this talk. Nancy will also have handouts, read from one of her books and have some at the talk for sale. She currently resides, when not traveling doing workshops, in the East Mountains of New Mexico.

2016 Presentations

November: HSNM General Membership Meeting
Fall is finally here and the leaves are falling.
Our next speaker meeting in November will be used to announce the new board officers for the Humanist Society of New Mexico!
Everyone is invited to come and discuss what direction you want to go for the new year. Please bring your ideas on what you would like to see HSNM become and accomplish. We would love to hear and discuss everyone’s ideas!

October: Donna Tara McCaughin, “My Story Coming Out as a Transgendered Woman”
Donna Tara McCaughin, Tara, as we know her, came out as transgendered in 2000 and had her gender re-assignment surgery in 2001 at Chonburri, Thailand. Her talk will be about her life as a transsexual woman since her surgery.
She will touch on her life as a transgender activist, describe how she has helped fight against discriminatory antitrans laws and her belief that the future will lead to a greater acceptance of marginalized trans persons.

September: Fieldtrip to the Museum of Natural History and Science
This September we are unable to meet in our usual place, so why not meet in a different time as well? Back to the time just after the formation of our universe, or our galaxy, or the formation of the Earth. We could go back to the time when the dinosaurs were in charge. Where would such a place exist? The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, of course. We’re planning to meet in the Museum lobby at 10am on September 24th.

August: Kristina Whitney, “Anthropology at UNM and Around the World”
Kristina Whitney will be guiding us through the exciting research  going on in the Anthropology Department at UNM. She will also share with us some of her own research on canteens. The history behind their origin is complex and global, and underscores how quickly the world became interconnected as North and South America were being explored and colonized.
Kristina Whitney is in her final semester of studies for her MA in public archaeology at UNM. Her thesis is on settlement patterning of pastoral groups in southeastern Ethiopia, with the aim to aid in establishing an archaeological baseline for an understudied area in Africa.
Other research interests include the origin and use of a specific canteen style in the American Southwest, and the connections of that style to canteens in the Mediterranean and Middle East. She is working on a publication for that research now, but it has not yet undergone peer review.
Kristina is also interthat has beenested in how archaeology is perceived by the public and how it can be utilized to foster a sense of community and sense of place, while also realizing that archaeology needs to gain a larger part of the public interest as a science in order to maintain relevance within the current congressional atmosphere.
She obtained her BA in anthropology at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, where her senior thesis focused on Byzantine water jugs. She’s been able to maintain her interest in water vessels through her canteen research, while also maintaining a global outlook on archaeology as a tool for investigative discovery. She grew up around Tucson and spent most of this summer on an archaeological survey of national parks in southeast Arizona.

July: Babs Mondschein, “AHA 75th Annual Conference”
The AHA annual conference is an entire weekend full of scientists, scholars and intellectuals. Babs will fill us in on the talks, people and special events and give her impressions of the conference.
Babs holds a BA in Sociology with emphasis on social welfare, and a MA in Special Education with emphasis on adolescents. Babs is meetup organizer for ASK (Atheist Skeptical Kingdom, a secular community) and is in the process of starting the first chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in New Mexico.

June: Ananda Parnell, “Report on Serving the Orlando Community”
Ananda reported on her experiences doing survivor counseling in Orlando Florida after the mass shooting there.
Ananda has degrees in English, German, Business Administration, Education, and chaplaincy. She teaches World History and ESL courses at Highland High School, as well as writing, communication, critical thinking, and logical reasoning at the University of Phoenix Albuquerque campus. She strives to use quality practices and programs through curriculum development and instruction for the success of all students with all learning backgrounds.

May: Gwyneth Doland, “Mysteries of the Roundhouse Revealed!”
In May our speaker will be Gwyneth Doland, a multimedia journalist with New Mexico PBS, KUNM Radio, and New Mexico in Depth. She will be filling us in on all of the goings on at the Santa Fe Roundhouse. Come and find out what your legislators are up to!
You may know Gwyneth from “New Mexico in Focus” on PBS. She covers government and politics on the radio, television and online for the grant-funded People, Power and Democracy project. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the Communication and Journalism Department at UNM.
Gwyneth investigated corruption in state government in 2015 and 2012 for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She was previously the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, the editor of pioneering online news site, The New Mexico Independent, and a staff writer for the Santa Fe Reporter and the weekly Alibi. She is a former director of the Journalism and Women Symposium and the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter.

April: Benjamin Radford, “Bad Clowns”
Benjamin Radford is back!! One of most popular speakers from last year will be returning to talk about his new book Bad Clowns! Bad clowns are all around us, in movies, on TV, in books, and elsewhere. From the Joker to Krusty to Pennywise, they are a pop culture phenomenon. Benjamin Radford recently published the first book on bad clowns, and will be joining us to talk about the history, variety, and cultural impact of these malicious misfits of the midway. For more information, see http://unmpress.com/books.php?ID=20000000006199&Page=book.
Benjamin Radford, M.Ed., is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author, co-author, contributor, or editor of twenty books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. He is the author of Mysterious New Mexico: Miracles, Magic, and Monsters in the Land of Enchantment. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience. com.

March: Marshall Martinez, “Planned Parenthood: What is it and What’s going on?”
Marshall Martinez is the Public Affairs Manager in New Mexico for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Marshall will speak about Planned Parenthood, cover who Planned Parenthood is and why it gets involved in advocacy.
Subjects like funding, procedure bans, “witch-hunts”, legislation, what’s upcoming for 2016, and how you can get involved. Come and hear an informed speaker on these subjects– it’s going to be a great talk.
A native New Mexican, Marshall has spent a majority of his life as an organizer, even when he didn’t know what that was. Working in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Awareness as a teenager in Alamogordo New Mexico, Marshall learned at a young age how important comprehensive and responsible sexuality education is, and in this work was able to draw the connection beyond sexual health to emotional and mental health for teenagers.
After moving to Albuquerque in 2001 he began a formal career in political and community organizing, working for organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, AFSCME Public Employees Labor Union, and serving multiple years on the board of Equality New Mexico. Marshall’s passions have always been strong on the issues of Reproductive Healthcare Access. Being raised by a strong mother, and having two younger sisters, he sees the sacredness of Women’s Bodies and destinies and works hard to ensure their choices about them are respected.

February: Dave Thomas, “Creationism Under the Hood: Cargo-Cult Science in the Intelligent Design Movement’s Attack on Evolutionary Algorithms”
Genetic (or evolutionary) algorithms have been used many times to successfully “breed” innovative answers to difficult problems in physics, math and biology. Creationists realize that the successes of such programs provide additional evidence for evolution, and have mounted a vigorous attack on Genetic Algorithms. Dave Thomas countered these attacks a few years ago by publishing a new genetic algorithm for solving the difficult “Steiner network problem”. Intelligent design creationists have since reacted by publishing two “analyses” of the Thomas algorithm. Dave will show that these new attacks are based on fallacious logic and outright misrepresentations. Are the creationists wrong? Is 1217 less than 1246? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”
Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received bachelor degrees in mathematics and in physics, and a master of science in mathematics, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he was awarded the Brown Medal and the Langmuir Award.
Dave is president of the science group New Mexicans for Science and Reason (http://www.nmsr.org) and is a Fellow of CSI (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry), the publishers of Skeptical Inquirer. He has published several articles in Skeptical Inquirer on the Roswell and Aztec UFO Incidents, as well as on the Bible Code. Dave has also published in Scientific American (Dec. 1980 cover article), and has several patents. He received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of Darwin Award in 2000.
Dave is past president of the Coalition for Excellence on Science and Math Education (CESE), and is past president of the New Mexico Academy of Science.

January: Film screening and discussion: “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” (PBS, Nova)
We will view “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” (PBS Nova) and discuss the debate between evolution and intelligent design, and what’s happened in the ten years since the Dover decision.

2015 Presentations
November: HSNM General Membership Meeting
October: Dr. J.E. Jamal Martin, “Peace Studies”
September: Babs Mondschein and Michelle Auron, “Introducing ASK (Atheist Skeptical Kingdom of ABQ)”
August: Dr. Richard Berthold, “The New God on the Block”
July: Benjamin Radford, “Weird Mysteries: Applying Science to the Paranormal”
June: Barry Bitzer, “About the NM BioPark”
May: AHA Conference Report
April: Judy Aron and Madeline Aron, “Festival House: Colorful Stories From a Festive Inn”
March: A Film by Jean Kilbourn, “Killing Us Softly Volume 3: Advertising’s Image of Women” moderated by Members of the Feminist Caucus HSNM
February: (cancelled due to weather, see April)
January: The Humanists of Highland H.S., “Why I Am a Humanist”

2014 Presentations
November: Adrienne Dare, “The Aid in Dying Movement”
October: Vern Hagen and Fred March, “The Public Banking Solution – A National Movement”
September: General Membership meeting- no formal speaker
August: Roy Moody, “What is Secular Buddhism?”
July: Ananda E. Parnell D.Div, CPE, MBA, M.Ed, “The Human Connection: Transcending Labels and Providing Support for Adolescents and Adults”
June: Janet Gerger, “Science in Your Fiction”
May: Havens Levitt, “Marriage Equality: Getting It, Keeping It, and Making It Real”
April: Joel Gallegos, ANSWER Coalition, “Grassroots Organizing – Finding Unity Among Activists”
March: Martha Burk, “Paths to Power: Women, Politics and the Change We Need”
February: Marilee Harrison, Humanist Celebrant, “Creating Humanist Community: A Humanist Celebrant Thinks Out Loud”
January: Lisa Durkin, “The Science Classroom and the Public School Culture Wars”

2013 Presentations
November: Judith Bailie, “Tibetan Buddhism”
October: Vickie Peck, “Connecting the Climate Dots from New Mexico to the Amazon”
September: Yugal Behl, “The Expert Brain”
August: Onesmus Al-Ami, “History of Islam in Black America: A Young Man’s Search for Faith”
July: George Lawrence-Ell and Lorraine Ell, “The Female and Male Perspectives on the Middle East”
June: Bill Meador, “Getting to Know TED”
May: Pete Dinelli, “The Privilege and Responsibilities of Being a Public Servant”
April: Rob Leutheuser, “The Yezidis”
March: Zelda Gatuskin, “The Right to Privacy: Our Fundamental Freedom”
February: Bishop David Boyle, “God, Goodness and Gays: A Positive Approach to Living”
January: Dee Friesen, “Our Universe, Our Home”

2012 Presentations:
December: Fred Edwords, “Sailing the Rising Tide of Reason”
November: HSNM Board and Members: General Membership Meeting
October: David Niose, “The Rise of Secular Americans”
September: Trey Smith, “The Art of Argumentation”
August: Donald Gutierrez, “Literary Arts and Activism”
July: Gail Rubin, “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die”
June: “AHA Nat’l Conference” report by HSNM’s delegation
May: Feminist Caucus HSNM and UNM Women’s Resource Center present the film Miss Representation
April: Bill Kimbrough, “The Social Determinants of Health”
March: Peter Simonson, “Emerging Threats to Religious Liberty in NM”
February: Yugal Behl, “Knowledge Bulimia”
January: Roy Speckhardt and Maggie Ardiente, “2020 Humanism: Achieving a Vision that Matches Our Aspirations” and AHA Update

2011 Presentations:
November: General Membership Meeting
October: Rebecca Goldstein, “36 (Bad) Arguments for God’s Existence”
September: Nell Graham Sale, “How the Affordable Care Act Affects Elders and Persons with Disabilities in NM”
August: Jane Ronca-Washburn, Lisa Franzen, Ann and Dick Harrison, and Janet Resnick-Wandel, “The Potentials: George Lakoff Study Group”
July: Janet Lindsey, “HIV/AIDS: It Hasn’t Gone Away”
June: Zelda Gatuskin and Salem Smith, “Report on the 2011 AHA Conference”
May: Juniper Decker, “What’s Happening with Women’s Issues?”
April: Bob McCannon, “The Golden Age of Propaganda: Understanding and Reforming Today’s Media”
March: Regina Turner, “The Challenges of Teaching the Intangibles of Education”
February: Sherry Tippett, “Can Our Democracy Survive under Citizens United v. FEC”
January: Fred March, “The Many Faces of Humanism – Part 2”

2010 Presentations:
November: Fred March, ‘The Many Faces of Humanism – Part 1″
October: Paul Michael Livingston, “Bertrand Russell: From Philosophy to Activism”
September: Dr. Jerry Gilbert, “Would You Mind Repeating That? – A Cognitive Evolutionary Approach to Cultural Transmission”
August: Zelda Gatuskin, “The Raucous Caucus – Women in the AHA”
July: Dr. Bruce Trigg, “No Time For ‘Wait and See’: The Single-Payer Movement after the Obama Plan”
June: HSNM Attendees, “AHA Conference Highlights: Speakers, Awards, AHA News”
May: Kathleen M. Verhage, “Albuquerque’s Stormwater Quality Challenge and Our EPA Permit”
April: Lee Delaney, “The Near-Successful Coup: Radicalized Christianity’s War to Make Our Democracy Their Theocracy”
March: Field Trip to the Mind Research Network
February: Atilla Csanyi, “The Basic Instinct: A History of the Concept of Freedom and It’s Application”
January: Pamela Gravagne, “The Becoming of Age”