James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi Educational Foundation
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February 2011

Take action: Tell pharmacies to come clean about homeopathic products

Petition icon - Take ActionThis month the JREF issued a bold challenge to homeopathy manufacturers and retailers in our most successful media campaign in years. Randi's video statement has been watched more than 100,000 times, and together with the worldwide "overdose" organized by the 10:23 Campaign, has been covered by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Reason.com, Wired UK, and Forbes. Here’s coverage from Phoenix and West Virginia of two of the dozen grassroots demonstrations in the U.S..

It’s time for major pharmacies to stop keeping their customers in the dark just so they can make a buck. Please take one minute to sign our petition and tell CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid to label homeopathic “remedies” for what they really are—scam products with no evidence they work, no active ingredients, and no testing requirements. Then make sure to share this with your friends.

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Randi's headshotA message from James Randi

Folks, 2010 was a busy year for the Foundation, and we plan on 2011 being even more active as we work to expand skepticism and appreciation for the scientific view! As you probably heard by now, I launched a new challenge to homeopathy earlier this month in coordination with the 10:23 Campaign, and I believe it generated quite some attention for the skeptical cause.

We hired a dynamite new Communications Director, Sadie Crabtree. She has about a decade of experience in communications strategy with various nonprofits, and is passionate about our mission. You can read interviews on communicating skepticism with Sadie on the Randi.org blog and on Skepchick. I am very happy to have her as part of the JREF team, and I trust you will welcome her with open arms.

I am also pleased to announce that the JREF is looking to hire an additional new staffer called a Field Coordinator. I am told this person will assist with various special projects, including grassroots skeptics organizing. If you are interested in the position, instructions on how to apply are to be found elsewhere in this e-newsletter.

My travel calendar seems to already be filling up with upcoming speaking enagements in Norway, Spain, and throughout the United States, including the launch of a tour of science centers beginning in St. Louis, where the JREF will also offer its first public workshop for educators.

And of course TAM 2011 -- to be held in Las Vegas July 14-27 -- is about to open registration in the next few weeks. We think this is one of the best program's yet, and I sincerely to see you there!

I am happy to announce my book Flim Flam! is now available for sale for the iPad and Kindle. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, may I invite you to do so.

In other news, the JREF’s Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge is changing. One of the goals JREF President D.J. Grothe announced when he came aboard last year was to make the JREF’s Million Dollar Challenge an even more effective asset to our skeptical community. Today, I am happy to say that the JREF announces changes to the Challenge's rules that we hope will encourage new applications and help better share our skeptical message with the public. I am especially enthused that local skeptical organizations can get involved by helping to identify possible Challenge applicants in their regions. See "Million Dollar Changes" below to learn more.

Lastly, I would sincerely like to thank everyone who made our Season of Reason campaign a success at the end of 2010! We surpassed our $100,000 fundraising goal and went on to raise nearly $160,000 in small donations. And I am happy to say that the entire amount was matched by a generous anonymous donor. We can not do what we do without your support, and I was so heartened to see how many people came forward at the end of last year to get involved helping expand with my life's work. Sincerely friends, THANK YOU.


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James Randi

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Upcoming Events

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Million Dollar Changes

Today, the JREF is announcing a change to Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge rules. Before this change, applicants were required to submit press clippings or an affidavit from an academic along with their application. Now, applicants who cannot provide that documentation have a new option: submitting a public video that demonstrates their claimed paranormal ability. The JREF will use these videos to choose additional applicants for testing. This option gives applicants an easier standard to meet, and allows the JREF to use online video and social media to reach an even wider audience with the Challenge. The new rules and a new application that makes it easier to apply will be available on our website early next week. We'll also be making Million Dollar "checks" with information about the challenge available to grassroots skeptics groups, and asking for your help in challenging paranormal frauds in your area.

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The JREF and St. Louis Science Center present “Creating Critical Thinkers” and “The Sleep of Reason”

On April 28, we’re presenting an Educators’ Workshop with the St. Louis Science Center. The workshop is for middle school and high school educators interested in improving the critical thinking skills of their students through examination of the paranormal and the pseudoscientific. Whether it’s ghost-hunting, mind-reading, or tracking the Chupacabra, the public’s interest in the paranormal and fringe science is greater than ever. These subjects are fun to talk about, but they are also great tools for teaching students to think more critically. This hands-on workshop will offer demonstrations and other engaging ways of bringing critical thinking education into the classroom. At the end of the day, Randi will give a presentation on critical thinking for the general public. If you’d like to attend or learn more, email education@randi.org.

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Save the Date for TAM 2011 Las Vegas

Registration will open in March for The Amaz!ng Meeting 2011, taking place July 14-17 at the Southpoint Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. We think this will be among the best programs of any TAM yet, so please save the date!

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Work for the JREF! Apply to be our Field Coordinator

The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) seeks an energetic and detail-oriented Field Coordinator ready to implement new and innovative outreach strategies for the Foundation. Learn more and apply here.

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JREF in the News

Top stories on Homeopathy Challenge (Click here for a comprehensive list at Randi.org)

Other stories mentioning the JREF

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Top posts on the Randi.org blog


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