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Six Presentations at TAM 13 Celebrate Martin Gardner

Martin Gardner was such a hero to the skeptical community that five years after his 2010 death at the age of ninety-five (the Skeptical Inquirer did a special “Tribute and Celebrations” issue, September/October 2010), celebrations of his life continue. So it was fitting that the 2015 TAM conference (The Amazing Meeting, TAM 13) in Las Vegas July 16–19 devoted six presentations to Gardner and his influence and legacy.

Dana Richards, Martin Gardner’s official biographer and a professor of computer science at George Mason University, said Gardner “studied philosophy to find out what he believed.” He never lost that thoughtful, philosophical, inquiring attitude. Richards said that in January 1974 Gardner wrote to the publisher Crowell, withdrawing his books because of some errant nonsense they had just published. “The occult revolution is reaching heights of insanity,” Gardner wrote in that letter. This, Richards said, was the “the start of a big pushback” by Gardner and colleagues, such as James Randi and Ray Hyman, against the pseudoscientific nonsense soaking culture at that time. It eventually led in 1976 to their joining philosopher Paul Kurtz in founding the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, CSICOP (now CSI).

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