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35th Conference Presenters

35th International Conference Focal Session Presenters Include: 

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and a prominent authority on critical thinking. She is President and Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Dr. Elder has taught psychology and critical thinking at the college level, and has given presentations to more than 20,000 educators. She has coauthored four books and twenty-four thinker's guides on critical thinking. Concerned with understanding and illuminating the relationship between thinking and affect, and the barriers to critical thinking, Dr. Elder has placed these issues at the center of her thinking and her work.

Dr. Gerald Nosich

Dr. Gerald Nosich is an authority on critical thinking and Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Critical Thinking; he has given more than 150 national and international workshops on the subject. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on a project for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking skills, has served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and has been featured as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia. He is Professor of Philosophy at Buffalo State College in New York and the author of two books, including  Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum.

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine. She holds faculty positions in three departments (Psychology & Social Behavior; Criminology, Law & Society: Cognitive Sciences), and in the School of Law. Since receiving her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University, she has published twenty-two books (including the award winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles. Loftus's research of the last 30 years has focused on the malleability of human memory. She has been recognized for this research with six honorary doctorates (from universities in the U.S., Norway, the Netherlands, Israel, and Britain), and election to the National Academy of Sciences. She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science. Loftus has been recognized in the Review of General Psychology as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. 

Dr. Paul Bankes

For more than 10 years, Dr. Bankes has played an important leadership role in fostering the Paulian conception of critical thinking in instruction across his district. As a principal, he led the implementation of this critical thinking approach to achieve state-recognized levels of achievement in three different Title I schools - a high school, a middle school and an elementary school. He helped author the reasoning portion of the Colorado Academic Standards that are based on the Paul-Elder framework. In addition to his administrative experience, Dr. Bankes has taught courses at the college level in critical thinking and served as an elementary teacher.

Dr. Brian Barnes

Dr. Brian Barnes has taught Critical Thinking courses for seven years at the university level. He has earned grants from Hanover College, the James Randi Education Foundation, and the University of Louisville focused on developing critical thinking in everyday life. He holds a Masters degree in Philosophy and a PhD at the University of Louisville, which fosters the Paulian Approach to critical thinking across the curriculum. Mr. Barnes is a visiting scholar of the Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Dr. Amanda Hiner

Dr. Amanda Hiner, Assistant Professor of English at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, has taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in critical thinking, academic writing, and literature for over twenty years. She holds a Master's Degree in British and American literature and a Ph.D. in Eighteenth-Century British literature from Washington University. Dr. Hiner serves as coordinator for the Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing courses at Winthrop University, an institution that integrates the Paulian Framework for critical thinking in substantive ways into both its Writing Program and its General Education Program. Over the last five years, Dr. Hiner has focused on integrating the Paulian Framework for critical thinking into classroom instruction - publishing articles, presenting at conferences, developing curricula and educating faculty in the Paul-Elder approach to Critical Thinking. Dr. Hiner's articles "Critical Thinking in the Literature Classroom, Part II: Dicken's Great Expectations and the Emergent Critical Thinking" were recently published in INQUIRY: Critical Thinking across the Disciplines, and her article "The Viability of the English Major in the Current Economy" (CEA Forum 2012) emphasizes the crucial role of critical thinking in literary studies and English curricula.

All conference delegates are invited to participate in …

The Bertrand Russell Distinguished Scholars Lecture and Conversation

This important dimension of the conference highlights the work and thinking of distinguished scholars throughout history who have contributed significantly to the conception, and advancement, of fairminded critical societies. Russell scholars may come from any subject, field, or discipline, or from any domain of human thought. 
This year's scholar is Dr. Daniel Ellsberg. All conference participants are invited to participate in the Russell program. Only conference registrants will be admitted.

Dr. Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg was born in Chicago in 1931. After graduating from Harvard in 1952 with a B.A. in Economics, he studied for a year at King’s College, Cambridge University, on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Between 1954 and 1957, Ellsberg spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as rifle platoon leader, operations officer, and rifle company commander.

In 1959, Ellsberg became a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. In 1961 he drafted the guidance from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the operational plans for general nuclear war. He was a member of two of the three working groups reporting to the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOM) during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Ellsberg joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) John McNaughton, working on the escalation of the war in Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification in the field.

On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, Ellsberg worked on the top secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Ellsberg is the author of three books: Papers on the War (1971), Risk, Ambiguity and Decision (2001), and Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002). In December 2006 he was awarded the 2006 Right Livelihood Award, known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” in Stockholm, Sweden, “. .  for putting peace and truth first, at considerable personal risk, and dedicating his life to inspiring others to follow his example.”

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer, and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.