James Randi Educational Foundation
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is a non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 founded in 1996 by magician
Magic (illusion)
Magic is a performing art that entertains audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats using natural means...

 and skeptic
Scientific skepticism
Scientific skepticism is the practice of questioning the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence or reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". For example, Robert K...

 James Randi
James Randi
James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation...

. The JREF's mission includes educating the public and the media on the dangers of accepting unproven claims, and to support research into paranormal
Paranormal is a general term that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure...

 claims in controlled scientific experimental conditions
Randomized controlled trial
A randomized controlled trial is a type of scientific experiment - a form of clinical trial - most commonly used in testing the safety and efficacy or effectiveness of healthcare services or health technologies A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is a type of scientific experiment - a form of...


The organization offers a prize of one million U.S. dollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 which it will pay out to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. The JREF also maintains a legal defense fund to assist persons who are attacked as a result of their investigations and criticism of people who make paranormal claims.

The organization is funded through member contributions, grants, and conferences. The JREF website publishes a (nominally daily) blog at randi.org Swift, which includes the latest JREF news and information, as well as exposes of paranormal claimants.

History of the Foundation

The James Randi Educational Foundation officially came into existence on April 1, 1996, when it was registered as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

 in the United States. On April 3, 1996 James Randi formally announced the creation of the JREF through his email hotline: It is now incorporated in the State of Virginia.
Randi says, Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years . Carson received six Emmy Awards including the Governor Award and a 1985 Peabody Award; he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987...

 was a major sponsor; giving several six-figure donations.

According to the year 2009 Annual Report registration information for the JREF filed March 20, 2009 with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, the current officers of the JREF were listed as follows:
  • Director, Chairman: James Randi, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Director, Secretary, Assistant Secretary: Richard L. Adams Jr., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Director, Secretary: Daniel Denman, Silver Spring, Maryland.

On August 4, 2008, it was announced by the Foundation that astronomer Philip Plait
Philip Plait
Philip Cary Plait is an American astronomer and skeptic who runs the website BadAstronomy.com. He formerly worked at the physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State University. In early 2007, he resigned from his job to write Death from the Skies. On August 4, 2008, he became President of the...

 was named the new President of the JREF and Randi would become the Chairman of the JREF Board of Directors.

On December 7, 2009, it was announced that Phil Plait was leaving the JREF due to involvement in a television project, and D. J. Grothe assumed the position of President on January 1, 2010.

The San Francisco newspaper SF Weekly reported on August 24, 2009 that Randi's annual salary is about $200,000, a figure that has not changed much since the Foundation's inception.

History of the challenge

In 1968, James Randi was working on a radio program with his friend and parapsychologist
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir, and originates from para meaning "alongside", and psychology. The term was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research...

 Stanley Crypter. During one of the programs, a caller challenged him to "put his money where his mouth is", and Randi offered $100 of his own money to the first person who could provide objective proof of the paranormal. Eventually this grew to $1,000 and then $10,000. Later, Lexington Broadcasting
Lexington Broadcast Services Company
Lexington Broadcast Services Company was a television production and syndication company founded in 1976 by advertising pioneer Henry Siegel...

 wanted Randi to do a show called the $100,000 Psychic Prize, so they added $90,000 to the original $10,000 raised by Randi. Finally, in 1996, one of his friends, Internet pioneer Rick Adams
Rick Adams (Internet pioneer)
Richard L. Adams, Jr. was an Internet pioneer and the founder of UUNET, which, in the mid and late 1990s, was the world's largest Internet Service Provider ....

 donated US $1,000,000 for the prize. As the prize fund grew, the rules that surround claiming the prize became more official and legal. So far, about a thousand people have taken the challenge, and none have been successful.

To claim, one must agree to a protocol for testing, must show in a preliminary test before a foundation representative that they are likely to succeed, and finally make a demonstration in a formal test in front of independent witnesses. To date, over 1,000 applications have been filed but no one has passed a preliminary test, which is set up and agreed upon by both Randi and the applicant.

In the conditions and rules governing the one million U.S.-dollar challenge, Randi plainly states that both parties (himself and the party accepting the challenge) must agree in advance as to what conditions of the test constitute a success and what constitutes a failure. He also refuses to accept any challengers who might suffer serious injury or death as a result of the test they intend to undergo.

Dennis Rawlins
Dennis Rawlins
Dennis Rawlins is an American astronomer, historian, and publisher.-Polar controversies:While studying historical magnetic declination data in polar regions, Rawlins was surprised to find that there were no such data from the 1909 expedition of Robert E. Peary, eventually leading him to become...

 claimed the challenge is insincere, and that Randi will ensure he never has to pay out. In the October 1981 issue of Fate, Rawlins quoted him as saying "I always have an out". Randi has stated that Rawlins did not give the entire quotation. Randi actually said "Concerning the challenge, I always have an 'out': I'm right!". Randi states that the phrase "I always have an out" refers to the fact that he does not allow test subjects to cheat. On Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

Randi stated that if such phenomena did exist and someone accurately demonstrated it, he would give them one million dollars.

On Larry King Live, March 6, 2001, Larry King
Larry King
Lawrence Harvey "Larry" King is an American television and radio host whose work has been recognized with awards including two Peabodys and ten Cable ACE Awards....

 asked Sylvia Browne
Sylvia Browne
Sylvia Browne is an American author who describes herself as a psychic and spiritual medium...

 if she would take the challenge and she agreed. Randi appeared with Browne again on Larry King Live on September 3, 2001 and she again accepted the challenge. However, she has refused to be tested and Randi keeps a clock on his website recording the number of weeks that have passed since Sylvia accepted the challenge without following through. In an appearance on Larry King Live on January 26, 2007, Randi challenged Rosemary Altea
Rosemary Altea
Rosemary Altea is a New York Times best - selling author and psychic medium. She has appeared on various televisions shows, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show "20/20," "Unsolved mysteries", "Prime Time, with Diane Sawyer," "Politically Incorrect," "Leeza," "The View," and Fox and...

 to take the one million challenge. On Altea and Randi's June 5, 2001 meeting on the same show, Altea refused to take the challenge, calling it "a trick". Instead Altea, in part, replied "I agree with what he says, that there are many, many people who claim to be spiritual mediums, they claim to talk to the dead. There are many, people, we all know this. There are cheats and charlatans everywhere."

Since April 1, 2007 only those with an already existing media profile and the backing of a reputable academic are allowed to apply for the challenge. The resources freed up by not having to test obscure and possibly mentally ill
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

 claimants will then be used to challenge high-profile alleged psychics and mediums such as Sylvia Browne
Sylvia Browne
Sylvia Browne is an American author who describes herself as a psychic and spiritual medium...

 and John Edward
John Edward
John Edward McGee, Jr. is an American television personality and professional psychic medium. He is best known for his TV shows Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country....

 with a campaign in the media.

On January 4, 2008 it was announced that the prize would be discontinued on March 6, 2010 in order to free the money for other uses. In the meantime, claimants were welcome to vie for it. One of the reasons offered for its discontinuation is the unwillingness of higher-profile claimants to apply. However, at The Amaz!ng Meeting 7, it was announced that the $1 Million Challenge prize would not expire in 2010. This was also confirmed in the July/August issue of Skeptical Inquirer, in which Randi is additionally quoted as saying: "It was going to terminate... but now it will continue." The Foundation issued a formal update on its website on July 30, 2009 announcing the Challenge's continuation, and stated more information would be provided at a later date on any possible changes to the requirements and procedures.

As an April Fool's prank on April 1, 2008 at the MIT Media Lab
MIT Media Lab
The MIT Media Lab is a laboratory of MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Devoted to research projects at the convergence of design, multimedia and technology, the Media Lab has been widely popularized since the 1990s by business and technology publications such as Wired and Red Herring for a...

 Seth Raphael and James Randi performed a demonstration of Seth Raphael's psychic abilities which was awarded the prize.

In 2010 D. J. Grothe indicated his further plans to change and expand the Million Dollar Challenge, including making the application process more transparent, producing more live challenges, being more aggressive with the challenge in order to raise awareness about irresponsible pseudoscientific claims made by institutions, and the like.

On March 8, 2011, the JREF announced that qualifications were being altered to open the Challenge to more applicants. Whereas applicants were previously required to submit press clippings and a letter from an academic institution to qualify, the new rules now require applicants to present either press clippings, a letter from an academic institution, or a public video demonstrating their ability. The JREF explained that these new rules would give people without media or academic documentation a way to be considered for testing, and would allow the JREF to use online video and social media to reach a wider audience.

Judging the results

The official Challenge rules stipulate that the participant must agree, in writing, to the conditions and criteria of their test. Claims that cannot be tested experimentally are not eligible for the Challenge. To ensure that the experimental conditions themselves do not negatively affect a claimant's ability to perform, non-blinded preliminary control tests are often performed. For example, the JREF has dowsers
Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites, and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation , without the use of scientific apparatus...

 perform a control test, in which the dowser attempts to locate the target substance or object using their dowsing ability, even though the target's location has been revealed to the applicant. Failure to display a 100% success rate in the open test will cause their immediate disqualification. However, claimants are usually able to perform successfully during the open test, confirming that experimental conditions are adequate. According to the JREF, despite success in these open tests, no claimants have yet been able to successfully demonstrate evidence of their claims while blinded under otherwise identical conditions. Some participants have stated afterwards that the threat of disqualification is the main factor in their apparent success in the open test. Randi has said that few unsuccessful applicants ever seriously consider that their failure to perform might be due to the nonexistence of the power they believe they possess.
The discussions between the JREF and applicants were at one time posted on a public discussion board for all to see. Since the resignation of Randi's assistant, Mr. Kramer—and subsequent changes to challenge rules requiring applicants to have demonstrated considerable notability—new applications are no longer logged, but the JREF continues to maintain an archive of previous applicants.

Another objection made by critics of the challenge is that the rules prohibit independent judging, making the success or failure of the challenge dependent on whether Randi agrees that the test has been passed. While acknowledging the prohibition of independent judges, JREF staff and affiliates point out that the nature of the experimental design makes subjective judging of results unnecessary. Since claimants agree to readily observable success criteria prior to the test, results are unambiguous and clearly indicate whether or not the criteria have been met. Critics have also claimed that Randi's degree of control over the conditions of the challenge discourages serious applicants from applying, due to a perception of bias. Randi has said that he need not participate in any way with the actual execution of the test, and he has been willing to travel far from the test location to avoid the perception that his anti-paranormal bias could influence the test results. Additionally, claimants are able to influence all aspects of the testing procedure, including location and participants, during the initial negotiation phase of the challenge.

Additional criticisms of the test and its rules include:

Randi rejected applicant Rico Kolodzey, stating in the rejection letter that the applicant was "a liar and a fraud." The applicant in question claimed to survive without food via Breatharianism
Inedia is the alleged ability to live without food. The word was first used to describe a fast-based lifestyle within Catholic tradition, which holds that certain saints were able to survive for extended periods of time without food or drink other than the Eucharist.Breatharianism is a related...

. Randi asserted that Kolodzey's claim was so absurd or untestable on its face that it merited outright rejection. For example, Randi and the JREF explained their outright rejection of Kolodzey based on a policy to reject any applicants who put themselves in grave physical danger. However, this clause was not added to the official Challenge rules until years after the incident. However, on May 19, 2006, Randi made a special exception to that rule due to all of the "raucous fuss" and began private negotiations for testing with Kolodzey. After 100 days of negotiations a test procedure still could not be agreed upon by both parties. In response to the stalled negotiations, Randi publicly commented that Kolodzey was retreating from testing after strenuously objecting to the rejection of his initial application.

Critics have also referred to case of Yellow Bamboo, a group whose members claim they can knock down attackers by shouting. A volunteer was actually knocked to the ground during a test, but this was not accepted by the JREF as they had already severed all ties with the Yellow Bamboo group before the test was carried out. The JREF also pointed out that the test was not conducted according to the proposed protocol, with multiple flaws in the execution including being carried out at night. Upon viewing a set of still shots from the incident, several people experienced with stun-guns suggested that an electroshock weapon could have been used.

Some of the people Randi has offered the Challenge to, such as psychic Rosemary Altea
Rosemary Altea
Rosemary Altea is a New York Times best - selling author and psychic medium. She has appeared on various televisions shows, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show "20/20," "Unsolved mysteries", "Prime Time, with Diane Sawyer," "Politically Incorrect," "Leeza," "The View," and Fox and...

, claim the one million dollars does not exist, or is in the form of pledges or promissory notes. The JREF has stated that the million dollars is in the form of negotiable bonds within a "James Randi Educational Foundation Prize Account" and that validation of the account and the prize amount can be supplied on demand. The money is held in a Goldman, Sachs & Company
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 account. A copy of the JREF investment statement is viewable at SkepticReport, and the foundation has repeatedly mailed this evidence to high-profile claimants.

Similar offers

Several other organisations have offered prizes for evidence of paranormal behaviour, on a similar basis:
  • Association for Skeptical Enquiry is offering a £14,000 prize (USD 22,500).
  • Australian Skeptics
    Australian Skeptics
    The Australian Skeptics is a non-profit organisation based in Australia which investigates paranormal and pseudoscientific claims using scientific methodologies.-History:...

     offers AUD $100,000 for proof of psychic
    A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception , or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot...

     or paranormal powers.
  • Abraham Kovoor's challenge
    Abraham Kovoor's challenge
    Abraham Kovoor declared, in 1963, an award of Rs. 100, 000/- for anyone who could demonstrate supernatural or miraculous powers under fool-proof and fraud-proof conditions.-The challenge:...

    , an award of Rs. 100,000 for proof of supernatural or miraculous powers.
  • The Independent Investigations Group
    Independent Investigations Group
    The Independent Investigations Group is a volunteer-based organization founded by James Underdown in January 2000 at the Center for Inquiry-West in Hollywood, California...

     offers $50,000 to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.
  • Indian Skeptic 100,000 Paranormal Challenge Indian Rupees 100,000 ($2,500). Sponsored by Basava Premanand
    Basava Premanand
    Basava Premanand was an eminent skeptic and rationalist from Kerala, India.-History:Premanand was born on 17 February 1930 in Kozhikode, Kerala. His parents were followers of the Theosophical movement....

  • Prabir Ghosh
    Prabir Ghosh
    Prabir Ghosh is the head of the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India, and president of the Humanists' Association based in Kolkata. He was once referred to in the media as being from the "Rationalist Association of India"...

     of India is offering $50,000.
  • Tampa Bay Skeptics $1,000 Challenge US $1,000.
  • North Texas Skeptics Paranormal Challenge US $12,000.
  • The late Philip J. Klass
    Philip J. Klass
    Philip Julian Klass was an American journalist and UFO researcher, known for his skepticism regarding UFOs. In the ufological and skeptical communities, Klass tends to inspire strongly polarized appraisals. Klass has been called the "Sherlock Holmes of UFOlogy"...

     offered US $10,000 for proof of an extraterrestrial
    Extraterrestrial life
    Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

     visit to the Earth.
  • After investigating psychic phenomena in 1922, Scientific American
    Scientific American
    Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

    made two US $2,500 offers: (1) for the first authentic spirit photograph made under test conditions, and (2) for the first psychic to produce a "visible psychic manifestation." .
  • The Swedish Humanist Association is offering a prize of SEK
    Swedish krona
    The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code "SEK" and currency sign "kr" are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it, but especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value...

     100,000 that will be awarded to anyone who can demonstrate beyond doubt that they possess a paranormal or supernatural talent that cannot be explained by conventional science.

Example of a test (dowsing)

In 1979 Randi tested four people in Italy for dowsing
Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites, and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation , without the use of scientific apparatus...

 ability (Mr. Fontana, Dr. Borga, Mr. Stanziola, and Mr. Senatore). The prize at the time was $10,000 of Randi's personal money. The conditions were that a 10 meter by 10 meter test area would be used. There would be water supply and a reservoir just outside the test area. There would be three plastic pipes running underground from the source to the reservoir along different concealed paths. Each pipe would pass through the test area by entering at some point on an edge and exiting at some point on an edge. A pipe would not cross itself but it might cross others. The pipes were 3 centimeters in diameter and were buried 50 centimeters below ground. Valves would select which of the pipes water was running through, and only one would be selected at a time. At least 5 liters per second of water would flow through the selected pipe. The dowser must first check the area to see if there is any natural water or anything else that would interfere with the test, and that would be marked. Additionally, the dowser must demonstrate that the dowsing reaction works on an exposed pipe with the water running. Then one of the three pipes would be selected randomly for each trial. The dowser would place ten to one hundred pegs in the ground along the path he traces as the path of the active pipe. Two-thirds of the pegs placed by the dowser must be within 10 centimeters of the center of the pipe being traced for the trial to be a success. Three trials would be done for the test of each dowser and the dowser must pass two of the three trials to pass the test. A lawyer was present, in possession of Randi's $10,000 check. If a claimant were successful, the lawyer would give him the check. If none were successful, the check would be returned to Randi.

All of the dowsers agreed with the conditions of the test and stated that they felt able to perform the test that day and that the water flow was sufficient. Before the test they were asked how sure they were that they would succeed. All said either "99 percent" or "100 percent" certain. They were asked what they would conclude if the water flow was 90 degrees from what they thought it was and all said that it was impossible. After the test they were asked how confident they were that they had passed the test. Three answered "100 percent" and one answered that he had not completed the test.

When all of the tests were over and the location of the pipes was revealed, none of the dowsers had passed the test. Dr. Borga had placed his markers carefully, but the nearest was a full 8 feet from the water pipe. Borga said, "We are lost", but within two minutes he started blaming his failure on many things such as sunspot
Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. They are caused by intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection by an effect comparable to the eddy current brake, forming areas of reduced surface temperature....

s and geomagnetic
Earth's magnetic field
Earth's magnetic field is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth's inner core to where it meets the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles emanating from the Sun...

 variables. Two of the dowsers thought they had found natural water before the test started, but disagreed with each other about where it was, as well as with the ones who found no natural water.

Exploring psychic powers television show

Exploring Psychic Powers Live! was a television show aired live on June 7, 1989, wherein Randi examined several people claiming psychic powers. The show offered $100,000 (Randi's then $10,000 prize plus $90,000 put up by the show's syndicator
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

, Lexington Broadcasting
Lexington Broadcast Services Company
Lexington Broadcast Services Company was a television production and syndication company founded in 1976 by advertising pioneer Henry Siegel...

) to anyone who could demonstrate genuine psychic powers.
  • An astrologer
    An astrologer practices one or more forms of astrology. Typically an astrologer draws a horoscope for the time of an event, such as a person's birth, and interprets celestial points and their placements at the time of the event to better understand someone, determine the auspiciousness of an...

     claimed that he was able to ascertain a person's astrological sign
    Astrological sign
    Astrological signs represent twelve equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to astrology, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the twelve signs are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic modes...

     after talking with them for a few minutes. He was presented with twelve people, one at a time, each with a different astrological sign. The people could not tell the astrologer their astrological sign or birth date, nor could they wear anything that would indicate it. After the astrologer talked to the people, he had them sit in front of a sign that the astrologer thought was theirs. By agreement, the astrologer needed to get ten of them correct to win. He got none correct.
  • The next psychic claimed to be able to read auras
    Aura (paranormal)
    In parapsychology and many forms of spiritual practice, an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object . The depiction of such an aura often connotes a person of particular power or holiness. Sometimes, however, it is said that all living things and all objects...

     around people. The psychic claimed that auras were visible at least five inches from the people. The psychic chose ten people who had a clearly visible aura. The people were to stand behind screens and the psychic agreed that the aura would be visible above the screens. The screens were numbered 1 through 10, and people were selected whether or not to stand behind their screen at random. The psychic was to tell whether or not a person was standing behind each screen, by seeing the aura above. Since random guessing would be expected to get about five correct, the psychic needed to get eight of the ten right. The psychic stated that she saw an aura over all ten screens, but people were behind only four of the screens.
  • A dowser claimed that he could locate water, even in a bottle inside a sealed cardboard box. He was shown twenty boxes and the dowser was to indicate which boxes contained a water bottle. He indicated that eight of the boxes contained water, but only five did.
  • A psychometric psychic claimed to be able to receive personal information about the owner of an object from the object. In order to avoid ambiguous statements, the psychic agreed to be presented with a watch and a key from twelve different people. The psychic was to match keys and watches belonging to the same person. According to the prior agreement, the psychic had to match nine out of the twelve sets, but she succeeded in only two of the cases.
  • During the program, another psychic was doing a run of 250 Zener card
    Zener card
    Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extra-sensory perception , most often clairvoyance. Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist J. B. Rhine....

    s, guessing which of the five symbols was on each one. Random guessing should result in about fifty correct predictions, so it was agreed in advance that the psychic had to be right on at least eighty-two cards in order to demonstrate an ability greater than chance. However, she was able to get only fifty predictions correct, which is no better than random guessing .

The Amaz!ng Meeting

Since 2003, the JREF has annually hosted The Amaz!ng Meeting
The Amaz!ng Meeting
The Amaz!ng Meeting is an annual conference that focuses on science, skepticism, and atheism. It was started in 2003 by the James Randi Educational Foundation...

 (TAM), a gathering of scientist
A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

s, skeptics, and atheists. Perennial speakers include Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

, Penn & Teller
Penn & Teller
Penn & Teller are Las Vegas headliners whose act is an amalgam of illusion and comedy. Penn Jillette is a raconteur; Teller generally uses mime while performing, although his voice can occasionally be heard during their performance...

, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer
Michael Shermer
Michael Brant Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members...

 and Adam Savage
Adam Savage
Adam Whitney Savage is an American industrial design and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, and co-host of the Discovery Channel television series MythBusters. His model work has appeared in major films, including Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and The Matrix...



The JREF is affiliated with The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is a weekly, 80 minute podcast hosted by Steven Novella, MD, and a panel of "skeptical rogues". It is the official podcast of the New England Skeptical Society, and is produced in conjunction with the James Randi Educational Foundation...

 podcast, where James Randi sometimes speaks in a format reminiscent of a column, recounting adventures from his career as a debunker of psychics; as well as For Good Reason, hosted by JREF president D.J. Grothe.
The Foundation produced its own "Internet Audio Show" which ran from January-December 2002 and was broadcast via a live stream. The archive can be found as mp3 files on their website and as a podcast on iTunes.

Fellowships and Scholarships

The JREF has named a number of fellows of the organization including Senior Fellow Steven Novella
Steven Novella
Steven P. Novella is an American clinical neurologist, assistant professor and Director of General Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine...

 and Research Fellows
Research fellow
The title of research fellow is used to denote a research position at a university or similar institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator...

 Karen Stollznow
Karen Stollznow
Karen Stollznow is an Australian writer, linguist, podcaster and skeptic. She is a columnist for both Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer magazines and is host on two different skeptic podcasts...

, Tim Farley and Ray Hall.
In 2007 the JREF announced that it would resume awarding critical thinking
Critical thinking
Critical thinking is the process or method of thinking that questions assumptions. It is a way of deciding whether a claim is true, false, or sometimes true and sometimes false, or partly true and partly false. The origins of critical thinking can be traced in Western thought to the Socratic...

 scholarships to college students after a brief hiatus due to the lack of funding.

See also

  • America's Psychic Challenge
    America's Psychic Challenge
    America's Psychic Challenge was a competitive reality TV series on the Lifetime Television Network . The show originated in the UK with the title Britain's Psychic Challenge. Bunim-Murray Productions created the American version for Lifetime TV ....

  • An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
    An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
    An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural is a 1995 book by James Randi with a foreword by Arthur C. Clarke. It serves as a reference for various pseudoscience and paranormal subjects....

    (by Randi)
  • Debunker
    A debunker is an individual who attempts to discredit and contradict claims as being false, exaggerated or pretentious. The term is closely associated with skeptical investigation of, or in some cases irrational resistance to, controversial topics such as U.F.O.s, claimed paranormal phenomena,...

  • List of prizes for evidence of the paranormal
  • Pigasus Award
    Pigasus Award
    The Pigasus Award is the name of an annual tongue-in-cheek honor recognized by noted skeptic James Randi. The awards seek to expose parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year...

  • Rationalist Prabir Ghosh
    Prabir Ghosh
    Prabir Ghosh is the head of the Science and Rationalists’ Association of India, and president of the Humanists' Association based in Kolkata. He was once referred to in the media as being from the "Rationalist Association of India"...

     increases his challenge amount to $50,000 against any claim of paranormal, after surviving nine assassination attempts.
  • Skeptic's Dictionary
    Skeptic's Dictionary
    The Skeptic's Dictionary is a collection of cross-referenced skeptical essays by Robert Todd Carroll, published on his website skepdic.com and in a printed book. The skepdic.com site was launched in 1994 and the book was published in 2003 with nearly 400 entries. As of January 2011 the website has...

    by Robert Todd Carroll
    Robert Todd Carroll
    Robert Todd Carroll , Ph.D., is an American writer and academic. Carroll has written several books and skeptical essays but achieved notability by publishing the Skeptic's Dictionary online in 1994.-Early life and education:...

James Randi Educational Foundation

One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.