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USF to host lecture on supernatural and paranormal claims

TAMPA, Fla. -- If you’ve ever wondered about the truth behind claims of the supernatural and paranormal, you should join writer and scientific paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford as he explores unexplained mysteries at the University of South Florida on Oct. 16, 2012, at 7 p.m.

Radford is the deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a research fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He will reflect on “A Decade of Paranormal Investigation.”

Radford has written hundreds of articles on topics such as urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking and media literacy. He is the author of six books, including “Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking” (with sociologist Robert E. Bartholomew); “Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries;” and his most recent, “Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore.”

Radford, a lively and entertaining speaker, will range from topics such as ghosts, Bigfoot and crop circles to psychic powers and vampires. What does science say about the evidence for these? What is the nature of the unexplained? And why is there still debate about these issues? He welcomes both skeptics and believers, and there will be plenty of time for audience interaction.

Radford is a regular columnist for, Discovery News and Skeptical Inquirer. He has appeared on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Learning Channel, CBC, BBC and CNN, and served as a consultant for the MTV series “The Big Urban Myth Show” and the CBS crime drama series “CSI.”

“This talk speaks to our signature theme of Science, Medicine and Society,” said Elizabeth Bird, director of the Humanities Institute. “Ben applies scientific methods and standards to his investigations, and shows the importance of scientific literacy in a world where we are all barraged by misinformation and half-truths. He models critical thinking through informative and entertaining examples.”

Radford’s lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the TECO Room, College of Education, followed by a wine and cheese reception for a meet and greet and book signing. The event is free and open to the public. To visit Radford’s webpage go to:


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Author: Special to CAS