The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s 37th annual national convention will take place Oct. 24-25, 2014, at the legendary Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Avenue in Los Angeles.
The Biltmore, a luxury hotel and favorite of dignitaries, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and is steps away from the L.A. Live entertainment complex, Staples Center, Ahmanson Theatre, Walt Disney Concert Hall and a few miles from Dodger Stadium.
FFRF is delighted to announce two distinguished scientists will accept its Emperor Has No Clothes Award, a brass statuette reserved for public figures who “tell it like it is” about religion.
One honoree of the 2014 Emperor Has No Clothes Award is paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson, who is known for discovering the fossil of a female hominid australopithecine known as "Lucy" in the Afar Triangle region of Hadar, Ethiopia. Johanson is the founding director of the Institute of Human Origins, a human-evolution think tank, at Arizona State University. Johanson published his latest book about the Lucy discovery, Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins (Harmony Books, 2009). He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westfield State College in 2008.
The other distinguished honoree for the 2014 Emperor Has No Clothes Award is physicist Sean Carroll, senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Carroll is a theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity. Carroll is the author of The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. Carroll, an open atheist, occasionally takes part in formal debates or discussions with theists. In 2012, Carroll teamed up with Michael Shermer to debate Ian Hutchinson of MIT and author Dinesh D'Souza at Caltech in an event titled "The Great Debate: Has Science Refuted Religion?" In 2014, Carroll debated Christian apologist William Lane Craig as part of the Greer-Heard Forum in New Orleans. The topic for the debate was "The Existence of God in Light of Contemporary Cosmology".