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and secular values
In 2007, Sam Harris and his wife, Annaka Harris, founded Project Reason. Its website states:
The project will draw on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers from a wide range of disciplines — science, law, literature, entertainment, information technology, etc. — to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy. It will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific research and opinion polls, award grants to other non-profit organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition and bigotry in the world.
"One immediate need", according to Sam Harris, "is to build an archive of the best secular resources on the Internet. Registered users can submit their favorite articles, videos, interviews, etc". Users are also encouraged to make donations: "The leading religious organizations have operating budgets of over $100 million per year. There is no equivalent organization in the secular world. It may take a while, but you can help us build it!"
The project has been spearheaded by Sam and Annaka Harris and has so far succeeded in attracting the following members to its advisory board:
- Peter Atkins — professor of chemistry at the University of Oxford
- Jerry Coyne — professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago
- Richard Dawkins — former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford
- Daniel C. Dennett — Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University
- Brent Forrester — Emmy Award-winning television writer
- Rebecca Goldstein — philosopher and novelist
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali — former member of the Dutch parliament; author of The Caged Virgin and the New York Times best selling memoir Infidel
- Christopher Hitchens — (now deceased) author, journalist, and literary critic; author of God Is Not Great
- Harold Kroto — chairman of the board of the Vega Science Trust; Nobel laureate in chemistry, 1996
- Bill Maher — comedian, pundit, writer, and host of Real Time with Bill Maher
- Ian McEwan — award-winning novelist
- Steven Pinker — Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
- Salman Rushdie — Man Booker Prize-winning author
- Lee M. Silver — professor at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology
- Ibn Warraq — senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry specializing in Koranic criticism
- Steven Weinberg — Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin; Nobel laureate in physics, 1979
- Lawrence Krauss — Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Departments, Associate Director of the Beyond Center, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative and Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University.
- J. Craig Venter — biologist and entrepreneur known for being one of the first to sequence the human genome and for creating the first cell with a synthetic genome.
The organization includes an internet forum as well as several ancillary projects which attempt to debunk religion using empirical and rational critiques. One such project is titled "The Scripture Project" which exists as a source of criticism, insight, and annotation of scripture from many of the world religions.