Desiree Schell

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Desiree Schell
Desiree Schell-TAM 9.JPG
Desiree Schell at The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) 9, held July 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada
OccupationRadio Show Host, Lecturer, Labour Organizer, Blogger
Years active2008 - Present
Known forNotable Skeptic Speaker for Center for Inquiry (CFI), host of the Skeptically Speaking, and featured speaker at The Amazing Meeting.

Desiree Schell is the host of the live Canadian call-in radio talk show and podcast "Science for the People".[1] An advocate for scientific skepticism, Schell is a strong advocate of critical thinking and is strongly interested in the promotion of skepticism publicly. In her work as a labour organizer, Schell creates curricula and teaches courses on effective activism, drawing on the experience of other social movements.[2]

Desiree has also blogged for The Paltry Sapien.[3]

Skeptical Activism[edit]

In 2011 Schell was a featured speaker at The Amazing Meeting[4] and has "emerged as one of skepticism’s most open and innovative public voices".[5] She has made numerous appearances, including SkeptiCamp Alberta in July 2010,[6][7] LOGICON,[8] SkepchickCon,[9][10] Imagine No Religion 2,[11] the CFI Student Leadship Conference,[12] and the Women In Secularism 2 conference in May 2013.[13] Schell is a member of the Speaker Bureau for the Center for Inquiry.[14]

Schell speaking at the Imagine No Religion 2 conference in Kamloops BC, May 2012

Along with Maria Walters, Trevor Zimmerman, and K. O. Meyers, Schell created The Skeptical Activism Campaign Manual.[15] She advocates single-issue campaigns with a clear objective and a measurable outcome.[16] In a 2011 interview with the Young Australian Skeptics, Schell states, "Activism takes a long time; you don't change things overnight. Like evolution, it's those small incremental changes that are so important."[17] In an interview with Kylie Sturgess, Schell states "We are a young movement but we can learn from other movements. We have access to all these studies done around science communication and around science education. We need to use that kind of research the way we would for homeopathy."[18]

Schell states "Skepticism 2.0’s" rebirth is a demographically broad social movement. We really want to spread critical thinking to the broadest possible audience. In order to do that, we as skeptics need to discuss ways that we can make our message more inclusive."[19] In a 2011 interview Schell states, "Skepticism is getting larger. If you want to represent different viewpoints you have to get different people with different viewpoints to represent them."[16] "If you genuinely want them involved you have to genuinely take them seriously."[20]


In a biography for The Skeptics Society,[19] Schell cites an essay by Junior Skeptic Magazine Editor Daniel Loxton, "Where do we go from here?",[21] as a source of inspiration for her skeptical outreach. "It brought home just how much work there really is to do, but it also helped me understand that we can move beyond simply being skeptics ourselves. With enough effort and the right planning, we really can help people become better critical thinkers."[19] "There is more to skepticism than just being right."[22] Schell also advises those interested in activism to "know your audience" and understand your resources, people, money, and supplies. Look for allies that may want to support your cause.[23]

Science for the People[edit]

The radio show is based out of CJSR in Edmonton, Canada.[24] Started in March 2009, it currently airs live every Friday night at 6 pm MST. The show is also streamed live[25] at and is rebroadcast by several radio stations in Canada and the United States. The show is also available as an MP3 download on the website and via Apple's iTunes.[26]

Desiree Schell at CJSR

Science for the People is known for investigating social and gender issues in skepticism and for attempting to make skepticism a demographically broad social movement. It features interviews with prominent skeptics, researchers, and scientists including Adam Savage,[27] Derek Colanduno,[28] Phil Plait,[29] and Carl Zimmer.[30] Skeptically Speaking explores the connections between science and skepticism and looks at strategies for promoting critical thinking beyond the ranks of current Skeptics.[31]

60 Second Science[edit]

Schell is an International Judge for an Australian Project called 60 Second Science,[32] a science promotion campaign encouraging students to submit a 60-second video with a science theme.


  1. ^ "User Profile: Desiree Schell". Blogger. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "4 Brilliant Atheists for You to Follow". Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  3. ^ Schell, Desiree. "The Paltry Sapien". The Paltry Sapien. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Amazing Meeting!". James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Announcing Desiree Schell as Curator for "Skeptics Mix Tape 2011″". Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  6. ^ "SkeptiCamp". SkeptiCamp Alberta 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Set your phasers to Festival". the edmontonian. July 23, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
  8. ^ "LOGICON 2011 Edmonton". Speakers. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  9. ^ skepchickcon-2012. "skepchickcon-2012". Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Skepchickcon 2013". Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Imagine No Religion 2 Conference". Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Speakers". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  13. ^ "A powerful roster of speakers and panelists". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  14. ^ "CFI Speakers". Desiree Schell. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  15. ^ "The Skeptical Activism Campaign Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  16. ^ a b ""Skeptically Speaking;" Desiree Schell and Greg Laden on Atheists Talk #118, June 5, 2011"". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  17. ^ "The Pseudo Scientists Podcast - Episode 39". The Young Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Token Skeptic #18 - On The Placebo Protest (Science Communication Part Three)". Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  19. ^ a b c "I Am A Skeptic". Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  20. ^ "Desiree Schell at INR2". Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  21. ^ Daniel, Loxton. "Skeptic" (PDF). Where Do We Go From Here?. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  22. ^ "The Pseudo Scientists Podcast - Episode 39". The Young Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  23. ^ Sturgess, Kylie (2012). The Scope of Skepticism: Interviews, Essays and Observations from the Token Skeptic Podcast. PodBlack Books. p. 55. ASIN B008PFGG9G. Unknown ID 5800084353864.
  24. ^ "Family & Community". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 21 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "uStream". Skeptically Speaking Live Stream. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  26. ^ "iTunes". Skeptically Speaking Podcast. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  27. ^ "Surprise Guest! Adam Savage!". Skeptically Speaking. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Science Fiction and Skepticism with Derek Colanduno". Skeptically Speaking. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  29. ^ Plait, Phil. "Skeptically Speaking Online". Bad Astronomy blog. Discover Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2012.,
  30. ^ Zimmer, Carl. "Radiolab and Skeptically Speaking: For Your Listening Pleasure". The Loom blog. Discover Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Speaking of Skeptical Activism". Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  32. ^ "60 second Science". The Judges. Retrieved 20 May 2011.

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