Society of Skeptics

Established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues, the Society of Skeptics has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States.

Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, ask questions and debate points of view.

The program is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Dr. Elliott TrommaldHon. '65 established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; Dr. Martin Miller took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption.

Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics features a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial.

All lectures are at 7 p.m. in Cowan Auditorium unless otherwise noted. To see photos or videos of past lectures, click on the date, name of the speaker or the title of the program below. 

Date Speaker Topic
9/15/15 Scarlett Lewis, founder of Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation "Sandy Hook Mother Speaks Out"
9/22/15 Rob Montz "Cuba's Economy & Politics" 
9/29/15 Haider Hamza, Iraqi journalist, scholar & activist
"Growing Up in a Conflict Zone"
10/6/15 Edwidge Dorelien, former French teacher "Haiti: An Unknown 'Maroon'" 
10/13/15 Ifa Bayeza, Africana studies, Brown University "The Life of Emmett Till"
10/20/15 Young Alumni Panel Alumni will give presentations on their careers. 
10/27/15 Dave Stevens, congenital amputee & college football player "Overcoming Physical Limitations"
11/3/15 David Chase, general manager of the Sussex County Miners "The MLB Civil Rights Ball Game"
11/10/15 Chris Fussell '92, chief growth officer for McChrystal Group "'Team of Teams' Approach to More Effective Organizations" 
11/17/15 Stan Spraitzar '67, senior cyber strategist/advisor for the National Security Agency "Cyber Pearl Harbor" 
12/1/15 Brad McNamara, co-founder of Freight Farms
Herman Hollerith Lecture on Innovation & Entrepreneurship
"Growing Food in Urban Areas Year-Round" 

Sandy Apgar ’58, former assistant secretary of the Army and Defense Business Board member

Sarah Apgar ’98, director of New Stores & Facilities at Warby Parker and Founder of Fitfighter Training

1/5/16 LEADS Speaker
"On Leadership" 
1/12/16 Doug Bandow, Cato Institute "Paris and San Bernardino Massacres: What Next?" 
1/19/16 Cornell Thomas, author, life coach and Blair's assistant boys' varsity basketball coach "The Life of a Basketball Player"
1/26/16 Tony Campolo, sociologist, author, pastor and spiritual advisor to former President Bill Clinton "Social Justice" 
2/9/16 Hisham Sobhy, founder & CEO of Generosus Advisors, LLC and father of Adham '18 and Aya '17 "Investment Knowledge & Tools for High School Students"
2/16/16 Sharon Squassoni, director and senior fellow of the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies "Rogue States, Nuclear Weapons and Dilemmas of the Nuclear Age" 
3/29/16 Steven Kampmann, writer & director
"From Dream to Hollywood: The Making of Stealing Home, from Script to Screen" 
4/5/16 Elliott Trommald, former history department chair
This lecture will be held in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts' DuBois Theatre.
"John I. Blair" 
4/12/16 Dick Boak '68, Martin Guitars "Thoughts about the '60s" 
4/19/16 Blair Ideas Forum: A Series of Student Interviews "Blair Ideas Forum"
4/26/16 Ruth Millman, Holocaust survivor
James Youngelson Lecture on Ethics & Responsibility
"A Personal Account of the Holocaust"