RG Update – Keynote and Featured Speakers, Programming and Tours!

Excited to announce that we’ve finalized the Keynote and Featured Speakers for the RG! We’ll be having a Keynote speaker during the Saturday night dinner and the Sunday brunch. We’ll also be having a bonus featured speaker during the Saturday lunch this year.

Saturday Luncheon: State Senator Jerry Hill

Saturday Keynote Dinner: When Will We Find E.T. and What Happens If We Do?

Sunday Keynote Brunch: Spirituality Explained Scientifically

More info on all three talks and the speaker bios can be found on our programs page. Don’t forget to add the Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch meals to your registration in order to secure a spot for these special talks!

We’ve also added over a dozen new talks and activities to the program since the last update. Make sure to check out the RG website for all the latest details.

Finally, we’ve got a few spots left on both the Exploratorium Tour and the North Beach Food Tour. Sign up now if you’d like to add these fun events!

We’re only 2 days away from the next rate increase. Register before September 15th to get the lowest current rate!


Saturday Luncheon: 
State Senator Jerry Hill will be joining us to speak at our included Saturday lunch banquet. Jerry Hill was elected to the California Senate in November 2012 and represents the 13th Senate District, which encompasses the San Francisco Peninsula and portions of Silicon Valley.

Saturday Keynote Dinner: When Will We Find E.T. and What Happens If We Do?

Are we alone in the universe? The scientific hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence is now well into its fifth decade, and we still haven’t discovered any cosmic company. Could all this mean that finding biology beyond Earth, even if it exists, is a project for the ages – one that might take centuries or longer?

New approaches and new technology for detecting sentient beings elsewhere suggest that there is good reason to expect that we could uncover evidence of sophisticated civilizations – the type of aliens we see in the movies and on TV – within a few decades. But why now, and what sort of evidence can we expect?

Also, if we do find E.T., what would be the societal impact of learning that something, or someone, is out there?

Seth Shostak is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Inspired by a book about the solar system he read at the age of ten, he began his career with a degree in physics from Princeton University and a PhD in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology before working with radio telescopes in the US and the Netherlands to uncover how the universe will end.

In addition, Seth is keen on outreach activities: interesting the public – and especially young people – in science in general, and astrobiology in particular. He’s co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology, and has written three trade books on SETI. In addition, he’s published more than 400 popular articles on science — including regular contributions to both the Huffington Post and Discover Magazine blogs — gives many dozens of talks annually, and is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Big Picture Science.”

Sunday Keynote Brunch: Spirituality Explained Scientifically

This talk starts with a definition of spirituality which allows spirituality to be distinguished from religion. The model will describe a human as an agent that can be decomposed into three different interconnected sub-agents named Thinker, Doer, and Experiencer. This model of the human brain (and consciousness) can explain the origin, purpose and efficacy of spirituality and spiritual practices.

Frank Heile, Ph.D. has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physics from MIT and Stanford. His career was in software engineering management and in his retirement he is writing a book with the tentative title of “Spirituality Explained.” He has had a 30 year interest in both spirituality and consciousness and considers himself to be a spiritual atheist. He hopes his book will permit other atheists to understand the purpose and efficacy of spirituality.