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Salon: Past Events

Salon Information

Salon Program
Jefferson Center Salons present topics of interest to our community, and provide a forum for lively discussion afterward. Topics are selected by a committe of members. We serve refreshments contributed by volunteers and have a brief social time before the start of the program. Salons are typically held on the second Sunday of each month at 4pm at The Jefferson Center, 208 Oak Street, Suite 101 in Ashland. Guests of members and interested visitors are always welcome to join us. To volunteer for refreshments or make a suggestion for a future salon, please contact committee chair Diana Spade by clicking here.

01/11/2015 - 4:00pm Salon: Ada Lovelace “Enchantress of Numbers”

Historian, Victoria Law, will speak about the important history of Ada Lovelace (considered by many to be the first computer programmer). Ada Lovelace Day, which this year falls on October 13th, was established in 2009 and has developed into an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Ada Augusta Byron, the Countess of Lovelace, born in 1815, had the genius and vision to see the possibilities for computers that none of her contemporaries, male or female, could see. The daughter of the famous English poet, Lord Byron, Ada’s deep understanding of mathematics gave her an intuitive understanding of the first computer, Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

12/14/2014 - 4:00pm "Are We Alone?"

"Are We Alone?" For centuries men have looked to the skies and wondered if we were alone in the vast universe. Len Eisenberg, past president of The Jefferson Center, will examine the evidence for the likely presence, or absence, of multiple space-faring civilizations in our galaxy, and the implications for policy decisions here on Earth.

11/09/2014 - 4:00pm "Sexy Violence! Violent Sex! The Weird-ass Morality of the Bible"

“Sexy Violence! Violent Sex! The Weird-ass Morality of the Bible” - IS every sperm sacred? Was Paul gay? Where’s MY concubines? David Fitzgerald will be discussing these and many other important biblical morality questions (Please be advised that this talk gets a little racy & contains strong language). David Fitzgerald has been called both “The Ferris Bueller of San Francisco” and “one of the busiest Atheist activists in the Bay Area.” A former Southern Baptist, he had a secular epiphany in his 20's and is now Action Coordinator for San Francisco Atheists and on the national speaker's bureaus of the Secular Student Alliance and Center for Inquiry. He is also co-founder/director of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival and San Francisco's annual Darwin Day celebration, "Evolutionpalooza!" and (with Greta Christina) the Godless Perverts Story Hour. PLEASE NOTE: This salon will be at the Community Center, 59 Winburn Way.

09/14/2014 - 4:00pm Salon: The Jefferson Center Mission Committee Update

Exclusive Member-only Salon. Much has happened since January in response to the Jefferson Center Future Planning session. At this special Salon, the Mission Committee will present our current understanding of the Jefferson Center Mission Statement and ask you, our membership, for input. At the meeting you will:
1) Find out if the term “Critical Thinking” will continue to be part of the Mission Statement.
2) Hear amazing revelations about what the Jefferson Center may be.
3) Enjoy pointing out what we, the committee members, have missed.
Here's your opportunity to be heard. We need your input so please attend this exciting direction-setting meeting for YOUR Jefferson Center.

07/13/2014 - 4:00pm Special Event/Salon "Inequality for All" Documentary

The documentary "Inequality for All" will be shown at the Community Center, 59 Winburn Way, Ashland on Sunday, July 13, 4pm sponsored by the newly formed Jefferson Center Community Action Committee. The general public is invited so bring your friends as well.
Inequality for All is a 2013 documentary film directed by Jacob Kornbluth. The film examines widening income inequality in the United States. The film is presented by American economist, author and professor Robert Reich.
At the heart of the film is a simple proposition: what is a good society, and what role does the widening income gap play in the deterioration of our nation’s economic health? The producers endeavor to accurately show through a non-partisan perspective why extreme income equality is such an important topic for all citizens today – and for the future of America.

06/08/2014 - 4:00pm "A Waning Warming; What's up With That?"

On Sunday, June 8th, at 4pm. an exploration of the claim that global warming has slowed/halted will be presented by Dr Alan Journet. Looking at global atmospheric temperature trends since 1998 once again climate science deniers are claiming that global warming has slowed or stopped so we no longer need to worry about its consequences or address its symptoms. Alan will explore that claim.

05/11/2014 - 4:00pm Briscoe Geology Park Tour

Len Eisenberg, past president of The Jefferson Center, will lead a tour through geologic time at the Briscoe Geology Park, 265 N Main St, Ashland on Sunday May 11 at 4pm. Bring your questions and comments for the many issues, both ancient and modern, connected to study of earth and life history. Briscoe Geology Park contains three 'time walks' along with visitors and students discover local geology, and how life and our planet have changed through time. Adventurous souls can try their hand at a grade 6 to 8 activity sheet, the same as students attempt to complete when they come to the park on field trips. More about the park can be found at Please note we will meet at the Park and then gather for refreshments and discussion following the presentation in Len's studio inside the old Briscoe Elementary School.

04/13/2014 - 4:00pm "Engaging Creationists: Should You?"

We often hear or read something about the origins that is so erroneous that it takes us by surprise and often leaves us speechless. Do we remain silent or speak up? If we decide to challenge statements that are incorrect we should probably ask ourselves several important questions first. What are our goals? How effective will we be? Will presenting evidence work? Are there any dangers to relationships? In this presentation by Dr Jon Peters we will look at why arguing with evidence can often make the situation worse and why, the contribution of confirmation bias, and how motivated reasoning is so central to the creationist. Please note change of venue ...we will be meeting at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way.

03/09/2014 - 4:00pm "The History of Hell"

Hell has long been, and still is, a source of foreboding and terror for many human beings.
What is the history and evolution of our ideas about Hell and the devil? How is Hell related to the earlier concepts of Sheol, Gehenna, Tartarus, and Hades? We will explore these dark themes in a multimedia presentation by the Jefferson Center's President, Roy Kindell.

02/09/2014 - 4:00pm "The Hearth: Real Stories by Regular People"

Mark Yaconelli will present "The Hearth: Real Stories by Regular People". The Hearth is Southern Oregon's own personal storytelling series. Once a quarter Mark, its founder and director, gathers a diverse group of community members to tell a true story, first person, based on a theme. Past themes include: "Crime and Punishment" and "Into the Wild: Wilderness Tails." The purposes is to create more community and to call people out of hiding. Learn how this community activity can be therapeutic to all, benefitting not only the story teller but the listener as well. Mark Yaconelli, who lives in Ashland, is a facilitator, writer, and community activist. He currently works as the Program Director for the Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont Lincoln University.