You are here

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.

05/03/2015 - 5:00pm Skeptics, Delusions, Feminism, and Anger: An Interview with Carol Tavris

Carol Tavris, our very special spring speaker in the Thomas Jefferson Lecture Series, will meet with Jeff Center members and friends on Sunday, May 3rd, 5pm at Pioneer Hall, Ashland, for a discussion of her work and ideas. Our Book Group Coordinator, Sandra Coyner, will moderate and stimulate discussion with questions related to Jeff Center themes, but YOU can ask your own questions and participate in discussion and dialogue. See the announcement for the lecture on May 5 for further details about what Dr. Tavris will present about “Self-Justifying Delusions.” The Salon will not duplicate the lecture, but should make it even more meaningful.
Carol Tavris is a social psychologist, feminist, and contributor to “Skeptic” magazine, honored with an award from The Independent Investigations Group in 2010.

04/19/2015 - 4:00pm Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

Freedom from Religion Foundation co-President Dan Barker will speak about meaning for atheists at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way in Ashland, at 4-6 PM. NOTE change in date to Sunday, April 19th.

Every thinking person wants to lead a life of meaning and purpose. Offering words of enrichment, emancipation, and inspiration, Dan Barker reminds us how millions of atheists lead happy, loving, moral, and purpose-filled lives without any need of a higher power.

03/08/2015 - 4:00pm “The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason”

The Salon on Sunday, March 8, at 4pm: "The Feeling of Knowing: The complex relationship of emotion and reason." Why do some people persistently believe in the existence of impossible supernatural entities? Or reject well-founded science? Or vote against their economic interest? Or put America’s children at risk for measles? Or blindly ignore evidence in favor of fallacious reasoning? A common answer is that in such cases, emotion has overwhelmed reason—e.g. “politics of fear.” Since Jeffersonian times, important parts of our culture have believed that we can be reasonable only when we suppress emotion. Other parts of our culture want to elevate emotion above reason, at least some of the time. Both of these views assume that reason and emotion are opposites or even enemies. But recent brain science, as revealed in books read by the Jeff Center and Brain Books discussion groups, fairly blows this model out of the water. Emotion and reason are intertwined—in all of us, pretty much all the time. Sandra Coyner, as moderator, will lead us to share our experiences with this complex relationship of emotion and reason. She will also present a brief introduction to some evidence-based explanations of how we “know,” leading us perhaps to increased humility, and appreciation of our own flaws and of others’ integrity.

02/08/2015 - 4:00pm Networking with SOU Secular Student Alliance

At the February 8th (4pm) Salon, SOU Secular Student Alliance members (SSA) will be our guests and we will be focusing on forming an ongoing relationship with them. Len Eisenberg as facilitator will lead a round robin discussion, discussing not only why they joined the SSA but also how they came to acquire their secular world view and how that view affects their interpersonal relationships. In addition, they are looking for a community action volunteer project to become involved with so if you have ideas for that please be willing to present that to them for consideration. This will be a fun salon as we endeavor to infuse some youth into our organization. NOTE THIS WILL BE AT PIONEER HALL.

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.