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Kendrick Frazier

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Albuquerque, NM

Science writer

Kendrick Frazier

Writer, editor


Columbia University

Kendrick Frazier httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

March 19, 1942 (age 81) (
Windsor, Colorado

People of Chaco, Encounters With the Paranormal

A Conversation with James Randi

Kendrick Crosby Frazier (born March 19, 1942) is a science writer and longtime editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He is also a former editor of Science News, author or editor of ten books, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a fellow and a member of the executive council of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), an international organization which promotes scientific inquiry.


He has written extensively about a variety of science topics including astronomy, space exploration, the earth and planetary sciences, archaeology, technology, the history and philosophy of science, public issues of science, and the critical examination of pseudoscience and fringe-science.

Personal life

Frazier received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Colorado and a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. He is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the American Geophysical Union.

He lives with his wife, Ruth, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is an international consultant in community development and a former president (1974-1997) of Futures for Children, an organization which works with American Indians of the Southwest. They have a son, Chris; their daughter, Michele, died February 5, 2012, from cervical cancer, two-and-a-half months after completing a 700-mile expedition (called Starry Ganga) standup paddleboarding down the Ganges River in India to spread awareness about cervical cancer and its preventability and treatment.


Frazier was the earth sciences editor of Science News in 1969–70. He was named managing editor in 1970–71, then editor from 1971 to 1977, and remained a contributing editor until 1981. In December 1973 he traveled to Antarctica and the South Pole and wrote a series of articles reporting on the historic U.S. research into the continent's geologic and climatic history and the environmental impact of such research.

In 1976 Frazier reported on the organizing conference at which the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, CSICOP, was founded. In a discussion with James Randi at CSICon 2016 regarding the founding of CSICOP, Frazier said that Isaac Asimov being associated with the organization "gave it immense status and authority" in his eyes.

The committee published a journal called The Zetetic featuring articles examining the claims of occultism and pseudoscientific theories. In August 1977 Frazier became the editor of the journal, and with the first issue of 1978 its name was changed to the Skeptical Inquirer.

Frazier has written articles in every issue for thirty-five years and participated in every national and international conference of the organization since 1977. Examples of his recent editor's columns and reports that feature popular science topics include "The Winter of Our Discontent" (about attacks on climate science), "Why the Bem Experiments Are Not Parapschology's Next Big Thing", "Getting People Emotionally Invested", and "The Roswell Syndrome....and Pseudoskepticism". His comprehensive history of CSICOP was published in The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal.

From 1983-2006, he concurrently worked as a full-time staff member at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he wrote about its research projects and for the last 11 years edited its award-winning newspaper, the Sandia Lab News. He retired as a Principal Member of Laboratory Staff.

Frazier's most recent book Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience was featured by Science News for its “engaging, insightful, and often surprising essays by researchers and journalists” about “what science is and is not, and what happens when the facts get twisted.” Three prominent scientists gave testimonials about the book. Astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote “Science Under Siege is a welcome antidote to the profound science illiteracy that, today, permeates American pop culture and the press.” Harvard University cognitive scientist and author Steven Pinker called the book “An entertaining and eye-opening collection of essays that advance the battle against ignorance and superstition.” Williams College astronomer Jay M. Pasachoff said “Ken Frazier's collection brings a well-chosen selection of logical and well-reasoned pieces before a general audience that would enjoy and benefit from their analyses and exposés.”

Frazier has also hosted panels and made presentations at many other conferences. They include

  • The Second World Skeptic’s Congress at the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, July 1998 where he spoke on a panel alongside Sergei Kapitza and Vern Bullough
  • The World Congress on Scientific Inquiry and Human Well-Being organized by Center for Inquiry and China Research Institute for Science Popularization, Beijing, China, October 2007
  • The Northeast Conference of Skeptical Societies (NECSS), New York City, April 2011 which was the basis for this Skeptical inquirer article "Who Really Wants Reliable Scientific Information?".
  • The Amazing Meeting 8, Las Vegas, July 2010, where he participated in a panel titled "The Origins of the Modern Skeptic Movement" alongside James Randi, Ray Hyman, and Paul Kurtz
  • The World Conference of Science Journalists, Doha, Qatar, June 2011 which became the focus of two articles "The Age of Denialism: When Beliefs Trump Scientific Facts" and "Pseudoscience, Mythbusting, Evolution Gain Attention of World's Top Science Journalists".
  • CSICon New Orleans, October 2011 where he gave opening remarks and also moderated a panel on Science and Public Policy at which Ron Lindsay spoke on the subject of Food Fears -- The Need for Appropriate Risk Assessment.
  • The Australian Skeptics National Convention in November 2014. He spoke on organized skepticism of the past 40 years and of today.
  • Awards and honors

    In 1985 the University of Colorado presented him with the George Norlin Award for outstanding achievement by an alumnus.

    The American Humanist Association awarded Frazier the Humanist Pioneer Award in 1995 for his "effective worldwide advancement of rational skepticism".

    He received the In Praise of Reason Award, the highest honor from the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal in 2001. The award is given in recognition of distinguished contributions in the use of critical inquiry, scientific evidence, and reason in evaluating claims to knowledge. Other recipients of this award include Carl Sagan, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Jay Gould, Martin Gardner, Ray Hyman and Nobel laureate physicist Leon Lederman.

    Frazier was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 2005 for his “distinguished contributions to the public understanding of science through writing for and editing popular science magazines that emphasize science news and scientific reasoning and methods.”


  • The Violent Face of Nature: Severe Phenomena and Natural Disasters,by Kendrick Frazier, William Morrow, New York, 1979, ISBN 0-688-03528-0
  • Paranormal Borderlands of Science, edited by Kendrick Frazier, Prometheus Books, 1981, ISBN 0-87975-148-7.
  • Our Turbulent Sun, by Kendrick Frazier. Prentice Hall, 1982, ISBN 0-13-644492-X
  • Solar System. By Kendrick Frazier and the Editors of Time-Life Books. Planet Earth Series. Time-Life Books, 1985, ISBN 0-7054-0755-1
  • Science Confronts the Paranormal edited by Kendrick Frazier, Prometheus Books, 1986, ISBN 0-87975-314-5.
  • The Hundredth Monkey: And Other Paradigms of the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier, 1991, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-655-1.
  • The UFO Invasion: The Roswell Incident, Alien Abductions, and Government Coverups, edited by Kendrick Frazier, Barry Karr, and Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, 1997, ISBN 1-57392-131-9.
  • Encounters With the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge, and Belief, edited by Kendrick Frazier, 1998, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-57392-203-X.
  • People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture, by Kendrick Frazier. Updated and Revised Edition, 2005, W.W. Norton, New York. ISBN 0-393-31825-7
  • Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience, by Kendrick Frazier, 2009, Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-715-2
  • References

    Kendrick Frazier Wikipedia