Lynne Kelly is a writer and science educator in Australia, and a founding member of Australian Skeptics. An expert on the paranormal who uses aspects of the magician’s art to advance skepticism, she holds degrees in education and engineering and is the author over a dozen books, including The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Lynne Kelly examines differences in paranormal beliefs between Australia and the United States, and whether such beliefs are growing. She talks about various paranormal topics from her book, including crop circles, psychic detectives, and communicating with the dead, and explains how to best convey a skeptical approach to students when addressing such topics. She addresses why she avoids overt skepticism of religion when educating her audiences, and why skepticism as a movement has often avoided religious faith claims. She also debates the perils and proper use of the magician’s art, especially “cold reading,” when teaching skepticism.