Jun 28 2007

Barry L. Beyerstein 1947-2007

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Barry Beyerstein, a psychologist, skeptic, teacher, promoter of science and reason – and without hyperbole the single nicest guy in the skeptical movement, passed away two days ago. He was only 60 and his death was unexpected, it certainly came as a shock to me. The premature death of such a wonderful person is always a tragedy, it is a terrible loss for his family, and I feel as if the skeptical family has also suffered a great loss.

I had the good fortune of knowing Barry, although our paths crossed only occasionally. We worked together on the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, and I always enjoyed seeing him at skeptical meetings. I am glad we had the opportunity to interview him recently for the Skeptics Guide. Take a listen to the interview – his good humor comes through no matter what topic we were discussing.

The inner circle of the skeptical movement is actually quite small. Although we are geographically spread out, I feel as if we are tied closely together by our common cause, by a shared worldview and purpose, and by the virtual bonds of blogs, podcasts, magazines, and e-mail. It’s an intellectual community and every member is extremely valued. I hate to be reminded of that in this way.

Barry was a CSI fellow – you can read their tribute to him which includes a summary of his many skeptical accomplishments. His daughter, Lindsay, also has a touching tribute to her father here.

So long, Barry.

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