Obituary: Kendrick Frazier, editor-in-chief of the Skeptical Inquirer and long-time skeptic Amardeo Sarma The Skeptic

Quite suddenly and unexpectedly, Kendrick Frazier passed away after he wrote his last piece for the Skeptical Inquirer about a wonderful holiday with his wife Ruth in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Readers of the Skeptical Inquirer can read this editorial – which can be said to be a farewell letter written in foreboding.

Kendrick Frazier, at CSICON 2011 (credit BDEngler)

Ken died on 7 November 2022 at 80. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) on 10 October, after years of living well with the chronic variety.

If I had to describe Ken briefly, it would be this: He was the epitome of the skeptic who, without wanting to be in the limelight, had been the backbone of the skeptical movement in the US for almost half a century and an inspiration well beyond the Americas. He had been editor-in-chief of the Skeptical Inquirer since August 1977 and a member of the Executive Committee of CSI, formerly CSICOP, for almost as long. Before that, as a young science journalist, he was the editor of Science News.

He always thought outside of the box: in 2009, the book he edited, “Science Under Siege”, was published. The book urged the skeptical movement to go beyond debunking, to include actively defending science – something that is more urgent and central now than ever. In 2013, at the European Skeptics Congress in Stockholm, he gave a historical overview of how pseudoscience has developed and is still pervasive. He also mentioned new topics, such as conspiracy theories and the denial of anthropogenic climate change.

For him, it was always about science and addressing “citizens who long for scientifically reliable information in what has regrettably become an age of misinformation”. His message to us all was clear: We must remember that our work will remain crucial even if we feel discouraged from time to time. We should take threats to science seriously and be prepared to take action.

In his latest editorial for the Skeptical Inquirer, he stresses that skepticism is even more critical today than ever.

We are losing a heavyweight of the skeptical movement sooner than expected. It will be up to us to carry his legacy worldwide.

My wife and I have lost a dear friend. We had the honour of being friends with him and his wife, Ruth. Our thoughts are with his wife, Ruth, and the rest of the family.

The post Obituary: Kendrick Frazier, editor-in-chief of the Skeptical Inquirer and long-time skeptic appeared first on The Skeptic.

In Kendrick Frazier, we have lost a heavyweight of the skeptical movement, sooner than expected – it will be up to us to carry his legacy worldwide.
The post Obituary: Kendrick Frazier, editor-in-chief of the Skeptical Inquirer and long-time skeptic appeared first on The Skeptic.

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