Dr Lynne Kelly is one of the more interesting people to be encountered among the Australian Skeptical community. She’s a writer, researcher and science educator, as well as being a foundation member of Australian Skeptics.
Lynne tends not to follow stereotypes. Her first tertiary qualification was in Engineering; armed with this, she began a teaching career in government secondary schools. On the way she co-authored a series of Maths text books. She later branched into extension education for gifted children. Her 1994 book Challenging Minds: Thinking Skills and Enrichment Activities is one result of that period.
Worried by the disjunct between the arachnophobia she shared with most people on the planet and the lack of a rational basis for it, Lynne made a point of studying spiders as a hobby. She became a devoted and outspoken arachnophile; witness Spiders: Learning to Love Them published in 2009.
Lynne’s Skeptical pursuits brought her into close contact with techniques of Cold Reading. Eschewing the academic approach, Lynne invented the art of Tauromancy and used it to publicly demonstrate that a committed Skeptic could give “readings” as plausible as any tarot card reader, astrologer or speaker-to-the-dead. On the way, she developed close ties with professional magicians and herself became an inductee.
In 2004 Lynne published The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal. Many Skeptics award this book primer status. If nothing else, it contained this now viral QUOTE in its preamble.
Lynne’s interest in archaeology has developed apace. Never one to do things by halves, she recently earned her PhD with academic work focusing on the way indigenous cultures memorise vast amounts of rational information through the mnemonic devices used by ancient and modern oral cultures from around the world. In applying that research to archaeology, she proposed a new theory for the purpose of Stonehenge and ancient monuments the world over. This resulted in the scholarly tome Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies, and most recently, The Memory Code (Allen & Unwin) which has already gone into reprint in Australia, and will be published in the US and UK in February.
Lynne will be a presenter at the AUSTRALIAN SKEPTICS CONVENTION in November on A Rational Approach to Oral Tradition and Stonehenge
Lynne Kelly’s Books:
Reviews of The Memory Code
Cold Reading and Tauromancy