Recently, commenter Dhay noted:
I see that Project Reason has completed another two stages of shutting down completely.
Its Forum — formerly still accessible by those who knew the web address, though official links to it were removed a while back — has now been officially merged into the Sam Harris website’s Forum, says Harris website moderator Travis Smith:
Posted: 09 December 2015 04:01 PM
We’ve merged the Project Reason forums with the Sam Harris forums.
If you had a Project Reason account, it was moved over. If you had accounts on both with the same email address, they were merged.
All the posts from Project Reason are now available here. …
And it’s no longer soliciting new donations and new monthly donations.
For those who bother to see what remains, it’s now but a Home page which does nothing but link to an About page comprising its charity aims, trustees and advisory board members. Presumably everything will disappear once Project Reason has wound up as a charity.
Indeed. If you go to Project Reason, the front page tells you “We seek to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects.” You can either sign up to get on an email listing or click the “Learn More” icon. If you do the latter, you are taken to the page where it says:
Project Reason is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. We seek to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects. The foundation can convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific studies and opinion polls, hold contests, publish original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world. While Project Reason is devoted to fostering critical thinking generally, we believe that religious ideas require a special focus. Both science and the arts are built upon cultures of vigorous self-criticism; religious discourse is not. As a result, religious dogmatism still reigns unchallenged in almost every society on earth—dividing humanity from itself, inflaming conflict, preventing wise public policy, and diverting scarce resources. One of the primary goals of Project Reason is to change this increasingly unhealthy status quo.
The rest of the page is a list of the trustees and advisory board members (did/do they ever meet?) that looks like a Who’s who list among the New Atheist mutual adoration society.
But where is all the evidence of conferences, films, scientific studies and opinion polls contests, original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals?
Google lets you find this page, but the links there all now take you back to the front page. Even the donate button is disabled.
And if you want more evidence that Project Reason is closing up shop, visit the “About” page on Sam’s Harris’s blog. Just last September, he described himself as follows::
Harris is a cofounder and the CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. He received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
Now it reads…
Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
No mention of Project Reason.