Karen Stollznow

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Karen Stollznow
Karen Stollznow.jpg
February 2011
Born (1976-08-12) 12 August 1976 (age 39)
Residence Denver, Colorado
Nationality Australian
Fields Linguistics
Institutions San Francisco State University
University of California, Berkeley[1]
University of New England
Cal Poly
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Alma mater

University of New England
(Bachelor of Arts Linguistics, Anthropology & History 2001)
University of New England (Bachelor of Arts with Honours - First Class in Linguistics 2002)[2]

School of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of New England, Australia (Ph.D.) Linguistics 2007[3]
Known for Podcasting, Skepticism of the paranormal, Research Fellow for JREF[4] and CSI[5]

Karen Stollznow (born 12 August 1976) is an Australian-American writer, linguist, podcaster and skeptic. She is the Bad Language columnist for Skeptic magazine, and author of the books God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States,[6][7] Haunting America,[8] Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic,[9] and Hits and Mrs.[10]


A student of linguistics and history at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, she received First Class Honors in Linguistics,[2] and went on to a PhD in the area of Lexical Semantics. She graduated with her doctorate in 2007.[3] In 2004 she relocated to California to become a Visiting Student Researcher with the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005 she became a Researcher for the Script Encoding Initiative, a joint project between the UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics, and the Unicode Consortium.[1]

From 1997-2009 Stollznow was a prominent investigator and writer for the Australian Skeptics[11] and served as Editor of their magazine The Skeptic[12][13] for which she also wrote many articles.[14][15][16] She has also written for publications such as Australasian Science,[17][18][19] Neucleus,[20][21] Skeptical Inquirer[22][23][24] and others.[25]

Karen Stollznow Presents at TAM 2012

Since 2009 she has written the Naked Skeptic column for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).[26] In 2010 she began as the Bad Language columnist for Skeptic (U.S. magazine).[27][28][29] She has been a host of the Skeptics Society's MonsterTalk podcast[30] since its beginning in 2009[31] and in 2010 she became a host of the Center for Inquiry's Point of Inquiry podcast as well.[32] In 2011 she presented a talk at the Colorado Springs SkeptiCamp on Making (Up) History,[33] and at the Denver/Boulder SkeptiCamp on Braco the Gazer.[34] In 2012 she was a speaker at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas, giving a talk titled "Prediction and Language",[35] and in 2013 giving a talk titled "What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism".[36]

Stollznow is also a Research Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation.[4][37] She is a Contributing Editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[5] and a member of their Executive Council.[38]

Stollznow is "a leading voice of a younger generation of scientific skeptics. She is an experienced paranormal investigator and science writer" according to JREF president D.J. Grothe.[37] As an expert in pseudoscience, fringe and paranormal topics, she is quoted on topics as diverse as handwriting analysis,[39] holy relics,[40] corporate psychics[41] and Friday the 13th superstitions.[13]

Harassment Accusations[edit]

In 2013, Stollznow wrote a post at the Scientific American Mind blog about her experience of being subjected to sexual harassment, in which she also criticized her employer's response.[42] Ron Lindsay, the head of the Center for Inquiry (CFI) (Stollznow's employer at the time of the writing), contacted the blog's publisher, Scientific American, disputing secondary claims by Stollznow concerning CFI's history and policies on sexual harassment.[43] Scientific American has since removed the article.[43]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Stollznow, Karen (2016). Hits and Mrs. Amazon Digital Services. ASIN B01BJGUCXI
  • Stollznow, Karen (2014). Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic. ISBN 978-1137404855
  • Stollznow, Karen (2013). God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States. ISBN 978-1939578006
  • Stollznow, Karen (2013). Haunting America. James Randi Educational Foundation. ASIN B00DSQVBAQ.
  • Stollznow, Karen (2010). Skepticism and the Paranormal: A Rose By Any Other Name. In Bonett, W. (Ed.) The Australian Book of Atheism. Scribe Publications ISBN 1-921640-76-6 OCLC 653346301
  • Stollznow, Karen (June 2009), "The Writing’s On the Wall for the World’s Endangered Writing Systems", The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Technical Communication Southern Communicator (17): 12–13 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2009), "Book Notes for Keith Allan & Kate Burridge, Forbidden words: Taboo and the censoring of language. Language in Society", Cambridge University Press 38 (1): 135–136, doi:10.1017/s0047404508090234, OCLC 4668942846 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2008), "Dehumanisation in language and thought", Journal of Language and Politics 7 (2): 177–200, doi:10.1075/jlp.7.2.01sto, OCLC 535670348 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2007), "Key Words in the Discourse of Discrimination: A Semantic Analysis", PhD dissertation University of New England, OCLC 277175055 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2005), "When Opposites Attract: The Re-appropriation and Amelioration of Words in Australian English", Society of North America, Boston 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Whinger! Wanker! Wowser! ‘Aussie English insults: deprecatory language and the Australian Ethos’" (PDF), Proceedings of the 2003 Australian Linguistic Society, Australian Journal of Linguistics: 11 
  • Collins, Anne ed. Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Who You Gonna Call?", English Express 2: 33–38, ISBN 0-12-360243-2 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2003), "The semantics and usage of abusive epithets in Australian English. Conference paper proceedings", New Zealand Linguist Society Wellington 
  • Stollznow, Karen (2002), "Terms of Abuse in Australian English: An analysis of abusive and insulting epithets in Australian English", University of New England BA honors Thesis 
  • Edwards, Harry and Stollznow, Karen (1999), Alternative Consultations Alternative, Complimentary, Holistic and Spiritual Healing: An Examination of non-traditional Healthcare Systems: 362–388  Missing or empty |title= (help)


Karen Stollznow is an expatriate Australian and formerly the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Born in the Sydney suburb of Manly, she grew up in Collaroy, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Stollznow is married to Matthew Baxter of Bryan & Baxter and lives in Denver, Colorado with their child Blade.[44]


  1. ^ a b "Script Encoding Initiative - About Who We Are". Department of Linguistics University of California, Berkeley. 24 September 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (December 2006). "Honors in Linguistics" (PDF). University of New England. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "UNE Linguistics Postgraduates". University of New England. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Dr. Ray Hall Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "CSI Announces New Fellows". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2013). God Bless America. Pitchstone Publishing. ISBN 978-1939578006. 
  7. ^ Stedman, Chris (20 February 2014). "Santeria, Scientology, Satanism — oh my! Atheist author explores minority religions". Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2013). Haunting America. JREF. ASIN: B00DSQVBAQ 
  9. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2014). Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1137404855. 
  10. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2016). Hits and Mrs. Amazon Digital Services LLC. ASIN: B01BJGUCXI 
  11. ^ "20 Questions with Karen Stollznow". Haunted America Tours. 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "A Brief History of the Skeptic". Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Jones, Zoie (13 March 2009). "Most people in the dark about Black Friday, say sceptics". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Edwards, Harry and Stollznow, Karen (1998), "Alternative Consultations", The Skeptic 18 (2): 10–14 
  15. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2003), "Medium Rare but not Well Done", The Skeptic 24 (1): 36–41 
  16. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2008), "Inside the JREF HQ", The Skeptic 28 (4): 20–21 
  17. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2004), "What’s In A Name?", Australasian Science 25 (07): 46 
  18. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2006), "Preserving the World’s Endangered Writing Systems", Australasian Science 27 (7): 47–49 
  19. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May 2009), "Fire and Brimstone", Australasian Science 30 (4): 46 
  20. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2002), "Weird Wide Websites", Neucleus (1) 
  21. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Hand Out and Foot in Mouth", Neucleus (1): 22–23 
  22. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May–June 2008), "Anonymous versus Scientology", Skeptical Inquirer 32 (3) 
  23. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May–June 2009), "A Modern Witch Craze in Papua New Guinea", Skeptical Inquirer 33 (7) 
  24. ^ Stollznow, Karen (November–December 2009), "Skepticism and Blogging", Skeptical Inquirer 33 (6): 41–42 
  25. ^ Stollznow, Karen (June 2005), "Berkeley Riot: The Freak Accident and Nomeansno", Ricochet Magazine 
  26. ^ "Special Articles — The Naked Skeptic, a column by Karen Stollznow". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  27. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: The Accidental Accent", Skeptic (Skeptics Society), vol. 16 no. 2, retrieved 10 July 2011 
  28. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: Turn On, Tune Out, Drop Off", Skeptic (Skeptics Society), vol. 16 no. 1, retrieved 10 July 2011 
  29. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: Not-so-Linguistic Programming", Skeptic (Skeptics Society), vol. 15 no. 4, retrieved 10 July 2011 
  30. ^ "About the Hosts of MonsterTalk". Skeptics Society. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  31. ^ Stollznow, Karen (18 July 2009). "Monster Talk". Skepchick.org. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  32. ^ "About Point of Inquiry". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  33. ^ "SkeptiCamp Colorado Springs 2011". Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "SkeptiCamp Denver/Boulder 2011". Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  35. ^ "The Amazing Meeting (TAM) 2012". 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "The Amazing Meeting (TAM) 2013". 20 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  37. ^ a b "JREF Appoints Two Research Fellows". James Randi Educational Foundation News and Updates. JREF. October 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  38. ^ CSI (5 May 2011). "CSI Adds to Executive Council - Karen Stollznow and Elizabeth Loftus Join the Board". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  39. ^ Salleh, Anna (19 November 2007), "Handwriting a window to your heart?", ABC Science (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), retrieved 10 July 2011 
  40. ^ "No Biz Like The Jesus Biz", Irish Independent, 3 March 2007, retrieved 10 July 2011 
  41. ^ Liberman, Vadim (Spring 2010), "When the Outlook is Hazy: Some executives are seeking advice from corporate psychics. No joke.", The Conference Board Review, retrieved 23 July 2011 
  42. ^ Stollznow, Karen (6 August 2013). ""I'm Sick of Talking about Sexual Harassment!" MIND Guest Blog". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 12 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07.  C1 control character in |title= at position 47 (help)
  43. ^ a b Lindsay, Ron (12 August 2013). "What I Wrote To Scientific American". Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  44. ^ Karen Stollznow - About Me

External links[edit]