March Team Meeting

Wesley opened this month’s meeting by outlining the goals of the discussion, from pinpointing the diverse projects that CMACers are working on to getting a chance to connect with one another and share the progress they’ve made.

We then turned to Kate, who jumped right in – she’s been doing more work on the Spirit Tech book, spending a lot of time over the past month evaluating and reflecting on the implications and consequences of merging spiritual seeking with high-tech entrepreneurism and creating a guide to the reliability and safety of these technologies. To do this work, Kate has been spending time with the community on internet forums and Catherine chimed in, sharing some of her experience quantitatively analyzing these forums and mentioning the ongoing conversation about using such data for research.

Wensi gave some really helpful updates on the work she has been doing with shamanistic healing and self-transformation, reporting that the placebo effect had not produced sufficient results.  She hopes to extract principles for modeling. She is also digging into anthropological discussions, separate from the cognitive side of her research.

Khatera has been hard at work on the Tools Against Trafficking Project, modeling to analyze policy effectiveness and develop proof-of-concept for the model. She was also very enthused to share that she would be attending a conference on “Complexity in Policy Studies” at George Mason University to share this work.

Mary and Maggie discussed some of the administrative priorities of CMAC, including updates on recent communications efforts and a revised website to better reflect the mission we all work towards.

Connor discussed progress on the Spectrums Project, which he shared was currently focused on both the conservative and liberal sides of religion. He’s had several lectures recently that were well received and a publication rolling out.

Catherine added a little information on upcoming project ASPECT Hub and recalling her own finding that people on the spectrum tend to be less religious.

Joe stopped by to say hi, and was willing to update us on some of his most recent work: a series of popular articles that take an evolutionary point of view on culture.

We wrapped up with a quick discussion of future projects and found ourselves up-to-date on the latest developments of fellow CMACers!