Rabbi Geoff Mitelman, Sinai and Synapses Alum Tom Wassink, and Dave Schmelzer of Blue Ocean Faith discuss the country’s two self-reinforcing silos of thought, which had formerly been thought of as being on the margins. Religious people feel threatened by secular, scientific-worldview people, and secular people, conversely, feel threatened by religious thought. How do we find common ground?Read Transcript
Dave Schmelzer: Hi there, welcome to Blue Ocean World. It’s a conversation about anything that interests us in our whole big world. We’re thinking big, we think about big things, including things we’re gonna think about here, and we tie those in to how we think about the meaning of life.
I am Dave Schmelzer, I’m with Blue Ocean Faith, and I’m talking to you from Santa Monica, California. Talking with us as well is Tom Wassink. Tom is a genetics researcher and a psychiatry professor at the University of Iowa, and he is a Blue Ocean pastor as well, and he has a good and long experience with our guest today, Rabbi Geoff Mitelman of, among other things, Sinai and Synapses, who kind of is convening a national conversation about science and faith. Tom has been a part of this conversation.
Tom, certainly, how are you, but maybe that question I even more want to ask is, what’s exciting to you about this conversation we’re about to have with Rabbi Mitelman?
Tom Wassink: Yo, I’m doing great and I’m really excited to have Geoff on as a guest. I, as you mentioned, was a fellow in the Sinai and Synapses group, so they take cohorts of somewhere around 15 to 20 people into a fellowship. The fellowship last for two years, you go to Manhattan, three times a year for – and you have day-long meetings there, have guest speakers come in, have really interesting conversations. And the idea is that the people in the fellowship have commitments about science and faith and we’re just together trying to do better at having a more productive, amicable conversation that seeks common ground.
So for me, participating in the fellowship (I just finished, so I’m now an esteemed alumnus) was really valuable. The speakers every time were great, hearing about connection to science from other faith perspectives was always – I was just always surprised at, kind of, how expanded I was, how enlightened. Truthfully, I often go to things like this or just to any meeting a little bit cynical. What am I gonna learn? But we’d hear a speaker, it would be insightful, we’d have great conversations in the room, people from a lot of different faith and science backgrounds, and we all just became friends, too, by the end of it. We cared about each other, knew what was going on in each other’s lives, so I consider Geoff a friend. So, I’m super excited to have him as a guest.
Dave Schmelzer: I was pondering after having the interview, which is what happened with Geoff, that it’s a small scale effort with sort of massive ambitions, and the ambitions are, you know – the science and faith divide is just a small reflection of why we can’t talk to each other anymore in the world, and how we get more polarized, and how we settle into camps, where, as he says, you know, are those scientist people evil, or are those faith people stupid. And we kind of have to entrench in that. So it’s fun that there’s this kind of covert underground, perhaps soon to be not underground, effort to bridge that gap and to start a different sort of conversation. It’s pretty fun. All that said, here is Tom’s introduction of Geoff Mitelman.
Tom Wassink: So it’s my great pleasure today to introduce a good friend, Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman. I met Geoff during my time as a fellow with an organization that he leads called Sinai and Synapses. Sinai and Synapses is an organization that attempts to bridge the scientific and religious worlds. It’s being incubated at CLAL, which is centered in Manhattan, which is the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. I was a Fellow in Sinai and Synapses for two years, just finished my stint there this past spring. Geoff has been the leader of the organization for quite a few years. He received – he became a rabbi and was ordained through the Hebrew Union College, the Jewish Institute of Religion. He served as a pulpit rabbi and assistant and then associate rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester in New York, and he also – his highlight, the high day of his life, was when he appeared on Jeopardy in March of 2016, which is a super fun experience that we all rejoiced in.
But I wanted to have Geoff on because he has championed this attempt to bridge some of the discord, to overcome some of the discord, or just disparity in worldviews between science and religion, science and faith. And so, Sinai and Synapses is a group, there are about 15 or 20 of us in the fellowship, we’d meet together three times a year for two years in Manhattan. Geoff would bring in amazing speakers that would stimulate incredible discussion, and we formed a really deep bond, a great friendship. About half, I think, of the group was from a Jewish background, half from a Christian background, though some were pretty tenuously connected to faith itself. But all had some deep interest in both worlds, in faith, in science, trying to do our best to have a good conversation, to highlight the ways that the worldviews connected with each other.
And Geoff has continued to do this work. He’s received funding from organizations such as the Templeton Foundation, the Friedman Philanthropies, the Littauer Foundation, most recently in a Christian funding organization called Issachar. So he’s gotten the attention of a lot of people who are really supportive of his work and of the effort that he’s making in trying to do better with this conversation. So welcome, Geoff, to our podcast.
Geoff Mitelman: Thank you, Tom. Great to be able to talk to you. It’s wonderful, it’s always fun to be able to talk with you.
Tom Wassink: Yeah, so I was wondering if you could just start us off by telling us, I mean, you can sort of choose where you want to start, you can start either by talking about what you’re doing now, or a little bit of your background and how you got into this specific pursuit within the realm of faith.
Geoff Mitelman: Sure. So I’ll start by talking a little bit about why I think Sinai and Synapses is necessary, why I started it, and then I’ll give a little bit of my background. We’re seeing this in American society now, which is that there is a real sense of either/or, us/them. “I’m right/you’re wrong” is maybe at the best of it, it usually is now “I’m right/you’re stupid,” “I’m right/you’re evil.”
It comes from this this belief, and I think it’s a false belief, that if you pick one side of a discussion – and they generally tend to correlate – of being scientific and liberal on one side and religious and conservative on the other side – but if you pick one you’ve got to demonize everybody else on the other side. And that is, first of all, false, second of all, it’s unproductive.
And it really doesn’t help us solve some of the biggest challenges that we’re facing in America and in the world today. There are a lot of really big challenges that we need to be able to grapple with, and we need as much wisdom from as many sources as we can find.
And so the goal of Sinai and Synapses is to break down that false dichotomy, and to be able to show exemplars and role models of people who are able to integrate both science and religion in meaningful ways so that they’re able to connect with people who are in different perspectives. So, you know, one of the things that’s really, one thing that I’ve really come to believe and understand, is that you can’t just preach to the choir, if you will, you’ve got to be able to talk to other people, but you need to be able to have a level of trust and relationship.
So to have a pastor who is passionate about science allows those congregants to be able to feel more comfortable with science, or a scientist who’s able to talk about the value of religion, they’re able to talk to their peers and their colleagues. And it lowers the temperature to be able to say “Oh wait a second, I didn’t know that you actually found value in religion, I didn’t know you actually found value in science.”
It allows us to break down a lot of these conversations, a lot of these false dichotomies, and create a healthier conversation. So the science and religion discussion, to me, is something that I’m personally very passionate about, but it’s also a way to be able to show an example of how we can have a productive conversation in America today, because there are not enough of those, in my mind, in our world today.
Tom Wassink: Yeah, well let me just ask a follow-up question. It’s something that we talk about, Blue Ocean pastors, quite a bit and just people in my sphere, the Christian sphere. It feels like, in the struggle for primacy, if you will, if there is such thing, between science and church, or science and religion, science is winning. You know, that most of the data would show people are becoming less and less religious, less and less church attenders, less and less engaged in spiritual practices. Just a diminished awareness of the need for God, a diminished desire to go to the organized-religion sphere.
But you know, I guess I’m wondering, what’s your take on that? Is that something that you’re perceiving and how do you bring that to bear – how do you bring that into play in Sinai and Synapses?
Geoff Mitelman: Absolutely. I think that’s a big question and you know, in a large way, I think a big reason for this, and speaking as a former congregational rabbi, is that religion needs to remain relevant in people’s lives, and there’s also a difference between religion and spirituality. There’s a wonderful satirical article from The Onion that says – someone describes himself as “I’m religious, but not spiritual. I really believe in following all the creeds, but I don’t believe in any of this, you know, connecting with God stuff.” And I think, as it says, there are a lot of people who are looking for a sense of spirituality and connection but are not able to find it in organized religion.
And yet I think there is tremendous value in religion. But it needs to be shown as to why it should even matter to people. And if there are any different number of reasons to be able to get people connected. But religion is not an end unto itself. I think the goal of trying to make people more religious is not helpful, and it’s not going to happen, I think, anymore. I think it might have 25 or 30 or 50 years ago.
So the way that we look at it from Sinai and Synapses is, we try to say that we’re not looking at religious questions, and we’re not looking at scientific questions. We’re really trying to look at human questions. Because everyone is grappling with huge questions both personally and societally, and there can be tremendous relevance and importance and wisdom from both traditions. And so if we’re looking at questions of awe and wonder, and connection with something larger than ourselves, or grappling with what’s our responsibility to the earth, and how we protect the Earth, to – what does it mean to not know something? What’s the relationship between doubt and certainty?
These aren’t simply religious questions, they’re not simply scientific questions. They’re questions that we’re all grappling with in some way and coming at those questions from a scientific perspective, and some of those questions from a religious perspective, elevates that discourse and allows us to have a level of commonality where both scientists and religious leaders can say, “yeah I have a lot of doubts, yes, here are lot of things that I don’t know about, yeah, this is where I feel a tremendous sense of connection with my peers and with my friends. Let me explore that a little more deeply.”
That allows us to be able to really connect with people in a different way rather than boxing people into a religion or science – I’m going to say box again – put the religion and science, pigeonhole them. It doesn’t force us to be able to pigeonhole people in those boxes.
Dave Schmelzer: I’m wondering what in this first go-round of these endeavors for Sinai and Synapses, what have you learned? I mean, I’m sure you have lots of great stories where you think “wow, that really went great, this connection was fantastic,” and I’d love to hear some of those. I’m sure you’ve also hit other points where you thought, “this is harder than I thought, this is not just a matter of getting, you know, people of good will together and we’re going to solve this – it’s more daunting than ever.” What have you learned from getting rolling with this?
Geoff Mitelman: So one thing that we’ve come to believe is that trying to convince people on both sides is going to be unproductive. The way to be able to elevate the discourse is to start with the bright spots, to start with the people who already are grappling with these kinds of questions – which is why Tom was one of our fellows that we selected – to be able to help people say, “ah, I can see myself in that story.” It stops it from being an us/them antagonistic relationship. So we’ve done a lot of conversations where we try to push the conversation, where we start in the middle and push outwards, rather than trying to convince young-earth creationists or what I would call the anti-theists, the people who, regardless of whether or not they believe in a god, people who don’t want to believe in a God. They’re not our target audience.
Because I think a lot of people are not necessarily thinking about the religion and science conversation, they’re grappling with big questions of who we are and how we act in this world, so if we can show how really smart people bring wisdom from both traditions, that allows us to reach populations we might not have otherwise.
So you know, one of the most fun conversations I had, Michael Shermer, is a writer. He identifies as a skeptic, he probably would call himself an atheist, although he’s not an angry atheist or an anti-theist. A couple of years ago he wrote a book called “The Moral Arc.” “How science and reason are advancing humanity,” I think is the subtitle. But the argument is that Enlightenment thinking has actually tremendously helped morality, connection, compassion. And that – and he tends to actually argue and have debates with religious leaders. Does religion advance morality or does religion destroy morality?
And so he and I had a conversation at the 92nd Street Y. And I came at it from – “he’s got a lot of arguments, he’s got a lot of valid points, he’s not wrong, and I’m not going to try to argue with him or convince him that I’m right, and I’m not going to expect that he’s going to convince me. Let’s explore, where can we actually talk about – how do we become better people?” That’s the question. It’s not a question of “does religion enhance or destroy morality?” That’s not the interesting question to me. The interesting question is “how do we become better people? How do we enhance society?
So he and I had this conversation at the 92nd Street Y, and he came up to me afterwards, and he said “that was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had about this book.” Because he’s so used to having to be on the defensive or having to attack, particularly in conversation with religious leaders – that to have a religious leader who is gonna be sympathetic to his worldview and to look at this question in a different way, he was able to really grapple with these questions and it was really gratifying.
And yeah, I had another conversation. There’s a guy named Hank Davis who wrote a book called “Caveman Logic” and had another public conversation there. And he became very strongly atheistic, and we talked, and I made my opening remarks about how we need science to be able to advance humanity, and here’s my vision of what religion is, that religion is a tool to be able to create connection and awe and make the world better, and I made my opening statement and he said, “if religion was what Rabbi Mitelman said, I wouldn’t be an atheist.”
And I think, you know, being able to not say “atheists are evil” or to be able to say, “well religious fundamentalists are evil.” To be able to say, really, what is it that you’re scared about, what is it that’s driving you, what is it that gets you excited? That makes that conversation much, much better.
And so that’s a lot of what we try to do with our work of trying to be able to go to these human questions of science and religion.
Tom Wassink: Yes, so it sounds like, and this is my experience in the fellowship too, that you really are focusing on trying to find sort of shared desired outcomes, as opposed to going in, carving out territory for each domain, or with a particular investment or commitment to one being – having primacy over the other, or being correct, or right, or true. I know that that’s a kind of faith that we in Blue Ocean have emerged from, where the form of Christianity that we participated in for most of our existence was one that made truth claims, and that staked out territory, and that felt a strong need – just, I don’t know, I don’t even know, I’m not sure why – but to assert primacy, like “we know the right answers and everything else has to fit within our framework, within our worldview.” And so I think loosening that up has really helped us a lot, and sort of finding these –what is it that all human beings want? You know, what are the goods that human beings want? And how does our connection to God and understanding of that and how does what we learn about ourselves through our own minds, our own rationality, how does that come into play? And so it sounds like that’s in part what you’re describing.
Geoff Mitelman: And I think it’s important to be able to say, it’s important to make truth claims and it’s important to be able to stake your claim, because one thing that I’ve come to believe is that nobody is “religious” in the same way that nobody speaks “language.” People speak English or French or Hebrew or Urdu. You need to have a shared language that is specific to your community.
And again, the purpose of language isn’t to have language, the purpose of language is to communicate. The purpose of religion isn’t to be religious, the purpose of religion is to be able to use our humanity to connect with God, to be able to enhance our lives, to enhance community. So I think it is crucial to be able to hold on to a truth claim, but you don’t want to have the truth claim be calcified. You don’t want to say, “this is right and nothing will ever change my mind.” You’ve got to do that, and that’s I think a very scientific methodology of being able to say, “Here is what I believe at this moment, and I need to be open and willing to change my mind, to be challenged, but I also need to be able to challenge other people. I need to be able to do it in a respectful kind of way.” Because that’s how you get a more accurate view of the world, and you’re more able to hold on to what you believe and have that be a productive conversation.
Dave Schmelzer: Do you feel like, in the process of convening this particular conversation, you change? You think “I’m a different person” because of these conversations, or do you feel like it’s kind of deepened the direction you were headed – because obviously this is the direction you were headed, that’s why you convened this conversation – or do you feel like, no, it’s helped you change course in some key way.
Geoff Mitelman: So where it’s helped me – we have a couple of different projects, so Sinai and Synapses has a few projects. One is this interfaith fellowship that Tom was a part of, and we actually just opened up applications for our next group from 2017-2019, so I encourage everyone to be able to apply, and at the end of the podcast, you can give a little bit more of the information. But we also have another project that is more Jewish-focused, called Scientists in Synagogues, to be able to show how Jews can integrate science in Judaism. And what’s interesting is that, in many ways, Christians think much more deeply about the integration of science and religion than Jews do.
Dave Schmelzer: Say more about that. What do you mean?
Geoff Mitelman: Yeah, so the line that we now say is that “the challenge is not getting Jews excited about science, the challenge is getting Jews excited about Judaism.” I think in large part because Judaism has had a long history of questioning, has always grappled with questions of evidence – there’s a lot of doubt, and it’s not also as much of a creedal religion, it’s much more of a religion of deed rather than creed, so there’s not much of a question of belief system. Jews tend to actually either separate out their religion and science and view them as separate spheres, or if they view religion and science as being in conflict, they’re going to pick science over religion and reject their Judaism. Which was something that I sort of intuitively knew and then we got some data that really confirmed that.
So what’s been interesting and both the interfaith work and the Jewish work. One of the things that we really try to be able to do is to help people find their own language to be able to talk about these kinds of conversations, and to spark new ideas and to have people be able to own their statements in a different kind of way. I’m a believer that you get – you try to get the right people in the room and magical things can happen because – Tom, I’m assuming this is something that that happened for you in the fellowship and this also happens in scientists and synagogues – which is, you’re doing your own piece and thinking about your sermon, and then a psychology doctoral student talks about something this sparks something that you hadn’t even thought of. And then you run with it in a different kind of way that never would have come up if it wasn’t coming in from the side door. And a lot of the doctoral students and professors are going in their own work, and you say something, and it changes their trajectory of what their doctoral work’s going to be.
Tom Wassink: So I had a really interesting experience, a lot of what you’re saying was true of my experience. So the group, you know, our cohort was multi-faith, which for the most part meant Jewish and Christian, but then people from different traditions within Judaism and Christianity. And I think I was probably the person one of the people in the room who is most actively, what I would say, spiritual in the sense of spiritual practices and spiritual experience, and a belief in connecting regularly with God, and you know, with Jesus, is a part of my faith practice. And so it’s really interesting, because it felt like I was tremendously influenced by people for whom that wasn’t a central part of the religious practice, and it’s kind of – it was eye opening in a way, because I came in thinking, “Well, if you do religion, this would sort of have to be a part of what you do,” but it wasn’t for a lot of people. And they were deeply thoughtful and really interesting, and had different perspectives, and then you added to that the mix of the scientific perspectives in the room, because I think you were really careful to try to choose a mix of different scientific specialties and interests, you know, yes, so we had a cognitive scientist, we had another geneticist, we had someone whose primary field was astronomy, and some others.
One of the things that I became converted to along the way – so my background is in genetics, and beyond that kind of hardcore brain imaging, but one of the women in the room was a cognitive scientist, and I came out after, you know, it took a little while, but after two years, really with a much more elevated view of cognitive psychology and what it could teach us about ourselves.
And then too was influenced, the most recent series of messages that we gave on Sunday mornings, was called the Spiritual Brain: What neuroscience can teach us about the brain and how that helps with our spiritual practices, or something like that, you know, was borne straight from a lot of the Sinai and Synapses conversations and it was one of the best-received series of messages we’ve had. I think it was – like the quality of messages was really good, but you know, I gave some and then we have some other pastors who have a couple of messages, and they are not brain scientists by any means, so they gave a nod to brain science in their specific messages. But I think what was most meaningful to the church was just that that was the series of messages, like that that’s what we are talking about. We were having a happy amicable conversation about how the swell of information about brains and brain science and neuroscience and all of it sits happily with the belief that we’re spiritual beings, and that information can actually be helpful in how we do the spiritual, religious life. It can inform how we pray and how we develop connections and all sorts of things and a lot of that was informed by this diverse conversation that we were having.
Geoff Mitelman: And I think a large part of our goal is to be surprising, to be a little bit counterintuitive, and then as soon as you sort of see it you go off course, so people – your church tells like we’re not expecting to find the scientific piece of this, and yet being able to explore these in a meaningful kind of way was really powerful, and I think the other goal is that both science and religion are designed to be able to help enhance who we are. So you weren’t using science to prove the Bible, you were trying to be able to say, “how can we connect with God in a better way?”. That was the goal. And clearly there’s religious traditions and there are religious practices be able to enhance that, but there’s also science behind that and so that’s a piece of that.
And I also think anyone that we choose for Sinai and Synapses, both for our fellowship and for scientists and synagogues and the different programs that we do, we really want people who really meet two main criteria: they’ve got to be curious and they’ve got to be kind. Because that’s what you want – you want somebody who’s going to be able to say, “Tell me about the work that you’re doing. Tell me about your background. Tell me about what what excites you. Tell me about what scares you.” And to be able to be empathetic and caring in those kinds of conversations, creating a safe space, one of the most powerful moments for me in the fellowship, the fellowship came together three times a year for two years. And they were day long conversations, so you get a little bit of time – the amount of hugging that happened at each of those meetings was incredible, of people who had never met, they’d spent a total of six days at most in the room, and it’s a palpable feel there’s research – we try we try to use some good research about group dynamics, who we select and how we select them, to be able to try to enhance not just what’s going on for the people in the room, but what happens when they leave that room as well.
Dave Schmelzer: Well, we are getting close to our wrap-up time, so Tom, I want to make sure that if there’s a final question you want to throw in that you have it. Maybe my question is, Geoff, what’s next? Is it just more of the same, is there is this getting you to, for lack of a better term, Messianic ambitions, where you see, like, this could be even bigger, this could be huge? Where is this headed for you?
Geoff Mitelman: So that’s a great question. So, a big question is always funding, so that’s, you know, if we can grow with a lot of funding, that would be fantastic. Right now we’re in a good growth curve, we’ve been growing over the last few years, which is very exciting – to be in a religious organization where the budget’s going up a little bit each year.
And yet I want to make sure that there is a level of intimacy and fellowship in this work, so the next couple of steps that we’re looking for – we’re going to do a next round of this fellowship starting in July of 2017 and so you can see it, go to the website, it’s sinaiandsynapses.org, and see the application for the fellowship there. We’re hoping to do another round of Scientists in Synagogues. I think in 2019, we’re hoping to be able to do a program with millennials.
And the other thing, too, is that we want to see what comes up organically from some of these conversations. Where are the points of connection, and what are the live issues for a lot of people? I’m hoping to be able to work towards a book, that’s something that’s high on my priority list. And, you know, a lot of these projects came out of conversations and then a couple years later that they came out, so I say in the next sort of five years the fellowship and scientists and synagogues and we do training and teaching and I travel all around the country, so if people would like to bring me in as a scholar in residence, I love being able to do that and teach all across North America, that’s another piece that I do. So we’re happy with where we are, I don’t want to get too big too fast, but I would love us to be one of the major players in this conversation about science and religion.
Tom Wassink: Yeah, I hope too that you grow, and it seems like things are going really well, and I’m excited for that. I have one last question and it just has to do – well, it’s kind of twofold I guess. So the participation in Sinai and Synapses was primarily Jewish and Christian. I know that your hope is to expand the multi-faith aspect of it, and so it would be interesting to hear a little bit about what you’re thinking there. And then the other thing is that, you know, you’ve done this now with – so you come from a Jewish background, and the primary organization that houses you is Jewish, but I think about half the people in the room were Christians, and the podcast, as you know, we’re primarily targeted towards Christian folks.
I’m just wondering what you’ve learned, if there’s anything that was surprising to you that you learned about the Christian folks in the room, you know, a characteristic attribute, whatever it might be, but you thought, “oh I didn’t realize that,” or, “oh, that seems to be something held in common between these folks.” Just, you know, what have you learned – what have you learned or perceived about us.
Geoff Mitelman: Yeah, so I’ve been blessed, for when I was the pulpit world I was very involved in a lot of interfaith work and got to know a lot of colleagues and my degree from college was in the origins of Judaism and Christianity, so I’ve been able to, and I’m always fascinated by the origins of Judaism and Christianity. One thing that has always struck me from the Christian community that is much more than in the Jewish community, and it’s something that I find lacking in my own community, is a deep sense of spirituality and God language. That’s something that generally Jews, and particularly more liberal Jews, tend to shy away from a lot of God language. So hearing how mainline Protestants, and particularly Evangelical Protestants, talk about their faith in a very proud way is very inspiring to me, and it’s something that I wish the Jewish community was able to do in a stronger way. And having a regular spiritual practice, I think that’s a very valuable thing.
And our hope in the next year for the fellowship is to go not just beyond – we had a lot of Episcopals and mainline Protestants, we had one Baha’i fellow a couple of years ago, sadly she actually was killed in a car crash, which is very sad because she was an incredible advocate and just an incredibly brilliant woman.
So our hope – and we’re trying to push this out – we would like to be able to have some Muslim voices, to be able to have some non-Abrahamic voices, we’ve definitely had some Gnostics and atheists in there. Because the other thing that I think is really valuable about the fellowship in particular – a lot of interfaith work is “let’s talk about being interfaith.” And sometimes that’s helpful and sometimes that that’s not, but if you’re going to start by saying “Let’s start with a conversation about what does genetics mean?” and “are we enhancing our lives?” And “is this an ethical thing to be able to do – to go in and use CRISPR and fiddle with our genetics?” Well that’s a question where now, that’s something for everyone to talk about, and it can bring their own different perspectives on there, and now it’s not just a, “Well here’s how I live my Christian life, and here’s how I live my Jewish life, and here’s how I live my Episcopal life and here’s how I live my Muslim life.” Now we’ve got something to talk about, there’s a topic. And that then again lowers the temperature, it’s a little bit safer because some people are going to be experts and some people are not, and you’re going to be able to say “Wait, tell me more about this,” so using the science as a way to elevate the interfaith discourse, I think is also a major goal and I think I’ve been very proud of how we’ve been able to do that.
Dave Schmelzer: Well, Geoff, thanks so much for joining us, it’s really fun to hear about all you’re up to. Couldn’t appreciate it more.
Geoff Mitelman: Thank you and it’s great to be able to talk with you and we’ll publish this here and I’ll also encourage any of your listeners to look at our web site follow us on Twitter or on Facebook at @SinaiandSynapses and certainly, you know Tom, people that that are in your target audience, your listeners are the kinds of people that we would love to have apply for our fellowship.
Tom Wassink: Yeah, I’m an ardent fan and it’s great to have you, Geoff, as a guest on the podcast, bring you into our world a little bit, so thanks for all the good work you’re doing, and I’m glad that you’re continuing to meet with success, and, yeah, I’d certainly be happy to send any likely folks your way, so thank you very much.
Geoff Mitelman: Thank you, and I will talk to you soon. Thank you for letting me be on the show here.