Humanists UK is delighted to announce that acclaimed geneticist, science writer, broadcaster, and humanist Adam Rutherford will be its next President. He will succeed current President Alice Roberts in June 2022 who, like her predecessors as President, will become a Vice President of Humanists UK.
Adam has been a high-profile ambassador and patron of Humanists UK for many years, especially as an advocate for robust science education and against religious discrimination in state faith schools. As President, Adam has pledged to spearhead both those campaigns, as well as Humanists UK’s campaign for assisted dying. He will also continue Humanists UK’s work of connecting the millions of non-religious people in the UK who strongly hold to values of rational thinking, kindness, and empathy – the humanist approach to life.
According to YouGov research, over 17 million people in the UK hold humanist beliefs and values, with 5 million primarily calling themselves ‘humanists’. Around 34 million people – half the population of the UK – identify as ‘non-religious’.
Adam continues to use his platform and his insights as a geneticist to challenge racism and to promote humanist values. He delivered Humanists UK’s 2019 Voltaire Lecture, How to argue with a racist, which became the basis for his 2020 bestselling book of the same name. The lecture, and indeed, much of Adam’s work, challenged false claims from religion, pseudoscience, and simple prejudice, emphasising instead our common humanity and our capacity to build a better society. This is also the subject of his latest book, Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics.
Accepting the appointment, Adam Rutherford said:
‘As a geneticist, I believe strongly in our shared humanity and how, through science and the humanist values of logic, reason, and evidence, we can overcome divisions and create a society where everyone is treated equally.
Surveys show that most people in the UK are non-religious, and about a quarter hold humanist beliefs and values. Humanists can be found in so many walks of life and, by working together, there is so much we can do to help promote a better, fairer society.
I am deeply honoured to become the next President of Humanists UK and to be part of this community of like-minded, thoughtful, and compassionate people striving for positive social change.’
Adam also paid tribute to his predecessor Alice Roberts, saying:
‘Alice has done an amazing job at advancing the causes of and promoting humanism to a wider audience. She’s a hard act to follow, but it’s an honour to do so.’
Welcoming the appointment, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:
‘Throughout his career Adam has used his platform as a geneticist and science communicator to challenge falsehood and prejudice in the interests of building a better society.
At a time of increased uncertainty, and when our work in bringing non-religious people together is more important than ever, we are delighted to welcome such an experienced communicator with a passion for promoting humanist values.’
Outgoing President Professor Alice Roberts commented:
‘Since 2019, I’ve been honoured to serve as President of Humanists UK and help to bring attention to our amazing work – from our ceremonies for non-religious people and the support we offer to the vulnerable in hospitals and prisons, through to our important campaigns for freedom of thought, choice, and expression. Adam is a brilliant scientist and communicator who I know will do a fantastic job promoting the values of humanism.’
Citations, References And Other Reading
- Featured Photo Courtesy of:
The views, opinions and analyses expressed in the articles on Humanist Freedoms are those of the contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publishers.