Who’s your Humanist Hero?
As part of Humanist Week 2010 we want you to tell us who your humanist heroes are.
Humanist Week 2010 runs from World Humanist Day on 21st June to 27th June. The theme of Humanist Week 2010 is ‘Humanist Heritage – celebrating humanist contributions across the ages.’
The BHA is coordinating a new Humanist Heritage project which will long outlast the week itself as it launches a new website celebrating the history of Humanism.
Here’s a way that you can help.
We want to celebrate the humanist heritage of Britain with a series of articles on your “humanist heroes”, and you can write one. You can discuss any rolemodel that Humanism has produced at any time in history.
A few ideas
Already, five of the Distinguished Supporters of the BHA have specially written pieces about their humanist heroes, and we want you to join them by thinking about and writing your own articles.
So far, writer and diplomat David Blatherwick has written about the Roman poet Lucretius; scientist Harry Kroto has written about “my only hero”, his friend the Nobel Laureate Joseph Rotblat; Lewis Wolpert has told us about the highly skeptical David Hume; the philosopher Richard Norman has written about George Eliot saying she “was a great humanist, and a great English novelist – perhaps the greatest”; Claire Rayner has written about her school teacher Miss Peach, who in turn had told her about many other humanist heroes; and in a poignant tribute to the late Michael Foot, Ashok Kumar MP – who himself sadly died shortly after writing – said that Foot was “someone who personified humanism and never allowed political battles or ideological differences to overcome the tremendous respect and love he had for his fellow human beings.”
We’ve had contributions from BHA members and the public telling us why their humanist hero isDouglas Adams, Charles Darwin (with a few cautionary remarks), Ludoviko Lazaro Zamenhof (creator of Esperanto), Robert Owen (founder of the Cooperative movement), the very funny and wisdomous Tim Minchin, Persian polymath Omar Khayyám, playwright Bertolt Brecht, the late Ludovic Kennedy, science and sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, Professor Richard Dawkins, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Mark Twain, Gerrard Winstanley, Michel de Montaigne, and Jacob Bronowski. Get in quick with yours!
Your Humanist Hero pieces have started going up, first at www.humanistlife.org.uk. You can still join in today!
What to do
To submit your article, simply email email@example.com with the subject line “My Humanist Hero”.
You can paste your content into the email or attach a written document or even an audio or video file. (If you have a large video file you could use www.yousendit.com or a similar service to avoid using email attachments.)
We’ve had plenty of submissions already, but we like them so much, we’ve decided to extend the deadline throughout Humanist Week. Please send us your Humanist Hero by the end of Humanist Week 2010 – 27th June.
Please include in your email…
- Your name
- The name of your Humanist Hero and any other title you’ve given your content
- A strapline about yourself (like, “Clare Smith is a teacher in Camelot-on-Avon and is a member of the Camelot Humanist Group”; “Aditi Gupta is a quantum physicist at the Camelot Institute. She is a BHA member and plays the drums”; “Phil Jones runs a small business in Camelot and enjoys talking about philosophy with his two children.”)
- Any other information you want to give us
And don’t forget your actual content!
Things to bear in mind
- You should read the Writing Guide on HumanistLife to hone your work.
- We’re flexible, but an article written for the Humanist Hero project should probably be between about 400 and 1,000 words.
- Stick to the topic. Write about your Humanist Hero. This may involve some wider context, but remember to focus.
- Explain who the hero is in enough detail that someone who had never heard of him or her would know who they were by the end of the article!
- Don’t be dissing other possible heroes just to make yours sound better.
If accepted your content may appear across our websites, on the upcoming Humanist Heritage site, on these pages, or on our magazine site HumanistLife. We may also use it in a possible future publication.
We will tell you if the piece is going to be published and we will send you a link. We regret that we cannot acknowledge all submissions nor can we explain why a particular piece was not published. To improve your chances of being published, again, please read the HumanistLife Writing Guide