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Top comedians, scientists, writers, and campaigners join Convention 2020 lineup

The line-up for Humanists UK Convention 2020 expanded to 16 confirmed speakers today, when the organisation announced top comedians, scientists, writers, and campaigners would be speaking at the summer event in London, over 19–21 June 2020.

Humanists UK has today announced comedian Zoe Lyons, editor Ian Dunt, mental health campaigner Natasha Devon MBE, philosopher and neuroscientist Raymond Tallis, author and campaigner Ariane Sherine, and theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili OBE, will all be appearing at Humanists UK Convention 2020, the charity’s three-day celebration of humanism over the weekend of World Humanist Day.


Zoe Lyons
is a series regular on TV’s Mock the Week and The Wright Stuff, and The News Quiz and The Now Show on BBC Radio 4. She joins Robin Ince as a performer at Humanists UK’s special evening of comedy to kick off the weekend, taking place on Friday 19 June from 19:00.

Humanists UK members will be delighted to hear from Ariane Sherine, creator of the memorable Atheist Bus Campaign in 2009. The campaign began with a modest target of raising £5,500, but went on to raise over £150,000, for adverts promoting a humanist outlook (‘There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’) across the country for months on end. Professor Raymond Tallis is a neuroscientist and philosopher and the author of many books, including most recently Seeing Ourselves: Reclaiming Humanity from God and Science.

Natasha Devon MBE is a writer and mental health campaigner. She has served as the Department for Education’s mental health champion for schools and has worked with Mental Health First Aid England and the anxiety-related disorder charity No Panic. She was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to young people. Ian Dunt is editor at, and author of the upcoming How to Be a Liberal, due to be published in May 2020, and will be a familiar face to those who attended Convention 2018 in Newcastle. Attendees will also be delighted to hear from theoretical physicist and Humanists UK Vice President, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, who can be heard on the radio weekly as the host of The Life Scientific.

These new speakers bolster an incredibly strong existing line-up, which includes Professor Alice Roberts, Samira Ahmed, Saiful Islam, Carol Smillie, Professor A C Grayling CBE, Andrew Copson, and Polly Toynbee. Further scientists, authors, philosophers, historians, activists, comedians, and more will be revealed in the coming months as Convention 2020 approaches.

The Humanists UK Convention has grown in recent years to become the highlight event of the humanist calendar. It is always a wonderful opportunity for humanists to gather, eat, drink, network, and celebrate humanism. This year’s Convention begins on 19 June, and closes on 21 June, coinciding with global celebrations for World Humanist Day. It will take place at the magnificent Oval cricket ground in London – a city which has been a centre of humanist thought for over two centuries, as well as the birthplace of Humanists UK in 1896 and home to almost one million people who self-identify as humanists.


At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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