Sociologist, academic, writer, broadcaster, and Vice-President of Humanists UK
Laurie Taylor’s career has included stints as a teacher, a salesman, and actor, and as a lecturer and Professor of Sociology at York University, where he supposedly became the model for Howard Kirk in Malcolm Bradbury’s 1975 campus novel The History Man. He is visiting professor at Birkbeck College London.
While at York he began yet another career, as a journalist and broadcaster, first appearing on Stop the Week, where his wit and erudition gained him an audience and participation in further Radio 4 programmes such as The Radio Programme, News Quiz , Speaking as an Expert and Room for Improvement. He currently writes and presents Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4. He has also made television documentaries on crime, drinking behaviour, the purpose of education, the cult of celebrity and death and dying; his forthcoming programme A Very British Apocalypse (on Channel 5) will look at apocalyptic ideas in religion and science.
He has written many books, including An Introduction to Sociology (1998) and What are Children For?(2003, with his son Matthew). He has also written for the Times Higher Education Supplement, The Times, The Independent and New Statesman.
Laurie Taylor is an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Association, Chair of the RA Board, and Commissioning Editor of New Humanist magazine.
His wikipedia profile