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Join us in Newcastle over the weekend of 22–24 June 2018 for the most open, most thrilling, and most entertaining Convention ever.

Tickets

Convention

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Humanist UK Convention 2018 is once again the most affordable ever, with tickets priced at just £99, and only £49 for students.

All ticket-holders are entitled to attend all sessions of Convention 2018 from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.

Food add-on sales have now ended.

Convention ticket £99 Student ticket £49

Humanist Professionals Conference

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Having been pioneered in 2017, Humanist Professionals Conference will provide valuable training, CPD, and networking opportunities for all humanist professionals – celebrants, pastoral carers, school speakers, local group leaders, SACRE representatives, humanist student leaders – and those aspiring to become one.

Convention add-on +£25 Standalone ticket £50

Testimonials

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The challenging, provocative, and thought-provoking talks were what made the Convention exceptional for us. Some talks were awe-inspiring!

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

A great variety in the exceptionally moving, interesting, and entertaining programme; the great atmosphere and sense of community only added.

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

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We loved the extremely high quality of the speakers and entertainment, and the great variety of talks. It was really nice to be amongst like-minded people.

Humanists UK Convention 2017 attendee

Speakers

Nick Ross

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Nick Ross is a campaigner and broadcaster. He presented Crimewatch from 1984 to 2007.

Nick Ross is an international conference chairman and was for more than thirty years one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters. Although he still contributes to radio and TV journalism he is now heavily committed to charities and campaigns.

He became a household name as a presenter when launching the BBC’s breakfast TV, Watchdog and Crimewatch and for the flagship radio programmes World at One, The World Tonight and two long-running series, Call Nick Ross and The Commission. He has written and directed award-winning documentaries, has been a lobby correspondent and presented A Week in Politics for Channel 4 and Westminster with Nick Ross for BBC Two.

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Catherine Nixey

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Catherine Nixey is a classicist, historian, and author of  The Darkening Age.

For The Darkening Age, she was presented the Royal Society of Literature’s 2015 Jerwood Award.  The Darkening Age tells the ‘the largely unknown story of how a militant religion deliberately attacked and suppressed the teachings of the Classical world, ushering in centuries of unquestioning adherence to ‘one true faith’. She studied Classics at Cambridge, and subsequently worked as a Classics teacher for several years, before becoming a journalist on the arts desk at  The Times, where she still works.

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Sunny Hundal

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Sunny Hundal is a journalist and commentator, and social media editor at openDemocracy.

He currently works as social media editor for openDemocracy, a global news platform concerned with human rights, freedom, democracy, and the ideal of an open society, and previously founded and edited the centre-left blog Liberal Conspiracy. He is also one of 16 Convenors for the More United cross-party political movement, named for the maiden speech of humanist MP Jo Cox. He is a prolific commentator on national politics, the media, the environment, and race relations, and has been a frequent critic of religious fundamentalism.

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Ian Dunt

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Ian Dunt is a political journalist, commentator, author, and editor of politics.co.uk.

He specialises in issues around immigration, civil liberties, democracy, free speech and social justice and appears regularly on the BBC, Sky and Al-Jazeera as well as a variety of radio stations. He also writes lifestyle columns for other publications and websites. He is the author of Brexit: what the hell happens now? and a host on the Remainiacs podcast.

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Adam Rutherford

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Adam Rutherford is an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, author, and broadcaster.

Adam is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s flagship science radio programme,  Inside Science, as well as many documentaries, on the inheritance of intelligence, on MMR and autism, human evolution, astronomy and art, science and cinema, scientific fraud, and the evolution of sex. On TV, Adam presented the award-winning  Horizon: Playing God (BBC2, Jan 2012);  The Gene Code (BBC4, Apr 2011); and the award-winning T he Cell (BBC4, Sept 2009). Adam is a movie geek, and has been scientific advisor to Björk’s movie  Biophilia Live, and worked on  World War ZThe Secret Service(2014) and  Ex Machina (2015). His critically acclaimed first book,  Creation – on the origin and future of life – was published in 2013, and was nominated for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.  A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived was published in 2016, and  Genetics: A Ladybird Expert Book will be published in June 2018. Adam has a PhD in Genetics, a degree in evolutionary biology, is an honorary Research Fellow at UCL, and is a former Editor at the journal Nature.

Adam is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s flagship science radio programme,  Inside Science, as well as many documentaries, on the inheritance of intelligence, on MMR and autism, human evolution, astronomy and art, science and cinema, scientific fraud, and the evolution of sex. On TV, Adam presented the award-winning  Horizon: Playing God (BBC2, Jan 2012);  The Gene Code (BBC4, Apr 2011); and the award-winning T he Cell (BBC4, Sept 2009). Adam is a movie geek, and has been scientific advisor to Björk’s movie  Biophilia Live, and worked on  World War ZThe Secret Service(2014) and  Ex Machina (2015). His critically acclaimed first book,  Creation – on the origin and future of life – was published in 2013, and was nominated for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.  A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived was published in 2016, and  Genetics: A Ladybird Expert Book will be published in June 2018. Adam has a PhD in Genetics, a degree in evolutionary biology, is an honorary Research Fellow at UCL, and is a former Editor at the journal Nature.

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Francesca Stavrakopoulou

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Francesca Stavrakopoulou is a theologian, broadcaster, and Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion.

A leading expert in religion’s interpretations of the past and influence on modern attitudes, Francesca’s research is primarily focused on ancient Israelite and Judahite religions, and portrayals of religious history in the Hebrew Bible. She is also interested in biblical traditions and religious practices most at odds with Western cultural values. Francesca presented a three-part BBC documentary series about the Bible and archaeology, called Bible’s Buried Secrets, in March 2011. She also appears regularly on the BBC’s The Big Questions and Sunday Morning Live, and has discussed biblical scholarship on several national and local radio programmes. Her stimulating talks on the history of religion and religious depictions of female sexuality were highlights of the Humanists UK Annual Convention in 2016 and the 2014 World Humanist Congress in Oxford.

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Arzoo Ahmed

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Arzoo Ahmed is Director of The Centre for Islam and Medicine, exploring faith and bioethics.

She completed an MPhil in Medieval Arabic Thought, at the Oriental Institute, Oxford, in 2012, under the supervision of Professor Fritz Zimmerman and Dr. Afifi Al-Akiti. Her thesis research focused on reason and revelation in the works of Raghib al-Isfahani. Arzoo has worked as a Research Associate at the Office for Public Management, completing research and evaluation projects for the NHS, Macmillan Cancer Support, and London Creative Labs. She also worked on policy issues with the government through her role in YMAG, where she was elected as Chair. In 2013, Arzoo completed a degree in Islamic Studies with Al-Salam Institute, after having studied the Islamic Sciences with Shaykh Akram Nadwi for eight years. She is also managing the publication of Al-Muhaddithat: a 40-volume encyclopedia on the history of Muslim female scholarship. Arzoo’s research interests include: the soul and the human person; epistemology; methodology; ethics and gender studies..

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Peter Atkins

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Peter Atkins is a former Oxford Professor of Chemistry, and patron of Humanists UK.

He is a fellow of Lincoln College in the University of Oxford and the author of about seventy books for students and a general audience. He is the author of Conjuring The Universe and The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction. His texts are market leaders around the globe. A frequent lecturer in the United States and throughout the world, he has held visiting professorships in France, Israel, Japan, China, and New Zealand. He was the founding chairman of the Committee on Chemistry Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and was a member of IUPAC’s Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Division. Peter was the 2016 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Grady-Stack Award for science journalism.

 

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Laura Lacole

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Laura Lacole is a Northern Irish model, media personality, and humanist campaigner.

She is also a humanist campaigner and regularly speaks out on topics such as legal humanist marriage, freedom of expression, the promotion of science, and women’s rights. Acutely aware of the relative lack of women expressing their sexuality in Northern Ireland media, she decided to pursue a career in modelling to change these attitudes, actively challenging outdated views about how women ‘should’ behave and express themselves.

Her most recent battle, in 2017, saw her and her fiance Eunan take the Northern Ireland Government to court, in a successful attempt to have their humanist marriage legally recognised. As a result, Laura and her husband are the first and currently only couple to have had a legally recognised humanist marriage conducted in Northern Ireland.

Laura was a founding member of Atheist NI, the first atheist organisation in Northern Ireland. She campaigns for greater respect for science and for it to be seen as a more essential part of our lives, recently working with the British Science Association. Laura has appeared as a guest on  This WeekJeremy VineNewsnightSky NewsBBC News, and on many other outlets.

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Saiful Islam

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Saiful Islam is a Chemistry Professor, a Patron of Humanists UK, and a Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer (2016).

Saiful presented the 80th anniversary Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2016 for BBC TV on the theme of energy; the lectures were entitled ‘Supercharged: Fuelling the Future’, and achieved over 3.5 million interactions through the BBC broadcasts and social media.

His research interests include advanced computer modelling studies of new materials for clean energy technologies particularly lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells. He has presented more than 65 invited talks at international conferences, and has around 190 publications. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and has received several awards for his research including the RSC Peter Day Award for Materials Chemistry (2017) and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2013-2018).

He has served on the Diversity Committee of the Royal Society, and was selected for the Royal Society’s ‘Inspiring Scientists’ project that recorded the life stories of ten British scientists with minority ethnic heritage in partnership with National Life Stories at the British Library.

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Jonny Berliner

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Jonny Berliner is a singer-songwriter and graduate in the history and philosophy of science.

His career path was clear. Since his songs were featured on the  Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast, he has been at the forefront of comic science communication, having shared stages with the likes of Robin Ince and Professor Brian Cox, Bill Bailey, and Professor Richard Dawkins, and performed at scientific institutions such as CERN in Geneva and the Royal Institution of London.

As a qualified science teacher in the process of an a MA in science education, he has become an expert in using songs in the classroom, both as a revision tool and a means to communicate complex information in a simple, engaging way.

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Iszi Lawrence

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Iszi Lawrence is a comedian, writer, skeptic, and broadcaster.

Iszi works regularly with  Making History on Radio 4. She also writes, hosts, and co-produces The British Museum Membercast and  Z List Dead List podcasts, which all cover a broad range of unfamiliar topics that have turned listeners into superfans. Iszi has over 12 years experience on the live comedy circuit doing shows across Europe including The Gielgud Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The British Museum, Mirth Control, Jongleurs, The Stand, Kill for A Seat as well performing warm up sets for Stewart Lee, Sarah Millican, Omid Djalili, and Alan Davis.

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Andrew Copson

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Andrew Copson has been Chief Executive of Humanists UK since 2009, and is President of IHEU.

Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 after five years coordinating Humanists UK’s education and public affairs work. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in  The GuardianThe IndependentThe Times and  New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented Humanists UK and Humanism extensively on television news on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as well as on television programmes such as  Newsnight,  The Daily Politics, Sunday Morning Live and  The Big Questions. He has also appeared on radio on programmes from  TodayYou and YoursSundayThe World TonightThe World at One, The Last Word and  Beyond  Belief on the BBC, to local and national commercial radio stations.

He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and is currently President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and a trustee of the International Humanist Trust. He has previously served as head of the IHEU delegation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and has represented humanist organisations to the United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In other humanist roles, he has served as a trustee of the Conway Hall Ethical Society, and is a former chair of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (now LGBT Humanists, and part of Humanists UK). He has advised on Humanism for the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the BBC, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Office of National Statistics among others, and for ten years was a member and then Chair of the Westminster Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education. He was a member of the Advisory Group for the Humanist Library at Conway Hall and, in a previous post in the office of Lord Macdonald of Tradeston in the House of Lords, provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. He also served for many years as a director and trustee of the Religious Education Council, the Values Education Council, and the National Council for Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education.

Together with A C Grayling, Andrew edited the  Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism .

Andrew studied Classics and Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford and was a member of the winning team of the 2005 Young Educational Thinker of the Year Programme. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University. He came to Humanists UK in 2005 from the Citizenship Foundation, where he worked on political literacy projects.

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Jay Foreman

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Jay Foreman is a comedy singer-songwriter with four critically acclaimed shows to his name.

He was a BBC New Talent Pick of the Fringe, and Runner Up in the 2010 Musical Comedy Awards. In 2010 he sold out his debut solo hour  Pretend you’re happy at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in 2011 sold out his second solo Edinburgh show  We’re Living in The Future. He co-wrote and starred in cult online spoof documentaries  Unfinished London, which have been viewed over three million times between them.

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Mary Lawlor

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Mary Lawlor is the former Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.

Front Line Defenders is an organisation Mary established in 2001 to meet the immediate security and protection needs of human rights defenders at risk around the world. Mary is widely respected in the international human rights movement and has been a leading figure in developing rapid response mechanisms and institutional responses for HRDs.  Prior to Front Line Defenders, Mary was Director of the Irish Section of Amnesty International from 1988 to 2000. She became a Board member in 1975 and was elected Chair from 1983 to 1987. Mary was awarded the  Irish Life WMB Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. In 2011, she received the  Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Special Recognition Award.  In 2014, Mary was awarded the French insignia of  Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur and an honorary degree of Doctor in Laws from Trinity College Dublin. In 2015, she was appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Business Trinity College Dublin.

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Michael Irwin

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Michael Irwin is a former Medical Director of the United Nations in New York (1982–1989).

He has campaigned for legalised assisted dying since 1994 – having being Chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (1996–1999 and 2001–2003) and President of the World Federation of the Right-to-Die Societies (2002–2004). He founded the Secular Medical Forum and also the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide, which is now renamed as My Death My Decision; this organisation campaigns for all competent adults, suffering unbearably from severe medical conditions to have the option of a doctor-assisted death. Since 2005, Michael has accompanied five determined, suffering individuals to Switzerland to witness their doctor-assisted suicides.

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Emily McCullouch

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Emily McCullouch is a Squadron Leader in the RAF, and is Chair of Defence Humanists.

Squadron Leader Emily McCullouch joined the RAF as an Air Traffic Controller in 2007, after working within the NHS and as a teacher. She has served operational tours in Afghanistan and the Middle East. As Chair of Defence Humanists, Emily is proud to work with the MoD towards greater inclusion for all, particularly the non-religious.

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Simon Watt

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Simon Watt is a biologist, writer, science communicator, comedian, and TV presenter.

He runs Ready Steady Science, a science communication company committed to making information interesting and takes science based performances into schools, museums, theatres and festivals. He also runs the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, a comedy night with a conservation twist. It went on to find global fame (and notoriety) when it teamed up with the National Science and Engineering Competition to host an online campaign resulting in the election of the blobfish as the ugliest animal on the planet. He has written dozens of articles for national newspapers and websites including the  Times, the  Sunday Times, the  Sun, the  Daily Telegraph, the  Independent, the  Daily Mirror and the  New York Daily News. He is a regular contributor to TV, radio and web and is perhaps best known as a presenter on the BAFTA-winning documentary series  Inside Nature’s Giants and the Channel 4 special  The Elephant: Life After Death.

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Piers Bizony

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Piers Bizony is a science journalist, space historian, and author of 2001: Filming the Future.

He has written about space, science, and the history of technology for a variety of publications including the Independent, the BBC, and Wired. His book 2001: Filming the Future is considered to be the authoritative account of the making of Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Piers was also involved in the curation of ‘Space: 50’, a joint venture between the publishers Harper Collins Worldwide and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., marking the 50th anniversary of Sputnik and the dawn of the space age.

His book Starman, a biography of Yuri Gagarin (co-authored with Jamie Doran) revealed controversial and often harrowing details of the early Soviet space effort. Atom, a tie-in for a BBC TV series, told the dramatic story of the rivalries and passions behind the discovery of quantum physics, while The Rivers of Mars, a critically acclaimed analysis of the life on Mars debate, was shortlisted for NASA’s Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Writing.

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Shappi Khorsandi

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Shappi Khorsandi is a comedian and author, and is President of Humanists UK.

Born in Iran in 1973, Shappi Khorsandi and her family were forced to flee from Iran to London after the Islamic Revolution, as her father had written satirical poetry. She is a comedian, performs stand-up, and has appeared on many radio and television shows, including Shappi Talk and Question Time. She became President of Humanists UK in January 2016.

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Nick Brown

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Nick Brown is a Newcastle MP, and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1983 and he has been an MP ever since (for Newcastle upon Tyne East 1983-97, for Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend 1997-2010, and for Newcastle upon Tyne East since May 2010) . He has had a long career on the backbenches, and the Government and Opposition frontbenches, and is the Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Commons. In 1997 he was made a Privy Councillor and in 2001 he was awarded the freedom of the city of Newcastle.

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Deborah Hyde

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Deborah Hyde is a cultural anthropologist, and is Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic.

Deborah Hyde wants to know why people believe in weird stuff, using the perspectives of psychology and history to try and answer this question. During the day, she’s a film/TV industry coordinator/production manager who has worked in makeup effects and scenery. She is the editor of the Skeptic magazine, the UK’s only regular magazine to take a critical-thinking and evidence-based approach to pseudo-science and the paranormal. Deborah was Co-Convenor of Westminster Skeptics and Speaker Liaison of Soho Skeptics. Soho Skeptics was an alliance of Little Atoms, The Pod Delusion, Skeptic magazine, Skeptics in the Pub, and independent writers and film-makers. In February 2018, she was elected a fellow of The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

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Daniel Trilling

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Daniel Trilling is a journalist and writer. He is author of Lights In The Distance and Editor of New Humanist.

He has reported extensively on refugees in Europe. His work has been published in the London Review of Books, the Guardian, New York Times and others, and won a 2017 Migration Media Award. His first book, Bloody Nasty People: the Rise of Britain’s Far Right, was longlisted for the 2013 Orwell Prize.

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Dave Alnwick

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Dave Alnwick is a magician and entertainer. He has delighted audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe and QED.

He has 13 sold out Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows to his name, three national tours under his belt, and was the host of QED 2017. Phil Jupitus reckons they’ve had burned him at the stake 300 years ago..

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Tim Whitmarsh

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Tim Whitmarsh is Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge.

He came to this role after professorial posts in Oxford and Exeter. He works on all areas of Greek literature and culture, specialising particularly in the world of Greeks under the Roman Empire. He is author of the 2015 book Battling the gods: atheism in the ancient world.

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Isabel Russo

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Isabel Russo has been Head of Ceremonies at Humanists UK since 2013, having been a celebrant since 2009.

Isabel worked as an actor in theatre, film, and television for 20 years before becoming a humanist celebrant in 2009. Isabel then worked as a funeral, wedding, and naming celebrant for four years, before becoming Head of Ceremonies at Humanists UK in May 2013. The role of ritual and storytelling in shaping and influencing community has been a central thread throughout her working life.

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Richy Thompson

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Richy Thompson has been Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Humanists UK since 2017.

He works on issues from across Humanists UK’s public policy remit. From May 2011 to February 2015 he was the Faith Schools and Education Campaigns Officer, and before that he was the President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies. Richy is the Treasurer of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, a member of the advisory group of the Sex Education Forum, and on the steering groups of Voice for Choice, the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign.

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Programme

Friday

Start time End time Session
10:30 17:00 Humanist Professionals Conference
17:00 19:00 Pub quiz
19:00 21:00 Comedy evening
21:00 00:00 Welcome drinks

 

Saturday

Start time End time Session
09:00 17:00 Saturday day sessions
19:00 00:00 Drinks reception and gala dinner

 

Sunday

Start time End time Session
10:00 14:00 Sunday day sessions
14:00 16:00 Humanists UK AGM
16:00 Close

 

Humanist Professionals Conference

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Having been pioneered for 2017, the Humanist Professionals Conference will be integrated with Humanists UK Convention 2018. Taking place from 10:30 on Friday 22 June, the conference will provide valuable training, CPD, and networking opportunities for all humanist professionals – celebrants, pastoral carers, school speakers, local group leaders, SACRE representatives, and Humanist Students leaders – and those aspiring to become one.Tickets to Humanist Professionals Conference 2018 can be bought alongside Humanists UK Convention 2018 tickets for a £25 surcharge, or as a standalone ticket for £50.

Please note there are only a limited number of tickets available for the Humanist Professionals Conference, and that they will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Jenny Bartle

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Jenny Bartle is a trustee of Humanists UK.

She has been involved with humanism since her student days, where she got ran the University of Bristol’s humanist group. She went on to be the president of the national group Humanist Students, and then the chair of its board. She has an interest in LGBT rights and feminism, and is a committed environmentalist. She currently works as a software engineer in Bristol.

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Alan Brine

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Alan Brine was OFSTED’s National Adviser for RE from 2007 to 2015.

In this role he produced a number of major reports on RE. Previously he was involved in RE teacher training and local advisory work. As a member of Humanists UK, Alan now works part-time as a non-religious prison Chaplain, working closely with the religious members of the chaplaincy team.

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Luke Donnellan

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Luke Donnellan is Head of Education at Humanists UK.

He is responsible for promoting understanding of Humanism and manages Humanists UK’s school speakers programme, teacher training, and production of educational resources. Before joining the BHA he worked as a primary school teacher, a freelance philosophy teacher, and a TV producer and director working on science, history, and education programmes, including support materials for teachers and educational resources for students.

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Chris Geake

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Chris Geake is a Regional Co-ordinator for the Non-religious Pastoral Support Network.

Chris completed his Non-Religious Pastoral Support induction training in December 2017, and took up his Regional Co-ordinator role in March 2018. Since May 2018 he has been employed as a part-time non-religious pastoral support assistant within the Spiritual Healthcare Department of the Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

Prior to his official ‘retirement’ in March of this year, Chris was employed for 37 years in various forms of health, social care, and community development work, and for the past 5 years as CEO of a local Mind. Drawing upon his personal lived experience, he is a ‘Champion’ of the national Time to Change campaign, challenging mental health stigma and discrimination.

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Mark Leonard

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Mark Leonard is Activist and Director of Mindfulness Connected.

Since playing a key role in establishing the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which opened in 2008, Mark has led the development of new approaches to teaching mindfulness, combining cognitive psychology and physiology of the mind-body connection. He developed the first workplace course based on a short format Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy in the best selling self-help book, Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world, by Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman. He explains the rationale for this approach in his chapter on Making Mindfulness Meaningful and Accessible in Mindfulness in the Workplace: An evidence-based approach to improving wellbeing and maximising performance, Ed. Margaret Champman-Clarke. He has now developed a new approach that applies mindfulness to social experience, as opposed to seeing the individual as a separate psychological, self as is the case in therapy or stress management, which he has successfully trialled with hospital staff.

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Terri O’Sullivan

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Terri O’Sullivan founded xJW Friends, offering support and friendship for ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, in 2007.

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Catriona McLellan

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Catriona McLellan is Director of Operations at Humanists UK.

She studied at the University of Dundee and has an MA and MPhil in European Politics. After almost ten years in the money advice sector she joined Humanists UK where she is responsible for the smooth running of administration and finance systems. She has a post-graduate qualification in Charity Management and Finance from London Southbank University and is an affiliate member of CIPFA as well as a Prince2 practitioner. She is a member of Central London Humanists, and spends her spare time in art galleries and rock climbing.

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Teddy Prout

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Teddy Prout is Humanists UK’s Director of Community Services.

He is responsible for the strategic development of the services Humanists UK offers in education, pastoral support, ceremonies, and other aspects of support in the community, in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. He is also responsible for development of research and pilot projects to ensure the secure future and promote the value of the services Humanists UK provides.

Before joining Humanists UK, Teddy was a senior leader in education, working in a large academy in West London, and came to Humanists UK from Mencap where he led national projects for children and families.

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Jeremy Rodell

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Jeremy Rodell is Humanists UK volunteer Dialogue Officer and a Trustee.

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Isabel Russo

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Isabel Russo has been Head of Ceremonies at Humanists UK since 2013, having been a celebrant since 2009.

Isabel worked as an actor in theatre, film, and television for 20 years before becoming a humanist celebrant in 2009. Isabel then worked as a funeral, wedding, and naming celebrant for four years, before becoming Head of Ceremonies at Humanists UK in May 2013. The role of ritual and storytelling in shaping and influencing community has been a central thread throughout her working life.

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Imtiaz Shams

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Imtiaz Shams is Chair of Faith to Faithless, ex-Muslim, and a trustee of Humanists UK.

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Sean Turnbull

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Sean Turnbull is Humanists UK’s Student and Youth Coordinator.

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Programme

Timings are provisional and subject to change.

Time Session
10:30 Registration
11:00 Welcome
11:10 Plenary 1: Why Humanists UK supports local Community Services
11:30 Workshops
12:15 Comfort break
12:30 Plenary 2: How campaigning is helping the Community Services
13:15 Lunch
14:00 Workshops
14:45 Comfort break
15:00 Workshops
15:45 Comfort break
16:00 Plenary 3: How to talk about humanism positively
16:20 Close: The future of Humanists UK
16:30 Ends
17:00 Humanists UK Convention 2018 begins
Sessions

All sessions and the timings of each will be determined by demand and interest from ticket-buyers.

Session Facilitator Relevant to service
The ‘Apostate’ Journey Faith to Faithless All
The Future of RE in the UK Alan Brine
OFSTED National Adviser for RE
(2007-2014)
School speakers,
SACRE,
Local group leaders
Talking to young people about humanism Luke Donnellan,
Head of Education
All
Developing a voice you can rely on Isabel Russo,
Head of Ceremonies
All
What GDPR means for you Catriona McLellan,
Director of Operations
All
Successful approaches to dialogue Jeremy Rodell,
Dialogue Officer
All
The state of religion in the UK Jeremy Rodell,
Dialogue Officer
All
Mental health in practice Chris Geake,
Former Director at Hillingdon Mind
All
Sexual and gender identity – implications for practice Jenny Bartle &
Teddy Prout
All
Giving good feedback Isabel Russo,
Head of Ceremonies
School speakers,
Celebrants
Mindfulness as a means of providing care Mark Leonard,
Mindfulness Connected
All
Leading a group Sean Turnbull,
Student and Youth Coordinator
Local group leaders,
Celebrants

Our venue

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Our home for the weekend is the vibrant city of Newcastle.

Convention 2018 will take place in Northumbria University Students Union. The space is incredibly flexible, allowing us to offer a great choice of sessions to attend, whilst keeping the Convention close and intimate in the one building.

There is a public lift available, and accessible toilets on each floor. Hearing loop facilities will be available in both of the main rooms for the Convention. A full report on the venue can be found on DisabledGo.

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Accommodation

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We have worked with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau to provide this accommodation portal, allowing you to easily book recommended hotels for Humanists UK Convention 2018.

Please note accommodation is not included in the price of your ticket and Humanists UK cannot assist in recommending hotels or in making any hotel bookings.

When deciding on when to book accommodation, please in bear mind there are two other large events taking place in Newcastle the weekend of Convention 2018, and so hotels may be busier than usual, and rooms may increase in price as the date approaches.

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Event policies

Cancellations

Bookings may be cancelled free of charge up to 120 days prior to the Convention start date (by 22 February 2018, inclusive). Bookings cancelled 60-119 days (by 23 April 2018, inclusive) from the start date will incur a 50% charge of the full price of the ticket. Cancellations made within 60 days of the Convention start date (from 23 April, inclusive) will not be refunded, but may, at the discretion of Humanists UK and with no less than 21 days’ notice (by 1 June 2018, inclusive), be transferred to another eligible individual. Any refunds for ticket cancellations will be processed within two months.

Early Bird pricing

Early Bird tickets will be available until 1 February 2018, or until the first 120 Convention tickets are sold, whichever comes first. Humanists UK reserves the right to extend, curtail, or otherwise alter, the Early Bird ticket period, or Early Bird ticket allocation, without prior notice.

Speakers

All appearances are subject to speakers’ work and other commitments.

Photography, video, and audio recording

Humanists UK reserves the right to photograph and record video and audio of all public sections of the Convention and to make public the footage as it sees appropriate. Please be aware that by attending Humanists UK Convention 2018, you consent to your voice, name, and/or likeness being used, without compensation, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised, for eternity, and you release Humanists UK, its successors, assigns, and licensees from any liability whatsoever of any nature. If you would like to ensure that you are not captured in any media, please contact events@humanism.org.uk and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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