Join us in Cambridge over the weekend of 9–11 June for the most open, most thrilling, and most entertaining Convention ever. Kicking off on the Friday evening with a massive comedy evening open to all delegates, the weekend will speed by leaving you entertained, uplifted, and wanting more.
Read about all our speakers announce so far or take a look at our tickets and see how we've made this the most affordable BHA Convention ever.
Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a British scientist, author and broadcaster. A well-known science communicator, he is a professor of Physics at the University of Surrey where he also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, having been President from 2012 to 2015.
Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, and the President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
Helen Czerski is a physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster with a passion for science, sport, books, creativity, hot chocolate and investigating the interesting things in life. She currently works in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London, and is a science presenter for the BBC.
Pavan heads the BHA’s public affairs team, and is responsible for the BHA’s campaigns covering a wide range of issues including public services, equality law, ethical issues, religion and schools, and social cohesion. Pavan has worked in high level advisory and Head of Policy and Public Affairs roles for the past seven years. She is an equalities and human rights expert with a special interest in youth, criminal justice and education policy.
Karen Douglas is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent. In addition to conducting work on the psychology of conspiracy theories, she is involved in projects examining sexism in language, the influence of sexist ideology on attitudes toward pregnant women, and the psychology of internet behaviour.
Jay Harman is the British Humanist Association’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner. He works on all the BHA’s education issues, from school admissions and discrimination in employment, to religious education, collective worship, and evolution vs creationism in schools.
Robin Ince is a comedian, actor, writer, and creator of the incredibly popular 'Lessons and Carols for Godless People', celebrating science and featuring scientists, musicians, and comedians. He presents The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox on BBC Radio 4. Robin will be the host for our Friday evening comedy spectacular.
Sara Khan is an award winning human rights and counter-extremism activist and author of the best-selling book The Battle for British Islam: Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism.
Having worked and actively campaigned for women’s rights within Muslim communities for over 20 years, Sara co-founded Inspire in 2008 to empower Muslim women, raise awareness of their inequalities and challenge the growing extremism often justified in the name of Islam.
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 the British Humanist Association in January 2016.
Mark Lynas is the author of several books on the environment, including High Tide, Six Degrees, and The God Species. He is a frequent speaker around the world on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power, and was climate change advisor to the President of the Maldives between 2009 and 2011. He now works with the Cornell Alliance for Science, funded entirely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also a member of the advisory board of the science advocacy group Sense About Science, and campaigns on behalf of various pro-science causes.
Tommy Sheppard MP
Tommy Sheppard is the SNP MP for Edinburgh East, having been elected in the 2015 General Election. He has held office in the National Union of Students, was formerly a councillor in London and moved back to Scotland having been appointed under leader John Smith, to be a full-time organiser for the Labour Party. Tommy is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group; his other political interests include human rights, Palestine, anti-poverty, austerity, and equality issues. Tommy is the SNP’s spokesperson on the Cabinet Office.
Richy Thompson works on issues from across the BHA’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.
Atheists, Humanists, and Secular Students
The AHS is an association of atheist, humanist and secular student societies facilitated and supported by the British Humanist Association (BHA). Its vision is to see a thriving atheist, humanist or secular student society in every institute of Higher Education in the UK and Republic of Ireland, networked together, with a shared voice in public life, whose members can contribute to and be part of the wider national and international movement.
With over 400 members and supporters the Defence Humanists (formerly the UK Armed Forces Humanist Association) is a growing network of non-religious service personnel, MOD civil servants, veterans and their families within the British Humanist Association who seek to represent the interests of all those who subscribe to humanist ideals.
Faith to Faithless
Faith to Faithless was founded in 2015 by Aliyah Saleem and Imtiaz Shams, now a trustee of the British Humanist Association, in order to draw attention to the discrimination faced in particular by 'minorities within minorities and to give a platform to the faithless and 'apostates, to come out in public and speak out against this discrimination.
with LGBT Refugees
For over 30 years LGBT Humanists has promoted Humanism as a rational, naturalistic worldview that trusts the scientific method as the most reliable route to truth and encourages a moral and ethical life based on logic, reason and compassion. It campaigns for equality and diversity, particularly relating to sexual orientation and identity – both in the UK and internationally. Since 2012, it has been proud to be the LGBT section of the British Humanist Association.
London Humanist Choir
The London Humanist Choir focuses on promoting humanism in the arts. A section of the BHA, they aim to provide a choir to anyone who wishes to sing non-religous music, promote Humanism and humanist arts through public performances, be an inclusive community founded on humanist principles, and showcase songs composed for the Choir to be used in humanist ceremonies and events.
Humanists are people who believe in our ability to be good, caring and productive without believing in gods and goddesses, or belonging to a religion. We believe reason and empathy are the best ways of working out what is right and wrong, and solving problems faced by society. Their focus is the here and now, and working together to make our world a better place for everyone. Most younger people share these values, even if they don't call themselves humanists yet. Young Humanists is the 18-35s section of the BHA.
BHA Convention 2017 is the most affordable ever, with tickets starting at £99 for members and just £49 for students.
All ticketholders are entitled to attend all sessions of the Convention from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.
Add lunch, teas, and coffees on the Saturday and Sunday for just £30, and join us at the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening for £60.
The Humanist Professionals Conference will be integrated with BHA Convention 2017. Taking place from 11:00 on Friday 9 June, the Conference will provide valuable training, CPD, and networking opportunities for all humanist professionals – celebrants, pastoral carers, school speakers – and those aspiring to become one. All BHA Convention ticket-holders may attend the Humanist Professionals Conference free of charge, by selecting the free add-on when purchasing their ticket. Standalone tickets for the Humanist Professionals Conference are available for £49.
Please note that 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. More details will be provided at a later date.
Our home for the weekend is the Cambridge Corn Exchange – the only venue in the city large enough to host our busiest ever Convention.
Throughout the weekend we'll also be hosting parallel sessions in the Cambridge Guildhalls, just a two minute walk around the corner.
For the first time, in addition to sending emails, we'll be using an app (iOS and Android) to give delegates all the information they might need for the full weekend.
Find information on all our speakers, see exactly what's happening when and where, and follow what everyone's saying about the event on Twitter.
As the Convention approaches, useful documents such as joining instructions and seating plans will be added, making our Convention app your handy one-stop shop for everything going on, before and during the event.
See your confirmation email for details on how to download the app.
Please read the BHA Convention 2017 event policies, including regarding tickets, cancellations, and recording on the day.
Helen Czerski photo by Alex Brenner
2 Wheeler St
Cambridge, CB2 3QB