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The Archives

Selected Talks

Past Events


January 2022 - No meeting.


December 2021 - No more Faith Schools with Alastair Lichten.

November 2021 - How to Live to 100 with Ariane Sherine.

October 2021 - Time Travel for Beginners - York's archival history at the Borthwick with Gary Brannan.

September 2021 - The Return of Industrial Hemp to fight Climate Change with John Pittock.

August 2021 - No meeting.

July 2021 - Why playing digital games can be good for you. with Professor Paul Cairns.

June 2021 - Well-being and well-doing: a History of Humanism in the UK with Madeleine Goodall.

May 2021 - Religious Language and Mental Ill Health with Isabel Clarke.

April 2021 - The Humanist case against Patriotism with David Mountain.

March 2021 - Six faces of Language - What makes language language? with Deak Kirkham.

February 2021 - Sustainable development, climate change and the CO2 refinery with Michael North.

January 2021 - No meeting.


December 2020 - Fish - What they know, their personalities and will we have any left by 2050?, with Annie Evans (The Humane League).

November 2020 - My Year in Chains – Being the Lord Mayor of York, with Barbara Boyce.

October 2020 - The case for Proportional Representation, with Paul Cooney.

September 2020 - The Trouble with Faith (in) Schools, with Dr Ruth Wareham.

March 2020 - Leaving Faith – the experience of a Jehovah's Witness with Sarah Bryan.

February 2020 - Defusing an Explosive Issue: Engineering GM plants to remove explosives and other pollutants from the biosphere with Professor Neil Bruce, University of York.

January 2020 - The New Working Class: How to win hearts, minds and votes with Claire Ainsley.


December 2019 - Mormonism - the invention of a religion with John Adams

November 2019 - Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale with Marlon Solomon

October 2019 - What's the point of Clinical Trials? with Marc Taylor

September 2019 - Christianity versus Curiosity with Brian Gane

August 2019 - How to explain Humanism to a ten-year-old with Ian Hodgson

July 2019 - Universal Basic Income with Dr Louise Haagh, University of York

June 2019 - A Soapbox Evening

May 2019 - Fantastic planets, and how to find them, with Dr Emily Brunsden, University of York

April 2019 - Providing Emotional Support for People in Distress, from York Samaritans

March 2019 - Effective Altruism, with Sally Waters and Jamie Gittins

February 2019 - Evolution – It's a Fact, with Andy Parkin

January 2019 - No meeting.


December 2018 - The Crisis of Islam and the Koran with Colin Taylor.

November 2018 - Clit Stirrer with Kate Smurthwaite.

October 2018 - The Global Problem of Pharmaceutical Pollution with Professor Alistair Boxall.

September 2018 - Harnessing Chemistry to Re-wire Biology with Dr Alison Parkin.

August 2018 - Digital Trust with David Key.

July 2018 - Why does God hate women? with Brian Quinn.

June 2018 - A Soapbox Evening.

May 2018 - Death by Chocolate – the Death Café experience with Cate Quinn.

April 2018 - Child Poverty in the UK: Understanding its nature, causes and consequences, with Dr Gill Main.

March 2018 - Logic and Argumentation, with Angelos Sofocleous.

February 2018 - Why are there so many insect species?, with Dr Peter Mayhew of the Department of Biology, University of York.

January 2018 - Social evening and Quiz of the Year.


December 2017 - Britain's Changing Religion and Belief Landscape, with Jeremy Rodell.

November 2017 - On the Historicity of Jesus Christ, with Colin Taylor.

October 2017 - The Luck Factor, with Prof. Richard Wiseman.

September 2017 - The Grammar of Selection, with Dr Chris Renwick.

August 2017 - The Multiverse - Are We Alone?, with Andy Parkin.

July 2017 - Pagan Culture, with Debra Scott.

June 2017 - A Soapbox Evening.

May 2017 - What does science really tell us about the world?, with Dr Mary Leng.

April 2017 - The Massacre of York's Jews in 1190, with David Kennard.

March 2017 - Segregation, Segregation, Segregation: Government policy on faith school admissions, with Jay Harman, BHA Campaigns Officer.

February 2017 - On not being an atheist, with Simon Blackburn.

January 2017 - The Charms of Expressive Theism, with Dr Stuart Jesson.


December 2016 - Yoga as Medicine/Secular Practice. With Anna Semlyen.

November 2016 - Political Islam, with Dr Afshin Shahi.

October 2016 - No meeting

September 2016 - Science as King, with Prof. Peter Atkins. Our 4th Annual Lecture.

September 2016 - How I Became a Humanist.

August 2016 - A talk about Positive Money, with Marie McCahery.

July 2016 - A Universe from Nothing?, a talk by Andi Ye.

June 2016 - A Study in Grey: Critically re-assessing the worldwide programme for Smallpox Eradication, with Prof. Sanjoy Bhattacharya

May 2016 - Rites of passage: humanist ceremonies and the need for non-religious ritual, with Ewan Main

April 2016 - Cults and extremist groups - when the deed and creed entrap and enslave, with Professor Rod Dubrow-Marshall and Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall

March 2016 - Migrant or Asylum Seeker? with Catherine Hemmings.

February 2016 - The Evolution of Mimicry with Dr Chris Hassall

January 2016 - Dr Stuart Jesson talking about Theology in disguise: reflections on the limits of reason.


December 2015 - The Philosopher’s Prejudice: Can thinking make you good? with Dr Amber Carpenter.

November 2015 - Pavan Dhaliwal talking about the BHA's parliamentary campaigning.

October 2015 - Why We should make Monarchy History, with Mark Sutton from Republic.

September 2015 - Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat to Mankind? with Tim Stephenson.

August 2015 - A soapbox evening.

July 2015 - Why Vegan? ...looking towards a more sustainable and compassionate lifestyle, with Hilary Wilson.

June 2015 - Giving the Gift of Offence with Martin Rowson.

May 2015 - Agnosticism and the dangers of stepping-stones, a talk by Prof. Robin Le Poidevin.

April 2015 - Is Fracking a Good Idea?, with Jon and Val Mager.

March 2015 - Why Should Humanists Vote For You?, with Cllr Chris Steward.

February 2015 - The illusion of choice: Genetic screening during pregnancy, a talk by Prof. Karl Atkin.

January 2015 - Our 10th Anniversary Celebration.


December 2014 - Is there Life out there?, A lecture by Dr John Baruch from Bradford University.

November 2014 - A Soap Box evening.

October 2014 - Politics, Freethought and Humanism, with Tim Stephenson.

September 2014 - Dignity in Dying, with Anne Norfolk and Lloyd Riley.

August 2014 - Organised Religion is the Greatest Global Threat to Human Rights by Peter Tatchell.

July 2014 - Faith and Education by Prof. John Adams.

June 2014 - What is Religion For (and can we do better)? by David Kennard.

May 2014 - That's Handy! - A truth detection kit by Brian Quinn.

April 2014 - Why Religion is in Decline by Burt Flannery.

March 2014 - A talk by Sandy Irvine from the organisation Population Matters.

February 2014 - The European Witch-hunts, Persecution, Myth and Reality by Hugh Clayden.

January 2014 - A presentation by local Humanist Celebrants on their work.


January 2013 - A selection of Humanist and Atheist videos from YouTube.

February 2013 - Dr Graham Smith, talking about Scientific Evidence, Critical Thinking and Government Decision Making.

March 2013 - Spirituality with Dr Jackie Watson of the University of East Anglia.

April 2013 - A discussion - What do we do with a problem like ... spirituality ?.

May 2013 - Why Does God Hate Women? - a talk by Brian Quinn.

June 2013 - The Science and Superstition of Teams and Types, a talk by Drew Rae.

July 2013 - Judaism, a talk by Jerry Carlin and David Kennard.

September 2013 - The Roots and Fruits of Humanism, by Prof. A.C. Grayling.

October 2013 - Origins of Islam, a Mythology, by Guy Otten.

November 2013 - Sue Cox of Survivors Voice Europe

December 2013 - Our fourth annual Review of the Year Quiz.


December 2012 - Our third annual Review of the Year Quiz.

November 2012 - Steve Hurd talking about the work of the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust.

October 2012 - A talk on Evolution and Human Nature by Dr Gijsbert Stoet from the Psychology Department of the University of Leeds.

September 2012 - Why I am not a Cultural Christian, a talk by Dan Bye of Sheffield Humanist Society.

July 2012 - A discussion on the topic "Gay Marriage".

June 2012 - A discussion on Free Will.

May 2012 - Christian Values - No good without God? - a talk by Brian Quinn.

April 2012 - A showing of the film The God Who Wasn't There.

March 2012 - Is it Racist to criticise Islam?, a talk by Mat Baily of Sheffield Humanist Society.

February 2012 - Who's right about Darwinism: atheists, moderates or fundamentalists?, a talk by Dr Peter Mayhew from the Department of Biology, York University.

January 2012 - A selection of Humanist and Atheist videos from YouTube and other sources.


December 2011 - A relaxed evening of seasonal festivities, including the Review of the Year Quiz.

November 2011 - "An Introduction to Humanism", presented by Tim Stephenson

October 2011 - "The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone", a talk by Prof. Kate Pickett

September 2011 - Discussion Group: "How does a Humanist see 'The Purpose of Life'?"

July 2011 - "Creationist Conspiracy", a talk by Mark Edon from the BCSE (British Centre for Science Education) about the latest activities of creationists in UK schools.

June 2011 - "Superstition - The Odd Delusion - a presentation by Brian Quinn."

May 2011 - "Does Religion Have a Place in Nursing Care?" - a talk by Corinna Dass, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Humanist.

April 2011 - Niccola Swan talking about the work of Dignity in Dying, the national campaign demanding talking about the Humanist Community of Leeds.

March 2011 - Dr Gijsbert Stoet from the Psychology Department of the University of Leeds religious theology.

February 2011 - Just Suppose! A presentation by Michael Lawrence, exposing the link between primitive astronomy/astrology and modern day

January 2011 - A selection of Humanist and Atheist videos from YouTube and other sources.


December 2010 - A relaxed evening of seasonal festivities, including the Review of the Year Quiz.

November 2010 - Maryam Namazie, talking about One Law for All, which campaigns against the use of Sharia and all religious laws in the UK.

October 2010 - Brian Quinn, BHA Regional Representative for Yorkshire and the Humber, talking about Giving Humanists a Voice in Your Community.

September 2010 - Michael Granville presented a talk entitled, "The Vatican - Where Now for the Catholic Church?".

July 2010 - A talk by Michelle Burns on "Being a Humanist Celebrant".

June 2010 - Soap Box Evening. A chance for members to get up and start brief debates on a topic of their choice.

May 2010 - An open forum discussion on 'Faith in the Public Square', with Alistair Rycroft, Curate at St Michael le Belfrey church.

April 2010 - Gary Knamiller talking about the charity, WaterAid, which uses practical solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the world's poorest people.

March 2010 - A selection of Humanist and Atheist videos from YouTube and other sources.

February 2010 - 'What's it all for?: a Lesson on Humanism', led by Andrew Copson, CEO of the British Humanist Association.

January 2010 - Chris Worfolk of Leeds Atheist Society talking about "Inside the Evangelists' Lair: My Experiences with the Christian Union".


December 2009 - Journalist and comedy writer Ariane Sherine spoke about creating the global Atheist Bus Campaign, and how it started with just 700 words on The Guardian website.

November 2009 - A talk by Tim Stephenson on 'Bad Science'.

October 2009 - 'The Unwoven Rainbow': Richard Parker tells the story of his journey to rational thinking.

September 2009 - A Discussion on Contradictions and Absurdities in Scripture.

July 2009 - 'A Conversation between Paganism and Humanism', led by Kim Dent-Brown

June 2009 - 'What Humanism Means To Me', a talk by Phil Mason.

May 2009 - 'Humanists and their Political Beliefs', a group discussion that tried (among other things) to find out if being a Humanist makes you more likely to subscribe to particular political positions.

April 2009 - A discussion on the topic, 'Should we be actively promoting Humanism, and, if so, how?'.

March 2009 - Our speaker was Dr Stephen Burwood of Hull University, who talked about 'Indoctrination, Religious Schools and a Plural Society'.

February 2009 - Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of 'The Origin of Species', Chris Street presenting a talk on 'Darwin, Science & Humanism'.

January 2009 - A talk by Gerry Hannant entitled, 'Religion: how does it get away with it?'.


December 2008 - An evening of seasonal festivities.

November 2008 - a talk by Tim Stephenson on The New Atheists, the term that's been used to describe writers such as Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

October 2008 - Pepper Harow from the British Humanist Association, giving a talk on The Inclusion of humanists and non religious people in local government work.

September 2008 - a Small Groups Discussion Evening, talking about What does Humanism mean to you?

July 2008 - Soap Box evening. A chance for members to get up and start brief debates on a topic of their choice.

June 2008 - Father Gerard Burns talking on Are Humanists and Christians trying to build the same sort of Utopia despite having different starting points?

May 2008 - A talk by Roderic Vassie on Islam.

April 2008 - A talk by Professor Colin Campbell of York University on `Humanism and the Search for Meaning in a Post-Modern World'.

March 2008 - Retired Humanist Officiant Charles Miller talked to us about some of his experiences from twenty years of officiating at Humanist weddings, naming ceremonies and funerals.


December 2007 - Showings of short films on the topic 'Why Atheism?'

November 2007 - Heaven on Earth: Gerrard Winstanley and the 'True' Levellers - a talk by John Severs.

October 2007 - A talk by Charles Anderson on Transhumanism and the Singularity.

March 2007 - A talk by Alan Pennington on Unitarianism.

February 2007 - Soap Box evening. A chance for members to get up and start brief debates on a topic of their choice.

January 2007 - An open discussion on the question, Where Do Morals Come From?


December 2006 - Running the W. Yorkshire Group - the First 40 Years; a talk by Bob Tee, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire

November 2006 - Politics, Power, and Cultural Change a talk by retired Chief Probation Officer Roger Statham

October 2006 - Intelligent Design, a talk by Dr Simon Hardy of York University

September 2006 - Coming to Humanism: personal accounts of how members realised they were Humanists

July 2006 - Buddhism and Humanism, a talk by Charles Anderson

June 2006 - A talk on Religion and Education by Dr John Adams

May 2006 - A talk on Quakerism by local Quaker, Joyce Pickard.

April 2006 - A showing of the film, The God Who Wasn't There.

March 2006 - A talk by Peter Hale of Climate Concern UK: Climate Change - a Threat to Mankind?

February 2006 - A talk by Dr Stephen Burwood from the University of Hull on Intelligent Design vs. Anthropic Agnosticism.

January 2006 - A talk by our Treasurer, Paul Smith, on the topic, Where the BHA has Been Going Wrong.


December 2005 - A discussion on the topic, Faith does breed charity.

November 2005 - A talk by Jason Tipples entitled, Evolutionary Psychology: An Answer to Life's Problems?

October 2005 - A talk by Charles Anderson on Privacy in the Information Age.

September 2005 - Humanist Officiant Lorraine Emms talking about Humanist ceremonies.

August 2005 - A discussion on the ethical problems caused by emigration.

July 2005 - A discussion about Thinking the Unthinkable.

June 2005 - A talk by Prof. Colin Campbell of York University on The history of humanism in the UK.

May 2005 - What Humanists Would Like from the General Election.

March 2005 - A discussion on What is Humanism?

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