Posts Tagged 'hss'

Thought for the World returns!

The secular alternative to the BBC’s Thought for the Day is back for another year. The Humanist Society of Scotland has lined up some great speakers including Prof. A.C. Grayling, Claire Rayner, Mark Thomas and even Jonathan Bartley of the religious think tank Ekklesia. Looks like a promising mix and who knows who else is waiting in the wings. The first topic was free speech as addressed by A.C. Grayling and I highly recommend it. To listen to or follow the two weeks of ‘thoughts’ visit the Thought for the World website or have a listen at the Guardian’s Comment is Free website.


Pride Glasgow 2008

On Saturday (August 30th), the University of Edinburgh Humanist Society attended Pride Glasgow and the Not-Quite-So-Friendly Humanist has a report and pictures. We hosted a stall with friendly faces and materials on humanism and human rights, with support and encouragement from the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and the Humanist Society of Scotland.

It seems to have become a rather sad tradition that I initiate and organise our attendance and then find myself unable to be there on the day. However, it is very important to me to have humanists attending pride and celebrating diversity and supporting human rights.  The personal arenas of sexuality and gender identity are still particularly targeted by religious belief and intolerant attitudes and humanists have a responsibility and opportunity to address this. In fact, humanists in the UK have been offering same sex affirmation ceremonies since 1987. Outside of religious edict and conservative traditional views, there is no logical reason to object to or enforce any kind of sexuality as long as it’s consenting, and likewise with gender. Sex, love and gender are of great importance to the individual, but society and religion have no place dictating individual behaviour in these matters.

Carnival time!

The 24th Humanist Symposium blog carnival has been posted over at The Uncredible Hallq, and I am happy to say that my post about Representation has been included. There’s a good array of intelligent, thoughtful and entertaining articles by a host of atheist and humanist bloggers. It’s a great way to get a taste of what’s out there. Please do head over and have a look, and to anyone who’s come here from the symposium: Welcome!

Continuing the carnival theme, the Edinburgh University Humanist Society will be at Pride Glasgow this coming Saturday (30th August) celebrating diversity and human rights. We’ll be manning a stall with some help from our friends from the Humanist Society of Scotland and the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.  The stalls are on from 10am to 5pm in George Square, Glasgow and we’d love to see you, so come by, say hello and enjoy the goings on.

The Inaugural UK Secular Student Conference

Over the weekend of June 21-22nd, Edinburgh University Humanist Society was proud to host the inaugural Secular Student Conference. This is the first time that atheist, secular and humanist societies from universities across the UK have gathered together to share their experiences and ideas and to meet each other.

It was a fantastic weekend with lots of great people and ideas. The groups present included:

Durham University Humanist Society
Edinburgh University Humanist Society
Keele Humanist Group
Leeds Atheist Society
Oxford Secular Society
Warwick Atheists
Southampton Atheist Society sent a document with their details and suggestions

The first day focussed on learning about the different societies. On Saturday morning, the societies gave presentations and introduced themselves and events they’d organised. In the afternoon there were presentations from various organisations including the British Humanist Association, the Humanist Society of Scotland and the National Secular Society. On Sunday, the societies got down to talking about how they can work together and provide support and representation for exisiting and new student societies. There was also discussion about working together on events and campaigns and co-ordinating resources. Serious plans are under way to build an umbrella organisation created for and run by student groups in the UK. If you’re interested in finding out more or becoming involved, secular student discussion can be found at the Secular Portal site created by the Leeds Atheists Society.

Pictures and videos from the event can be found here.

British Humanist Association Education Website Launch

The British Humanist Association have launched a new website with education resources for teaching Humanism in schools. This is great news! What with the Humanist Society of Scotland launching its education strategy and the launch of the Humanist Academy, there is now a plethora of materials available for learning about Humanism. Teachers, parents and pupils alike can look around and choose the most relevant materials for them. So what does the new BHA website have to offer?

Following the recommendation in the 2004 National Framework for RE that Humanism be included as an example of a non-religious worldview, the BHA have created resources for pupils from 5 to 16 years. These resources are provided on the new Humanism for Schools website which includes teaching toolkits, humanist perspectives, a library and some assembly ideas. There are six toolkits ranging from what humanists celebrate to discussing how we tell right from wrong. Resources include video clips, worksheets and powerpoint presentation materials. There are even appearances from the popular children’s author, Philip Pullman.

I certainly haven’t read all the materials but it looks quite promising. The site design is pretty clean and easy to navigate with some simple pictures to liven it up. I’m also pleased that there’s a diverse range of humanists represented with regards to age, gender and ethnicity. I’d love to know what other people think of them. Please feel free to comment!