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Science: A Safe Space to be wrong

On the interaction of Skepticism, feminism and other causes

Richard Acton, outgoing President of Nottingham ASH, has written a little on his considerations of scientific, sceptic and feminist cultures and the obstacles these groups may face in their interactions


 

In my admittedly limited experience of these two groups interacting, the skeptical community seems to have a slightly tense relationship with feminist groups. This is a little odd as humanists are natural allies of feminists as both want to see equality of opportunity irrespective of gender. It then occurred to me that this is not an issue limited to the interaction of skeptics with feminists but of skeptics with many different organisations, I have a hypothesis about what may be at least partly to blame for such slightly uncomfortable relationships.

The Skeptical community is dominated by people who ask tricky questions, challenge assumptions and demand substantiation of the answers. The skeptical community takes on board and seeks to live by the values of scientific culture; always asking, what do you think you know and how do you think you know it? This means that people in this community are desensitised to people, sometimes aggressively challenging their ideas. This is a very counterintuitive thing for people to get used to, to always be dissecting you own ideas, pushing at any weakness and resisting the urge to rationalise by for example rehearsing old arguments or double counting evidence. (more »)

Do not miss the AGM in Warwick!

You should come to the AGM. There! I said it.

No really, you should. Here’s why:

The AGM is about both business and pleasure. That has always been, and remains, the case. Yet the AGM this year is like no other in the AHS’ history.

As for business we will be voting on at least two motions. The first of these is a basic yet crucial change to the AHS Calendar that would see a new Executive elected on the Sunday of the annual AHS Convention. They would then have four months to handover until they officially begin their roles on the Executive on July 1st. This has obvious reasons why it is being proposed. It means a leaner, more prepared, more professional Executive. The second motion is a change to the AHS name. This I fear will be contentious and it may be worth coming along just to see this debate. The proposed change would see the National Federation of Atheist Humanist and Secular Student Societies (The AHS) become Humanist Students. Be there to have your say in how the future of AHS societies are represented on a national level. After this we will then elect a new President, Secretary and Treasurer. (more »)

A Year (or two) at Warwick

As I stood and surveyed the lecture hall, pride and amazement abound, surrounded by a crowd of 150 attendees and humoured by the charming Professor AC Grayling, I finally realised the extent of our success. Being president of Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists (WASH) had been a rather difficult but deeply rewarding endeavour that had changed my life in unprecedented ways. Attaining success at WASH had certainly been difficult given the rather wayward couple of years since its establishment in 2007. Although in 2008 WASH was awarded ‘Best New Society Award’ by the Warwick Students Union, in 2013 they found themselves with average gatherings – typically convening discussions on atheism – amassing maybe 10 people at best. After recognising and, dare I say, idolising all the potential that I believed the society had when I first started attending their sessions during my year as a fresher at the University of Warwick, I decided to stand for president, a position that I was fortunate enough to be elected into. I wanted to take the society into a different direction; to reweigh its principles, to erect a clear vision in which to sail. I knew that it would not be easy. I had witnessed the same fate that has corralled so many other university atheist/humanist/secular societies be conferred upon WASH: the society had forgone emphasising its other principles. (more »)

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AHS Newsletter

27th July 15

Normal services shall resume shortly


Richard Acton was elected as the new President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular student societies

Exciting news, people! We have a new executive committee!

It was wonderful to see so many of you attend the AGM in Warwick. Almost 30 societies were represented in the caucus and participated in decisions to change the AHS calendar (more on that later) and to defer the decision to change our name to the next AGM.  Do you have any suggestions for our new name? Send them in! Why the hell not?

The new executive committee are comprised of Richard Acton as President, Caitlin Greenwood as Secretary, and myself as Treasurer. So these newsletters of mine? Their days are numbered.

We’ll have a lot of information about various reforms and initiatives coming out over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled. For now, here’s a little info on Non-Prophet Week, some words from our new secretary, and photos of the AGM.

Peace yo,

Luke Dabin

Communications Officer
communications@ahsstudents.org.uk


 

NON-PROPHET WEEK

9th – 15th November 2015

 

Begin your preparations. Charity to be announced next week.


 

AHS AGM – It was great and that’s literally all I have to say

Go here for pictures

Go here to read what the BHA have to say about all this

Go here to read a little about your new exec

Come again next year! (more »)

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