Alom is a science teacher, author and film-maker. He wrote the highly acclaimed Young Atheist’s Handbook which tells his personal story of developing a skepticism towards the religion he was brought up in, as well as the implications of being a young non-believer in culture saturated by belief. A copy of Alom’s book was recently dispatched to every secondary school in England and Wales as the result of a successful BHA campaign. Alom is a passionate communicator of science and its worth, speaking in schools, theatres and on panels across the country.
Aron Ra was raised in a mostly Mormon family, journeying to atheism via an array of religious denominations and spiritualities. Having grown up in an academic environment saturated by creationism, Aron was drawn to secular activism when the religous right gained control of the Texas board of education and began to influence curricula on history, health, science and social studies in textbooks used throughout America. Aron is Texas State Director of American Atheists, author of the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism YouTube Series, and an internationally renowned speaker on topics such as evolution, truth, knowledge and belief.
Lilandra Ra was raised in southern Baptist and Catholic households, but abandoned faith shortly after meeting Aron Ra on Christian Forums. A teacher by profession, Lilandra applies her skills to campaigning for secular education in the southern United States from a number of platforms: newspaper articles, blogs, lectures and podcasts. While she has occasionally debated hostile parties such as the pro-life advocate Carol Everett, Lilandra is chiefly involved in constructive discussion as to how to improve the Humanist movement. Lilandra (known also as SheRa) is frequently one of the strongest voices conversations addressing misogyny in the atheist community and the obstacles women face as a minority within a minority.
Shappi is an acclaimed Iranian born British stand-up comedian and author of the book ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Acting English’, in which she recounts her experiences of growing up in England. Shappi has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, QI, a variety of BBC Radio 4 programs and in various other media. She has also been a panelist on the BBC’s Question Time and was recently announced as the new president of the BHA, succeeding Professor Jim Al-Khalili who stepped down this January.
Nick Lane holds the position of Reader in Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London. Alongside work as a senior lecturer and principal investigator, Nick has also written a series of award-winning popular science books on molecular and cellular evolution, including “Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution” which won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010. Nick directs the Origin of Life Reactor project at UCL. In 2015 he was awarded the Biochemical Society Prize for “a sustained and diverse contribution to the molecular life sciences, with a special emphasis on education and/or the public understanding of science”. An impressive catalogue of his lectures and interviews on these topics are available at his website.
Dianna is a Christian author and activist. She has published Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity which examines the Christian purity movement from the basis of historical and biblical analysis and offers an alternative, shame-free ethic of healthy sexual behavior and sexuality. She is currently doing her second Masters in Womens’ Studies at Oxford University and her blog can be found here.
Cristina Rad is a veteran vlogger on atheism, humanism and feminism. Although entering YouTube as part of the anti-creationism wave, Cris’ experiences of latent and overt sexism in a variety of professions primed her to address the vilification of feminism in the atheist community. Almost seven years later, Cris is still exploring topics such as FGM, gay rights, religious hypocrisy and whether or not New Years Eve should go f*** itself in the face. While these and many more of her videoes are hosted at RDFRS, Cris will be talking on attitudes towards women and feminism within the atheism community
Arif Ahmed is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His main professional interests are Wittgenstein and Decision Theory. He has previously debated Hamza Tzortzis and Tariq Ramadan. His publications and some of his public lectures can be viewed here. (Note, many articles will be behind a paywall)
Stephen is a philosopher, academic and author based at Heythrop College, University of London. His paper, the Evil God Hypothesis, is a classic statement of the Evidential Problem of Evil. Stephen is also Provost of Centre for Inquiry UK and Editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal Think. Notable books include The Philosophy Gym, Believing Bullshit and The War for Children’s Minds.
Victoria Stiles recently completed a PhD in History at the University of Nottingham and is a co-organiser of the Greater Manchester Skeptics Society. Her research encompasses stereotype formation, the manipulation of evidence and attitudes towards imperialism in Nazi Germany, as well as Anglo-German relations. She occasionally blogs about her sources and what it means to “do” history at tattyjackets.blogspot.com.