President of the Rationalist Association, appointed 2006
Although religion is very widespread, not believing in religion is also very widespread, and very long-standing. We're not this weird, cranky minority. It is entirely possible to be orderly, decent, moral and concerned and atheist. This is what the Rationalist Association embodies.
Sir Jonathan Miller was appointed president in 2006 and is an honorary associate of both the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society.
He trained initially in natural sciences and medicine at St. John’s College, Cambridge and University College London, working as a doctor for the two years following his graduation in 1959.
In 1960, he contributed as writer and performer to the Cambridge Footlights' Edinburgh Festival production “Beyond the Fringe”, after which he went on to have a highly distinguished career in the arts as a writer, performer, theatre and opera director and television producer.
He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1983 and was knighted in 2002. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London and Edinburgh, and a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
You can hear a podcast of the Rationalist Association event featuring Jonathan Miller in conversation with Laurie Taylor on our Soundcloud channel, or read the interview here.
Interim Chair (appointed 2012), Appointed 2009
Tess is currently part of the core team of a new project Pod Academy, a not for profit platform for podcasts on academic research. Her career to date has included publishing, academic law, involvement with the trade union NALGO, journalism [for BBC and Channel 4] and communications. She has worked in this capacity for Islington council and was co-founder of the Centre for Strategy and Communications.
Laurie Taylor is the commissioning editor of New Humanist. He presents Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4 and has made numerous television and radio programmes. In another life he was a Professor of Sociology at the University of York and the author of books on criminology and parenthood. You can learn more from Laurie from his wide range of articles and interviews on our website.
She was formerly Dean of the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster, and edited Radio 4's Woman's Hour for many years. She is now a humanist celebrant, and is a prolific contributor to our website.
Stephen Sedley was a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 1999 to 2011. As a barrister he was involved in many high-profile cases and inquiries, from the death of Blair Peach and the Carl Bridgewater murder trial to the contempt hearing against Kenneth Baker, then Home Secretary. He became a QC in 1983 and was appointed a High Court judge in 1992. In 1999 he was appointed to the Court of Appeal as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He retired from the Court of Appeal in 2011. A collection of his essays, Ashes and Sparks: Essays on Law and Justice, was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press.
A longstanding rationalist, former Secretary of the Rationalist Press Association and a lifelong committed humanist. John is a former County Councillor in Hertfordshire.
Rationalist Association and former Rationalist Press Association board member; president of European Humanist Federation (2006-12); trustee of British Humanist Association; formerly director of ASH and then of the Continence Foundation. His extensive writings on humanism and related subjects can be found on his website.
Jonathan is a long-standing supporter of the Humanist movement, having been Chairman of Trustees of the Rationalist Association until 2009. In 2011 he retired as a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health. Jonathan is from a distinguished family of rationalist supporters, following in the footsteps of his father Harry, a Vice-President of the British Humanist Association. He is a grandson of Dr. Marie Stopes, the renowned feminist and pioneer of family planning services in the UK.
David Aaronovitch, Peter Atkins, Lord Birt, Colin Blakemore, Alan Brownjohn, Colin Campbell, Philip Campbell, Noam Chomsky, Helena Cronin, Richard Dawkins, Sanal Edamaruku, Ekow Eshun, AC Grayling, Trevor Griffiths, Tony Harrison, Simon Heffer, Richard Hoggart, Ted Honderich, Robin Ince, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Richard Leakey, Stewart Lee, Haydn Mason, Jonathan Meades, Edwin Mullins, Alice Onwordi, John Postgate, Philip Pullman, Amartya Sen, Simon Singh, Marcus du Sautoy, David Starkey, Ralph Steadman, DJ Stewart, Ian Stewart, Hazhir Teimourian, Claire Tomalin, David Tribe, Baroness Turner of Camden, Arnold Wesker, Francis Wheen, Elizabeth Wilson, Richard Wiseman, Lewis Wolpert.
The Rationalist Association is independent, irreverent & non-profit. We are supported by our members.