The BHA Annual Conference – Report

Written by Clare Marsh – HSS Education Officer

I was fortunate to be allowed to attend this as the delegate from HSS and it was a truly memorable experience. On the Saturday we sat from10.00 until18.30 listening to a succession of brilliant speakers and never noticed the time passing. Richard Dawkins was the after dinner speaker and his theme was “Evolution is the new classic”. It was great to see him so relaxed among friends and we gave him a standing ovation.

I managed to take a few notes during the presentations and I have provided them here. I hope it gives some flavour of the inspiring ideas that were being conveyed. I have also included some web sites and publications and the full biogs. of the speakers at the end. Should you wish any more info please contact me at education@humanism.scot.

Beyond Tomorrow: Visions of the Future

8 – 10 June 2012-06-11

President Andrew Copson welcomed over 200 delegates including one from Denmark, three from Belgium and one from Scotland. He briefly summarised the work of the BHA at present in:

  • Education -training people to run Humanist courses, increasing information available to schools
  • Community Service – preparing non religious people to serve in hospitals and prisons on chaplaincy team but they are not called chaplains. Amy Walden works in probationary service in prisons and has established a humanist group among the prisoners who get time out of their cells to attend her sessions.

“This conference will consider our moral obligations to future generations”.

1. The Cyborg Experiments

Kevin Warwick is professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading.

Barack Obama calls them Class 2 transplants – electronic devices which he had implanted in his own arm. These are radio frequency controlled identification devices linked up to a computer. When he walks between 2 magnets in a doorway a current is induced in the wire coils in the device and a signal is sent to the door which opens. In USA diabetics and epileptics wear one and if they collapse in the street any hospital can read information about treatment they require.

Sensory substitution

Some of his students have implants in a finger:

  • Magnets to investigate how blind people may sense objects
  • Infra red sensors could detect human presence

Culturing Neurons – robots with brains

A few neurons from a rat brain are spread out on dish and allowed to grow in culture medium. They produce dendrites and axons which connect to each other to form a neural network. Each day for one hour they are placed in a small plastic container on wheels with a motor and they can control simple movement. In this way the learning process can be studied- how memories are formed. Hopefully this will allow stem cells to be used to cure Alzheimer disease. If we increase to 30 million human neurones in a robot body is it a human?

Deep brain stimulation

This is used for patients with epilepsy and Parkinson’s. Electrodes are placed in the central thalamus or sub-thalamic nucleus. Power packs are placed in upper thoracic cavity, under the collar bone. A video showed a patient with Parkinson’s who was shaking uncontrollably and was unable to stand up even with assistance. As soon as the power was switched on the shaking stopped.

Immediately, stood up and walked around the room at a normal pace.

At the moment the power packs last for only 18 months and then must be surgically replaced. If the energy demand could be reduced they would last longer so attempts are being made to develop a computer which would only switch on power when it is needed to stimulate neurons. An AI system could do this and could detect when epileptics are going to have a seizure. It should also be possible to link the brain to a computer and so outsource the memory – store more and have immediate recall.

Enhance communication

Allow an artificial limb to send messages into brain (feeling) and receive messages from it (movement).

He had a “Utah array” composed of 100 tiny spikes (electrodes) fixed into the median nerve of his left arm. He persuaded his wife to do the same. When she moved his brain received a signal. Those who are paralysed should be able to switch on TV just by thinking about it. He plans to connect his brain via the internet to a robot arm in another country. This is the way forward for space travel – send robots to Mars and control them from your brain.

2. Ecocide : Leadership and Law

Polly Higgins is a lawyer and describes ecocide as the 5th crime against peace. The law does not allow us to examine the consequences of industrial action. Can be caused by:

HUMANS:

Mining

Fossil fuel extraction

Fracking

Deforestation

BP Gulf oil spill

OTHERS:

Tsunamis

Melting ice

Floods

Rising sea levels

Ecosystem collapse

Governments are beginning to recognise it .She does not oppose companies per se but their making profit at a price of eco-destruction.

Fracking the Athabascar tar sands will produce an area of toxic waste the size of England and Wales. We must prevent disasters rather than waiting till they happen. Sates recognise the Nuremberg principle of responsibility – crimes are committed by a person not an abstract entity – the law can only be enforced by punishing an individual.

UN Article 73 of the sacred trust of civilisation concerns the health and well being of all the inhabitants of earth.

SUPERIOR RESPONSIBILITY

This involves prosecution of responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals. States have a duty to close down dangerous industries.

‘Business as usual’ is not possible because of climate change. The Copenhagen conference confirmed that anything greater than a 2-3 centigrade degree rise in temperature would be very dangerous – we may reach the tipping point.

We have a stewardship responsibility for earth so must prevent this.

How did we achieve the abolition of slavery? William Wilberforce recognised that the moral imperative trumped the economic imperative. Preferred opinion was that the economy would collapse if slavery was abolished. He had a good friend and supporter called Charles Grant who insisted that it would not and was very influential in bringing about the abolition of slavery. We need people like him of influence today. They are advertising for someone like him to halt global warming.

www.whoisCharlesGrant.com

This web site contains an advert for the biggest job in the world.

www.Earthisourbusiness.com

www.eradicatingecocide.com

All these give information as to how we can all help

She hopes not to have to prosecute any industry and gets lots of support from mining industries to find ways to avoid ecocide by closing the door to damaging industrial activity.

Her book: Earth is our business

3. Humanism and the Future

Greg Claeys is professor of the History of Political thought at Royal Holloway, University of London.

What does the next 50 years hold for us? There are 5 big problems:

  1. Overpopulation.
  2. Resource depletion
  3. War
  4. Class exploitation
  5. Moral corruption

There are 7 billion of us at present. Malthus should know ‘his moment has come’. ‘Greed is good’. The rich have outdone themselves in cupidity. The idea that free market alone can save us is blown. The forecast is for 10 million people by mid century and we could cope with this if social welfare and justice can be attained using managed capitalism. There is enough money hidden in tax evasion to pay for all the debts of Europe. We suffer from a lack of moral commitment in the Press. In government there are few statesmen but many politicians. We are the third most illiterate country in Europe.

4. Imagining the Future

In conversation with Greg Claeys and Paul McAuley, an award winning science fiction author. If we consider Greg’s 5 Horsemen of the Apocalypse they were first thought about a long time ago. We have been trying to sort them for the last 100 years. If you look at science fiction written 50 years ago you find we did not get the things we thought we were going to get. No-one foresaw 9/11. The first terrorist act was a bomb in a wagon in Wall Street in 1890’s. If I want to be positive – technology can also be enabling. Twitter followed the Arab Spring and we found out what was happening before news reporters. It links the world together. The street finds its own uses for technology. We are ‘terraforming’ earth to make it unfit for life. Communism reached a climax then crashed in 1991 but now the most powerful country in the world is a communist country.

5.Technology and our Inner Life

Ben Hammersley is a British internet technologist, journalist, author, broadcaster and diplomat.

He is paid to divine the future; writes science fiction policy documents.

The future is already here ,it’s just not evenly distributed. Gordon More, a chip designer, defined More’s Law which states” every 12 – 18 months the number of components on an integrated circuit seems to be doubling ensuring the same is happening to computing power. This makes planning incredibly difficult. Something which, 5 years ago, would have had you burned as a witch is now freely available, costs £5 and everyone has one.

Algolrhythmisation – if you can be replaced by bits of maths you will be.

Metcalf’s Law: One fax machine is not much use, 2 is better etc – there are now 800million on Facebook. Networks increase in value as more people join. Networks are worth more than hierarchies; they have changed the mind set of people.

1989 was the watershed for intellectual development – it saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of the Internet. Everything technology touches it destroys and rebuilds in its own image. We have lots of people who are confused by the present and it is increasing exponentially each year. Every day something new and weirder is invented. The cell phone has become part of ourselves in a way that no other gadget ever has; we learn pathways not facts; a pub quiz is very different now.

6. Population Growth: Multiplier of Impacts, Divider of Resources, Provoker of Conflicts

Roger Martin is a diplomat (in Africa, Asia, the UN and Middle East) and an environmentalist.

Life is a sexually transmitted condition which is always fatal.

Ken Boulding, JFK’s economics adviser quoted the famous oxymoron “sustainable growth”

Population growth is out of control in Africa.

I = P x A x T

I – environmental impact

P – population

A – affluence ( resource consumption)

T – technology ( resource efficiency)

It’s no use reducing your footprint if you increase the number of feet. One new Briton is equivalent to 22 new Malawayans

Aquifers which took millions of years to fill are being depleted all over the world. Thirty years ago UNICEF said “ Family planning can do more good more cheaply for more people than any other technology.”

At the Cairo conference in 1994 most people did not want to talk about it. The Marie Stope’s charity is the most effective. Everyone should donate to it and lobby your MP to control our own population. England is the most overpopulated country in Europe and is only 25% self sufficient. We should stop child benefit for the third and subsequent children. India introduced industries for vasectomy. Man is the only tragic species – he is the only one that the planet would be better off without and the only one able to appreciate this fact.

7.Human Ingenuity and the New Demand for Collective Action

Sir David King is director of the Smith School of Enterprise at the University of Oxford.

He was Chief Scientific adviser to the Labour government 2000 – 2007.

We can celebrate human ingenuity. If we go back to the beginning of the Industrial era we can congratulate ourselves on the improvement in the quality of life and extension of life span. His grandson can expect to live for 100years. The British Empire was responsible for the spread of this around the world.

In the middle ages a woman had 7 children but only 2 survived. Then by the middle of 20th century all 7 survived. Now she only has 2. Even South America is now down to an average of 2.2 children per couple. The population explosion is now under control- should stabilise at 9 billion by middle of this century. Human consumption is now threatening to exhaust our scarce resources. We need to use our human ingenuity to balance out our finite resources evenly among all. There is a new demand for collective action. Growth in consumption has become exponential. If we consider water, the state of Victoria used to be the vegetable garden for Australia but now the aquifers are empty. They have to manage dwindling resources to supply their cities and have carved out a massive transformation of water treatment using desalination which is very energy demanding – they are converting coal to water. This solution is exacerbating the problem which is climate change. Beef production in Brazil requires one hectare per cow so rain forest is disappearing and it is our demand which is driving this behaviour.

(He expressed some surprise that beef was served at the gala dinner on the previous night.)

We need to improve ‘the crop we get per drop’. This is the only planet that we have or are likely to find so must take good care of it. The USA is very powerful and the reason for the Iraq war was regime change, to get one that was favourable to supplying us with oil. It will go down in history as the first of the great resource wars. He spoke to George Bush and suggested that the $3billion which the war had cost could have been better used to develop renewable energy technologies.

80% of our cities are on the coast and are likely to be flooded.

The Anthropocene is responsible for maintaining a high temperature. First of all we removed the forests (nature’s way of sequestering carbon dioxide) for the beginning of farming then we burned our fossil fuels .We had begun to get the increase in global warming under control by 2008 then the economies of the emerging powers – China and India- caused it to take off again. We have 40 years to completely de-fossilise our economy. We are on course for a 5-6 degree rise in global temperature.

We in the British Empire were great measurers so we have a large bank of data dating back to 1850.The rise in sea level so far has been due to the expansion of the ocean.

The OPEC countries have been overestimating their oil reserves by 30%. We need to de-couple from fossil fuels. Since 2005 the supply has been unable to meet the demand. We cannot afford to continue to pay $150 a barrel.

There are solutions. We only get 55 exojoules (10 ) out of every 475 exojoules that we burn. The USA has no manufacturing base left; all of it is now offshore where there is a plentiful supply of cheap labour. The way forward is to be innovative and to demonstrate to the world that we can produce a mean, green manufacturing industry. North Sea oil is over. It has already passed its peak and we now import oil. We must generate our future energy within the UK.

He created a Department of Energy and Climate Change which is producing plans but needs the prime minister to implement them. Most of the carbon dioxide produced in China is from manufacturing the goods we buy. The UN is no longer fit for purpose- we need a new body to address these issues. Fracking uses up large amounts of water. The amount of shale gas which is economically recoverable is grossly over estimated. The most successful fusion project is the JET programme sited just outside Oxford. It is a highly efficient process and the waste product is helium which we need. There is only a 50:50 chance of success. The problem is finding a material for the container which can withstand the constant bombardment by neutrons. Biomimicry is a tough one – photosynthesis is incredibly more complex than we originally thought.

However, buildings in the future will be covered in photovoltaic paint – lovely colours which will convert solar energy to electricity.

When he was asked by Tony Blair to be scientific adviser he agreed on the condition that any advice he gave to government would be put in the public domain after 3 months whether it had been accepted or not. This was the only way he could maintain the confidence of the public.

In the UK we are now producing 10 tonnes of CO2 per person per annum and we must reduce this to 2.

8. An Optimist’s Tour of the Future

Mark Stevenson is a London based British author, comedian, businessman, public speaker and futurologist

To illustrate the sheer diversity of human achievement he showed pics of two adjacent farms in New Mexico – one a desert and the other full of lush pasture. In the first one the cattle had been allowed to roam freely over the whole area. In the other the area had been divided into several small areas with fencing. The cattle is allowed to graze in one paddock on the first day

then moved into the next for the following day. This ensures that only the tops of the grass stalks gets eaten which stimulates growth and allows it to recover before the cattle return 2-3 weeks later.

The biggest threat to our future is to think we cannot do it. We defeated Hitler and eradicated smallpox etc.

His book “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future” outlines his ideas for this.

Over population is no longer a threat. We are producing 2.2 children on average world wide. Not a single European country is replacing its population. 52% of us now live in cities where women are more emancipated. The population should stabilise at 10 million. Richard Dawkins is right “Evolution is the new classic”( This was a reference to the after dinner speech the previous night.) Regenerative medicine is producing whole organs from stem cells. The cost of sequencing the genome is dropping very quickly – beating Moore’s law by a factor of x 8. The Sanger Institute is now comparing the genome of 2 cells –one normal the other cancerous and identifying the genes responsible. Oscar, the man with bionic legs – the fastest thing on no legs-, has qualified for the ordinary Olympics. He is no longer disabled but is now enhanced. The next step in evolution is here and is being controlled by us – a scary thought. Some say we must stop but this ‘threat’ to our humanity is a wholehearted expression of it. He sits on the board of Virgin Earth Challenge – a competition to identify the best way to remove carbon dioxide. Some great ideas are coming forward e.g the Kilimanjaro tree.

Genetically modified algae are absorbing carbon dioxide and excreting oil. This will be commercially viable in 15-20 years .The $3 trillion spent on the Iraq war could have funded research into renewable energy technology.

He recommended ‘The Collapse of Complex Societies’ by Joseph A Tainter

We don’t have an energy crisis just an energy conversion crisis. Cows are not long term thinkers. The herds on the Serengeti just eat the tops of the grass and then move on. Apply this in farming- see pics at the beginning of the lecture. Why is the farmer next door not doing it – he is impervious to new ideas. Innovation means making the right mistakes. Cynicism is the ultimate enemy His favourite rule breaker in history is the man who carried out cardiac catheterisation on himself because he could not get permission for anyone else to do it. He showed it could be done safely and it is now routine.

Be defined not by what you own but by what you create.

Read more at: http://optimi.myzen.co.uk or www.leagueofpragmaticoptimists.com

Full biographies of all the speakers follow.

 

Kevin Warwick
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics, and biomedical engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET), and the youngest person ever to become a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI).
Kevin is the author or co-author of more than 500 research papers and has written or edited 27 books, as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects.
His honours include being presented with The Future of Health Technology Award from MIT (USA) and the lEE Senior Achievement Medal, being made an Honorary Member of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, and receiving the Mountbatten Medal in 2008 and the Ellison-Cliffe Medal in 20 I I from the Royal Society of Medicine.
Sometimes called ‘The First Human Cyborg’ Kevin was successful with the first extra-sensory (ultrasonic) input for a human and with the first purely electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans. The Institute of Physics selected Kevin as one of only seven eminent scientists to illustrate the ethical impact their scientific work can have: the others being Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Nobel, Oppenheimer and Rotblat.

Polly Higgins
Polly Higgins is a barrister, environmental lawyer and author who in 20 I0 proposed to the United Nations that ecocide be recognised as an international Crime Against Peace alongside Genocide, Crimes of Humanity,War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression, triable at the International Criminal Court.
Polly Higgins grew up near Loch Lomond on the west coast of Scotland and spent her childhood holidays in the Highlands. Her time with the Austrian artist and ecologist Hundertwasser in the late 80s taught her that nature is not an inert thing but a community of living beings; her years spent inside London courts representing individuals and corporations on discrimination cases brought her to the conclusion that the planet was also being treated unfairly, in particular by damaging corporate activity – but that nothing was being done to stop the abuse.
In her 20 I0 publication ‘Eradicating Ecocide’ Polly stated: “Corporations are the ones gambling our planet away and our governments are running the casino.”

Gregory Claeys
Gregory Claeys is Professor of the History of Political Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London and author of books on British intellectual and political history including Machinery, Money and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism (Princeton University Press, 1987), Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-Politics in Early British Socialism (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Thomas Paine: Social and Political Thought (Unwin Hyman, 1991), and The French Revolution Debate in Britain (Palgrave, 2007).
Gregory gained his PhD at the University of Cambridge and from 1981 to 1987 he taught British and American studies at Universitaet Hannover (since then renamed Leibniz University) in Hanover, Germany. He has worked as Associate Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis, and Professor at Royal Holloway, where his interests are the history of radicalism and socialism in 19th century Britain, utopian ism 1700-200 I, Social Darwinism and Eugenics and British intellectual history c.1750 to the present. Gregory’s special interest in the fields of social and political reform movements from the I790s to the early 20th century, with a special focus upon utopian ism will bring a new and refreshing look at how we imagine the future.

Paul McAuley
Paul McAuley is an award-winning science fiction author specialising in hard science fiction dealing with themes such as biotechnology, alternate history/alternate reality, and space travel. Born in England in 1955 Paul holds a PhD in Botany, and worked as a researcher in biology in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA. For six years he was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. Paul’s first novel, Four Hundred Billion Stars, won the Philip K Dick Memorial Award. Fairyland won the 1995 Arthur C Clarke Award for best SF novel published in Britain and the John W Campbell Award for best novel. In 1995 his short story ‘The Temptation of Dr Stein’ won the British Fantasy Award, and in 1996 his novel Pasquale’s Angel won the Sidewise Award for Best Long Form Alternate History fiction.

Ben Hammersley
Born in Leicester in 1976, Ben Hammersley is a British internet technologist, journalist, author, broadcaster, and diplomat. Bens’ credits include being Editor at Large of Conde Nast’s Wired UK magazine, alongside being a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Media Freedom. He is also a freelance reporter for the BBC, a consultant to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and an Ambassador to East London Tech City. He has previously worked as the first Internet reporter for The Times, where he was shortlisted for one of the British Press Awards, and as a reporter for The Guardian and the UK arm of MSN. During his early career, he specialised in technology journalism. Following travelling undercover to interview the Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 1999, Hammersley moved toward war correspondence and
technological innovation.
Hammersley is a Fellow of the RSA, Royal Geographical Society, and the British-American Project, and a member of the Savage Club, the Frontline Club, and the Transatlantic Network 2020 as well as being a trustee of the London chapter of the Awesome Foundation. In August 20 II he was made a fellow of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

Roger Martin
Roger has had two careers: as a diplomat (in Africa,Asia, the UN, and Middle East, resigning ‘in fury’ as a Deputy High Commissioner); and an environmentalist (Director of Somerset Wildlife Trust, National Trustee and SW Regional Chair of CPRE, founder ‘green’ rep on SW Regional Assembly, founder Chair ‘Sustainable Somerset Forum’, Secretary of State rep on SW Environment Agency flood defence and environmental pollution committees, Regional Agriculture Panel and National Park Authority, founder Chair SW regional Biodiversity Action Plan, regional Water Framework Directive committee etc, with experience also of planning, transport, energy, waste, etc).
Roger recalls how he first became concerned, ‘As a diplomat in Africa and Asia, I saw plenty of evidence of the damaging impact of rapidly growing populations both on poor women and on the environment. It was only when I resigned and became an environmentalist in Somerset, however, that I experienced the ‘mad taboo’. At all the worthy green quangos and NGO bodies to which I was appointed, I started to point out that all our problems got harder with ever more people (the ‘Attenborough dictum’ ), and suggested that we said so. The response was always the same. Everyone would stare at their papers; after a short pause the Chairman would move on; and then over coffee lots of them would tell me how glad they were I had raised it. When I asked why they hadn’t supported me, they would change the subject! Increasingly exasperated by this, I joined Population Matters as soon as the late, great Willie Stanton told me of it in the early 90s:
As chair of Population Matters, Roger has put the main focus on campaigning, supported by research and education, and has increased the number of contacts and the profile of their Patrons. He has spoken at conferences and meetings in ten countries, and many more in the UK, and undertaken many interviews and broadcasts on behalf of Population Matters.

Professor Sir David King FRS
Sir David King is the Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford. He is Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Senior Scientific Advisor to UBS, and Science Adviser to President Kagame of Rwanda.
He also serves as Chair of the UK National Oceanography Centre Advisory Board; as Governor and Council Member of the Ditchley Foundation; as a member of the European Research Area Board; as a Trustee of the Ecological Sequestration Trust; and is a Member of the Sustainability Advisory Board of DSM, Holland. He is a non-executive director of Midatech Limited and Green Exchange LLC. He works with President Gorbachev on Green Cross International (CCTF).
He was the UK Governments Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office of Science from October 2000 to December 2007. In that time, he raised the profile of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creating the new £ I billion Energy Technologies Institute. He gave over 300 talks on climate change at venues around the world between 2002 and 2007. In 2008 he co-authored The Hot Topic (Bloomsbury) on this subject. As Director of the Governments Foresight Programme, he created an in-depth horizon scanning process which advised government on a wide range of long term issues, from flooding to obesity. He also chaired the governments Global Science and Innovation Forum from its inception.
Sir David was born in South Africa in 1939, and after an early career at the University of Wit waters rand, Imperial College and the University of East Anglia, he became the Brunner Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Liverpool in 1974. In 1988 he was appointed Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University
of Cambridge and subsequently became Master of Downing College (1995-2000), Head of the University Chemistry Department (1993-2000), and Director of Research in the Department of Chemistry (until September 2010). He has published over 500 papers on his research in chemical physics and on science and policy, and has received numerous prizes, fellowships, and honorary degrees.
Sir David was knighted in 2003 for his work in science, and received the award of ‘Officier dans I’ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur’ from the French President in 2009 for his work on climate change and on negotiating the international agreement to build the worlds largest technology project, the ITER fusion reactor.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson is a London-based British author, comedian, businessman, public speaker, and futurologist, as well as a former semi-professional musician. A graduate from the University of Salford with a first-class honours degree in Information Technology, he is currently Chief Operating Officer and a founder of Flow Associates, a cultural learning agency, and a principal at ReAgency, a science communications agency. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Mark began his career working for Ovum, an information technology think tank. There, he co-authored reports on e-commerce and smart card technology and edited material related to CASE (computer-aided software engineering). After leaving Ovum, Mark worked as a freelancer, consulting primarily in the field
of cryptography.
Mark’s stand-up material is primarily focused on science and he has appeared at many comedy clubs, and festivals. He has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s long-running program You and Yours. Recently, Mark released a book entitled An Optimist’s Tour of the Future which predicts that invention and innovation can help overcome several of humanity’s current problems.

Carole Jahme
Carole Jahme is a journalist, author, broadcaster, performer, and film and programme maker who manages to synthesise Darwinian theory in almost all of her creative ventures.
Whether she is presenting a television documentary, making you laugh with a live show, or soothing your furrowed brow with her Agony Aunt Column, the rub is that humans have evolved and thus we share innumerable traits with other apes.
Carole started her professional life as a model, dancer and actress, she worked with Gerry Cottles Circus performing on the trapeze, tight rope, clowning, acrobatics and acted in movies,TV, radio, and theatre, with the likes of Morgan Freeman and Robert Downey Jr, but the call of the wild, particularly the call of wild primates, proved too seductive to resist…

Richard Herring
Richard Herring is well-known in the humanist and skeptic circles as the hugely talented British comedian and writer who started his comedy career in the late 80s with his long-time friend and writing partner Stewart Lee.
In 2009 his show Hitler Moustache was the subject of much controversy as well as critical acclaim, and sold out for the entire Edinburgh Festival run. In 20 I0 he courted controversy again with Christ on a Bike:The Second Coming which attracted 5-star reviews as well as public protests.
Richard is a Distinguished Supporter of the BHA, and in 20 I0 was named The Pod Delusion’s ‘Comedian of the Year’. He has appeared on both BBC Radio 4 and Radio 6, and Have I Got News For You, and came second on Celebrity Mastermind with the specialist subject Rasputin.

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