Washington, DC, June 3, 2010
On the evening of Sunday, June 6, scientist and educator Bill Nye will be named the American Humanist Association’s 2010 Humanist of the Year at the 69th Annual AHA Conference. Nye will be one of many luminaries awarded at the conference, which will be held in San Jose, California, June 3 through 6.
Nye, also an engineer, comedian, author and inventor, has devoted his career to teaching generations the value of science. His television achievements include the Emmy-winning PBS’s children’s program Bill Nye the Science Guy, the “100 Greatest Discoveries” on the Science Channel, and “the Eyes of the Nye” on PBS. Nye has also authored five children’s science books.
“Presenting Mr. Nye with this award is an honor,” said David Niose, president of the American Humanist Association. “Nye’s positive impact on the world of science and education has been invaluable to children and adults alike. By celebrating an appreciation for science, he’s instilled a sense of respect and interest in the physical world that surrounds us.”
Other events at the conference include break-out sessions that will consider a range of topics, such as LGBT equality, creationism in the classroom, and the future of the humanist movement, as well as a plenary led by Greg Epstein, Harvard Humanist Chaplain and author of the best-selling book Good Without God. Performances by Brian Keith Dalton, Jim Corbett, Jamy Ian Swiss, and Ken Taylor and John Perry will also be featured.
A prestigious roster of humanist figures will also be awarded.
Meg Bowmen, veteran of the civil rights and peace movements, will receive the Humanist Heroine Award. Bowen has taught as a professor of sociology at San Jose State University, authored numerous women’s history books and served as the co-chair of the AHA Feminist Caucus for over nine years.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and executive editor of Freethought Today, will also receive the Humanist Heroine award. Gaylor has authored three books, including Women Without Superstition: No Gods, No Masters and Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So.
Wendy Liu, a Seattle-based writer for the American Chronicle, an online magazine for national and international news, will be given the Humanist Pioneer Award. Her latest book, Everything I Understand About America I Learned In Chinese Proverbs, was published in 2009. She also serves as an independent China business consultant and translator.
Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University, will receive the Isaac Asimov Science Award. He is currently the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University, holding joint appointments in several departments, including Biological Sciences and Neurology & Neurological Sciences.
Frank Berger, best known as the developer of Miltown, the first mass-market psychiatric drug that would become a forerunner of drugs such as Valium and Prozac, will be posthumously receiving the Humanist Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Berger continued his work in drug development until 1975 and became chairman of medical research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. A longtime member of the American Humanist Association and a signer of Humanist Manifesto III, he also supported the New York Society for Ethical Culture and the New York Academy of Sciences.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.