For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., May 25, 2016)–From May 26-29, the American Humanist Association will host its 75th Anniversary Conference celebrating three-quarters of a century of advancing humanist philosophy and activism. Held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago, Ill., the conference will feature thought-provoking speakers, panel discussions and award banquets, one of which will recognize Pulitzer-prize-winning author Jared Diamond with the 2016 Humanist of the Year Award.
Jared Diamond is a renowned author of five best-selling books: Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; Why is Sex Fun?; The Third Chimpanzee and The World until Yesterday. He also serves as a geography professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he researches and teaches in many fields including biology, conservation biology and digestive physiology.
“Jared Diamon’s accessible and informative writing has introduced general audiences to the intellectual curiosity and critical thinking central to humanist philosophy,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “His contributions to science, writing and humanism have enriched our society with a deeper understanding of human society and evolution.”
The American Humanist Association will also honor other outstanding individuals including: leading human rights activist and co-founder of Code Pink Medea Benjamin (Humanist Heroine), openly atheist and longest-serving state senator of Nebraska Ernie Chambers (Lifetime Achievement Award) and critically-acclaimed actor known for his roles in Breaking Bad and Star Trek: The Next Generation, John de Lancie (Humanist Arts Award). Other individuals receiving awards include Texas atheist activist Victoria Gettman (Presidents Award), psychologist and researcher Elizabeth Loftus (Isaac Asimov Science Award), and advocate for liberal Christianity John Shelby Spong (Religious Liberty Award).
The conference will also include informative talks by notable speakers. Professor and advocate for evolution Jerry Coyne will present a keynote address explaining how science leads to atheism and humanism. Leighann Lord, stand-up comedian and co-host with Neil Degrasse Tyson on the Star Talk podcast, will host a talk panel with former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney to discuss the role of humor in humanism.On a more serious note, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, moderator of the award-winning Bengali blog Muktomona (Free Mind) will discuss recent attacks of humanists in Bangladesh, including her late husband, Avijit Roy. A full list of conference speakers is available here.
Additional information about the conference can be found here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.