Andrew Copson

Chief Executive of Humanists UK

Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 after five years coordinating the BHA's education and public affairs work. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared inThe Guardian, The Independent, The Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented the BHA and Humanism extensively on television news on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as well as on television programmes such as Newsnight, The Daily Politics and The Big Questions. He has also appeared on radio on programmes from Today, Sunday,The World at One, The Last Word and Beyond Belief on the BBC, to local and national commercial radio stations.

He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and is currently a Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), where he leads on Communications. He has previously served as a delegate of the IHEU to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and has also represented humanist organisations to the United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).He has advised on Humanism for the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the BBC, and the Office of National Statistics among others. He is a member of the Advisory Group for the Humanist Library at London's Conway Hall and, in a previous post in the office of Lord Macdonald of Tradeston in the House of Lords, he provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

Andrew graduated from the University of Oxford with a first in Ancient and Modern History and was a member of the winning team of the 2005 Young Educational Thinker of the Year Programme. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Member of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University. He came to the BHA in 2005 from the Citizenship Foundation, where he worked on political literacy projects

The Real Meaning Of Christmas

In a country where most people now are not religious, the research shows that a massive 91% of us do celebrate Christmas in some form. So if Christmas is no longer about Christ for most people, what is it about? What people are celebrating in just under a week's time is not the birth of a supernatural saviour, but more earthly, human things.
19/12/2016 17:08 GMT

Don't Give A Bible, BBC, There's A World Of Choice Out There!

For non-Christians - the majority of Brits - the Bible isn't uniquely moral, uniquely important, or uniquely beautiful. Christian hegemony is out of date. Cast away on a desert island, people should be offered the book of their choice and we now have a whole wide world of inspiration to choose from.
19/10/2016 14:45 BST

Only By Accepting That Britain Is No Longer a Christian Country Can We Start to Look Towards Real Equality

Ceasing to look ever backwards in that way, coming to terms instead with a very different present reality, and planning for a more cohesive future society on the basis of that will take us all - religious and humanist alike - well out of our comfort zones. But it is an essential task. The strikingly diverse Commission that produced today's report has taken that first step forward. Hopefully public authorities and governments across the UK will continue that journey.
07/12/2015 16:46 GMT

Another Senseless Murder With Impunity for 'Blasphemy'

Early on Tuesday morning, Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death in a public street for the crime of not believing in God - and being willing to say so publicly. Ananta had been on a list of atheist bloggers produced by Islamist political parties in 2013...
14/05/2015 16:31 BST

Humanists Can Be Proud of Britain

1000 humanists from over 60 countries are assembling in Oxford today for the 2014 World Humanist Congress. This triennial gathering of members of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) unites men and women from across the globe who believe that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity alone, without religious beliefs.
08/08/2014 14:41 BST

The Prime Minister's 'Christian Country' Claims

Again and again in the past few years, more and more politicians have been joining church leaders in popping up to declare that Britain is a Christian country, that we ought to be proud of this fact, and that we ought to proclaim and promote it.
21/04/2014 17:41 BST

Scout Acceptance of Non-Religious Welcome - Now the State Should Catch Up

Monday's announcement by the Scout Association of a new alternative Promise to allow the non-religious to join is not an isolated event. Coming so soon after Girlguiding UK introduced a similar change to their Promise and the Air Cadets to theirs, it's starting to look like part of a trend - and a very welcome one for all who believe in inclusive social movements.
08/10/2013 09:00 BST

How Many Members Makes a National Church?

The Church of England tried to put a brave face on it but the Anglican church attendance figures for 2011 published this week pose a serious challenge for any church defending its position as the national, established, top religious organisation.
07/05/2013 17:32 BST

The Census Results Speak for Themselves, Government Should Listen

We know from research done since the last census that most people who tick 'Christian' do so for cultural or ethnic reasons rather than religious ones and only 48% of those who tick 'Christian' believe that Jesus Christ was real person who was the son of god and rose from the dead.
11/12/2012 15:12 GMT

Humanism: a worldview for all seasons

Andrew Brown, in a Guardian blog last week, criticised the British Humanist Association (BHA) for promoting humanism as an essentially negative approach to life defined by what it isn't and for being on an incoherent and self-defeating mission to eliminate all social bonds, based on an outmoded view of religion.
09/11/2012 16:55 GMT

Tony Nicklinson and the Ethics of Assisted Dying

His own determined advocacy, the effective use of the media to promote his cause, and the ongoing eloquent, ethical and dignified support of his wife and daughters have guaranteed that Tony Nicklinson's death has not been the end of the public debate he reignited.
31/08/2012 09:09 BST

Reforming Section 5

To uphold freedom of speech for everyone, atheist and religious, Section 5 must be reformed now.
04/07/2012 15:19 BST

Holy Redundant: Let's get Bishops out of Parliament

This week we learned that the parliamentary committee considering reform of the House of Lords voted 13-7 to support the government's plan for automatic places for Bishops to remain in a reformed chamber.
26/04/2012 13:20 BST