For any scientific skeptics out there who, like to debunk myths surrounding science with evidence! The folks at Voice of Young Science have been back in touch with the following. We’re always looking for enthusiastic and principled people at Sense About Science – as is science as a discipline in general – and your expertise in particular areas really can help us in our myth busting mission. Please take advantage of this fantastic opportunity if you want to engage in scientific activism.
“Dear VoYS Member
Detox has been in the news again – thanks to VoYS members’ work on this in 2009. In fact, VoYS member Harriet was quoted in the Daily Mail yesterday (19th January) thanks to her involvement in a 2009 campaign! Do get in touch if you see a misconception or claim not backed by evidence – any of your suggestions could start the next mythbusting campaign. Read more HERE.
If anyone would like to get involved in a new project at the British Humanist Asociation called Young Humanists then please take a look at their social media pages. If you’re interested in volunteering for the project then you can contact email@example.com.
At a time when the British population say religion causes more harm than good, this is an excellent chance for people to be involved in ushering in a new age of positive change. In light of new polling by the HuffingtonPost, our very own Andrew Copson comments: “This survey just confirms what we know is the common sense of people in Britain today – that whether you are religious or not has very little to do with your morality.” It’s also the case that vast swathes of the public today identify as non-religious based on the British Social Attitudes Survey. So whilst even universities and Student’s Unions seem to tacitly, and sometimes openly privilege religious student’s opinions (LSE Cartoon scandal, gender segregation, and all manner of faith initiatives), it’s up to you to make the non-religious viewpoint heard, and help our message of equality, compassion, and critical thinking make an enduring impact.
If you want to discuss further what you think you could add to the Young Humanistcampaign before emailing the British Humanist Association, then feel free to get in touch with one of the committee members at AHSUCLan, or at the AHS who can support you. https://www.facebook.com/YoungHumanists
– Glen (Chair)
Non – Prophet Week is a week where irreligious people, in whatever form, unite to raise money for a charitable cause. In some years people have planted trees, donated blood and collected clothes to give to a charity shop as alternatives to or alongside fundraising. Fundraising is this years preference, as planting a tree, whilst good for the environment, is little use to a school in Uganda.
You can read an article from the AHS Secretary, where he argues that “Non-Prophet Week is the very active part of humanism“ .
You can get involved and share ideas on Twitter via the hash-tag #nonprophetweek.
The AHS’ Social Media and Marketing Officer, Cloe Ansari, will be tweeting some of your ideas and helping to publicize what you guys do throughout the week!
WHAT IS THE CHOSEN CHARITY?
This year the AHS has chosen the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. We will be raising money for a specific project or two that the charity urgently needs funding for, which will allow the pupils to get the most out of their education. Selecting the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust as our charity this year means we can all be sure that we are making an active and practical difference. It allows us to give the greatest gift of all: a better education.
HOW DO I DONATE?
You can donate via: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/nonprophetweek
Virgin Money Giving is similar to JustGiving, but much cheaper for charities. JustGiving is for-profit and takes 5%, VMG is not-for-profit and takes 2% which is of course, of greater benefit to all involved.
If we hit our target we drop a bucket of ICED SPAGHETTI on AHSUCLan’s Chair!
See The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Student Societiesfor more details.
Students 4 Best Evidence.
S4BE Wiki Week
Join Students 4 Best Evidence (S4BE) and help update health evidence on Wikipedia!
S4BE are planning an exciting week (15th-19th September) of blogs, resources and tutorials, culminating in a LIVE Wiki Editathon, online and at the UK Cochrane Centre on the 16th September.
Cochrane has recently joined forces with Wikipedia in a partnership to get more Cochrane health evidence on Wikipedia. To celebrate this, S4BE want to get students involved in this partnership as they know Wikipedia is a key student resource.
Throughout Wiki Week, S4BE will be publishing blogs on:
* Why students are interested in Wikipedia
* How to become active on Wikipedia
* What is WikiProjectMed
* How to edit Wikipedia
* Cochrane and Wikipedia partnership
* and much more!
Wiki Editathon (launching on 16th September):
* In person in Oxford at the UK Cochrane Centre and online using Google Hangout on the 16th
* Wiki training: experienced Wikipedians will be joining us to provide support for students new to Wiki
* Group work: working on a selection of interesting and new Cochrane reviews that we will help pre-pick
* A prize…
* and lunch for those coming in person!
For further information about the week and the Editathon:
* Message S4BE on www.Facebook.com/Students4BE
Listen out as S4BE will soon be launching a space on Wiki where you can find out more and sign up. In the mean time, check out the UK Medical Education Wiki page, here: wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Medical_education
Students – join S4BE, spread the word and sign up to the Wiki Editathon!
The Atheist, Humanist and Secularist (AHS) community are a diverse group of people from all walks of life – even religious individuals – who tend to use evidence, reason and compassion when making decisions. We hold many different positions on all sorts of important issues. Below is a selection of campaigns that the British Humanist Association are involved in and which might interest you, but remember, we all have our own unique insights into these issues and might not necessarily agree all the time! – Glen Carrigan, AHS Chair.
Humanists generally support scientists and researchers in their quest for knowledge and the improvement of human health and wellbeing. Much scientific evidence had been put forward refuting the claims that homeopathy (a system which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances) can improve health and be used to treat various illnesses.
It is the BHA’s position that homeopathic treatments should not be funded by the NHS, that no further public money should be spent researching such treatments when the evidence that they do not work (except in some cases having a placebo effect) is overwhelming, and that pharmacists who do sell homeopathic products have a duty to make clear that there is no scientific or clinical evidence base to support the efficacy of those products.
We support the reduction of animal suffering resulting from human behaviour and see compassionate attitudes to animal suffering as a hallmark of a humane society. For this reason we support restrictive laws on experiments on animals, while recognising that some such experiments are justified in the cause of finding cures for diseases.
As they wish to reduce suffering, humanists will be concerned about the treatment of food animals, both during their lives and when they are slaughtered. Many bodies, including the Farm Animal Welfare Council, recommend that pre-stunning of animals prior to slaughter is the best way to minimise suffering. Pre-stunning is mandated by law but there are exemptions for religious groups to provide kosher and halal meat. We believe these exemptions should end, as has happened in some other countries. We note that there is in fact widespread certification of meat as halal with pre-stunning.
There is a serious situation unfolding involving at least four atheist bloggers in Bangladesh under laws that make expressions illegal if that expression might ‘wound the religious feelings’ of others.
Police recently arrested four atheist bloggers in Bangladesh after they were accused of ‘defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed.’ As a result of their blogs approaching religion critically and promoting the value of political secularism, each faces up to a decade in jail for something that should never be a crime in any nation that claims to respect freedom of belief and freedom of expression.
Take Action! A whole range of issues involving state recognition of creationism have occurred in the last few weeks, and we believe it’s time to get everyone writing to their MPs to speak out. We’ve provided an online service through which it’s easily possible to do so.
The BHA is a strong supporter of teaching young people about the importance of science and the scientific method as a reliable route to knowledge and understanding about the Universe. We also support the teaching of evolution in all schools, both primary and secondary, as a fundamental idea underpinning the subject of biology. At the same time, we do not think that creationism and ‘intelligent design’ should be taught as scientific theories, because they are not.
Are you facing the prospect of your child being unable to gain admittance to their local school, because of religious selection? Or have you had to game the system in order to get them in? Are you happy to live in a society in which children are discriminated against on these grounds, while parents feel compelled to behave in this manner?
The Fair Admissions Campaign is a new campaign which aims to open up all state-funded schools in England and Wales to all children, without regard to religion. The Campaign launched in June 2013, and is also already being supported by the Accord Coalition, the British Humanist Association, Professor Ted Cantle and the iCoCo Foundation, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, the Campaign for State Education, the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education, the Christian think tank Ekklesia, the Hindu Academy, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrat Education Association, Liberal Youth, the Local Schools Network, Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign, the Runnymede Trust, the Socialist Educational Association, the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches and a number of local campaign groups. The BHA is on the steering group for the Campaign.
We have long supported attempts to legalise assisted dying, assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia across the UK, for those who have made a clear decision, free from coercion, to end their lives and who are physically unable to do so themselves. In many cases, the person in question will be terminally ill. However, we do not think that there is a strong moral case to limit assistance to terminally ill people alone and ultimately we wish to see reform of the law that would be responsive to the needs of other people who are permanently and incurably suffering.