Semester 1 AHSUCLan Events

Join the Facebook Group to access the Event Groups.

Atheaholics Anonymous

Atheaholics Anonymous. 18th September, 6:00pm, Greenbank Lecture Theatre then the SU Source Bar. Come and meet everyone at AHSUCLan, whether yours is an Atheist Ale, Humanist Hops, Secular Spirits, Reasonable Rum or Coke everyone is welcome. We’ll be voting in some new committee members and outlining what’s happening this year, as well as most importantly helping you guys to realise your ideas – Join Facebook Event.

The Unbelievers

The Unbelievers with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. 24th September, 6:00pm, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, UCLan, Preston. FREE – Join Facebook Event.

God and the Bible

CFI UK Conference – God, Religion, and the Bible, with Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Keith Ward, and Stephen Law. 19th September, 10:30am – 3:00pm, Conway Hall, London. Purchase own ticket and travel – Join Facebook Event.


Festival of the Spoken Nerd – Just For Graphs. 25th October at 8:00pm, The Lowry, Salford Quays. Purchase own ticket (£18), leaving from outside the SU – Join Facebook Event. Helen Arney has even kindly agreed to let us publicise the society at this event!

Richard Dawkins AHSUCLan

Richard Dawkins. 26th October at 8:00pm, The Lowry,  Salford Quays. Purchase own ticket (£16), Sean is driving, leaving from outside the SU at 6:00pm – Join Facebook Event.

Tehmina Kazi Image

Tehmina Kazi – Secular Muslims: The Importance of Building Inclusive Religious Spaces. 16th November, 6:00pm, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, UCLan. FREE for members, £3 for non-members to cover speaker’s travel cost. – Join Facebook Event.

More to come soon!

AHSUCLan Library

BooksThis page details all of our AHS related publications that are available for members. In 2015 we even successfully petitioned UCLan’s campus library to stock more AHS related material!

If you would like to check-out a book from UCLan’s library then simply visit the library with your coporate card and use their loans system.

If you would like to borrow or list a book of your own in AHSUCLan’s library then please contact a committee member, or the individual who has listed their books as available to loan.

UCLan Library

Andrew Copson & AC Grayling – Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism

Dan Barker – Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher became one of America’s Leading Atheists

David Mills – Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Anser to Christian Fundamentalism

Jim Herrick – Humanism: An Introduction

Peter Cave – Humanism: A Beginner’s Guide

Stephen Law – Humanism

Tony Akkermans – Happily Godless: Humanism for a Better World

Tony Davies – Humanism Continue reading

AHSUCLan Does The BBC’s The Big Questions


Sunday was an eagerly anticipated experience as myself and Glen were at the Pyramid and Parr Hall, in Warrington, to sit in the audience for two episodes of The BBC’s The Big Questions – a show I had, myself watched for quite some time. This was one of those occasions where you are sat, two rows behind the likes of Andrew Copson, Peter Tatchell, and Maryam Namazie, watching them being pounded with questions by the brilliant Nicky Campbell, and you realise these are the tremendous opportunities that present themselves when you are at university, and especially part of a society.

When you are passionate about something, the best thing you can do is get involved. It soon becomes apparent that there are others just as passionate and some even more so. You realise your arguments are flawed, your opinions can be changed and you can disagree with and be disagreed with, by people who share the same passions as yourself. This is vital in broadening one’s horizon and developing one’s arguments. Indeed, you do not go to university to hear people who have the exact same opinions as yourself.

phil bbc big questions

Back to the actual topics of the day: Is the death penalty ever justifiable? Should the church stay out of politics? Should sex education be secular? Continue reading

AHS Cocktail Social


Saturday 25th April is set to be a punning good night! Why not come and join the AHS society for a night of music, dancing and best of all… cocktails with puns. Confess your sins over a Sin and Tonic? Talk quantum physics with a Gin Al-Khalili. Not to mention the recent restart of the Large Hadron Pina Colada. Whatever pun you can think of. Make sure to buy a £5 wristband off one of the AHS committee members and receive free entry to Macs and, of course, one of our puntastic cocktails! – Phil Ashburn.


Skeptics Week

Skeptics Week Banner
AHSUCLan are hosting Skeptics Week at The University of Central Lancashire! All day everyday we’ll be in the Students’ Union, raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and raising awareness of our fantastic events. Come and find us!
Monday 13th: Glen Carrigan – Debating Workshop and Fishbowl Conversation, SU Atrium at 1800 – 2000.
Tuesday 14th: James Smith – Green Chemistry, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, 1830 – 2000.
Wednesday 15th: Emma Lowrie – The Psychological Benefits of Belief, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, 1830 – 2000.
Mel Barker – The Dangers of Homoeopathy, Greenbank Lecture Theatre, 1830 – 2000.
Thursday 16th: Rant Night and Singing Skeptics (Karaoke), Roper Hall, 2000 – Late.
Friday 17th: Chris Moos – “From Jesus & Mo to Charlie Hebdo: Being a secularist in the face of the religious far-Right and the pro-religious Left.” Greenbank Lecture Theatre, 1830 – 2000. FREE for AHS members and regional AHS/BHA/Skeptics groups, £3 for non-members.
Saturday 18th: Amal Farah – “How Blasphemy and Apostasy Laws are Used to Silence Dissent in Islam.” Greenbank Lecture Theatre, 1530 – 1630. FREE for AHS members and regional AHS/BHA/Skeptics groups, £3 for non-members.
Saturday 18th: CHARITY WAXING in Source Bar! Bring the pain to our committee members … for a good cause
Sunday 19th: Atheists in Foxholes – Airsoft, Meet at the Students’ Union, email or CLICK HERE for details.

Sheffield Freethought Convention: A Weekend of Skeptic Madness!

The end of February marked one of the best outings for the AHS to date! We rolled up on the 27th eager to get going and sorted out our hotels (With a minor mix-up on the part of Sean and myself.) However once settled we quickly made our way down to a local pub to meet the other convention goers. We talked and laughed through the night and we were more than happy to run into acquaintances from previous events.

However, come Saturday it was time to really get down to business! We arrived bright and early and took our seats for our first round of speakers beginning with Alastair Lichten who gave us a very provocative talk on humanism as a human rights issue. Being able to see humanism’s links to other social justice movements such a feminism was illuminating and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Next up we had David Fitzgerald; the well-known author of ‘the heretic’s guide to western religion’ gave us his hilarious “Sexy Violence! Violent Sex! The Weird-Ass Morality of the Bible” talk that he seemed to have as much fun delivering as we did listening!

“I’d cross the Atlantic anytime to make it to future cons like this one. My hat is off to you all!” – David Fitzgerald

Afterwards we had a little something for the students in the audience from Alice Fuller. Her talk on why humanism needs young people resonated very well within us all and reminded many of us why the work we do as part of a university AHS is important to youth engagement with humanism. After that we had a much needed lunch break to rejuvenate ourselves before the second round of talks. Having time to sit down and have casual discussions with the speakers in this time was something many of us saw as an improvement  when compared to many conventions we’d been to that weren’t associated with the AHS.

Once we’d had our fill of food it was back to the hall to resume the day. We had Lola Tinubu and Clive Aruede from the London Black Atheists up directly following lunch discussing theocracy by proxy and how governments in Africa were being subverted by religion. They brought up many issues that some of us were completely oblivious to beforehand and widened our spheres of social awareness.

Question: “Is it possible to be openly atheist in Nigeria?” Answer: “Well we had one” – London Black Atheists. (Great to see humour through adversity.)

Up next we had Amal Farah on how Apostasy laws were used within Islam to silence dissent along with a telling of her own personal story on how she moved away from Islam. This was especially exciting to those of us from UCLan as we were getting a preview of the talk that she would hopefully deliver to us in the future here at UCLan. Finally we had Andrew, the CEO of the British Humanist Association deliver a hilarious and useful talk on how to counter objections to humanism. As ever he had a litany of witty and intelligent answers to the main arguments many critics of humanism would throw at us. This of course was followed by a brilliant question panel made up of all our wonderful speakers that allowed us to pick their brains before we headed off to our amazing dinner that night, where we spent hours getting to know each other even better than before.

“Nothing puts these issues into perspective more than hearing people’s personal accounts. It was a inspirational and humbling experience” – Phil Ashburn

Finally it came time for our last day of the convention to get under way. Sunday consisted of two workshops run by David and Andrew which was accompanied by a fishbowl debate session. David’s workshop on “Does Jesus Matter?” hilariously explained many of the inconsistencies with the story of the messiah while Andrew’s Debating masterclass allowed us to cultivate many important skills for use both within work done for the AHS and in many other spheres in life. The fishbowl debate session was by far one of the highlights of the convention with four chairs being laid out in the middle of the room in a circle while the rest of the chairs were set in a wider circle around that. We each took our turns in the hot-seats discussing the matter on whether the government should impose rights to free speech. Opinions were somewhat mixed however everyone present was able to deliver a sterling argument. Moving forward, we’ll definitely try this format when conducting future debates at UCLan.

“It’s great to see how vibrant our community is, and how our members are using these opportunities to develop many transferable skills such as public speaking and debating, which will undoubtedly serve them well at university and beyond” – Glen Carrigan

So with the events of the last day done and dusted it came time to leave everyone behind. We all went through the usual motions of exchanging contact details and thanking each other for being such good company before racing of to catch our trains, buses and cars to go to wherever we called home. Hats off to Sylvia and her team for orchestrating this splendid event and I’m sure next year there will be even more attendees on top of those of us just itching to come back!

Niall Rowe (Social Secretary)

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UCLan to pay tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett

Publication5Original Article by Lyndsey Boardman

Students and staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are inviting people to join them as they pay tribute to the late author Sir Terry Pratchett.

Following the death of the award-winning author last week, several UCLan student societies have teamed up with Alzheimer’s Research UK to host an event on Thursday 19 March to celebrate the life and work of Sir Terry Pratchett.

Event organiser Glen Carrigan, who is a Masters by Research Student in UCLan’s School of Psychology, will share a reading from Sir Terry’s 2013 humanist of the year acceptance speech which will be followed by the screening of two films; Terry Pratchett:Shaking Hands with Death and The Colour of Magic.

Glen commented: “Sir Terry Pratchett was a fantastic and unique individual, talented and conscientious, as well as a beloved patron of humanism.”

“He leaves behind not only a wealth of literary works that many of us have enjoyed from childhood through to this present day, but also a legacy in ethical and compassionate charitable and social efforts including supporting assisted dying, and raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“This event will celebrate the life and work of Sir Terry Pratchett as we hope he would have wanted it; with humour, reflection and a feeling of only slight embuggerance.”

The event will take place in UCLan’s Darwin Building Lecture Theatre from 6pm – 8pm. It is free to attend but the organisers welcome donations to Alzheimer’s Research UK. People can book via Eventbrite
For more information contact Glen on or call 01772 893775.

The tribute evening will be run in association with the British Humanist Association, the UCLan Students’ Union Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Societies and Alzheimer’s Research UK.


Society victory at the weekly Roper Hall quiz!

The society made a roaring start to our rolling Thursday social scheme at Roper Hall with a victory in the weekly quiz that gave us a total of £15 worth of vouchers for the establishment. There were some minor setbacks with Wi-fi difficulties on Alex’s phone before Chloe arrived and saved the day with a stable connection through which to answer questions! In future though we’ll leave Simon out of questions that refer to the solar system (Jupiter may be our largest planet but the sun is by far the biggest body!) However the team managed to race ahead in the closing round to secure a victory and our five man slot of coin-toss-guessers (Niall, Alex, Liam, Ben and megan) were able to guess their way to a £100 cash prize to split between themselves! Maybe there is someone watching them… or maybe they’re just damn lucky!

Lets hope this lucky streak is maintained!!!

– Niall Rowe (Social Secretary)


Voice of Young Science

VoYSFor 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.

– Glen

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.

Manchester workshop
We’re headed to Manchester to run another Standing up for Science media workshop on Friday 27th March at the University of Manchester. The workshop is for early career researchers and scientists in all sciences, engineering and medicine. Apply now – see the flyer for further information, or share with friends and colleagues.

Cochrane student competition
The next Cochrane UK & Ireland Symposium is going to be held in Dublin on 23rd & 24th April the theme is ‘advocating for evidence’. As part of their symposium they are running a competition to produce a press pack. The winners will receive symposium registration, Amazon tokens and the winning entries will be published on the Students 4 Best Evidence blog. Deadline: 16th February.

Do keep in touch in 2015! Follow us on Twitter, or find us on Facebook.



Dara O’Briain at The Guild Hall Preston

Dara O'Briain. Credit; Guild Preston
Dara O’Briain. Credit; Guild Preston

“Dara is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV, as host of the hugely successful Mock The Week, The Apprentice You’re Fired and Star Gazing Live. Not forgetting his most recent shows Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums for Dave and Dara O Briain’s Science Club for BBC2. Catch one of the most charismatic, intelligent, fast-talking and downright funny live performers working today. ” – The Guild

The gig is on the 3rd of March at the Guild Hall Preston at 2000, and tickets are £23. I plan on getting as many as I can as a group booking and getting a discount from the Guild Hall if there are enough of us.

You might not know that Dara is also a supporter of Sense About Science, a campaign highlighting the importance of evidence in society. Find out more about this campaign, and get involved, as well as others on the campaigns page.

– Glen