Famous Humanists

Entertainers

Alan Stanford (1949 – ) Actor, Writer and Director. ‘Distinguished Supporter’ of the Humanist Association of Ireland.

Ronnie Barker (1929 – 2005) TV Comedian in ‘Open All Hours’, ‘Porridge’ and   ‘The Two Ronnies’. Humanist funeral

Peter Ustinov (1921 – 2004)  Writer and Actor.   Humanist Laureate

Stephen Fry (1957 – ) Author, Comedian and TV presenter.  ‘Distinguished Supporter’ of the British Humanist Association

Linda Smith (1958 – 2006)   Comedienne.  Ex President of the British Humanist Association

James Randi (1928 – )  Stage Magician, challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience

Steve Allen (1921 – 2000)  Composer, comedian and American TV personality

Bjorn Ulvaenus (1945 – ) Composer. Member of ABBA

Jane Asher (1946 – ) Actress, author and entrepreneur

Frank Zappa (1940 – 93)  Composer, singer-songwriter, record producer and film director

 

Writers

Salman Rushdie  (1947 – ) Author of fiction, including ‘The Satanic Verses’

Isaac Asimov (1920 – 92) Biochemist and science fiction writer, Humanist Laureate

Arthur C Clarke (1928 – ) Science fiction writer, Humanist Laureate

Gore Vidal (1925 – 2012) Author and political activist

Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011) Author and journalist

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) Humorist and author of “Tom Sawyer”, Huckleberry Finn”

Jakob Bronowski (1908 – 74) Polymath and author of “The Ascent of Man”

Richard Dawkins (1941 – ) Biologist and author. Humanist Laureate

Aldous Huxley (1864 – 1963) Author of “Brave New World”

 

Scientists

(22 of the 54 living Nobel Laureates consider themselves to be Humanists)

Brian Cox  (1968 – ) Particle physicist and TV personality

J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 67)  Theoretical physicist, ‘father of the atomic bomb’

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) Neurologist. Founder of psychoanalysis

Albert Einstein (1879 1955)  Theoretical physicist. Served on the Board of the first Humanist Society of New York

Pervez Hoodbhoy (1950 – ) Pakistani nuclear physicist

Jonas Salk (1914 – 95)  Medical researcher and virologist. Devised first polio vaccine. 1976 Humanist of the Year

Andrei Sakharov (1921 – 89) Soviet nuclear physicist and human rights activist.  1980 Humanist of the Year.

Niels Bohr  (1885 – 1962) Physicist and part-founder of quantum theory. (Nobel Prize 1922)

Stephen Jay Gould (1941 – 2002)  Paleontologist and writer.  Humanist Laureate

Francis Crick (1916 – 2004) Molecular biologist and joint discoverer of DNA

James D Watson (1928 – )  Molecular biologist and joint discoverer of DNA in 1953. Humanist Laureate

Thomas Szasz (1920 – 2012) Psychiatrist and academic. 1973 Humanist of the Year

Richard Feynman (1918 – 88)  Quantum electro-dynamicist, particle physicist

Abraham Maslow (1908 – 70) Psychologist, founder of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  1967 Humanist of the Year

Carl Sagan (1934 – 96)  Astronomer and cosmologist. Humanist Laureate

Erwin Schrodinger ((1887 – 1961)  Physicist. Researcher in quantum theory, wave mechanics and matrix mechanics

Steven Weinberg (1933 – ) Theoretical physicist. Nobel laureate and 2002 Humanist of the Year.

 

Philosophers

A.J. Ayer (1910 – 89)  Philosopher – Logical Positivist

Noam Chomsky (1928 – ) Linguist, philosopher and political activist

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970)  Philosopher and Mathematician

Daniel Dennett (1942 – ) Philosopher and author.  Humanist Laureate

A. C. Grayling  (1949 – ) Philosopher and author of The Good Book, A Humanist Bible

Karl Popper (1902 – 94)  Scientific philosopher.  Humanist Laureate

B.F. Skinner (1904 – 90)  Poet, behaviourist, inventor and philosopher. 1972 Humanist of the Year Social Activists

Helen Caldicott (1938 -)  Phgysician, author and anti-nuclear activist  1982 Humanist of the Year

Margaret Sanger (1879 – 1966) Birth control activist. Established ‘Planned Parenthood’.  1957 Humanist of the Year

William F Schultz (1949 – ) Director of Amnesty International.  2000 Humanist of the Year

 

Others

R Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) Architect, inventor, futurist.  1969 Humanist of the Year

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006) Keynsian economist. 1985 Humanist of the Year

Che Guevara (1928 – 67)  Marxist revolutionary and physician

Julian Huxley (1881 – 1975) Biologist, eugenicist and self-described ‘scientific humanist’

Jean Paul Sartre (1905 -1980)  Existentialist, Marxist, playwright, activist and author