Governance

President

Laurie Taylor

Laurie Taylor

Laurie Taylor is the commissioning editor of New Humanist. He presents Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4 and has made numerous television and radio programmes. In another life he was a Professor of Sociology at the University of York and the author of books on criminology and parenthood. You can learn more from Laurie from his wide range of articles and interviews on our website.

Board of trustees

Clive Coen

Clive Coen

Chairman (appointed 2015), Appointed 2014

Clive is Professor of Neuroscience at King's College London. He has served on the Council of the Royal Institution, where he chaired the Young Persons' Programme, and on the Natural Sciences Committee of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Clive is fascinated by the distinctions between so-called fact, fiction and opinion. Jonathan Swift may have written that it's "useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into", but Clive thinks it's sometimes worth having a go.

Sally Feldman

Sally Feldman

Appointed 2006

She was formerly Dean of the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster, and edited Radio 4's Woman's Hour for many years. She is now a humanist celebrant, and is a prolific contributor to our website.

John Metcalf

John Metcalf

Appointed 2005

A longstanding rationalist, former Secretary of the Rationalist Press Association and a lifelong committed humanist. John is a former County Councillor in Hertfordshire.

David Pollock

David Pollock

Appointed 2000

Rationalist Association and former Rationalist Press Association board member; president of European Humanist Federation (2006-12); trustee of British Humanist Association; formerly director of ASH and then of the Continence Foundation. His extensive writings on humanism and related subjects can be found on his website.

Sir Stephen Sedley

Sir Stephen Sedley

Appointed 2012

Stephen Sedley was a judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 1999 to 2011. As a barrister he was involved in many high-profile cases and inquiries, from the death of Blair Peach and the Carl Bridgewater murder trial to the contempt hearing against Kenneth Baker, then Home Secretary. He became a QC in 1983 and was appointed a High Court judge in 1992. In 1999 he was appointed to the Court of Appeal as a Lord Justice of Appeal. He retired from the Court of Appeal in 2011. A collection of his essays, Ashes and Sparks: Essays on Law and Justice, was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press.

Jonathan Stopes-Roe

Jonathan Stopes-Roe

Appointed 2000

Jonathan is a long-standing supporter of the Humanist movement, having been Chairman of Trustees of the Rationalist Association until 2009. In 2011 he retired as a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health. Jonathan is from a distinguished family of rationalist supporters, following in the footsteps of his father Harry, a Vice-President of the British Humanist Association. He is a grandson of Dr. Marie Stopes, the renowned feminist and pioneer of family planning services in the UK.

Tess Woodcraft

Tess Woodcraft

Appointed 2009

Tess is currently part of the core team of a new project Pod Academy, a not for profit platform for podcasts on academic research. Her career to date has included publishing, academic law, involvement with the trade union NALGO, journalism [for BBC and Channel 4] and communications. She has worked in this capacity for Islington council and was co-founder of the Centre for Strategy and Communications.

Chief Executive

Jose Gonsalves

Jose Gonsalves

Appointed 2013

Jose is a graduate of the London School of Economics and has held senior roles for various organisations in strategy, finance and management. He has been involved in the charity sector for several years and is a member of the Charity and Voluntary Group of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He also has a keen interest in astronomy and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Honorary associates

David Aaronovitch, Peter Atkins, Lord Birt, Colin Blakemore, Alan Brownjohn, Colin Campbell, Philip Campbell, Noam Chomsky, Helena Cronin, Richard Dawkins, Sanal Edamaruku, Ekow Eshun, AC Grayling, Trevor Griffiths, Tony Harrison, Simon Heffer, Ted Honderich, Robin Ince, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Richard Leakey, Stewart Lee, Haydn Mason, Jonathan Meades, Jonathan Miller, Edwin Mullins, Alice Onwordi, John Postgate, Philip Pullman, Amartya Sen, Simon Singh, Marcus du Sautoy, Ralph Steadman, DJ Stewart, Ian Stewart, Hazhir Teimourian, Claire Tomalin, David Tribe, Baroness Turner of Camden, Arnold Wesker, Francis Wheen, Elizabeth Wilson, Richard Wiseman, Lewis Wolpert.

Join: Albert Einstein & you

The Rationalist Association is independent, irreverent & non-profit. We are supported by our members.