A Humanist Mayor, Evolution Experts, and More New Speakers Added to AHA’s 75th Conference

In just two months, the American Humanist Association will be celebrating 75 years of existence at its 75th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, the city in which the organization was founded. Having attended AHA conferences since 2006, I’m particularly excited about this year’s lineup of excellent speakers covering important topics—an event not to be missed!

Joining us at the AHA conference for the third time is Dr. Abby Hafer, whose popular presentations on intelligent design garnered rave reviews at the AHA conferences in Tempe, Arizona, in 2009 and Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2011. Her new book is titled The Not-So-Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not (Cascade Books, 2015), and she’ll be giving a new presentation at the 75th Anniversary Conference on “Animals That Shouldn’t Exist, According to Intelligent Design.”

This year, we’re honored to welcome new speaker Mayor Bob Scott of Franklin, North Carolina, who made headlines when he used a copy of the Constitution instead of the Bible to swear-in his oath of office. Mayor Scott is currently in his second term as mayor, having held the position of town alderman for eleven years and careers in journalism, the military, and law enforcement. He’s a member of the American Humanist Association, ACLU, Sierra Club, and Rotary International.

In support of the American Humanist Association’s renewed commitment to social justice advocacy, the 75th Anniversary Conference will feature a panel on “The Intersection of Humanism and Social Justice Work” moderated by AHA’s new social justice coordinator, Sincere Kirabo. The panel—featuring Kansas City Freethinkers of Color co-founder Diane Burkholder, the Ethical Society of St. Louis outreach director James Croft, and SocialScope Productions (a nonprofit focused on LGBTQ and gender documentary projects) executive director Randall Jenson—will offer insight and practical solutions for confronting aspects of our culture that preserves various forms of privilege, discrimination, and oppression.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce this year’s Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jerry A. Coyne, professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago and author of the New York Times bestseller Why Evolution is True and the newly released Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2015). Coyne’s work has been largely concerned with the genetics of species differences, aimed at understanding the evolutionary processes that produce new species. He is a contributing writer for the New York Times, the New Republic, The Nation, USA Today, and many others.

Visit conference.americanhumanist.org to read more about all of this year’s speakers for the AHA’s 75th Anniversary Conference, and register to attend before the conference sells out. I hope to see you in Chicago as we celebrate 75 years of humanism!