Tag Archives: National Secular Society

Episode 224 – 14th February 2014

Who knew that Flying Spaghetti Monsters were controversial? We also talk space balloons with the Canadian Space Agency, Olympic Pictograms and much more!



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Flying Spaghetti Monster Censored (1:54) by James O’Malley (ft Rory Fenton)
Space Balloons! (13:52) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Daniel Levesque)
Olympic Pictograms (30:25) by Henry Hocking
Vatican UN Report (36:08) by Paul Orton (ft Keith Porteous Wood)
Marriage Certificates (44:43) by Morgan Phillips (ft Ailsa Sadler)

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Episode 190 – 7th June 2013

We use SCIENCE to find out the difference between a geek and a nerd, why school admission by religion is wrong, why advertisers aren’t all out to control us and much more!



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Fair Admissions (2:01) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Prof Ted Cantle)
John Carr is Wrong (11:10) by Kate Russell
Legal Aid (15:05) by Emma McClure
Carl Heneghan Interview (21:53) by Paul Hopwood
Advertising Conspiracy (36:46) by Koen VD
Parking Mad (43:36) by Paul Orton (ft Keith Porteous-Wood)
Geeks vs Nerds (51:51) by James O’Malley (ft Burr Settles)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

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Episode 155 – 28th September 2012

We speak to Ben Goldacre about his new book, Bad Pharma, find out what we can do now anti-choice activists are protesting again, hear what Dawkins had to say at the NSS conference, and discover the vaccine for whooping cough.



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Ben Goldacre Interview (2:10) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Ben Goldacre!)
40 Days For Life Are Back (21:30) by James O’Malley (ft Lucy Porter & Kerry J)
Dawkins at the NSS Conference (26:12) by James O’Malley (ft Richard Dawkins)
Nature Deficit Disorder (34:13) by Martin Saban-Smith
Whooping Cough Vaccine (42:26) by Peter English
Rbutr (53:08) by Kylie Sturgess (ft Shane Greenup)

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National Secular Society 2012 Conference Podcasts

Recorded on the 22nd September 2012, these were the speeches given at the 2012 National Secular Society conference in London. We’re still waiting for permission to broadcast from a couple of speakers but most are there!

Professor Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is a world famous Atheist, having authored several books and popularising Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He studies ethology which is the study of animal behaviour and evolutionary biology. Dawkins was the Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 till 2008 at Oxford University. After retiring from this position, he now travels internationally giving lectures and making documentaries to increase Atheism awareness.


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Nia Griffith MP
Nia Griffith is Member of Parliament for Llanelli, Shadow Minister for Wales and a campaigner for Lords reform. She is a firm believer in the need for the separation of church and state.


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Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen is a journalist, author, political commentator and eloquent supporter of secularism. He is a critic of the increasing role of religion in state education and of the Left’s tendency to pander to religious fundamentalists. His latest work,You Can’t Read This Book, is on freedom of expression.


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Pragna Patel
Pragna Patel is a secular campaigner, founding member of Southall Black Sisters and co-founder of Women Against Fundamentalism. In 2010 Pragna received the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year on behalf of Southall Black Sisters.


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Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell has been campaigning for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice since 1967. Through the Peter Tatchell Foundation, he campaigns for human rights in Britain and internationally. In 2012 Peter was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.


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Maryam Namazie
Maryam Namazie is a secular campaigner and commentator, spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. In 2005 she was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.


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Professor Ted Cantle CBE
Ted Cantle is Professor at the Institute of Community Cohesion. His report into the northern riots of 2001 drew attention to the “segregated” ethnic and religious communities living ‘parallel’ lives. His new book confronts the failures of multiculturalism head on and establishes a new concept — interculturalism — for managing community relations in a world defined by globalization and super-diversity.


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Episode 150 – 24th August 2012

A bit of a grim start as we cover the debate of the meaning of rape that the media has been having this week. Then we get a bit more upbeat as we talk about atheism, religion, The Dandy… and the Art of Camping.



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BIG EVENT in September

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Rape in the News (3:21) by Elizabeth Donnelly
Assange and the claims made by his defenders (11:58) by Jess Vautier
Defining Atheism (21:41) by Eon Squirrel
Peter Hitchens and Biblical Justice (28:58) by Mat Greenfield
The Art Of Camping (37:16) by Salim Fadhley (ft Matthew De Abaitua)
The Dandy is Deady (47:11) by Alex Fitch
NSS Conference (59:33) by James O’Malley (ft Gerard Phillips)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy and Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 128 – 23rd March 2012

We speak to IPCC climate scientist Michael E Mann, find out who won the Secularist of the Year award, try to build a space elevator and believe it not, have a story that’s vaguely about football. Don’t worry though – we’re not actually talking about sport.


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Get A Free Audio Book From Audible
We’re trialling partnering with Audible – sign up and get a free trial and you’ll get a FREE AUDIOBOOK! And you’ll also be helping the Pod Delusion, which is nice. Available audiobooks include Sam Harris’s Moral Landscape and Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science. Sign up here.

Secularist of the Year (2:33) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Peter Tatchell & Bideford councillor Clive Bone)
Religion in the legal system (13:410 by James O’Malley (ft David Allen Green)
How do atheists pray for someone? (19:52) by Georgia Gale Grant
The Hockey Stick & The Climate Wars (25:39) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Michael E Mann)
Space Elevators (38:24) by Sean Ellis
German Pirate Party (46:42) by Sven Rudloff
Gadget Lust (52:04) by Alex Fitch
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

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Secularist of the Year 2012

On Saturday 17th March, the National Secular Society‘s Secularist of the Year award (“The Irwin Prize”) was presented to human rights activist Peter Tatchell by the writer and columnist Nick Cohen. In addition, councillor Clive Bone who was at the centre of the Bideford council prayers case received a special award recognising his work.

You can hear a full recording of the event below:

Episode 123 – 17th February 2012

This week is a bit of a secularism special – punch your fist in the air at the Rally to Defend Freedom of Expression, find out about the perils of censorship in Nick Cohen’s new book and get the accurate story on the Bideford council prayers ruling. Plus we talk about a new survey showing Christians aren’t terribly Christian, find out why Alan Turing deserves a pardon and solve the mystery of which Sherlock Holmes adaption is best.


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Rally to defend Freedom of Expression (2:40) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff
(ft Richard Dawkins, Nick Doody, Kate Smurthwaite, Rhys Morgan, Joan Smith and Anne-Marie Waters)
Nick Cohen Interview (18:10) by Liz Lutgendorff & James O’Malley
Census Christians (28:54) by James O’Malley (ft Paula Kirby)
Bideford Council (37:35) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Tessa Kendall)
Turing Pardon (45:00) by Peter Rowlett
Sherlock and Copyright (54:56) by Tom Hodden
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links

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Secularism 2011 – Part 2

Saturday 10th September was the National Secular Society‘s Secularism 2011 conference at Conway Hall in London. We were there recording the entire day – so here are all of the talks in full. Here’s the second batch – we’re still waiting for permission from Dr Evan Harris, but will be updating our post as soon as we get it. Click here for the first batch.

Baroness Turner
Barnoness Turner of Camden was created a Life Peer in 1985. She was a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission 1982-88, the Occupational Pensions Board 1977-93; Council Member OPAS (Pension Advisory Service) 1989-2007; and Chair, PIA Ombudsman Council 1994-97. She has spoken out in the House of Lords about faith schools, collective worship and RE and is a firm supporter of gay rights.

Anthony Lempert (Part 2!)
Dr Lempert’s second talk to the assembled conference, this time telling a horrifying story about his experiences when withdrawing his daughter from her school’s curriculum mandated ‘compulsory daily worship’. A must listen for any parents!

Keith Porteous-Wood
Keith is the Executive Director of the National Secular Society. He lobbies in Westminster, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, working with sympathetic lords and MPs. He led the NSS campaign to end the blasphemy laws and is currently behind their intervention at the European Court of Human Rights to defend the UK’s equality laws from religious attacks.

Sue Cox
Sue is co-founder of Survivors Voice Europe and Director of the addiction specialists SMART UK. Survivors Voice Europe is an international community of men and women, all of whom have been sexually abused by catholic clergy. Along with her colleagues Ton Leerschool from Holland and Tomasso Dellora from Rome, Survivors Voice Europe has made connections in many countries, and made real headway in connecting isolated survivors to each other and to empowerment.

Listen to the other talks from the conference here!

Secularism 2011 – Part 1

Last Saturday was the National Secular Society‘s Secularism 2011 conference at Conway Hall in London. We were there recording the entire day – so here are all of the talks in full. Here’s the first batch – we’re still waiting on permission to broadcast some of the others, but hope to be posting them soon.

Nick Cohen
Nick is an Observer columnist and author of Cruel Britannia, Pretty Straight Guys: The Strange Death Of Labour England, among others. Nick Cohen is an eloquent supporter of secularism and regularly takes a swipe at the growing number of church-run schools and the Left’s tendency to pander to religious fundamentalists. The Orwell Prize for political writing shortlisted What’s Left? in 2008. His latest book, in 2009, is Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England. Fourth Estate will publish You Can’t Read This Book, his history of modern censorship in January 2012.

Dr Anthony Lempert (Part 1 – on secularism in medicine)
Dr Lempert was at the conference representing the Secular Medical Forum, which campaigns to a secular approach to major health issues such as abortion.

Baroness Mary Warnock
Baroness Warnock was created a life peer in 1985. She is by professional training a philosopher. She has also been a prominent figure in education, a fellow and tutor in Philosophy at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, Head Mistress of Oxford High School and Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge. She is author of a number of books, most recently Dishonest to God: On Keeping Religion Out of Politics.

Baroness Warnock was a member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) from 1973 to 1981. She was chair of the UK committee of inquiry into special education (1974–78), and from 1979 to 1985, she advised the UK committee on animal experiments. From 1982 to 1984 she chaired an inquiry into human fertilisation, the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, whose final report is often called the Warnock report.

Anne Marie Waters
Anne Marie is spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign which works to end sharia courts and tribunals in Britain on the grounds that they work against human rights and equality before the law. She is a lawyer with a strong interest in family law and human rights, and the interaction of the two.

Paul Blanchard
Paul has been an active secularist and humanist for over twenty years. Paul is Chair of the Labour Party Humanists and runs Right Angles, a PR and Social Media consultancy. He recently was involved in organising last years “Protest the Pope” rally and has been very active in the campaign to remove bishops from the House of Lords. He frequently appears in the media putting forward the atheist/secular position, and is a regular on BBC’s The Big Questions and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2.

We’ll be posting more soon!