Humanism with Andrew Copson


Get your best philosophical hats out for this episode because we’re doing a deep dive into the not-so-holy-trinity of dinner table topics – religion, politics and belief – with Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK.

Andrew gives us the 411 on what it means to be a Humanist. And we wrestle with some meaty questions, like: Where does morality come from? Are religions dying out? Can good ever come from causing offence? And does it really matter what we choose to believe?

Plus, Katherine, Paul and Andrew share in their admiration for Frank Turner, a proud humanist and iconic Greenbelt Festival headliner. And Katherine gives us our first lesson in the history of Anarchism… and it might not be what you expect.

Links, resources and episode timestamps (for all you skippers out there) below.

Andrew Copson was appointed Chief Executive of Humanists UK in 2009, having previously been its Director of Education and Public Affairs. He is also the current President of Humanists International, a position he’s held since 2015. His books include The Little Book of Humanism (2020) and The Little Book of Humanist Weddings (2021) with Alice Roberts; Secularism: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2019); The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Humanism (2015) with A C Grayling. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals.

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Humanists UK

Frank Turner – Glory Hallelujah

Little Book of Humanism

humanist (n.)


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Nicholas Walter

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00:00 – Welcome to Somewhere To Believe In
00:47 – Katherine and Paul catch up
05:16 – Introducing Andrew Copson
05:46 – Andrew joins the conversation
06:10 – Andrew on lockdown
07:06 – Andrew on Frank Turner
08:35 – Andrew on Humanism
12:30 – Andrew on morality
16:20 – Andrew on restoration
19:30 – Andrew on social codes
21:20 – Andrew on religious trends
27:22 – Andrew on his Humanism
30:27 – Andrew on blasphemy and offence
35:52 – Andrew on beliefs and values
40:30 – Andrew on certainty
42:20 – Andrew on challenging power
49:05 – Katherine and Paul reflect on the conversation with Andrew
01:06:05 – Next week on the podcast
01:07:05 – How to get in touch with us 
01:07:38 – Thank you’s
01:08:24 – Hidden track


A huge thanks to the Greenbelt Volunteer Talks Team for all their hard work on editing this episode. Our podcast music is ‘I Can Change’ by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.