The Bradlaugh Lecture was launched on the day of the 151st anniversary of the NSS's foundation, in recognition of our founder Charles Bradlaugh. The lecture aims to provide a space for a distinguished speaker to explore a secularist topic in depth.

We're delighted to announce that the 2018 lecture will see human rights activist Gita Sahgal focus on the rise of Hindu nationalism in Britain, India and beyond. Her lecture will be entitled 'The Men Who Killed Gandhi' : Secular India and the rise of Hindu nationalism. Tickets for the event are now on sale.


Bradlaugh Lecture 2017: Bryan Niblett

Bradlaugh Lecture 2017: Bob Forder


2017: Dare to stand alone, Bryan Niblett and Bob Forder

The ending of our 150th anniversary celebrations marked a new beginning the inaugural Bradlaugh Lecture at Manchester Art Gallery on 9 September marking our 151st anniversary.

Bryan Niblett, author of the definitive biography of NSS founding president Charles Bradlaugh, presented a lecture based on his highly acclaimed book Dare to Stand Alone.

Referring to Bradlaugh as "the greatest backbencher of the 19th century", Niblett revealed the key role that Bradlaugh played in the promotion of liberty and freethought in the UK, through championing issues such as access to birth control, republicanism, and of course secularism.

Guests also heard a 'brief history of the NSS' from NSS historian Bob Forder.

The event was timed to coincide with the re-hanging of Walter Sickert's famous portrait of Bradlaugh. It is huge and required the assistance of two abseilers to be hung overlooking the main staircase. This was the first time for generations it had been on view to the general public. It had been gifted to the gallery by the NSS's Manchester Branch in 1911. It was a pleasure to hold the event in a place of such significance to the history of our organisation.

See also

2018: The rise of Hindu Nationalism, Gita Sahgal

The esteemed human rights activist, author and NSS honorary associate Gita Sahgal will explore the rise of Hindu nationalism in the National Secular Society's 2018 Bradlaugh Lecture.

Her speech, entitled 'The Men Who Killed Gandhi' : Secular India and the rise of Hindu nationalism, will take place in Manchester on Saturday 8 September.

Book your tickets.