Professor Steve Jones is Named “Secularist of The Year”

The geneticist and anti-creationist Professor Steve Jones has been named Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society. Professor Jones is the 2006 winner of the £5,000 annual Irwin Prize for his contribution to the promotion of secularism.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Jones spoke of the attack from groups and individuals determined to sneak creationism, and its deceitful equivalent “intelligent design”, into British schools, even into science lessons.

“Normally I wouldn’t engage with such people because it simply gives them legitimacy,” Professor Jones said, but such has been the pressure from them recently that he had felt it necessary to actively campaign against them. He has recently been giving a lecture around the country entitled “Why evolution is right and creationism is wrong.”

Steve Jones is professor of genetics at University College London. He has broadcast widely on science and has won many scientific and literary prizes for his promotion of science.

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, which presents the annual prize, said: “More and more students are being duped by the increasingly strident attacks on science by the forces of unreason. Professor Steve Jones has been highly effective in staving off these attacks. We salute him for this crucial work and are delighted to award him the Secularist of the Year Prize.”

The prize was presented by Lord Dick Taverne who has himself recently published a well-received book “The March of Unreason” which comes to the defence of evidence-based science, which he is convinced is also under pressure from irrational thinking.

The prize was awarded at a glittering luncheon at a central London hotel to which a number of the NSS’s distinguished Honorary Associates were also invited.

Steve Jones' page on UCL website

The Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year is sponsored by Dr Michael Irwin and is an annual event arranged by the National Secular Society.