Andrew Copson

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Andrew Copson
Andrew Copson EuroSkepCon2015.jpg
Copson in 2015
Born (1980-11-19) 19 November 1980 (age 35)
Nuneaton, Warwickshire
Residence London
Nationality British
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association
President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union

Andrew James William Copson, FRSA, FCMI, MCIPR (born 19 November 1980) is Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, a position he has held since January 2010.[1] In 2015, Copson was elected President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the global umbrella body for atheist, humanist, skeptic and secularist organisations.

Early life[edit]

Copson was born on 19th November 1980 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, to David Copson and Julia Heather Cunningham.[1] He was educated at the independent school King Henry VIII School, Coventry. He attended Balliol College, University of Oxford, graduating with a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in Ancient and Modern History in 2004.[1]


In 2005 Andrew Copson started working at the British Humanist Association as director of education and public affairs.[2] In 2010 he became the BHA's youngest ever Chief Executive; a position which he described at the time as "obviously a daunting one", saying that he felt "a huge responsibility to build on the BHA's many successes."[3][4]

He is also President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union,[5] and was formerly a director of the European Humanist Federation, trustee of the South Place Ethical Society (stepping down at the AGM on 10 November 2013) and chair of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.[2]


Copson is a regular contributor to New Humanist Magazine,[6] has written for The Guardian and New Statesman, and has been interviewed on BBC News for non-religious opinions on topics such as religious symbols in the work place and euthanasia.[7][8][9] He was one of the editors of The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism, a collection of essays that explore humanism as the way of life.[10]

Copson has stated scepticism in regards to "atheist churches", denouncing Alain de Botton's idea of an atheist temple,[11] and expressing doubt in regards to future success of The Sunday Assembly.[12] In relation to state education in England, Copson commented: "It is vital that every young person receives a broad and balanced education, including teaching evolution as the only evidence-based view of how life came to be."[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 2011, Copson entered into a civil partnership with Mark Wardrop.[14]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Who's Who. A & C Black. 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "About | Andrew Copson". Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Copson, Andrew (January–February 2010). "Andrew Copson's Diary - Running the BHA is daunting but very exciting". New Humanist: 7. 
  4. ^ New Humanist: 4. January–February 2010. 
  5. ^ New President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Retrieved 2 February 2016
  6. ^ Copson, Andrew (January–February 2007). "We're all humanists now". New Humanist: 22–23. 
  7. ^ Andrew Copson discussing crosses in the workplace, on BBC News (Video). YouTube. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Andrew Copson speaking on BBC News about assisted dying (Video). YouTube. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Europe court Christian discrimination cases are 'divisive'". BBC News. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  10. ^ . Wiley Retrieved 17 January 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Melville, Casper (March–April 2012). New Humanist: 18. 
  12. ^ Addley, Esther (3 February 2013). "'Not believing in God makes life more precious': meet the atheist 'churchgoers'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Adams, Richard. "Childcare experts dismayed by plans to cut funding for childcare that does not promote "fundamental British values"". Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "COPSON, Andrew James William". Who's Who 2016. A & C Black. Retrieved 19 November 2015.