Andrew Copson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Andrew Copson
Andrew Copson introducing the BHA's 2012 Voltaire Lecture
Andrew Copson speaking in 2012
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, MCMI, 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]


Andrew Copson (second left) at the International Humanist and Ethical Union World Humanist Congress in 2011.

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 First Vice-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]

Copson has stated scepticism in regards to "atheist churches", denouncing Alain de Botton's idea of an atheist temple,[10] and expressing doubt in regards to future success of The Sunday Assembly.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In 2011, Copson entered into a civil partnership with Mark Wardrop.[12]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Who's Who. A & C Black. 2012. 
  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. ^ IHEU organization chart. Retrieved 2 November 2013
  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. ^ Melville, Casper (March–April 2012). New Humanist: 18. 
  11. ^ Addley, Esther (3 February 2013). "'Not believing in God makes life more precious': meet the atheist 'churchgoers'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "COPSON, Andrew James William". Who's Who 2014. A & C Black. Retrieved 19 November 2014.