David Pollock (humanist)

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David Pollock
David Pollock (humanist), 2011 (cropped).JPG
David Pollock in 2011.
Born (1942-02-03) 3 February 1942 (age 78)
OccupationHumanist, and former President of the European Humanist Federation
Years active1961–present

David Pollock (born 3 February 1942)[1] is a British humanist, and former President of the European Humanist Federation (EHF). He is also treasurer of the Education and Health Trust Uganda.[2]

Life and career[edit]

He became involved in 1961 with the humanist group[3] at Oxford University, where he studied Classics. He later worked in management in the National Coal Board, before becoming Director of Action on Smoking and Health between 1991–1995, and then of the Continence Foundation,[4] between 1996–2001.[5] His research while at ASH led to his writing "Denial & Delay: The Political History of Smoking and Health, 1951–1964" (ASH, 1999 - ISBN 1 872428 44 4).[6]

He was a trustee[5] of the British Humanist Association (BHA) between 1965 and 1975 (chair from 1970–72) and again from 1997 to date. He is also a director (since 1979) and has been Chair of the Rationalist Association, publisher of New Humanist magazine.

He was President of the European Humanist Federation between 2006 and 2012,[7] where he campaigned for secularism, human rights and equality within European and international institutions.[1] He now represents the International Humanist and Ethical Union at the Council of Europe. He received the Distinguished Service to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union in 2011.[8]

His particular interest is in the law and religion and belief, especially the clash between laws on equality and non-discrimination and the human right to manifest a religion or belief. As EHF President he took part in the consultations of the EU-funded Religare project [9] and wrote a substantial paper for them [10] and contributed a critical review [11] to the book in which their report was published.[12] He gave evidence to the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life and was one of a group chaired by Rowan Williams convened by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that met in 2014-15 to consider the law on religion and belief and contribute thereby to the EHRC’s 2016 report religion or belief: is the law working?.[13] He addressed the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies[14] (ICLARS) conference in Oxford in 2016 on whether there is or should be a right to freedom from religion.[15]


  1. ^ a b British Humanist Association, BHA wishes David Pollock a Happy 70th Birthday, 3 February 2012. Accessed 26 October 2012
  2. ^ "Home - Education & Health Trust Uganda". www.ehtuganda.org. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  3. ^ Oxford University Humanist Group. Accessed 27 October 2012
  4. ^ The Continence Foundation closed in 2008 but its website is maintained by its successor the Bladder and Bowel Foundation http://www.bladderandbowelfoundation.org/about/about.asp. Accessed 28 October 2012
  5. ^ a b British Humanist Association: Trustees. Accessed 26 October 2012
  6. ^ "Denial & Delay". www.denialdelay.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Admin+, IHEU (23 August 2011). "IHEU Awards for 2011". iheu.org. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Religare Project | Der Glaube an und die Anbetung mit kontrollierter Macht". Religare Project. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  10. ^ "European Humanist Federation Religion in Society" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  11. ^ Pollock, David. "An Ill-Disguised Defence of Religious Privilege" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Belief, Law and Politics: What Future for a Secular Europe?, 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge". Routledge.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Religion or belief: is the law working? - Equality and Human Rights Commission". www.equalityhumanrights.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  14. ^ "ICLARS". www.iclars.org. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  15. ^ "A Right to Freedom from Religion? - David Pollock". thinkingabouthumanism.org. Retrieved 19 December 2018.

External links[edit]