Secularist of the Year
The Secularist of the Year (also known as the Irwin Prize) is an award presented annually to the individual considered to have made the greatest contribution to secularism in the previous year by the UK's National Secular Society. The prize consists of a trophy, the "Golden Ammonite", and a cheque for £5000. It was first awarded in 2005 and is sponsored by humanist and secularist campaigner Dr. Michael Irwin.
No award was presented in 2008, because the event was postponed to February 2009 in order to coincide with the National Secular Society's "200th Birthday Party for Charles Darwin".
- 2005 − Maryam Namazie, for her work in defence of women's rights and the right to freedom of expression (presented by Polly Toynbee).
- 2006 − Steve Jones, biologist at University College London and author of a number of books on evolution (presented by Dick Taverne).
- 2007 − Mina Ahadi, founder of the German Central Council of Ex-Muslims (presented by Joan Smith).
- 2009 − Evan Harris MP and Lord Avebury, joint award for their work in the abolition of blasphemy law (presented by Richard Dawkins).
- 2010 − The Southall Black Sisters group, for their support of black and Asian women's human rights (presented by Michael Irwin, accepted by Pragna Patel).
- 2011 − Sophie in 't Veld MEP, for her work as chair of the European Parliamentary Platform for Secularism in Politics (presented by A. C. Grayling).
- 2012 − Peter Tatchell, for his lifelong commitment to the defence of human rights against religious fundamentalism (presented by Nick Cohen).
- 2013 − In honour of young human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, the cash prize (presented by Michael Cashman MEP) was donated to the British children’s charity Plan UK, represented by Debbie Langdon-Davies, for its campaign to ensure equal access to education for girls worldwide.
- 2014 − Şafak Pavey, Turkish Member of Parliament and human rights campaigner, for her work in human rights and the promotion of the rights of women and minorities in Turkey (presented by Kerry McCarthy MP).
- 2015 − The staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine, for their courageous response to the terrorist attack in which several of its editors were assassinated. Cartoonist Martin Rowson accepted the prize on behalf of Charlie Hebdo, as no representatives were present due to the impracticality of the required safety arrangements.
- "Maryam Namazie Named "Secularist of The Year"". NSS. 12 Oct 2005. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Professor Steve Jones is Named "Secularist of The Year"". NSS. 9 Oct 2006. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Iranian Dissident Wins Secularist of The Year Prize". NSS. 21 Oct 2007. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Oxford MP is given secular award". BBC News. 8 Feb 2009. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Evan Harris MP and Lord Avebury win the National Secular Society’s annual award for Secularist of the Year". NSS. 7 Feb 2009. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Secularist of the Year prize awarded to Southall Black Sisters". NSS. 14 Feb 2010. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Dutch MEP wins Secularist of the Year". NSS. 19 Mar 2011. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Peter Tatchell named Secularist of the Year". NSS. 17 Mar 2012. Retrieved 18 Mar 2012.
- "Peter Tatchell named Secularist of the Year". Pink News. 19 Mar 2013. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013.
- "Secularist of the Year prize fund donated to girls’ education in honour of Malala Yousafzai". NSS. 23 Mar 2013. Retrieved 23 Mar 2013.
- "NSS Secularist of the Year prize money donated to charity in honour of Malala Yousafzai". The Freethinker. 23 Mar 2013. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013.
- "Secularist of the Year awarded to Turkish MP, Safak Pavey". NSS. 29 Mar 2014. Retrieved 29 Mar 2014.
- "CHP deputy Şafak Pavey granted secularism award of UK-based NGO". Hürriyet. 29 Mar 2014. Retrieved 30 Mar 2014.
- "Charlie Hebdo staff awarded Secularist of the Year prize for their response to Paris attacks". NSS. 28 Mar 2015. Retrieved 28 Mar 2015.