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Nichola Raihani appointed patron of Humanists UK

Humanists UK is delighted to announce the appointment of its newest patron, Professor Nichola Raihani. Raihani is a renowned evolutionary biologist who joins a stable of over 170 Humanists UK patrons with distinguished careers in arts, literature, science, academia, politics, and community and civic activism.

Nichola Raihani is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor in Evolution and Behaviour at University College London. Her group’s research focuses on the evolution of social behaviour in humans and non-human species. She has been widely published in scientific journals, won the 2018 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Psychology for her research achievements, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology that same year. She is also the author of The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World and has appeared on several podcasts and radio shows, including BBC Radio 4’s Hacking the Unconscious, and Thought Cages and RSA’s Bridges to the Future.

Nichola was recently awarded the 2021 Humanists UK’s Voltaire Medal, delivering a lecture on the role of cooperation in the human story.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Nichola Raihani as the newest patron of Humanists UK. Her work on the evolution of social behaviour – which we were lucky enough to hear about at this year’s Voltaire Lecture – validates the humanist intuition that to be cooperative – to think for yourself, and act for everyone – is part of human nature. We all look forward to collaborating with her!’


Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefiting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

Humanists UK has over 170 patrons who support its work in various ways through their expertise and prominence in various fields. Existing patrons include significant figures from the spheres of science, philosophy, human rights activism, politics, the arts, and broadcasting. The President of Humanists UK is the anatomist, author, and broadcaster, Professor Alice Roberts. She is supported by Vice Presidents Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor AC Grayling, Shappi Khorsandi, and Polly Toynbee.

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