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Professor Dame Anne Johnson to deliver 2022 Darwin Day Lecture, on ‘People and pathogens’

Professor Dame Anne Johnson will deliver the Darwin Day Lecture 2022, taking place on 11 February 2022. This Darwin Day Lecture, a highlight of the humanist calendar, and an online-first hybrid event, will be chaired by Humanists UK President Professor Alice Roberts. Dame Anne will speak on ‘People and pathogens: the evolution of infections’.

A limited number of premium in-person tickets are available for those looking to attend the February event at London’s Conway Hall, a historic home of humanism, with a complimentary drink on arrival.

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Dame Anne Johnson is Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the Centre of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, and Co-Director of Health of the Public, all at University College London (UCL), and in December 2020 became President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She has led a distinguished career in epidemiology and public health, focusing on topics including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, influenza, and diagnostics for infectious diseases.

The Darwin Day Lecture is always the biggest and most popular event in the Humanists UK calendar– commemorating the life and work of Charles Darwin. Darwin Day has grown to become a major national event, with the Humanists UK lecture the centrepiece, attended by upwards of 2,000 people every year, and almost 3,000 in 2021.

Tickets are available from humanists.uk/darwinday2022, priced at £10 per household for an online ticket, or £29 per person for the in-person experience.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:

‘At a time when evolving viruses – and how humans respond to them – have never been more present in our minds, and never been so important in predicting our futures, we’re honoured to have Professor Dame Anne Johnson as our Darwin Day Lecturer, and we’re looking forward to her lecture and the discussion with Alice that will follow. We’re pleased to be able to offer the event in a hybrid format – for the very first time – to allow as many people as possible to attend in the way they feel most comfortable.’

Notes:

Tickets for the Darwin Day Lecture 2022 (People and pathogens: the evolution of infections) with Professor Dame Anne Johnson, chaired by Professor Alice Roberts, are available to purchase at humanists.uk/darwinday2022.

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at press@humanists.uk or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

About Professor Dame Anne Johnson
Dame Anne Johnson is Professor of Epidemiology, Director of the Centre of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, and Co-Director of Health of the Public, all at University College London (UCL), and in December 2020 became President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She has led a distinguished career in epidemiology and public health, focusing on topics including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, influenza, and diagnostics for infectious diseases.

She joined Middlesex Hospital at the start of the 1980s HIV epidemic, subsequently directing the Medical Research Council UK Centre for coordinating epidemiological studies of HIV/AIDS. In 1990 she was funded to complete the UK’s first National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles by the Wellcome Foundation, work that has since been repeated every 10 years and continues to inform key policy on sexual health around the world.

She is a member of the Royal Society’s Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE) group, a member of the SAGE transmission subgroup, and Chair of the UK Committee for Strategic Coordination of Health of the Public Research (SCHOPR). Dame Anne was at the forefront of the Academy of Medical Science’s response to COVID-19 including the development of their report Preparing for a challenging winter 2020–21.

About Professor Alice Roberts
Professor Alice Roberts has been President of Humanists UK since January 2019. She is Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, Director of Anatomy for the NHS Severn Deanery School of Surgery, and holds honorary fellowships at Hull, York Medical School, and the University of Bristol.

She is an honorary fellow of the British Science Association, a member of the Advisory Board of the Cheltenham Festival of Science, Patron of the Association of Science and Discovery Centres, and a member of the Council of the British Heart Foundation.

About the Darwin Day Lecture Series
The Darwin Day Lecture explores humanism and humanist thought as related to science and evolution, Charles Darwin, or his works. The Darwin medallist has made a significant contribution in one of these fields.

The lecture and medal are named and held to mark the annual global celebration of the birth of Charles Darwin, held every 12 February.

About Humanists UK
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 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 benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

In 2021, Humanists UK is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a renewed focus on its history. The new website Humanist Heritage is a rich new web resource that uncovers the untold story of humanism in the UK – a story of people, groups, objects, places, movements, publications, and ideas.

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