Humanists UK announces three new patrons: S I Martin, Sarah Hall, and James Forder

28 March, 2022

Humanists UK is delighted to welcome three new patrons into the fold: writer and historian S I Martin, novelist Sarah Hall, and economist James Forder.

S I Martin is a writer and historian specialising in the fields of Black British history and literature. He’s published five books of historical fiction and non-fiction for adult and teenage readers including Incomparable World (1996) which charts the fate of three black exiles living in 18th-century London, and Britain’s Slave Trade which was written for Channel 4 to tie in with its four-part documentary series Windrush. For decades, S I Martin has worked hard to bring diverse histories to wider audiences, including with the creation of his 500 Years of Black London walks. In March 2022, he delivered a talk for Humanists UK titled The Beliefs of Black Georgians, introducing the life and works of often overlooked figures as part of its Humanist Heritage lecture series.

Photo credit: Richard Thwaites

Sarah Hall is a short story writer and novelist who has written six critically-acclaimed novels, including The Electric Michelangelo (2004), The Wolf Border (2015), and her latest novel Burntcoat (2021). Among her many achievements, she has been nominated twice for the Man Booker prize, has twice won the BBC National Short Story Award, and is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. As well as judging a number of prestigious literary awards and prizes, including the Man Booker and BBC National, Sarah has taught writing for 20 years and is currently Professor of Practice at the University of Cumbria.


James Forder is an economist and Academic and Research Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He has taught economics and occasionally politics at the University of Oxford since 1993. Besides academic papers on central bank independence, European integration, and the macroeconomics of the 1960s, he is the author of, among other things, half of Both Sides of the Coin (1999), The Case Against Voting Reform (2011), Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth (2014), and Milton Friedman (2019).


Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

It’s a pleasure to welcome three new patrons into the fold: S I Martin whose passion for Black British History has unearthed so many fascinating and hidden figures from our past; Sarah Hall whose works examining the nature and complexities of the human condition have been critically acclaimed; and James Forder, whose expertise and dedication to his subject have put him at the forefront of economic research. Representing three diverse areas of achievement, they demonstrate not just the diversity our network of patrons has to offer, but how humanists contribute towards the advancement of society across the board.’


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.

Humanists UK has nearly 200 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 Shaparak Khorsandi, Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor AC Grayling, and Polly Toynbee.

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.