Zion Lights to deliver the 2023 Holyoake Lecture

11 September, 2023

Humanists UK has announced that science communicator and environmentalist Zion Lights will deliver the Holyoake Lecture 2023, under the challenging and provocative title ‘Can we just stop oil? How?’. 

The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday 1 November in Manchester, with a livestream option for the first time opening the Holyoake Lecture up to humanists across the UK.

Tickets are available to book now, at humanists.uk/holyoake2023.

The event will be a dynamic exploration of the pressing issue of transitioning away from the fossil fuels we are still so reliant on, to create a sustainable energy future. The lecture will take place both in-person and via a livestream for the first time, ensuring that people from across the UK can engage with this vital discussion.

‘In many countries around the world, including the UK, fossil fuels currently support our lifestyles, providing us with things like lighting, heating, and life-saving technologies such as those used in hospitals. If we accept the need to decarbonise our energy, humanists should then interrogate the question: how best can we move away from fossil fuels, while attempting to minimise harm to people’s wellbeing?

In the Holyoake Lecture 2023, Zion Lights will give her views on the solutions we can implement now, which countries are managing the transition well and the time this has taken, and how we can do it all without leaving the poorest and most marginalised communities behind.’

Zion Lights is a science communicator who is known for her environmental advocacy work. She is the founder of the evidence-based climate activism group Emergency Reactor and author of The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting. Zion is also a leading speaker on clean energy, specifically nuclear energy, and also lectures on effective science communication, tackling misinformation, and climate action. She is the former editor of The Hourglass, Extinction Rebellion’s print newspaper, and was previously the group’s spokesperson for two years.

The 2023 Holyoake Lecture is set to be an important and challenging event in the discourse on energy transition and environmental sustainability.

By addressing the question of whether (including how, and if) we can ‘just stop oil’ and how to do so, the lecture hopes to contribute to the global conversation on climate change mitigation and stimulate further discussion and debate.

Everyone who recognises the importance of these discussions  is invited to attend either in person or online via livestream.

For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit humanists.uk/holyoake2023.


Read Humanist Climate Action’s interview with Zion Lights.

About the Holyoake Lecture

The Holyoake Lecture explores an aspect of politics or a contemporary social or political issue, especially as it relates to secularist and humanist issues, including liberalism, democracy, social justice, feminism, anti-racism, LGBT rights, or equality. Previous Holyoake lecturers include Kenan Malik, Laura Schwartz, Robert Peston, Baroness Joan Bakewell, Douglas Murray, and Owen Jones.

About Humanist Climate Action

Humanist Climate Action is a volunteer-led network of Humanists UK members and supporters committed to redefining lifestyles and campaigning for policies that promote low-carbon, ethical, and sustainable living in the light of the degeneration of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. It brings humanists together to facilitate individual and collective action on these issues.

Humanist Climate Action’s policy calls for accelerating growth in renewable energy and for ‘more progress to be made’ on decarbonisation ‘to avoid catastrophic climate change’.

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 020 3675 0959.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 110,000 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.