Professor Alice Roberts

Professor Alice Roberts was made a patron of Humanists UK for her contribution to the greater public understanding of science and her contribution to the better understanding of the human condition.

Anatomist, author, broadcaster, and Vice President of Humanists UK

Photo of Professor Alice Roberts

Humanism is so often overlooked, but I believe it is both the most rational and positive philosophy for life. And it’s not a new thing - the history of humanist thought is deep and inspiring.

Born in 1973, Alice Roberts studied medicine and anatomy at Cardiff University and worked as a junior doctor after qualifying before becoming a lecturer on anatomy at Bristol University. She developed a research interest in biological or physical anthropology, looking at what ancient skeletons can tell us about human evolution and the diversity of the human species. She has a PhD in palaeopathology, the study of disease in ancient human remains. She is currently 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. She has said "Science needs to have a social conscience and should be more accessible. Maybe there should be more links with the arts and humanities; try and get everyone involved in science in some way, not just those wanting to do science at university."

She combines her academic career with one as a science presenter on television. She has appeared as a human bone specialist on Channel 4's Time Team and in various projects on BBC2, including "Coast", "Don't Die Young", "The Incredible Human Journey", "Wild Swimming", "Digging for Britain", "Horizon" ('Are we still evolving?'), and "Origins of Us".

She has also written several popular science books: Evolution The Human Story (Dorling Kindersley, 2011); The Complete Human Body (Dorling Kindersley, 2010); The Incredible Human Journey(Bloomsbury, 2009); Don't Die Young: An Anatomist's Guide to Your Organs and Your Health(Bloomsbury, 2007). Buy her books at through this link and a small commission will go to Humanists UK.

Alice was President of Humanists UK from January 2019 – June 2022.

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