Steven Pinker, FFRFâ€™s honorary president, is a cognitive scientist, psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
He is one of the worldâ€™s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature. Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has also received eight honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate and The Better Angels of Our Nature. He is chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and other publications. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazineâ€™s â€śThe Worldâ€™s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,â€ť Foreign Policyâ€™s â€ś100 Global Thinkers,â€ť and Time magazineâ€™s â€śThe 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.â€ť
Roy Zimmerman is an American satirical singer-songwriter and guitarist with a repertoire of irreverent songs.
He wrote a series of satirical musical reviews in the 1980s that were produced by the San Jose Repertory Theatre. The musicals parodied the excesses of the evolving yuppie culture in Silicon Valley.
Zimmerman founded The Foremen, a Southern California satirical folk quartet. It performed at the national conventions of both major American political parties in 1996. Continuing as a solo act, Zimmerman explained the philosophy behind writing and performing humorous songs on increasingly political subjects: â€śThereâ€™s nothing funny about world peace. Social justice never killed at the The Comedy Store. If we ever attain a worldwide consciousness of peace and justice, Iâ€™ll be happily out of a job. But as long as thereâ€™s poverty, war, bigotry, ignorance, greed, lust and paranoia, Iâ€™ve got a career.â€ť
Zimmerman played in the Rock Beyond Belief concert on March 31, 2012, at North Carolinaâ€™s Fort Bragg.
Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born secularist and human rights activist, commentator and broadcaster. She is spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
Namazie was born in Tehran, but left with her family in 1980 after the 1979 revolution in Iran. Namazie first worked with Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. In the United States in 1991, she became the co-founder of the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR).
She has specialized into challenging cultural relativism and political Islam. These activities were recognized by the National Secular Society with the 2005 Secularist of the Year award, making Namazie its first recipient.
She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah â€“ Movement for Womenâ€™s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She hosts a weekly television program called Bread and Roses. She is humanist laureate at the International Academy of Humanism; National Secular Society Honorary Associate; Honorary Associate of Rationalist International, among others.
She will be receiving the Henry H. Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism award of $10,000.
Michelle Goldberg is an author and columnist for Slate. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Goldbergâ€™s first book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, was a finalist for the 2007 New York Public Libraryâ€™s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 2009, she published The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, which is based on her reporting about the state of womenâ€™s reproductive rights across several continents.
In 2008, The Means of Reproduction won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.
Her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Glamour, Rolling Stone, The Nation New York, The Guardian (UK) and The New Republic. Goldberg has taught at NYUâ€™s Graduate School of Journalism, lectured throughout the United States and in Europe, and has been interviewed on many radio and television shows.S