Patricia Duffy Hutcheon

On this date in 1926, sociologist Patricia Duffy Hutcheon was born in Saskatchewan, Canada. She earned her undergraduate degree in education and history and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Queensland, Australia. In early adult life, because of several adverse personal experiences, she became active in promoting women’s rights and equality of the sexes. She married Alexander “Sandy” Hutcheon. She taught sociology at the University of Regina and the University of British Columbia. She was in great demand as a public speaker and became a prominent humanist in the academic world.

Her 1975 textbook, A Sociology of Canadian Education, was the first ever published on that subject and became a classic. She wrote many books, including Leaving the Cave: Evolutionary Naturalism in Social Scientific Thought (1996), Building Character and Culture (1999), and The Road to Reason: Landmarks in the Evolution of Humanist Thought (2001). In later life her studies focused on the trend of tribalism and the dangers it presented for society.

Hutcheon was named Humanist of the Year 2000 by the Canadian Humanist Association and received the Distinguished Humanist Service Award 2001 from the American Humanist Association. She also assisted in drafting the Humanist Manifesto III issued by the AHA in 2003. She was a member of the BC Humanist Association. (D. 2010)

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