For the past few years, the “Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism” has been given out by the Harvard Secular Society on behalf of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and the American Humanist Association.
The first year, the award went to author Salman Rushdie.
The second award went to lead singer of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin.
The third award went to Joss Whedon, the man behind the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse.
Last year, it went to the Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman.
See a pattern…?
Lots of testosterone.
(I’d love to see a woman receive the award.)
But in any case, who do you think should be in the running to win the award this year? Feel free to suggest more than one name. The nominating committee is paying attention to your suggestions…
What’s that, you say?
You want an incentive?
I’ll pick a random commenter from among all nominees and you’ll win a copy of Sam Harris‘ brand new book, The Moral Landscape! (It’s not even out until October 5th!)
The contest is only open to US residents (Sorry — publisher’s rules). If you’d like to enter, just insert the word “Hippo” at the end of your comment.
***Update***: The committee writes in a comment:
We just wanted to clarify a little bit what the award is about. The key words here are “Cultural Humanism.” I realize that’s a bit vague, but the idea is, this award is for people in the Arts – hence why our previous winners are an author, a musician, and 3 TV personalities. We look for nominees who contribute to Humanism by (a) popularizing it via their own popularity and (b) having their values reflected in their art.
This rules out, for the most part, scientists and “famous for being atheist” type writers (including the awesome Mr. Mehta himself.) It’s not that we don’t love these people to death – trust me, we do – but there are already several awards out there for that sort of thing. In fact, many of the people suggested above have gotten such awards in recent years from the AHA (Lori Lipman Brown, Eugenie Scott, Annie Laurie Gaylor).
So: keep this in mind as you throw out suggestions! We’re already hard at work on this year’s nominees, but we’ll be watching this space closely for new ideas!
Oh, and as for the “too much testosterone” thing: It’s certainly on our radar as well.
Much love to all of you fine internet folks,
The Cultural Humanism Award Committee
P.S. Our research suggests that Rachel Maddow is not necessarily nonreligious. Anyone have proof to the contrary?