2012 Harvard Humanists of the Year: The Founders of OkCupid

The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard is taking a different turn with their choice for the annual Humanist of the Year award. Last year, they chose Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In the past, they have chosen non-theistic Congressperson Pete Stark (D-CA), Steven Pinker, Taslima Nasrin, and E.O. Wilson.

This year, they’re going with four people you’ve probably never heard of before… but their impact on our community has been tremendous: The founders of the free online dating website OkCupid: Max Krohn, Sam Yagan, Chris Coyne, and Christian Rudder. (Rudder and Krohn will accept the award in person.)

OkCupid founders (from left to right) Max Krohn, Sam Yagan, Chris Coyne, and Christian Rudder (Michael Falco – New York Times)

OkCupid has hosted nearly 10 million users since its 2004 launch, and site founders Christian Rudder and Maxwell Krohn will join us for a first-ever public discussion of how they created arguably the most welcoming and positive environment ever for atheists, Humanists, and agnostics — online or anywhere else.

I can’t believe they didn’t go with the eHarmony guy

I love the choice. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to suggest that OkCupid has been one of the most important websites for atheists looking to meet other atheists. It’s not that other sites don’t allow atheists to “match,” but none cater to atheists and agnostics quite like OkCupid does.

Rudder is the guy behind OkTrends, the *amazing* (though long defunct) blog that displays interesting statistics behind OkCupid users. He recently signed a sweet book deal, too.

Krohn mostly works on the tech side of things, and he’s also responsible for SparkNotes (so you can all thank him for that).

The presentation of the award takes place on Sunday, November 4th at the Harvard Science Center. More information on the event can be found here.

I would still love to see Rachel Maddow accept this award at some point, but I guess that’s a two-way street. In the meantime, these guys are well-deserving of the accolade.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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