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Phil Zuckerman, PhD, joins Brighter Brains Institute’s Board of Directors

Posted: Wed, February 22, 2017 | By: BBI News

Brighter Brains Institute is very proud to welcome Phil Zuckerman as a new member of our Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have his support for our efforts.

His biography (from Wikipedia) is below:

Philip “Phil” Zuckerman (born June 26, 1969 in Los Angeles, California) is a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He specializes in the sociology of secularity. He is the author of several books, including Society Without God (2008) for which he won ForeWord Magazine’s silver book of the year award, and Faith No More (2011).

Zuckerman has been a guest professor at the Aarhus University, in Denmark, one of the world’s most secular countries. His research interests are secularity, atheism, apostasy, and Scandinavian culture.

Phil Zuckerman’s 2008 book Society without God notes that Denmark and Sweden, “probably the least religious countries in the world, and possibly in the history of the world”, enjoy “among the lowest violent crime rates in the world [and] the lowest levels of corruption in the world”.[11] Zuckerman identifies that Scandinavians have “relatively high rates of petty crime and burglary”, but “their overall rates of violent crime—such as murder, aggravated assault, and rape—are among the lowest on earth” In 2009, New York Times columnist Peter Steinfels commented that Society Without God provides evidence that an irreligious society can flourish.

Zuckerman’s Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions was released in 2014.

The American Humanist Association has featured Zuckerman as a speaker on rising irreligion in the United States.Zuckerman is on the editorial board of Secularism and Nonreligion and is a convener of the Non-religion and Secularity Research Network conference.

Zuckerman has commented that 20% of the United States are irreligious, and 30% of citizens under 30 are. Zuckerman has commented that religion is often conflated with patriotism in the United States. He has argued that the majority of non theists in America are not drawn to the “aggressive form of atheism” of American Atheists.

Zuckerman has found that murder rates in Scandinavian countries lowered after abolishing the death penalty, and has opposed the use in the United States.

Zuckerman has found that the religiously unaffiliated tend to be more inclined to progressive politics, and the decline in Protestant Christianity in America is a blow to conservative causes. Zuckerman has commented on the rise of secular Judaism. Zuckerman commented that growing atheist movements in the United States were a response to the impact of the Christian right.

In 2011 he founded and currently chairs the first Secular Studies program. When the secular studies program was announced, the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College noted it was the first program to offer a degree in secular studies. The program lets students major in Secular Studies, including in a core course “Sociology of Secularity.” The first student to graduate from Pitzer College with a degree in secular studies was the first student in the United States with such a major.

Zuckerman lives in Claremont with his wife and three children.

His faculty profile page at Pitzer is HERE


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