Monday, 1 January 2007


Some other random things you may or may not be interested to know.

I'm a member of the Humanist Philosophers' Group, a distinguished (but not slavish) supporter of the British Humanist Association and a Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion.

I was a commissioner on the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust's inquiry into destitution among asylum seekers, which reported in 2007. You can read about the commission here and this link opens a PDF of the report. The other commissioners were Kate Adie OBE, Courtenay Griffiths QC, Bill Kilgallon OBE and Sayeeda Warsi.

In 2006 I appeared as character in an Alexander McCall Smith novel. When interviewed McCall Smith for The Philosophers' Magazine I told him what I would write about in the journal edited by the fictional heroine of his Sunday Philosophy Club novels. He suggested I write to her and he'd see if he could get it in his next book. He did, as you'll find if you read Friends, Lovers, Chocolate. The embarrassing thing is that the subject was the importance of small, everyday things for morality, and I didn't write to thank him for six months. Still, he mentioned me again in The Careful Use of Compliments.

In 2005 I was the subject of a question in University Challenge
. Scroll down to the second story on this page to read all about it.

The quiz I set for the Guardian might provide insight into my mind. Not a terrible flattering one though. Have a go at it here.