Days of Atheism 2023


Richard Dawkins is a famous British evolutionary biologist, science populariser and author; a vocal critic of religion, and the most well-known atheist in the World.
Professor at the University of Oxford until 2008, currently an Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford. He is a theorist of biological evolution. He gained worldwide fame with his book The Selfish Gene (1976), which popularised the gene as the principal unit of selection in evolution and introduced the concept of the meme. His book The Extended Phenotype (1982) made an important contribution to evolutionary biology by showing that the phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism’s body, but can extend to the environment, including the bodies of other organisms. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation  for Reason and Science. Richard Dawkins is an outspoken opponent of creationism and the pseudoscientific concept of intelligent design, as well as of homeopathy, alternative medicine, dowsing, etc. For him, the logical consequence of understanding evolution is atheism. He is a well-known critic of religion. His most popular book, The God Delusion (2006), had an impact on changing the worldview of large numbers of people. In it, Dawkins argues that there is no reason to recognize the existence of a supernatural creator, and that religious beliefs are delusional and incompatible with science. In science, Dawkins sees not only a source of knowledge, but also aesthetic sensations, admiration for the beauty of nature (Unweaving the Rainbow and others). Several books by Richard Dawkins have been translated and published in Poland, including: The Selfish Gene, River Out of Eden, A Devil’s Chaplain, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Magic of Reality, An Appetite for Wonder, A Brief Candle in the Dark, The Four Horsemen, Outgrowing God. Richard Dawkins has won numerous prestigious academic and writing awards and honorary doctorates. As a public intellectual, he regularly speaks in television and radio debates, predominantly on science and atheism.

AILA was born on February 19, 2023, in an atheist family in Warsaw. Since the very first moments of her life, she has been distinguished by her extraordinary beauty and intelligence. She learns very quickly and can already boast of a lot of knowledge in various fields. She is also very gifted artistically, especially poetically, as you will see. During the conference, Aila will be both a panelist and a participant asking questions from the audience.

Dan Barker is an American atheist activist, musician, composer, and author.
He served as an evangelican Christian preacher and composer for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984. Together with his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor, he is the current co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, and the cofounder of The Clergy Project. He has written numerous articles for Freethought Today, an American freethought newspaper. He is the author of several books including Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist. His lectures and debates are characterized by clarity and knowledge of modern physics, cosmology and biology. Dan Barker is also a pianist, jazz musician and composer of two children’s musicals and of many songs

David Rand is a Canadian author, blogger, and atheist activist. Founder and president of the Atheist Freethinkers Canada, author of two editions (English and French) of the blog Atheology (Atheologie) and of numerous articles on atheism, secularism, human rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, etc. Author of the book “Stillbirth: The Failure of Secularism in the English-Speaking World”.  Speaker of the Days of Atheism 2016, 2017 and 2018 in Warsaw and the winner of the Special Award of the Kazimierz Lyszczyński Foundation.

Marek Łukaszewicz – President of the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation. He started his activism for atheism within the Polish Association of Rationalists (2011), from 2012 he was the president of the Warsaw Branch until its dissolution in 2014, when, together with former members of the Polish Rationalist Association, he founded the Atheist Coalition. He served as its president until 2015. He is a co-founder of the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation (2013) and has been its president since the beginning. In 2017, he co-founded the quarterly “Przegląd Ateisttyczny”, in which he is responsible for graphics, typesetting and photographic documentation.

Nina Sankari (Poland) is a feminist and atheist activist, co-founder, and vice-president of the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation. She has published articles in, Fakty i Mity, Faktycznie, La Raison, Charlie Hebdo, 50/50, La Respublica. She is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of “Przegląd Ateistyczny” (Atheist Review). Named by Gazeta Wyborcza one of the 50 bold women 2018 who change the world for the better, the winner of the One Law for All Foundation Award (London 2018), nominated for the Equality Glasses (Warsaw 2019). One of the main organizers of the Days of Atheism in Warsaw.

Mohamed Cisse was born in the Côte d’Ivoire. Subjected to religious indoctrination since childhood, he grew up more in fear of hell than in the hope of paradise. He was prepared to be a successor to his father, who was an imam and a highly respected community leader. Mohamed was trained early to be a muezzin and a preacher, and during Ramadan he was invited to conduct prayer- nights in wealthy Muslim families. He was compared to the most famous preachers of Saudi Arabia: Imam Abdullah Al-Matrood and Abdul-Basit. He could read the Quran with a dramatic voice and was called a “Haafiz” (who knows the Quran by heart). Since disregarding the faith of his childhood, he has realized that without religion he is a much better person and is proud to serve to serve on The Clergy Project’s Board of Directors as Treasurer.
Dr Joanna Różyńska is an assistant professor at the Department of Ethics and the Centre for Bioethics and Biolaw at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw. From 2007 to 2017, she was a co-coordinator and lecturer at the NIH-funded Fogarty CEE Advanced Certificate Program in Research Ethics. Since 2011, a member and since 2019, the chairwoman of the Bioethics Committee at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Since 2018, a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee. Member of the WHO Research Ethics Review Committee, the Compassionate Use Advisory Committee (NYU School of Medicine, USA), the National Transplantation Council and the Rector’s Commission for the Ethics of Scientific Research of the University of Warsaw. Her scientific interests focus on the ethics of scientific research involving humans. Author of numerous publications and books on bioethics and medical law.

Spokesperson for One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom and a National Secular Society Honorary Associate. The Islamic regime of Iran’s media outlets have called Namazie ‘immoral and corrupt’ and she has been barred and no platformed for speaking out against Islam and Islamism and defending the right to apostasy and blasphemy. She was awarded the 2016 International Secularism (Laïcité) Prize from the Comité Laïcité République and was honoured by the National Secular Society for her campaigning work defending free speech at universities (2016). She was also awarded Atheist of the Year by Kazimierz Lyszczynski (2014), Journalist of the Year at the Dods Women in Public Life Awards (2013), selected one of the top 45 women of the year by Elle magazine Québec (2007), one of 2006′s most intriguing people by DNA, awarded the National Secular Society’s Secularist of the Year Award (2005), amongst others.

Prof. Paweł Golik (Poland) is a Polish geneticist, professor of biological sciences, popularizer of science.Director of the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Warsaw. He deals with the issues of RNA processing and stability in yeast and vertebrate mitochondria, evolutionary biology, and bioinformatics, as well as molecular phylogenetics. His research interests include, i.e., studies of the function and evolution of nucleus-encoded proteins involved in RNA metabolism in mitochondria, the use of yeast to model human diseases associated with impaired nuclear control of mitochondrial genome expression, paleogenomics and comparative genomics. He cooperates with artists working on the border of science and art. Paweł Golik is a Chairman of the Council for the Dissemination of Science

Polish atheist activist. Founder and long-term president of the Polish Freedom from Religion Foundation aimed at informing public opinion about issues related to atheism, promoting the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, as well as counteracting discriminatory practices against non-religious minorities. She is an author and co-author of numerous campaigns, i.e., I do not kill. I do not steal. I do not believe (inGod); Equality in school; School is not a Church, Science, I trust you, You have the right not to believe.

Annie Laurie Gaylor is an American atheist, secular and women’s rights activist and a co-founder of – and, with her husband Dan Barker, a current co-president of – the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the largest american organization (30.000 members) promoting non-teistic worldview and defending rights of atheists. She was also the editor of the organization’s newspaper, Freethought Today (published ten times per year) until 2015. Gaylor is the author of several books, including fondamental books on position of the Church towards women i.e. Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children and, as editor, Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters.

Ewa Bartnik is a Professor in the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw. Research on human mitochondrial diseases. Author of over 130 papers and recipient of numerous grants. Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Cologne, Germany 1986-1988; post doc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 1976-1977. Member of many grant review bodies in Poland as well as for the European Commission. 2006-2009 Member of the OECD PISA Science Expert Group, 2010-2017 member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, since 2015 Member of the Bioethics Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2016 and 2021 member of the European Commission Identification committee for selection of EGE (European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies) members. 2019 – 2021 member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing.

Prof. Krzysztof Dołowy – Polish professor of natural sciences, biologist, physicist, chemist, science popularizer, politician, specialist in biophysics and electrophysiology, author of over hundreds scientific papers and books, scholarship holder in Boston, Nashville, Glasgow, Helsinki, Cardiff, long-time head of the Department of Physics at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences SGGW, Member of Parliament on behalf of the Democratic Union 1993, member of the Mazovian State Parliament in 1998, co-founder of the Association for Independent Humanism and Ethics, member of the Polish Radio Program Council and numerous societies and scientific committees, liberal, humanist, atheist.

Anjuli Pandavar is a British writer and social critic. She teaches English for
Academic Purposes and is the owner of For Advanced English. She holds an
undergraduate degree and four higher degrees from universities on three
continents. Anjuli grew up Muslim under Apartheid in South Africa and has
been an atheist for forty-four years. She is the author of Islam. Wiara a
człowieczeństwo, published by Stapis in Poland. She writes social critiques on
her website Murtadd to Human and occasionally on Listy z naszego sadu and
Jihad Watch.

Prof. Jan Hartman is a Polish philosopher of Jewish origin, bioethicist, professor of humanities, publisher, columnist, academic teacher, and politician. An avowed atheist. Author of books in the field of philosophy, ethics, and bioethics. Columnist of the weekly “Polityka”. Author of the blog “Loose Blues”and of articles published in Gazeta Wyborcza, Tygodnik Powszechny, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Rzeczpospolita, Newsweek. Prof. Hartman is the winner of the title of Atheist of the Year 2014 awarded by the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation, and since 2015 a permanent member of the jury of this contest. Pictured: Jan Hartman as Lyszczyński (2014)

Marta Lempart is a Polish women’s rights activist and the founder of the All-Poland Women’s Strike. Active since 2016 in widespread protests against tightening abortion laws under the conservative Law and Justice party, Lempart has been targeted by the government with arrests and legal charges, and faced death threats from opponents of the protests. Her work has also included advocating for equal rights for members of Poland’s LGBT community and for people with disabilities. She is a vocal proponent of secularism and the separation of church and state. She was awarded the Title of the Atheist and Feminist of the Year 2019 by the Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation.

Maciej Podgórski – founder of the Teraz Nauka (Science Now) Foundation, which since 2020 has been publishing the Scientific Calendar and sending it to schools in Poland. He permanently cooperates with the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation.
Michael Nugent is an Irish writer and activist. He has written, co-written or contributed to seven books and the comedy musical play I, Keano. He is a chairperson of the Atheist Ireland, an organization promoting atheism, rationalism, and ethical secularism in Ireland and around the world. As a co-founder of Right to Die Ireland he takes part in the fight for the right to die with dignity. Atheist Ireland led by Michael Nugent campaigned with success to reject the ban on abortion and the crime of “blasphemy” in his country. He is the winner of the Atheist of the Year Award 2017 and a permanent Atheist of the Year Jury member since then.
Nada Peratowić – Feminist and humanist activist, founder, and president of the association “Center for Civic Courage” in Croatia and board member of the “Association of Freethinkers of Switzerland. Author of the books “Humanism for children” and “Good human being”. Initiator and leader of the “Brave Sisters” project offering psychological support and help to women in need of abortion.

Hugo Estrella is an international peace and human rights activist from Argentina, former Director of International Affairs at the CFI Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, founder of the Argentine Secular Humanist Association. Former Director of Latin America at the Institute for Secular Politics. He is a representative of the Pink Triangle Trust. Hugo Estrella will speak at the Days of Atheism in Warsaw for the third time.

Dr. Tomasz Witkowski is a psychologist, writer, publicist, skeptic. Author of several books published in Poland and the USA, including Fades, Fakes, and Frauds. Exploding Myths in Culture, Science and Psycho-logy. He has published several dozen scientific articles and several hundred popular science articles in Poland, e.g. in Polityka, Plus Minus, Newsweek and abroad in Skeptical Inquirer, BPS Research Digest, Areo Magazine, Quillette and others. Founder of the Polish Skeptics Club and a member of the Polish Rationalist Association. He worked as a researcher at two universities in Poland and two in Germany. In 2010, he was awarded the Rationalist of the Year award for his activities, and in 2020 he was the winner of the “Soczewki Focusa”, scientific plebiscite in the “scientific activist” category.

Anna Zawadzka (pseudonym: Anka Zet) is a Polish educator, journalist, publisher, film producer, LGBT activist. She published in “Życie Warszawy”, was a journalist of the Warsaw Television Centre, cooperated with the weekly NIE . He publishes on and portals. Author of books for youth, i.e. “Souvenir of the First Holy Communion”.

Rafał Betlejewski is an independent artist and social activist, theater performer, radio and TV journalist, columnist and writer. In his work he focuses on issues of identity, social roles, violence, discrimination and exclusion. His most notorious programs are: “I miss you, Jew” – a study of Polish antisemitism, “Burning Barn” – reconstruction of Polish folklore Holocaust, “Milk in TR Warsaw” – theatre in your living room, “I Do Not Want It” – stories of harassment, “And Would I Go?” – thinking about the Warsaw Uprising, “Hunger/Głód” – experimenting with the new morality and many more. He reached a broader audience through his TV programs. Rafal Betlejewski is the author of the recently published “365 Lessons of Religion for the Whole Family Planning to Break Free” and a social media campaign discussing the history of the Catholic Church and the role of catholic mythology in Polish mentality.

Sami Abdallah is a diligent Lebanese civil society activist residing in Germany, Sami Abdallah is a theoretical physicist by profession. He has worked extensively to fight against discrimination and the negative social stereotypes that vilify atheists in Lebanon and the Arab World, and has been closely involved in offering protection to those who have been threatened because of their atheism. Sami is the co-founder and president of Freethought Lebanon, created in 2007 as an initiative that aims to empower freethinkers in Lebanon in order to promote science and humanism, encourage critical thinking, disseminate secular values and protect freethinkers at risk.

Shirajum Monira Erina is originally from Bangladesh and currently based in Warsaw, Poland. She left her country at the age of 18 in the hope of establishing a career in particle physics, a seemingly impossible goal for a girl coming from her background. At present, she is working as a doctoral researcher in a major high-energy physics experiment at the LHC, CERN. She also founded a start-up FEOTA Oy to popularize science, encourage scientific thinking and help students from less developed countries in realizing their careers in STEM.
Stanisław Obirek – Polish theologian, historian, cultural anthropologist, professor of humanities, full professor at the University of Warsaw, former Jesuit. His research interests focus on the place of religion in contemporary culture, interreligious dialogue, the consequences of the Holocaust and the possibilities of overcoming religious, civilizational and cultural conflicts.
Author of numerous books and co-author with Zygmunt Bauman of several publications, i.e. “On God and Man”.

Tonoy is known in Bangladesh for his columns (ex. in the Dhaka Tribune and on atheist platforms) that champion equality and free inquiry, and critique extremist religious and political ideologies. Targeted by extremists, he had to flee from Bangladesh, and now lives in Germany. His main task is to organize support for atheists and human rights defenders at risk. Aside from his roles in atheist organizations, he coordinates ‘Secular 5’, a collaboration between Secular Rescue, Secular Underground Network, Secular Refugee Relief, Atheist Support Network, and Atheist Refugee Assistance Program. He is supervising several blasphemy legal battles and at-risk atheist cases across the globe. He will speak on how the global atheist community can support the victims more effectively.
Anna Maziarska (she/her) – Polish-Belarusian feminist, queer activist, and the youngest member of the Warsaw Women’s Council. She is a member of the Council of the Women’s Congress Association. Involved in activities for education (including the introduction of civic, sexual, and anti-discrimination education in Polish schools) and reducing gender inequalities on all fronts. She is one of the founders of the “Write to the Calendar” program, which helps young women enter politics. For the National Women’s Strike, she coordinated the “Family Oriented” campaign for the rights of rainbow families and marriage equality for LGBTQ+ people. At the XIV Congress of Women, she organized a panel entitled “LGBTQ+ – marriages of the future?”. 
Mohamed Hisham, a Human rights activist. He is known for his daring TV-appearance in Cairo, Egypt, in which he advocated for secularism, the speration between the mosque and the state and The rights of Ex-Muslim Atheists. 
Mohamed had to escape his country, Egypt, as a consequence of the public backlash against expressing his critical political position on religion, to start a new life in the West.
Urtė Žukauskaitė-Zabukė is a co-founder and CEO of Humanists in Lithuania „Happy human“. The organization provides secular services and promotes humanist values since 2016.  The organization grew up to a team of 44 trained celebrants and conducted around 1000 ceremonies since. 
Urtė has been working with social entrepreneurship, human rights and critical thinking since 2014. She was CEO for rural development social enterprise at National Institute for Social Integration and president of the Lithuanian Sceptics Association. 
Christian Kobluk – Polish essayist, specialist in the field of refugee rights in the parliamentary office of Tomasz Aniśko, author of ‘Notes of a black Pole’. In addition to the humanitarian crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, he deals also with the issue of anti-discrimination education, student rights and prejudices in school curricula.
Piotr Szwajcer – Polish publisher and translator. Among many other titles he has also translated and published numerous books by Richard Dawkins (and other New Atheists). He’s been involved in book publishing for almost fifty years and in popularizing science for more than a quarter of a century. Sometimes he also writes something on the subject, and sometimes he lectures. But less and less often. He has never had to leave any church because he has never belonged to any. During the communist era he was an anti-communist; in the Trzecia (and subsequent) Rzeczpospolita, he became an anti-cleric. Most preferably, he would have been an apatheist. Religion (apart from being dangerous) is boring.
Stanisław Pisarek (Poland). The true Renaissance man: traveler, alpinist, Himalaya mountaineer, well-known publisher of books on mountains, for 30 years he has been the owner of the “Stapis” publishing house, in which he published, i.e., unique on a global scale Great Encyclopedia of Mountains and Mountaineering. Publisher of the so-called Blue series, consisting of dozens of atheistic or critical towards religion books. Atheistic humanism seems to be the leitmotif of the books in this series. They include both the latest works of Polish and foreign authors, as well as important (but today forgotten) figures of this trend in the past like e.g., Baudouin de Courtenay.

Co-creator of the Atlas of Hate – a project monitoring anti-LGBT zones in Poland. Since three years of creation of Atlas, the number of local government units with anti-LGBT resolutions has decreased by a third. Atlas was sued by 7 institutions represented by Ordo Iuris. All the accusations so far have been dismissed. Atlas has won several awards, i.e.  from the KPH (Campaign Against Homophobia), the Paris Mayor, the committees of the Madrid and Berlin Pride Parades. Atlas was also nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize. Jakub Gavron is also a co-organizer of the Equality March in Rzeszów – the first on the so-called Eastern wall of Poland, renown for the fundamentalist Catholicism.

Prof. Konrad Talmont-Kaminski is the Head of the Society & Cognition Unit at the University of Bialystok. His research focuses on the cognitive and evolutionary basis of religion. Konrad studied at the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Ontario. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Monash University in Australia and was a fellow of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Vienna. In 2014 he published Religion as a Magical Ideology with Routledge. In that book he argued that religions combine reliance upon cognitive by-products typical of magical beliefs and practices, as well as the function of motivating prosocial behavior typical of ideologies. Since then, Talmont-Kaminski has pursued several collaborative empirical efforts to explore various aspects of the account presented in his book.
Łukasz Paweł Polowczyk, PhD of philosophy, Polish poet, transhumanist. He is the author of a volume of poetry “Takeaway Last Judgment”, and co-author of the book “30th anniversary of capitalism restitution in Poland”. His research is focused on human enhancement, neofeudalism, and shadow integration in music.  
Piotr Szumlewicz – Polish writer, publicist, radio journalist, editor of the portal, trade union activist. An avowed atheist, author of books, i.e., The Unholy Father and The Atheist’s Toolbox. The author of “The Unholy Father” already in 2012 presented critical voices about the pontificate of John Paul II in the form of sensational interviews with well-known Polish public figures. They talk about various aspects of the activity and teaching of the Polish Pope: his attitude towards women, LGBT, Protestants, liberal Catholics, pedophilia in the Church, money laundering and cooperation of the Vatican with bloody dictators. The author of this pioneering book dared to unveil the dark sides of Karol Wojtyla’s activity long before the current wave of criticism and knocking John Paul II off his pedestal.