Professor Al-Khalili OBE joins Accord

November 8, 2013

Profesor Al-Khalili OBE

The theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster Professor Al-Khalili has been today been welcomed as a Distinguished Supporter of the Accord Coalition. Professor Al-Khalili is currently Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. In recent years he has become one of the country’s leading Science broadcasters on radio and television and in 2012 became President of the British Humanist Association.

Explaining his decision to support Accord Professor Al-Khalili said ‘Rather than to narrow horizons or divide, state funded schools should be made open and suitable for all, regardless of religion and belief. It is on this basis that I am very pleased to support the Accord Coalition, which seeks to ensure schools do not advocate a narrow or exclusive agenda, but better prepare children and young people for a life of respectful engagement in a mixed belief society in which all are free to question and be positively critical.’

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE said ‘As a leading humanist, Professor Al-Khalili compliments the religious leaders who are Distinguished Supporters of Accord and indicates the broad consensus across the spectrum that the way many faith schools operate – with discriminatory admission policies and limited curriculum – does not serve the best interests of either the children at them or society at large.’

Last week Accord welcomed Conservative Peer and former Secretary of State for Education, Lord Baker of Dorking, to its list of supporters in Parliament. Professor Al-Khalili joins Accord’s growing list of supporters who have had distinguished careers in academia, who include:

  • Professor Baroness Blackstone, former Minister for Education and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich
  • Professor Colin Blakemore, Fellow of the Royal Society and former chief executive of the British Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Professor Ted Cantle CBE, Chair of the Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) Foundation and national expert on inter-cultural relations
  • Dr. Amanullah De Sondy, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Miami, Florida
  • Professor A.C. Grayling, philosopher and author
  • Professor Steve Jones, geneticist, author and broadcaster
  • Professor Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government
  • Reverend Professor Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
  • Sir Richard Roberts, Nobel Laureate in Medicine
  • Professor Lord Smith, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster

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