Interview with Dr. Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. on Updates with Humanism in Victoria

by | June 7, 2019

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. is the Director of CFI-Victoria. I reached out to Dr. Shulman for another interview. She agreed. By the way, she is retired, and still giving interviews.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some new humanist community updates?

Dr. Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci.: In our current Canadian secular humanist community, I’d say, three groups are of major progressive activity hence of practical importance and promise:

a) continuing publication of the Humanist Perspectives, our only but excellent an umbrella-type Canadian humanist periodical; that has become an international voice for secular humanism (they have now subscribers in UK, Germany, Greece, etc);

b) continuing uniting activity of the CFIC with its branches as outlined in their periodic publications (“Critical Links”);

c) local secular humanist groups’ activity.

Jacobsen: What have been some important political and social developments in your locale?

Shulman: Two years ago (May 2017) the first-ever CFI Victoria branch was created and has been active since; it has by now become 156-member-strong and has had regular meetings, panel discussions, Solstice parties as well as has participated in the fight against the anti-blasphemy law in the petitions-on-line, etc. The CFIV is a big step forward in the B.C secular humanist social movement.

Jacobsen: If we’re looking at becoming part of the national conversation, what are the main impetuses for you? 

Shulman: Fighting re-surging populism, nationalism, antisemitism, racism, misogyny, supporting the liberal democratic values.

Jacobsen: How can individual humanists and atheists, and other freethinkers, in Canada become part of the Humanist Canada Discussion List?

Shulman: One should apply to the HCA board, I suppose, and, technically speaking, click on and follow the instructions the List offers at the end of some of its email.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the long-term themes for the discussion groups? In other words, what interests humanists?

Shulman: In broad terms, I’d say, preservation and further development of the core ideas of globalization, unification, and of the European Renaissance against attacks from the far-right and from the far-left as well (fanaticism, intolerance, fascism, nationalism, isolationism, misogyny).

Jacobsen: Any things to look forward to, for the rest of 2019 and into 2020 for the humanist community and its dialogues?

Shulman: Wider reach and embrace of the younger part of the population; our average member-age is currently too high. 🙂

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Dr. Shulman.

Shulman: Thank you, Scott. Please, keep me updated.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.

Photo by Silas Baisch on Unsplash

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About Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email, his website, or Twitter.

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