Organization Promoting Secularism and Science Granted Representation at United Nations

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2005
Contact: Jefferson Seaver, Communications - (207) 358-9785

AMHERST, N.Y. August 3, 2005—The Center for Inquiry–Transnational (CFI), devoted to science, reason, and free inquiry in all areas of human interest, announced today that it has been granted “special consultative status” as a non-governmental organization or NGO under the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

This entitles the Center for Inquiry to designate official representatives to UN headquarters in New York and UN offices in Geneva and Vienna. The Center for Inquiry can participate in conferences and briefings open to NGOs, and generally present the scientific and secular perspective to the international community.

The Center for Inquiry maintains Centers or CFI Communities in Amherst, N.Y., New York City, Los Angeles, Tampa, and communities in fourteen other cities in North America. It also has Centers in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Russia, Peru, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, India, Nepal, and New Zealand, and is in the process of establishing a Center in China and elsewhere.

Professor Paul Kurtz, chairman of the Center movement, commented, “As the planetary community faces unprecedented challenges in the future, it should be guided by humanist values and scientific rationality. In an age of clashing fundamentalisms and unprecedented missionary evangelism, the commitment to secular government and freedom of conscience should be heard. In the coming century of bio-genetic science, scientific inquiry offers great opportunities for humankind and should be encouraged, not censored. Scientific rationalism needs to be present in deliberations at the UN.”

Officials at the Center for Inquiry noted that “given right-wing opposition to the UN, it is important that its supporters be enlisted to defend its aims. The world needs a new planetary ethic that recognizes our interdependence, and we need to find common ground for all members of the global community,” they said.

# # #

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at