The Bertrand Russell Society Aids Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

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Scholarly non-profit promotes the humanitarian vision of its namesake.

English philosopher, mathematician, and social activist, Lord Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), famously exhorted, "Remember your humanity, and forget the rest." The Bertrand Russell Society, a group of scholars and admirers devoted to Russell's works and life, has made contributions to alleviate the suffering of others. It previously helped Hurricane Sandy victims in the United States, and it just sent a thousand dollars to the Red Cross for typhoon victims in the Philippines. "It's not a lot of money, to be sure. We're a small organization, as non-profits go, but aside from more purely academic pursuits, we do what we can to fulfill Russell's larger vision," says its president, Alan Schwerin, a professor of philosophy at Monmouth University in New Jersey. "We're an international group, and we have members in that part of the world who may have been directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy," according to Schwerin.

Russell won the Noble Prize for literature in 1950, and he was known for his progressive and sometimes controversial stands. Aside from his influence on modern philosophy, mathematical logic, and even computer science, Russell is perhaps best known as an opponent of religion, early anti-war stances with both WWI and Vietnam, and his opposition to nuclear armaments. The group formed in his name was formed a few years after his death, and it consists of a number of well-known scholars, including some of the world's foremost Russell specialists in logic and philosophy. Honorary members consist of eminent scholars, activists, and statesmen, including Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Nelson Mandela, and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The Bertrand Russell Society is closely associated with the Russell Research Centre and Russell Archives at McMaster University in Canada. Information about the organization may be found on its web site at


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