On Thursday November 4, 2010 Siðmennt conferred its annual awards at a reception held at Hotel Loftleiðir in Reykjavik. The recipient of this year’s Humanist award was Hörður Torfason a famous Icelandic troubadour and social activist for his efforts and commitment to the cause of human rights in Iceland.
Hörður has been a role model for social activism for many decades starting with helping to form an organization for gay rights in 1978 which went on to promote a sea change in the attitude of Icelanders towards LGBT people. Hörður organized mass demonstrations to support the rights of foreigners and asylum seekers in Iceland and played a significant role in the peaceful “Pots and Pans Revolution” in Iceland after the economic collapse of the nation in 2008. Hörður has shown bravery and great determination in his effort to make society more humane and broad-minded.
For the third time, Siðmennt also presented its Education and Science Award for important contributions to educating the public in Iceland. The recipient of the Education and Science Award for 2010 was Ari Trausti Guðmundsson a prominent earth scientist and prolific author. Ari Trausti has educated the Icelandic public (as well as the international community) about many areas of science. He has written 50 books, written innumerable articles, produced dozens of documentaries, radio and TV shows and series, DVDs, held countless lectures, and taught for many years. In addition he has done major research and consultation in Iceland and abroad. He has been a journalist, editor, held art exhibitions and written short stories and poems. His productivity has been extraordinary! Ari Trausti is irrefutably a Renaissance man!
The awards reception included a musical performance by 2 Siðmennt members and for the first time a cabinet minister (Minister of Justice and Human Rights) attended our event.