Richard Dawkins Award

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Richard Dawkins Award
Photograph of Richard Dawkins Award kept on a red seat.
The 2016 Richard Dawkins Award, presented to Lawrence Krauss
Awarded forpublicly proclaiming "the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truth wherever it may lead."[1]
Presented byCenter for Inquiry
First awarded2003; 20 years ago (2003)
Currently held by20 individuals
Websitecenterforinquiry.org

The Richard Dawkins Award is an annual prize awarded by the Center for Inquiry (CFI). It was established in 2003 and was initially awarded by the Atheist Alliance of America coordinating with Richard Dawkins and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.[1] In 2019, the award was formally moved to CFI. [2] CFI is a US nonprofit organization that variously claims on its website to promote reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values, or science, reason, and secular values.[3] The award was initially presented by the Atheist Alliance of America to honor an "outstanding atheist", who taught or advocated scientific knowledge and acceptance of nontheism, and raised public awareness.[4] The award is currently presented by the Center for Inquiry to an individual associated with science, scholarship, education, or entertainment, and who "publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truth wherever it may lead."[1] They state that the recipient must be approved by Dawkins himself.[1]

The Richard Dawkins Award is named in honor of the eponymous British evolutionary biologist. In a 2013 poll conducted by Prospect magazine, Dawkins was ranked first in the list of "world thinkers" rankings. He is famous for his atheistic beliefs,[5] and has written books including The God Delusion and Outgrowing God: A Beginner's Guide.[6][7] The first Richard Dawkins Award was received by James Randi, a magician who investigated and debunked various paranormal claims.[8][9] In 2005, Penn Jillette and Teller, jointly as Penn & Teller, received the award.[10][11] In 2009, Bill Maher received the award; due to his views on vaccines and his criticism of evidence-based medicine, oncologist David Gorski referred to him receiving the award as "inappropriate".[12] In 2020, Javed Akhtar became the first Indian to receive the award.[13] In 2021, Tim Minchin received the award.[14] In 2022, Neil deGrasse Tyson received the award saying it was an honor that he would hold above all others.[15]

List of recipients[edit]

List of recipients of the Richard Dawkins Award
Year Portrait Name Notes[a] Ref(s).
2003 Photographic portrait of James Randi James Randi Randi was a magician who investigated and debunked mind-reading, ghost whispering, fortune-telling, and other paranormal claims. Professionally known as "Amazing Randi", he was a recipient of the MacArthur award.[9] [8]
2004 Photographic portrait of Ann Druyan Ann Druyan Druyan is a film producer, director, lecturer, and a writer. She is an agnostic, and asserts that religious faith is "antithetical to the values of science".[16][17][18] [1][10]
2005 Photographic portrait of Penn Jillette (right) and Teller (left) Penn & Teller Penn Jillette and Teller, jointly known as Penn & Teller, are an Emmy Award winning magician duo. Both identify as atheists.[11][19][20] [1][10]
2006 Photographic portrait of Julia Sweeney Julia Sweeney Sweeney is an actor and writer, notable for her work in Saturday Night Live. She has written My Beautiful Loss of Faith Story explaining her atheism.[21][22] [1][10]
2007 Photographic portrait of Daniel Dennett Daniel Dennett Dennett served as a professor and the director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He has authored various books including Consciousness Explained, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and Kinds of Minds.[23] He argues that we "must not preserve the myth of God – it was a useful crutch, but we've outgrown it."[24] [25]
2008 Photographic portrait of Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ali is a Somalian immigrant who served as a member of Dutch Parliament. She is a former Muslim converted to atheism, and a vocal critic of the Quran.[26] [4]
2009 Photographic portrait of Bill Maher Bill Maher Maher is a political satirist and the host of Real Time with Bill Maher. He starred in the 2008 film Religulous, which the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science referred as "the most prominent film against religion in the United States" of 2008.[27][28] [12]
2010 Photographic portrait of Susan Jacoby Susan Jacoby Jacoby is an author and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She is an atheist, and has authored various books, including The Age of American Unreason and Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion.[29][30] [4]
2011 Photographic portrait of Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens Hitchens was a journalist who authored the book God Is Not Great, which writer Susan Sontag called "the small world of those who till the field of ideas".[31] [32][33]
2012 Photographic portrait of Eugenie Scott Eugenie Scott Scott is an anthropologist who served as the director of National Center for Science Education. She is an atheist.[34] [35][36]
2013 Photographic portrait of Steven Pinker Steven Pinker Pinker is a linguist, psychologist, and a professor at Harvard University; he has authored How The Mind Works. He is an atheist.[37][38] [39]
2014 Photographic portrait of Rebecca Goldstein Rebecca Goldstein Goldstein is an author with a Ph.D. in philosophy. She is a recipient of 2014 National Humanities Medal. She authored the fictional book 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, which The Guardian writer Jonathan Beckman referred as "[mocking] the delusions of both the godly and the godless".[40][41][42] [43]
2015 Photographic portrait of Jerry Coyne Jerry Coyne Coyne is a professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He is a supporter of evolution, and asserts that "belief in God is [...] detrimental, even dangerous, and fundamentally incompatible with science."[44][45] [46]
2016 Photographic portrait of Lawrence Krauss Lawrence Krauss Krauss is an American-Canadian physicist. He has been referred by Melissa Pugh, then president of Atheist Alliance of America, as a "passionate advocate of atheism and reason known throughout the world".[47] [47]
2017 Photographic portrait of David Silverman David Silverman Silverman is an American who has served as the president of the American Atheists organization. The Washington Post referred to him as one of America's "most prominent atheists".[48][49] [50]
2018 Photographic portrait of Stephen Fry Stephen Fry Fry is a British comedian, actor, and an activist who received the award because of "his role in the world of skepticism, atheism, rationalism."[51] [51]
2019 Photographic portrait of Ricky Gervais Ricky Gervais Gervais is a British comedian, screenwriter, and actor, known for his critical thinking, rationalism, and secularism.[52] [52]
2020 Photographic portrait of Javed Akhtar Javed Akhtar Akhtar is a poet and lyricist, who is the first Indian to receive the award. He received the award for "critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values."[13] [53]
2021 Photographic portrait of Tim Minchin Tim Minchin Minchin is a musician and comedian, who received the award for "inspiring a global audience to find joy in reason, science, and skepticism."[54] [14]
2022 Photographic portrait of Neil deGrasse Tyson Neil deGrasse Tyson Tyson is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. [15]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No official citation for the award has been provided by the Atheist Alliance of America or by the Center for Inquiry. This column broadly outlines the work and views of the recipient.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Richard Dawkins Award". 11 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Richard Dawkins Award Moving to the Center for Inquiry". Center for Inquiry. April 16, 2019. Archived from the original on March 2, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  3. ^ "About | Center for Inquiry". 17 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "The Richards Dawkins Award". Atheist Alliance of America. Archived from the original on January 15, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  5. ^ Dugdale, John (April 25, 2013). "Richard Dawkins Named World's Top Thinker in Poll". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  6. ^ McCrum, Robert (April 4, 2016). "The 100 best nonfiction books: No 10 – The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  7. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (October 2, 2019). "This Life and Outgrowing God Review – Heaven, Atheism and What Gives Life Meaning". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on September 4, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Magicians, Skeptics Share Their Memories of James Randi". Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 45, no. 1. 2021. ISSN 0194-6730. Archived from the original on October 31, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (October 21, 2020). "James Randi, Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 22, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d "Richard Dawkins Award past winners – Javed Akhtar to Stephen Fry". Moneycontrol.com. Network18 Group. June 8, 2020. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (December 4, 1988). "Up to New Tricks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 9, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Gerbic, Susan (2016). "A Skeptic's Woe over Margaret Cho". Skeptical Inquirer. ISSN 0194-6730. Archived from the original on June 7, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Joshi, Namrata (June 8, 2020). "Javed Akhtar Becomes First Indian to Receive Richard Dawkins Award". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on August 12, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Richard Dawkins Award Presented to Tim Minchin". Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 46, no. 1. 2022. ISSN 0194-6730. Archived from the original on April 4, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  15. ^ a b Fidalgo, Paul (23 May 2022). "Neil deGrasse Tyson to Receive Richard Dawkins Award in Las Vegas, October 21". The Skeptical Inquirer. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Carl Sagan's Scientific 'Search for God'". NPR. December 22, 2006. Archived from the original on April 6, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Achenbach, Joel (1999). Captured by Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe. Simon & Schuster. pp. 95–96. ISBN 978-0-684-84856-3 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (June 18, 2014). "'Why is God telling me to stop asking questions?': Meet the woman behind Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos'". Salon.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  19. ^ Jillette, Penn (June 3, 2016). "Penn Jillette: Time for atheists to stand up and be counted". CNN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  20. ^ "Teller". Freedom From Religion Foundation. Archived from the original on April 6, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  21. ^ "Saturday Night Live's Julia Sweeney". NPR. Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  22. ^ Miller, David Ian (August 15, 2005). "Finding My Religion: Julia Sweeney Talks About How She Became an Atheist". San Francisco Chronicle. ISSN 1932-8672. Archived from the original on April 2, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  23. ^ "Daniel C. Dennett, Director". Tufts University. Archived from the original on March 5, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  24. ^ Dennett, Daniel (July 16, 2009). "The Folly of Pretence". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on December 1, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  25. ^ "Good Reasons for 'Believing' in God – Dan Dennett, AAI 2007". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. November 11, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  26. ^ Brockes, Emma (May 8, 2010). "Ayaan Hirsi Ali: 'Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on October 25, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  27. ^ "Political Satirist Bill Maher's 'New Rules'". NPR. August 9, 2005. Archived from the original on February 19, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  28. ^ "A Note About the 'Richard Dawkins Award' Being Presented to Bill Maher This Weekend". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. September 29, 2009. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  29. ^ "Susan Jacoby". PBS. February 15, 2008. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  30. ^ "'Strange Gods' Chronicles The History Of Secularism And Conversion". NPR. February 16, 2016. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  31. ^ Wilby, Peter (December 16, 2011). "Christopher Hitchens Obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  32. ^ "Christopher Hitchens: One Man's Service in the War Against Delusion". The Guardian. December 18, 2011. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on November 26, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  33. ^ Homberger, Eric (December 29, 2004). "Susan Sontag Obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  34. ^ Lam, Monica (February 7, 2003). "Berkeley Scientist Leads Fight to Stop Teaching of Creationism". San Francisco Chronicle. ISSN 1932-8672. Archived from the original on November 16, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  35. ^ "2012 Richard Dawkins Award for Eugenie Scott". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. September 2, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  36. ^ "2012 Richard Dawkins Award goes to Eugenie Scott". The Guardian. September 7, 2012. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  37. ^ Powell, Michael (July 15, 2020). "How a Famous Harvard Professor Became a Target Over His Tweets". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 10, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  38. ^ "Steven Pinker: The mind reader". The Guardian. November 6, 1999. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  39. ^ "Dr. Steven Pinker to Receive 2013 Richard Dawkins Award". Atheist Alliance of America. April 6, 2013. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  40. ^ "Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Named 2014 National Humanities Medal Recipient". New York University. September 13, 2015. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  41. ^ Schillinger, Liesl (January 29, 2010). "Prove It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  42. ^ Beckman, Jonathan (March 21, 2010). "36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Goldstein". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  43. ^ "Rebecca Goldstein Receives the Richard Dawkins Award at the Atheist Alliance of America Convention". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. August 11, 2014. Archived from the original on December 8, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  44. ^ "Jerry Coyne". UChicago News. University of Chicago. Archived from the original on January 2, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  45. ^ Tayler, Jeffrey (July 4, 2015). "Can Religion and Science Coexist?". The Atlantic. ISSN 1072-7825. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  46. ^ "Dr. Jerry Coyne Receives 2015 Richard Dawkins Award". Atheist Alliance of America. Archived from the original on May 8, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  47. ^ a b "Dr. Lawrence Krauss Receives the 2016 Richard Dawkins Award". Atheist Alliance of America. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  48. ^ "Update Regarding David Silverman". American Atheists. April 13, 2018. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  49. ^ "America's Leading Atheist, Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Speaks Out". September 6, 2018. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  50. ^ "David Silverman, 2017 Recipient of The Richard Dawkins Award". Atheist Alliance of America. 11 June 2017. Archived from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  51. ^ a b Morris, Andrea (October 25, 2018). "Stephen Fry Receives Richard Dawkins Award For Lack Of Faith". Forbes. ISSN 0015-6914. Archived from the original on April 5, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  52. ^ a b "2019 Richard Dawkins Award Goes to Ricky Gervais". Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 43, no. 6. 2019. ISSN 0194-6730. Archived from the original on July 21, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  53. ^ Fidalgo, Paul (2020). "Richard Dawkins Award Goes to Writer-Lyricist Javed Akhtar". Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 44, no. 5. ISSN 0194-6730. Archived from the original on July 20, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  54. ^ "Musician and Comedian Tim Minchin to Receive Richard Dawkins Award in Oxford, Oct. 10". Center for Inquiry. September 20, 2021. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2022.

External links[edit]