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Richard Dawkins awarded for services to Humanism

Esteemed evolutionary biologist, Vice President and Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association, Professor Richard Dawkins FRS, this weekend received the award for Services to Humanism at the BHA’s the annual conference at the National Museum Cardiff.

DCAward2012Professor Richard Dawkins being presented with the award by BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson

The BHA has a tradition of recognising the contributions people make every day to support those with no religion. The Services to Humanism award was established to highlight the work of individuals who campaign, who support our work in education, who extend thinking in the field of Humanism, and who challenge the privilege that religious organisations hold in society.

The first Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University Professor Dawkins is an internationally renowned writer and speaker on scientific and secular topics, among his books, which have challenged and changed the way a generation thinks about science and the universe, are The Ancestor’s Tale, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, A Devil’s Chaplain, The Magic of Reality, and The God Delusion.

Professor Dawkins’ ability to present big ideas in engaging ways is a talent respected not only in Britain but the world over. The BHA is proud to award the 2012 Services to Humanism award for his tireless campaigning on issues, which includes his sponsorship of the 2009 Atheist Bus Campaign which raised over £100,000 in its first four days, the 2009 Please don’t label me billboard campaign which aimed to address the labelling children as if they innately belong to a particular religion, the 2010 Protest the Pope march and rally which saw over 10,000 people take to the streets to oppose the honour of a state visit being given to the Pope, and the 2011 Teach evolution, not creationism campaign which aims to ensure the Government makes it clear that creationism and ‘intelligent design’ are not scientific theories and to prevent them from being taught as such in publicly-funded schools.

Dawkins joins the ranks of formidable humanists who have received previous BHA awards, including author Phillip Pullman, Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe, evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley, and philosopher A J Ayer.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘Richard Dawkins is known for his brilliant and accessible writing on science and evolution and for his consistent and courageous defence of truth, science, and scientific method against superstition and unreason. His clear and rational arguments have been the catalyst for many people embracing humanist beliefs and values, and supporting the campaigns of the BHA. Richard’s has been one of the strongest voices in public debate on issues from ‘faith’ schools and their ability to discriminate, to freedom of speech. We are delighted to be able to recognise the important contribution he has made globally.’

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For further comment contact Sara Passmore on 020 7079 3586 or by email at sara@humanism.org.uk.

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