Evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins is to receive the inaugural Humanists UK Darwin Day Medal on 12 February 2019. The award commemorates his fifteen years of chairing the Humanists UK Darwin Day Lecture, and his life’s work advancing public understanding of science.
At the event, Richard will be handing over his role as honorary chair of the Darwin Day Lecture to Professor Alice Roberts, and joining her for an armchair discussion about his life in science, Darwin’s legacy, and the place of humanism in the world today.
In chairing the Darwin Day Lecture since 2003, Richard has helped to cement the event firmly in national consciousness. He has shared a stage with many of the world’s leading scientists as part of an annual tradition of celebrating the life of Charles Darwin and his influential discovery of evolution by natural selection. The event is regularly attended by 1,000 or more people each year.
Close to 2,000 are expected to attend the Darwin Day Lecture in 2019. The occasion will also mark one of Alice’s first official appearances in her new role as President of Humanists UK.
Tickets to the Darwin Day Lecture 2019 are on sale now, and are expected to sell out quickly.
Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said,
‘It is a great honour to be able to award our first ever Darwin Day medal to Professor Richard Dawkins, in recognition of his lifetime of achievements in science and commemorating a 15-year tenure as honorary chair of the Darwin Day Lecture.
‘Alice makes the perfect successor to Richard in the role of chair, sharing his passion for evolutionary biology, his commitment to humanism, and his zeal for improving public understanding of science. It is a privilege to be able to bring these two brilliant scientists together for one night only. The event should be a real treat for science fans and humanists of all ages.’
To purchase tickets to the Darwin Day Lecture 2019, go to humanists.uk/darwin2019.
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At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.
Each February, people around the world come together for Darwin Day, a celebration of the life of Charles Darwin and his enormously influential discovery of evolution by natural selection. Humanists UK has organised a Darwin Day Lecture in London each year since 2003, and it is the largest event of its kind in the UK.
Richard Dawkins is one of the best known scientists in the world. He is author of The Selfish Gene, a book which upturned our understanding of natural selection and was in 2017 named the most influential science book of all time. Richard is also author of The God Delusion, which caused a global sensation upon publication in 2006 and sold over 3 million copies.
Alice Roberts will serve as President of Humanists UK from January 2019. She is an evolutionary biologist, anatomist, paleopathologist, and osteoarchaeologist of considerable acclaim, and Professor of Public Understanding of Science at the University of Birmingham, a broadcaster, and the author of best-selling books such as The Celts and The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being. In December 2018, she will present the Royal Institution’s annual Christmas Lectures.
Previous Darwin Day lecturers include Dr Diana S. Fleischman, Professor Maggie Smith, Professor Jerry Coyne, Dr Eugenie Scott, Professor Alice Roberts, Professor Sir David King, Dr Adam Rutherford, and Dr Susan Blackmore.