Professor Richard Dawkins

One of the world's most respected scientists and a best-selling author

Professor Richard Dawkins photo

As a graduate of Oxford University, Professor Richard Dawkins studied under the Nobel prize winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen. In 1967 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley, returning to Oxford in 1969. He became a Fellow of New College in 1970, and retired in late 2008.

He became the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a position which he held for ten years. Professor Richard Dawkins was the International Cosmos Prize winner for 1997. In addition to the International Cosmos Prize, Professor Dawkins' awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Time Life 100 Most Influential People (2007), the Lewis Thomas Prize (2007), Galaxy Award 2007 for Best Author and Audible Download Book of the Year (for The God Delusion), and the Karlheinz Deschner Award (2007). He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Professor Dawkins's first book, The Selfish Gene (1976), became an immediate best-seller and has been translated into all major languages. Its more technical sequel, The Extended Phenotype, followed in 1982. The Blind Watchmaker (1986) won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Prize, both in 1987. His other best-sellers include River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998), A Devil's Chaplain (2003) and The Ancestor's Tale (2004). His most recent publication, The God Delusion (2006), has been an international best-seller and is translated into 45 languages. He is editor of The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) which has been recognised as one of the Top 20 Books of 2008. His new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, was published in September 2009.

Professor Dawkins has presented and participated in many TV series including The Genius of Britain, Inside Natures' Giants, Bang Goes the Theory, and The Age of Genome. In 2010 Channel 4 held a special Dawkins season on More 4 showing some of his programmes and adding a new, highly acclaimed programme: The Faith Schools Menace?

Professor Richard Dawkins has lectured around the world and has appeared in numerous television, radio, and media broadcasts. Of these, perhaps the most famous are the 1991 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.


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