Richard Dawkins, noted evolutionary biologist and international bestselling author, is coming to UConn April 9 for a discussion regarding his views on science, secularism, and reason.
Widely viewed as one of the world’s most prominent scientists and atheists, Dawkins is the former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. He has authored several popular science books including The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. His most recent, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, released in September 2013, is the first of a two-part memoir.
Dawkins’ appearance at UConn is made possible through the President’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
“An Evening with Richard Dawkins” begins at 7 p.m. on April 9 in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean Jeremy Teitelbaum will join Dawkins on stage for an hour-long discussion. The discussion will include time for audience questions.
The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. A book signing with Dawkins will take place in the Jorgensen main lobby immediately following the discussion until 8:30 p.m.
Dawkins rose to international prominence with the publication of The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press) in 1976. In the book, he expressed a gene-centered approach to evolution that some view as a dramatic reformulation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. It was Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene, who first coined the term meme, as a noun implying an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.
In The God Delusion, published in 2006, Dawkins not only asserts the irrationality of believing in a supreme being, he argues that religion has caused harm around the world by encouraging divisiveness and oppression. Dawkins is considered one of the popular writers of the New Atheism movement.
In 2009, Dawkins laid out an elaborate and passionate scientific argument in support of evolution in The Greatest Show on Earth, another New York Times bestseller. Dawkins believes it is natural selection and DNA, rather than “intelligent design,” that is responsible for all of the remarkable beauty, complexity, and diversity we see in living creatures around the globe today.
by Colin Poitras