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“Global Population and the Planetary Future – 2011”

• Humanity 3000 Workshop
• October 2011

Walter P. Kistler Book Award

• Dr. Laurence C. Smith
• October 2011

12th Annual Kistler Prize

• Dr. Charles A. Murray
• September 2011

Norman Myers Lecture

• Walter P. Kistler Lecture Series
• May 2011

“Global Transitions and Asia 2060” Workshop

• Taipei, Taiwan
• November 2010

Peter Ward Lecture

• Walter P. Kistler Lecture Series
• October 2010

“Managing the Future”

• Talk by Sesh Velamoor
• July 2010

 

 

 

 

Awards

Kistler Prize

 

HOME | NOMINATION PROCESS | ADVISORY PANEL

RECIPIENTS 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

 

2001 Recipient

Dr. Richard Dawkins, FRS

Zoologist, Darwinist, Evolutionary Biologist
Charles Simonyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science
Oxford University

Dr. Richard Dawkins – zoologist, Darwinist, evolutionary biologist, Charles Simonyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, and Fellow of the Royal Society – was awarded the Kistler Prize for the year 2001.

Dr. Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to British parents in 1941. He spent his early childhood in Africa, until his parents returned to England in 1949. Following completion of undergraduate studies at Oxford University in 1962, he undertook doctoral studies at Oxford with noted ethologist and Nobel Prize winner Niko Tinbergen. Dr. Dawkins was Assistant Professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1960s before returning to Oxford as Lecturer, then Reader, in zoology. He was named a Fellow of New College in 1970. In 1995, he was chosen for the newly endowed Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science, and in May 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, founded in 1660 for the promotion of excellence in science and numbering Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and Charles Darwin among its Fellows.

The work for which Dr. Dawkins was awarded the Kistler Prize is the ethology of the gene, work that redirected the focus of the “levels of selection” debate away from the individual animal as the unit of evolution to the genes, and what he has called their extended phenotypes. At the same time, he applied a Darwinian view to culture through the concept of memes as replicators of culture. Dr. Dawkins’ powerful contribution to a new understanding of the relationship between the human genome and society is that both the gene and the meme are replicators that mutate and compete in parallel and interacting struggles for their own propagation.

In his first book, The Selfish Gene, published in 1976 with a second edition in 1989, Dr. Dawkins argued that we, and all other animals, are survival machines created by our genes. His second book, The Extended Phenotype (1982), emphasized the extended phenotypic expression of the gene beyond the individual organism. He continued to expound his concepts in his subsequent books: The Blind Watchmaker (1986), River out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), and Unweaving the Rainbow (1998). He has published widely in scientific journals and other publications on such subjects as evolution, ethology, and the beauty of science. Through his books, articles, and numerous television appearances, he has become one of Britain’s best-known scientists.

Among his many scientific and literary awards are the 1987 Royal Society of Literature Award, the 1987 Los Angeles Times Literary Prize, the 1989 Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the 1990 Royal Society Michael Faraday Award, the 1994 Nakayama Prize for Human Science, and the 1997 International Cosmos Prize.

 

 

“There is a tension between short-term, individual welfare and long-term, group welfare or world welfare. If it were left to Darwinism alone, there could be no hope. Short-term greed is bound to win. The only hope lies in the unique human capacity to use our big brains with our massive communal database and our forward-simulating imaginations.”

—From Dr. Dawkins' acceptance speech at the 2001 Kistler Prize Banquet