Digital Biota II
Richard Dawkins is the first holder of Oxford’s newly endowed Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science, and a Professorial Fellow of New College, Oxford. He was born in Africa in 1941 where his father worked for the British Colonial Service. He was educated in England and did his degree at Oxford, followed by a doctorate under the Nobel Prizewinning ethologist Niko Tinbergen.

His books are "The Selfish Gene" (1976, 2nd Edition 1989); "The Extended Phenotype" (1982); "The Blind Watchmaker" (1986); "River Out of Eden" (1995) and "Climbing Mount Improbable" (1996). Most of these have been bestsellers. His sixth book, "Unweaving the Rainbow," will published by Allen Lane in Britain and Houghton Mifflin in United States.

Both The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker have been made the subject of BBC Horizon programmes. Richard Dawkins himself presented "The Blind Watchmaker" film and he also presented another Horizon, the year before, called "Nice Guys Finish First." In 1991 he was selected to give the "Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children" (televised by BBC). In 1996 he presented "Break the Science Barrier with Richard Dawkins," a one hour documentary for Channel Four.

His prizes and awards include the Royal Society of Literature Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Literary Prize, both 1987 (for "The Blind Watchmaker"); the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, 1989; the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society of London, 1990; the Nakayama Prize for Human Science, 1994; and the International Cosmos Prize, 1997. He has Honorary Degrees at the University of Saint Andrews, A.N.U. Canberra and the University of Westminster. More facetiously, he must be one of the few living Oxford dons to have an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.


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