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Richard Dawkins - Author

About the Author

Richard Dawkins's phenomenal bestseller The God Delusion has become an iconic book for our time. He was first catapulted to fame with The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale and a collection of his shorter writings, A Devil's Chaplain.

Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006) and the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007).He retired from his position as the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a fellow of New College.

In 2008 Channel 4 broadcast a three-part television series, The Genius of Charles Darwin, written and presented by Richard Dawkins, examining the legacy of the great scientist and some of the issues covered in Dawkins's new book, The Greatest Show on Earth.

Featured books by Richard Dawkins

Science in the Soul Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

Science in the Soul Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/06/2017

Richard Dawkins - author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and The God Delusion - is one of science's greatest communicators. This anthology of more than forty pieces is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and the glory of science. Breathtaking, brilliant and passionate, these essays, journalism, lectures and letters make an unanswerable case for the wonder of scientific discovery and its power to stir the imagination; for the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and for the importance of the scientific way of thinking - particularly in today's 'post-truth' world. Alongside the explications, the celebrations and the controversies are wonderfully funny ventures into satire and parody, and moving personal reflections in memory and honour of others.

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/2014

Born to parents who were enthusiastic naturalists, and linked through his wider family to a clutch of accomplished scientists, Richard Dawkins was bound to have biology in his genes. But what were the influences that shaped his life? And who inspired him to become the pioneering scientist and public thinker now famous (and infamous to some) around the world? In An Appetite for Wonder we join him on a personal journey from an enchanting childhood in colonial Africa, through the eccentricities of boarding school in England, to his studies at the University of Oxford's dynamic Zoology Department, which sparked his radical new vision of Darwinism, The Selfish Gene. Through Dawkins' honest self-reflection, touching reminiscences and witty anecdotes, we are finally able to understand the private influences that shaped the public man who, more than anyone else in his generation, explained our own origins.

ebook of the month
An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/09/2013

Born to parents who were enthusiastic naturalists, and linked through his wider family to a clutch of accomplished scientists, Richard Dawkins was bound to have biology in his genes. But what were the influences that shaped his life and intellectual development? And who inspired him to become the pioneering scientist and public thinker now famous (and infamous to some) around the world? In An Appetite for Wonder we join him on a personal journey back to an enchanting childhood in colonial Africa. There the exotic natural world was his constant companion. Boarding school in England at the age of eight, and, later, public school at Oundle introduce Dawkins, and the reader, to strange rules and eccentric schoolmasters, vividly described with both humorous affection and some reservation. An initial fervent attachment to Church of England religion soon gives way to disaffection and, later, teenage rebellion. Early signs of a preference for music, poetry and reading over practical matters become apparent as he recalls the opportunities that entered his small world. Oxford, however, is the catalyst to his life. Vigorous debate in the dynamic Zoology Department unleashes his innate intellectual curiosity, and inspirational mentors together with his own creative thinking ignite the spark that results in his radical new vision of Darwinism, The Selfish Gene. From innocent child to charismatic world-famous scientist, Richard Dawkins paints a colourful, richly textured canvas of his early life. Honest self-reflection and witty anecdotes are interspersed with touching reminiscences of his family and friends, literature, poetry and songs. We are finally able to understand the private influences that shaped the public man who, more than anyone else in his generation, explained our own origins.

Other books by Richard Dawkins

Forscher aus Leidenschaft

Forscher aus Leidenschaft

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 12/10/2018

In unvernunftigen Zeiten ist Richard Dawkins' unnachgiebiges Pladoyer fur die Vernunft aktueller und dringender denn je. Der Evolutionsbiologe und Bestsellerautor reflektiert in seinem neuen Buch uber die Werte, die Geschichte und die gesellschaftliche Bedeutung von Wissenschaft. Dabei greift er Themen wie die Wissenschaft als Religion und die Schonheiten, Grausamkeiten, aber auch Kuriositaten unserer Welt auf. Von der Evolution der Schildkrote uber Jesus und den Atheismus bis hin zu intelligenten Auerirdischen: Stets legt Dawkins komplexe Sachverhalte mit poetischer Leichtigkeit dar. Die in diesem Band versammelten Reden, Aufsatze und Briefe aus den letzten vier Jahrzehnten geben einen faszinierenden Einblick in das Werk eines uberragenden Denkers.

The Blind Watchmaker Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

The Blind Watchmaker Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2018

The Blind Watchmaker is the seminal text for understanding evolution today. In the eighteenth century, theologian William Paley developed a famous metaphor for creationism: that of the skilled watchmaker. In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins crafts an elegant riposte to show that the complex process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automatic. If natural selection can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is a blind one-working without foresight or purpose. In an eloquent, uniquely persuasive account of the theory of natural selection, Dawkins illustrates how simple organisms slowly change over time to create a world of enormous complexity, diversity, and beauty.

Der Erweiterte Ph notyp Der Lange Arm Der Gene

Der Erweiterte Ph notyp Der Lange Arm Der Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2017

Der erweiterte Ph notyp - ein Klassiker der Evolutionsbiologie Richard Dawkins betrachtet dieses 1982 erschienene, 1999 berarbeitete und erg nzte Buch als seinen Hauptbeitrag zur Evolutionsbiologie und als Nachfolgewerk seines Bestsellers Das egoistische Gen. F r die deutschsprachige bersetzung hat Richard Dawkins ein neues Vorwort verfasst. Dawkins erweitert in diesem Buch den Begriff des Ph notyps (als Summe aller Merkmale eines Individuums) auf die Auswirkungen der Gene dieses Individuums auf die Umwelt und auf andere Lebewesen. Beispiele sind die durch den Fortpflanzungstrieb des Bibers entstehenden Bauten, die drastische Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt haben k nnen, oder das Gen eines Parasiten, welches das Verhalten seines Wirtes zum Nutzen des Parasiten (Saitenwurm) ver ndert. Dawkins betont mit diesem Ansatz die genzentrierte Sicht des Lebens. Im letzten Kapitel des Buches unternimmt er den Versuch, den Organismus neu zu definieren. Ich behaupte, dass die meisten Wissenschaftler, die meisten Autoren ein Werk haben, von dem sie sagen w rden: Egal, ob Sie noch nie etwas von mir gelesen haben, lesen Sie wenigstens dies! Richard Dawkins

Science in the Soul

Science in the Soul

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 08/08/2017

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *; The legendary biologist and bestselling author mounts a timely and passionate defense of science and clear thinking with this career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time. For decades, Richard Dawkins has been a brilliant scientific communicator, consistently illuminating the wonders of nature and attacking faulty logic. Science in the Soul brings together forty-two essays, polemics, and paeansall written with Dawkins's characteristic erudition, remorseless wit, and unjaded awe of the natural world. Though it spans three decades, this book couldn't be more timely or more urgent. Elected officials have opened the floodgates to prejudices that have for half a century been unacceptable or at least undercover. In a passionate introduction, Dawkins calls on us to insist that reason take center stage and that gut feelings, even when they don't represent the stirred dark waters of xenophobia, misogyny, or other blind prejudice, should stay out of the voting booth. And in the essays themselves, newly annotated by the author, he investigates a number of issues, including the importance of empirical evidence, and decries bad science, religion in the schools, and climate-change deniers. Dawkins has equal ardor for ';the sacred truth of nature' and renders here with typical virtuosity the glories and complexities of the natural world. Woven into an exploration of the vastness of geological time, for instance, is the peculiar history of the giant tortoises and the sea turtleswhose journeys between water and land tell us a deeper story about evolution. At this moment, when so many highly placed people still question the fact of evolution, Dawkins asks what Darwin would make of his own legacy';a mixture of exhilaration and exasperation'and celebrates science as possessing many of religion's virtues';explanation, consolation, and uplift'without its detriments of superstition and prejudice. In a world grown irrational and hostile to facts, Science in the Soul is an essential collection by an indispensable author.Praise for Science in the Soul';Compelling . . . rendered in gloriously spiky and opinionated prose . . . [Dawkins is] one of the great science popularizers of the last half-century.'The Christian Science Monitor';Dawkins is a ferocious polemicist, a defender of reason and enemy of superstition.'John Horgan, Scientific American

Science in the Soul

Science in the Soul

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 03/08/2017

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Science in the Soul by Richard Dawkins, read by the author, Lalla Ward and Gillian Somerscales.This edition includes a bonus PDF of a bibliography and references. Richard Dawkins - author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and The God Delusion - is one of science's greatest communicators. This anthology of more than forty pieces is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and the glory of science. Breathtaking, brilliant and passionate, these essays, journalism, lectures and letters make an unanswerable case for the wonder of scientific discovery and its power to stir the imagination; for the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and for the importance of the scientific way of thinking - particularly in today's 'post-truth' world.With an introduction and new commentary by the author, subjects range from evolution and Darwinian natural selection to the role of scientist as prophet, whether science is itself a religion, the probability of alien life in other worlds, and the beauties, cruelties and oddities of earthly life in this one. Alongside the explications, the celebrations and the controversies are wonderfully funny ventures into satire and parody, and moving personal reflections in memory and honour of others.Science in the Soul is a sparkling showcase for Professor Dawkins' rapier wit, the clarity, precision and vigour he brings to an argument, the beauty of his prose, the depth of his feeling and his capacity for joy.

The Ancestor's Tale A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life

The Ancestor's Tale A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life

Author: Richard Dawkins, Yan Wong Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/02/2017

A fully updated edition of one of the most original accounts of evolution ever written, featuring new fractal diagrams, six new 'tales' and the latest scientific developments. THE ANCESTOR'S TALE is a dazzling, four-billion-year pilgrimage to the origins of life: Richard Dawkins and Yan Wong take us on an exhilarating reverse journey through evolution, from present-day humans back to the microbial beginnings of life. It is a journey happily interrupted by meetings of fellow modern animals (as well as plants, fungi and bacteria) similarly tracing their evolutionary path back through history. As each evolutionary pilgrim tells their tale, Dawkins and Wong shed light on topics such as speciation, sexual selection and extinction. Written with unparalleled wit, clarity and intelligence; taking in new scientific discoveries of the past decade; and including new 'tales', illustrations and fractal diagrams, THE ANCESTOR'S TALE shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.

Extended Phenotype

Extended Phenotype

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2016

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have aninfluence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals. So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects thatmanipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extended phenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences. The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Extended Selfish Gene

The Extended Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/08/2016

The Selfish Gene is a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. In it Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for the replication of genes. The book provoked widespread and heated debate, which in part led Dawkins to write The Extended Phenotype, in which he gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection, as well as contributing his own development of this insight. For the first time, The Extended Selfish Gene brings these two books together, by including two key chapters from The Extended Phenotype. These chapters provide Dawkins's detailed and powerful response to two issues raised by critics of The Selfish Gene: the accusations of genetic determinism (the idea that our behaviour is entirely determined by our genes), and of adaptationism (that all traits are indiscriminately perceived to be adaptations resulting from natural selection). While written in particular for the biology community, Dawkins's clarity of expression allows these chapters to be accessible to all who are seriously engaged with the gene's eye view and its implications. The imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant Selfish Gene not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as significant as on the day it was published. Along with the two extra chapters, The Extended Selfish Gene includes a new epilogue to The Selfish Gene from the author which highlights the relevance of the gene's eye view to evolutionary biology today.

The Extended Phenotype The Long Reach of the Gene

The Extended Phenotype The Long Reach of the Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/08/2016

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals. So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extended phenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences. The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Selfish Gene 40th Anniversary edition

The Selfish Gene 40th Anniversary edition

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/06/2016

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Selfish Gene

Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 02/06/2016

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biologycommunity, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Selfish Gene

Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 26/05/2016

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biologycommunity, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The God Delusion 10th Anniversary Edition

The God Delusion 10th Anniversary Edition

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/05/2016

The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

The God Delusion 10th Anniversary Edition

The God Delusion 10th Anniversary Edition

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/05/2016

The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.

Brief Candle in the Dark My Life in Science

Brief Candle in the Dark My Life in Science

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

In An Appetite for Wonder Richard Dawkins brought us his engaging memoir of the first 35 years of his life from early childhood in Africa to publication of The Selfish Gene in 1976, when he shot to fame as one of the most exciting new scientists of his generation. In Brief Candle in the Dark he continues his autobiography, following the threads that have run through the second half of his life so far and homing in on the key individuals, institutions and ideas that inspired and motivated him. He paints a vivid picture, coloured with wit, anecdote and digression, of the twenty-five postgraduate years he spent teaching at Oxford. He pays affectionate tribute to past colleagues and students, recalling the idiosyncrasies of an establishment steeped in ancient tradition and arcane ritual while also recording his respect for the profound commitment to learning and discovery that lies at its core. He invites us to share the life of a travelling scientist, from fieldwork on the Panama Canal to conferences of stratospheric eminence in exotic locations in the company of some of the most prominent of the world's scientific luminaries. And he describes his experiences with his many publishers, television producers, interviewers and partners in debate, not least in the heady period when, after publication of The God Delusion in 2006, he is dubbed the world's most outspoken and controversial atheist. Most important of all, for the first time he reviews with fresh and stimulating insights the evolving narrative of his ideas about science over the course of his highly distinguished career as thinker, teacher and writer. In Brief Candle in the Dark we are invited to enter with him a constantly stimulating world of discovery and to meet a fascinating cast of exceptional characters described by the talented pen of one of the most exceptional of them all.

Die Poesie der Naturwissenschaften

Die Poesie der Naturwissenschaften

Author: Richard Dawkins Format: eBook Release Date: 14/03/2016

Richard Dawkins erzahlt die Geschichte seines Lebens - von der Kindheit im kolonialen Afrika uber sein Studium in Oxford bis zur Karriere als einer der einflussreichsten Wissenschaftler weltweit. Er berichtet von seiner Ankunft im Flower-Power-Kalifornien der 60er Jahre, von der Party zum 42. Geburtstag seines Freundes Douglas Adams, den freundschaftlichen Streitgesprachen mit dem Erzbischof von Canterbury, von bahnbrechenden Erkenntnissen in der Evolutionsbiologie und seiner groen Liebe zur Lyrik. Richard Dawkins ist nicht nur ein herausragender Naturwissenschaftler, er ist auch ein begnadeter Erzhler. Anhand seines weitverzweigten Familienstammbaums erklrt er die Vererbungslehre, und die Entwicklung der Theorie des egoistischen Gens wird bei ihm zum Wissenschaftsthriller. Wenn er beschreibt, wie er vom Glubigen zum Atheisten wurde, versteht man, welche Rolle Religion fr den Menschen spielt.