Professor Richard Dawkins was the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.
A graduate of Oxford, he did his doctorate under the Nobel-prizewinning 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 has been a Fellow of New College since 1970.
Professor Dawkins's first book, The Selfish Gene (1976; second edition, 1989) became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into all the major languages. The Blind Watchmaker (1986) won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Prize, both in 1987. He has lectured all around the world, and in 1991 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in London.
Professor Dawkins's 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 International Cosmos Prize (1997) and the Kistler Prize (2001). He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.
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