On 7th June 2020, Javed Ahktar, renowned poet, lyricist and writer became the first Indian to receive the Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, holding religious principles up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.
Richard Dawkins Award:
i.It is presented to honor the individuals in the field of science, scholarship, education or entertainment who proclaim the values of secularism and rationalism and contribute to the cause of reason and science by the Center of Inquiry(CFI).
ii.The award was created by Margaret Downey, Leader of Secular Community in 2003.
iii.Since the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science became a part of CFI, Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, bestselling author and atheist, housed the award with the CFI.
About Javed Akhtar:
i.Javed Akhtar is known for his strong and independent views on politics, society, art, culture, religion.
ii.He admired Richard Dawkins since his first book “The Selfish Gene”.
iii.The Center of Inquiry(CFI) unanimously selected Javed Akhtar for the award.
iv.He is the husband of Shabana Azmi and father of Zoya Akhtar.
Previous recipients of the Awards:
- Rick Gervais, British actor/comedian
- Bill Maher, American TV host, comedian and political commentator.
About Richard Dawkins:
i.He is one of the respected scientists in the world who draws in secularism and worked at Oxford University as the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science from 1995 to 2008.
ii.He is a member of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature.
i.His Famous works are,
- The Ancestor’s tale
- The Selfish Gene
- The Devil’s Chaplain
- The God Delusion
ii.He released his autobiography in two parts namely 1. An Appetite of Wonder in 2013 and 2. A Brief Candle in the Dark in 2015.
President & CEO– Robyn E. Blumner
Headquarters– Amherst, New York, USA
About Richard Dawkins Foundation:
Founder– Richard Dawkins