Richard Dawkins FRS was Oxford’s inaugural Professor of Public Understanding of Science, retiring in 2008. He was born in Kenya in 1941 and educated in England, doing his Doctorate at Oxford under the Nobel Prizewinning zoologist Niko Tinbergen. After two years as Assistant Professor at the University of California he returned to Oxford, first as Lecturer, then Reader, then Professor. His fourteen books include the several-million copy bestsellers The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. A 2017 poll conducted by the Royal Society chose The Selfish Gene as the most inspirational science book of all time. Translations of his books have been published in more than 40 languages. He has made TV documentaries for both BBC and Channel 4, and in 1991 he gave the BBC Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children. His many prizes include the Cosmos International Prize (Japan), the Lewis Thomas Prize (USA), the Shakespeare Prize (Germany) and the Royal Society Michael Faraday Award (UK). He has Honorary Doctorates in Literature as well as Science, and in five different countries. He is the founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, which has branches in USA (now merged with the Center for Inquiry), Britain and Germany.
His latest book, Science in the Soul will form the basis of his talk at the Bluedot Festival. It is a collection of essays ranging from comic parodies of PG Wodehouse to serious discussions of the future, of evolutionary biology, and the role of science in society.