Richard Dawkins: Bigger than Hanna Montana

“Where were you when Obama took the oath of office?”

Its a question kids and grandkids are going to be asking their relatives for years to come.

Where was I?

Standing in line for tickets to see Richard Dawkins when he comes to campus in March.

I got a ticket, but all the available tickets for the ‘public’ were gone in 28 minutes (maybe faster). Thats because Dawkins is booked to speak in a 1,000 person auditorium, and only 250 tickets were alloted for the general public. People in line could have two tickets, so really only the first 125 in line got tickets.

A 1,000 person auditorium.

Only 250 tickets for the ‘public’ (including OU students).

For Richard Dawkins.

On a major campus, with much larger venues.

While of course Im excited to hear Richard speak, I gotta say the planners of this event messed up big time. 1,000 person auditorium for such a major speaker. Its like booking the Rolling Stones for a walk-in closet. There are a lot of people who got their hopes up for this event, and they arent going to be able to participate.

For Petes sake, the box office opened at 11:30 am– public school teachers, high school kids, people with normal jobs– they never had a chance at getting one of those 250.

So, thanks to OU for bringing Dawkins to town. But youve got a lot of disappointed people on your hands. You need to find a larger auditorium, or at the very least several spill-over rooms.

*frown* Way to put a damper on what should have been an exciting day.


  1. #1 Adria
    January 20, 2009

    Who got the other 750? If it was ‘undergrads’, well that sucks. Grad students always get screwed on my campus as well.

  2. #2 Stacy
    January 20, 2009

    Where would you like us to write – to complain?? Would it do any good?

  3. #3 Bryce
    January 20, 2009

    I get to see him March 11th. I have no idea how many tickets were made available to the public verse students (it’s a public performing arts center). I called and got 3 tickets.

    Now, the waiting begins.

  4. #4 Confused
    January 21, 2009

    I think we had more than that for Steve Jones.

  5. #5 clinteas
    January 21, 2009

    Who’s this evolutionary biologist called Hanna Montana you speak of?

  6. #6 DaveH
    January 21, 2009

    Clinteas: Hanna Montana is probably about 95 lb, RD is probably about 170 lb.

  7. #7 Stacy
    January 21, 2009

    @clinteas – Daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus
    (Pentecostal Disney star)

  8. #8 BAllanJ
    January 21, 2009

    So did you get TWO tickets? Take me! Take me!

    Ok, I’m kidding… I live too far away anyway.

  9. #9 Sili
    January 21, 2009

    1000 people is a small auditorium? I guess everything *is* bigger in the states.

    Who’s Hanna?

  10. #10 Sili
    January 21, 2009

    Disregard that. I don’t suck enough cocks.

  11. #11 Scott
    January 21, 2009

    Damn!!! You got tickets??! I went to the ticket office around 1:30 PM and they told me that they ran out of tickets 15 minutes after the office opened.

    I was trying to get some tickets for my lab…however, I did procure a name for people to convince. Dr. Barry Weaver of the OU geology department is in charge of the Dawkins lecture so if enough people can convince him to change venues or televise it across different lecture halls, we can fit in more people.

    I hope the people in line were actually eager to listen to Dawkins speak instead of protesting creationists.

  12. #12 BSE
    January 21, 2009

    Richard is quite lovely and a true star for making the UK’s #1 bigoted sky worshipper Stephen Green look like more of a monumental bell end than he did before!

  13. #13 ERV
    January 21, 2009

    Scott– Where is your lab? If youre at OU, try asking bio and religion professors/department heads for their extras.

  14. #14 Scott
    January 21, 2009

    We’re over at HSC-pharmacy, do you think Dr. Iandolo has any extras?

  15. #15 ERV
    January 21, 2009

    OH! Youre THAT Scott! LOL!

    No, dude, OU left OUHSC out of the loop entirely. Micro guys, Cell bio guys– they didnt know the tickets were available now, much less other OU profs were reserving them.

  16. #16 dNorrisM
    January 21, 2009

    Congrats, but I detect hyperbole 🙂


  17. #17 dNorrisM
    January 21, 2009

    OUCH! Me dumb 4 not uzing Ok time.

  18. #18 bunnycatch3r
    January 21, 2009

    A friend got us tickets for Omaha in March. Woohoo!

  19. #19 deep
    January 21, 2009

    How was I not aware that Dawkins would be in Ohio. Missing both this and the later Darwin event by P.Z. is putting a serious cramp in my style. Damn small college, can’t even bother to tell us that Dawkins is even going to be near.

  20. #20 Reynold
    January 21, 2009

    Already posted on Pharyngula, but I think it bears repeating: More bullshit from the theists coming right up: Academic Freedom Day. Right…the only “controversy” in evolution is a manufactured one, done by ignoring bits of evidence, misquotes, and presenting “problems” for evolution that on further study have already been resolved.

    If there is a real controversy, it should be presented honestly.

    The Dover trial exposed some of the lies of the “intelligent design” people use to manufacture their “controversy” over evolution.

    If those people really cared about “academic freedom” as they claim, then they’d not have gone after Mr. Scopes in the original Scopes trial for daring to teach a theory that went against the bible.

  21. #21 Reynold
    January 22, 2009

    In celebration of “academic freedom”: Academic Free-for-all day

  22. #22 Prometheus
    January 22, 2009

    I sent this.

    You booked the most popular and controversial figure in the field of Neo-Darwinian Evolution into a 1000 seat hall and denied the public all but 250 tickets handed out two at a time?

    Every science alumnus, to whom I have spoken, intends to express their displeasure when the O.U. Foundation begins the weekly round of begging with a silver chalice.

    I hope the University has prepared an apology to Professor Dawkins and the enormous number of people denied the opportunity to hear his lecture, due to such a ridiculous oversight.

    How did you fail to note that the Cobb Great Hall and the Holland Performing Arts Center both seat in excess of 2000 and are respectively the largest available lecture venues in Lansing and Omaha?

    I do not appreciate your demonstration that Nebraska and Michigan are twice as committed to critical thought as Oklahoma.

    I can’t deny it but I don’t appreciate it.

    O.U. Alumnist
    Norman, Resident

  23. #23 Scott
    January 22, 2009

    I got an email back:

    As of now no tickets are available. We are looking into the possibility of having the talk simulcast to an additional venue on campus.

  24. #24 Mobius
    January 22, 2009

    Darn (and more potent expletives).

    I was wanting to see Dawkins.

    Any chance that someone at OU will pull their head out and move it to a larger room?

  25. #25 Shelley Rees
    January 23, 2009

    I’m glad you got a ticket, Abbie. Maybe I will see you there, as some of the students in my Secular Student Alliance group are providing volunteer services.

    I also hope we’ll see you at E.O. Wilson on March 26th!

  26. #26 Science Avenger
    January 24, 2009

    Just what is your ticket worth to you Abbie? 😉 I’m sure you could collect a pretty penny. If you had two, I’d make you an offer you couldn’t refuse. My girlfriend would walk to the OU from Fort Worth to see Dawkins. Does he ever plan to come to Texas?

  27. #27 Brian G.
    January 26, 2009

    LOL, I remember us talking about this when we were in line! I had a feeling you’d blag about it.

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