Since 2003, the Atheist Alliance International has annually presented the Richard Dawkins Award to “an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance.” Past recipients of the prize have included James Randi, magicians Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller, and comedian Julia Sweeney. When it was recently revealed that the 2009 Richard Dawkins Award winner will be Bill Maher—political satirist, television host, and director of the 2008 documentary Religulous—ScienceBloggers responded with widely varying views. Orac of Respectful Insolence argues that Maher’s stances on vaccination and animal rights run counter to the goal of advancing scientific knowledge, as the award’s description specifies. But PZ Myers of Pharyngula and Jason Rosenhouse of Evolution Blog defend the decision, contending that Maher’s contribution to the atheist movement deserves recognition.
- Bill Maher gets the Richard Dawkins Award? That’s like Jenny McCarthy getting an award for public health on Respectful Insolence
- Bill Maher and “anti-science” on Respectful Insolence
- Bill Maher is a Fine Choice for the Richard Dawkins Award on EvolutionBlog
- Put Maher in the hot seat on Pharyngula