Richard Dawkins to Receive Penn Museum's Wilton Krogman Award

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Sold Out Philomatheon Society Lecture, Where Award will be Presented, is Featured Part of University of Pennsylvania's "Year of Proof"

PHILADELPHIA, PA, 2013 RDawkins poster web2013—Richard Dawkins, renowned evolutionary biologist and author of numerous books including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, and The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True, will receive the Penn Museum's Wilton Krogman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biological Anthropology when he visits the University of Pennsylvania March 12, 2013. The Award will be presented at the 2013 Bicentennial Philomatheon Society Annual Oration, sold out within days of its announcement, in Irvine Auditorium.

Professor Dawkins, former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, will speak about "Proof, Science, and Skepticism," in keeping with Penn's "Year of Proof" theme, at the 6:30 pm talk.

"Richard Dawkins is among that rare hybrid of scientists, someone who is both a seminal scholar, defining new areas of study—and an outstanding public communicator—in the exciting and vitally important field of evolutionary biology today," said Dr. Julian Siggers, Williams Director of the Penn Museum, who will present the Award at the evening lecture.

With his 1976 publication of The Selfish Gene, Dawkins popularized a gene-centered view of evolution and natural selection, and introduced a new concept, a meme or a unit of human cultural evolution, leading to a study of memetics. With his 1982 book, The Extended Phenotype, Dawkins introduced another influential concept, asserting that the phenotypic effects of an organism's gene can reach into the environment and beyond. Today, Dawkins, an atheist and a humanist, is well known for his criticism of creationism and the concept of intelligent design, refuted in best selling books including The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

The Wilton Krogman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biological Anthropology was developed in memory of Dr. Wilton M. Krogman, former professor of physical anthropology (1947-1971) and founder of the Philadelphia Center for Research in Child Growth, now the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development. Dr. Donald Johanson, most famous for the 1974 discovery of "Lucy," a 3.2-million-year-old hominid fossil in Ethiopia, was the last recipient of the award in 2008. This will be the forth presentation of the Award, first given in 2000 (Dr. F. Clark Howell) and again in 2004 (Dr Ralph Holloway).

Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000.


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