My friend Genie Scott, longtime executive director of the National Center for Science Education, was given the 2012 Richard Dawkins Award at the recent Atheist Alliance of America conference in Denver. What Dawkins said when giving her the award is absolutely true:
“Eugenie Scott is one of my very favorite people, although we have our civilized disagreements”, Dr Dawkins said at the opening of his remarks.
He went on to say that “it’s impossible to meet Genie without loving her, whether you agree with her or not.”
I always laugh when the creationists describe Genie as this terribly evil person, as they often do. You’d be hard pressed to find a kinder or more gentle human being. She’s one of my favorite people too. And she showed her characteristic good humor in accepting the award:
“I now possess awards in the names of both Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins”, joked Dr Scott at the beginning of her acceptance speech, referring to the famous scientific conflict between the late Dr Gould, a paleontologist, and Dr Dawkins, a geneticist, about the mechanics of evolution.
“This demonstrates that I can get along with everyone.”
Dr Scott then added: “Regardless of my historic amiability, however, I do not anticipate ever being presented with the Ken Ham award, if such exists.”
No, probably not. Congratulations, Genie. This award is extraordinarily well-deserved.