Dawkins event (and noms) « Why Evolution Is True

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Yesterday was Richard Dawkins’s book “talk” at Northwestern University in Evanston (just north of Chicago).  Actually, it wasn’t a talk, but 45 minutes of conversation between him and me, followed by an equal amount of time devoted to Q&A with the audience.  This was part of a tour promoting his new autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder, which I’m told is now #11 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Yesterday was Richard Dawkins’s book “talk” at Northwestern University in Evanston (just north of Chicago).  Actually, it wasn’t a talk, but 45 minutes of conversation between him and me, followed by an equal amount of time devoted to Q&A with the audience.  This was part of a tour promoting his new autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder, which I’m told is now #11 on the New York Times bestseller list.

The moderator, who introduced both of us and kept the questions flowing, was Hemant Mehta (“The friendly atheist”), who did a terrific job.

I decided that because we had to leave for the venue at 4 p.m. (three hours before the event!), I’d go downtown early and treat myself to a nice late lunch before meeting Richard at his hotel. (There was no opportunity for dinner thereafter.)

After due deliberation, I selected The Purple Pig, a Mediterranean restaurant which specializes in meat and charcuterie. It was on Michigan avenue, close to the hotel. And, of course, because this was a treat, I made no attempt to eat “healthy.”

The main course was turkey leg confit (I’ve eaten many a duck confit in France, but never turkey), served with crispy lentils, endive, and “agrodolce,” something I’d never heard of.  Wikipedia tells me that it’s a traditional Italian sweet-and-sour sauce, and this one had added ingredients of unknown provenance. It was terrific, and a lot of food. I washed it down with an Italian beer, “Moretti la Rosa Doppio Malto,” another beer new to me, but which is apparently brewed by Birra Moretti in Italy. 

Written By: Jerry Coyne
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7 COMMENTS

  1. I was here! It was a great time.

    I had the worst luck though. I was the last person to be eliminated from the Q&A line due to time constraints. That guy who asked the ridiculously loaded energy question ruined my chances. Grrr!

    I also got to talk to Richard during the signing for a few seconds, but it was really late and I didn’t want to bother him too much. I came all the way from St. Louis (and came back right afterwards, been awake for 35 hours now :D ) and I’m glad I did. The talk was impressive and Chicago is an amazing city.

  2. I know this is hardly the most important issue but the Italian side of me just has to comment: you went to an Italian restaurant and ordered… the beer? That’s like going to a German restaurant and ordering the wine. ;-)

  3. Also, maybe Richard will read this, I wanted to ask him this at the signing, but so many people wanted their books signed that I would feel bad sparking a conversation with him.

    You say that The Extended Phenotype is your most important work. Can you please consider making an audiobook for this work? If not, can you at least get it reprinted to use a larger, clearer font with decent paper? The only US version still available has the tiniest font I’ve ever seen in a book, and it is smeared and crooked. In addition, the paper is a terrible, harsh white color that makes the book even harder to read. I love what I’ve read of this book, but because I have dyslexia I find it an almost impossible chore to muddle through it.

    Side note: If you were the 2 brothers who were artists in college and brought your mom along to enjoy Dawkins, can you get your facebook or contact information to me? You guys were awesome and I regret not getting your contact info. Thanks for the great, friendly conversation! :D

  4. A wonderful evening marred only by a missed opportunity: similar to what was done in New York, planners should’ve organized a dinner to help fundraise for the foundation. Dr. Dawkins’ trips to Chicago are rare; pent-up demand for his appearance was palpable.

  5. Red Dog:

    I know this is hardly the most important issue but the Italian side of me just has to comment: you went to an Italian restaurant and ordered… the beer? That’s like going to a German restaurant and ordering the wine. ;-)

    Ah, but the finest German wine is among the best in the world ! Never with pizza ! A meal in itself, no need of food !

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