Last Chance to Make your Case: Bring Richard Dawkins to your town in April!

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Last week, we asked you to tell us what is great about your town and why Richard should make a stop in April 2014.


We are extending the conversation!

 

We like college groups to reserve a venue seating 2,500 or more?  Email us and tell us why your city loves science and will fill every seat.

This is the last week for suggestions before we nail down dates.

If you live in the US, Canada, or Mexico, please write us about getting a big venue for April 2014. Live elsewhere in the world? We'd still love to hear from you for future trips!

We want to hear from you!

Email Joel at joel@richarddawkins.net

Written By: RDFRS
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49 COMMENTS

  1. Please bring Richard Dawkins to Lexington, KY, and also visit the nearby Creation Museum. Lexington is the home of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Dawkins had a successful visit to Richmond, KY, 2 years ago that drew thousands.

    Richard can do something in KY that he could not do in any other state – visit the creation museum. We could even get discounted tickets through the Secular Student Alliance or the Kentucky Secular Society.

    • In reply to #1 by edwin.hensley:

      Please bring Richard Dawkins to Lexington, KY, and also visit the nearby Creation Museum. Lexington is the home of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Dawkins had a successful visit to Richmond, KY, 2 years ago that drew thousands.

      Richard can do something in KY that he could not do in any other st…

      Articles on EKU visit…

      “The crowd started forming at 11 a.m. and filled the auditorium 90 minutes before the speech began.”

      “The crowd filled the Brock auditorium, and more overfilled three other auditoriums where Dawkins’ lecture could be viewed by closed-circuit television.”

      Richard may remember telling (a few times that I’ve seen) the story from his EKU – Magic of Reality event about the signer. Who, when he got to the point about statistical probabilities in the quadrillions, was moving her fingers rapidly to keep up which Richard noticed and commended.

      Now I do think Lexington is an excellent choice and it wouldn’t have a problem on the attendance. But I do have another suggestion in Kentucky; close enough to Lexington for those to come down for the lecture but I don’t think there will any seats left…

      Berea College has a lot to offer Dr. Dawkins; a field to plough before sowing his critical thinking seeds!

      “Berea College offers a high quality liberal arts education to students who have great promise but limited economic resources. Founded upon inclusive Christian principles in 1855, Berea College was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. The College promotes understanding and kinship among all people, service to communities in Appalachia and beyond, and sustainable living practices that set an example of new ways to conserve our limited natural resources.”

      …and a few important distinctions:

      • Average family income for an incoming Berea student is $26,426
      • Nearly 53% of new freshmen come from families where neither parent has a college degree.
      • Each student receives the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship worth $20,900, or $83,600 for four years. (provided by the College from the endowment, gifts, scholarships, and grants brought by students)
      • Berea College is one of 7 work colleges in the national Work Colleges Consortium; Every student works 10-15 hours per week while carrying a full academic load.
      • 69% of students from the Appalachian region and Kentucky; 25% minority student enrollment.
      • 82% first-year retention; 85% first-year African-American student retention.
      • All students receive a current model portable laptop computer, which they own upon graduation.
      • Student-to-faculty ratio—11:1
      • The majority of campus buildings have been renovated (LEED gold status on most and renovations continue) to meet the College goal of 45% less energy usage by 2015.
      • Distinguished alumni include John Fenn, 2002 Nobel Prize winner; G. Samuel Hurst, physicist and inventor of touch screen technology; Juanita M. Kreps, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; George Lester, developer of the catalytic convertor, and Jack Roush, automotive engineer, designer, and owner of Roush Racing

      The lecture would probably be held at Seabury Center which can seat 2,800 with many over flow rooms available. Also, enough standing room on the track level over looking the arena for a few hundred more attendants.

      In conclusion, I know there are no guarantees. I think that if Richard were to visit attendance wouldn’t be the problem. I would be more interested to see the full court press on these moderate, liberal Christians; not to mention who might come out of the woodwork.

      Hope to see you in April!

      [One link removed by moderator]

  2. Please come to Concord NH. As the capital city of the state with the first in the nation presidential primary and with a very secular and politically minded population, Concord would be a perfect opportunity to plant the seeds for the secular movement which could blossom into real political changes. Dr. Dawkins would certainly draw an enthusiastic and large audience here who would be ripe to respond to his special brand of inspirational speaking. A call to action here would definitely not go unheard.

  3. Come to Lincoln, Nebraska! As you know, The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is a research university with large departments dedicated to biology and agricultural sciences, the Nebraska State History Museum is on campus (the website has videos of you visiting our evolution exhibit waxing poetic about how freaking awesome leaf-cutter ants are), and just beyond the boundaries of the campus are hordes of evolution-denying creationists! We also just got a brand new arena a few blocks from campus, so you should come by and talk at us. It’s been a few years since you’ve visited, after all.

  4. Please request that Mr. Dawkins visit Lexington, KY, for all reasons the Mr. Hensley has stated, and also because I missed your visit to Richmond a few years back.

    Mr. Hensley stated:
    “Please bring Richard Dawkins to Lexington, KY, and also visit the nearby Creation Museum. Lexington is the home of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Dawkins had a successful visit to Richmond, KY, 2 years ago that drew thousands.

    Richard can do something in KY that he could not do in any other state – visit the creation museum. We could even get discounted tickets through the Secular Student Alliance or the Kentucky Secular Society.”

  5. Osnabrück, Germany. It would be an honour and a privilege for the people of the city of Osnabrück to have the chance to listen to Dr. Dawkins and engage in some very interesting and productive discourse regarding science, religion and generally encouraging rational thinking among the populace. Osnabrück may be a bit of a new move for the RDFRS, especially as it deviates away from Dr. Dawkins normal US tour, however, it would be a positive experience branching out into countries in Europe like Germany. Its relevance is paramount to a people who have are currently experiencing issues with religion and the church – the former pope, a particular extravagant bishop to issues of paying ‘church tax’. A large amount of infrastructure, and therefore policy, is determined by the church and people want to know they have other options. Even educational issues like evolution/science taught in schools or students attending either a compulsory religious or ethics class – sounds like a choice until you find out Christians go to religious class and Muslims go to ethics class. Why – misunderstandings and a need in change in thinking and its a taboo topic. You just know it would be an interesting debate from the intense discussions one overhears when various secular or religious organisations have open house on nights such as Osnabrück’s ‘Kulturnacht’ and the inquisitiveness shown by the numerous questions that come from the youth of the city in particular. It would most certainly complement the opening of the new German RDFRS site. Logistically speaking a newly renovated city exhibition and concert hall, a large theatre or the University of Osnabrück would be able to accommodate a venue of 2,500 people or more quite easily. In fact, due to ticket demand it would be easy to hold multiple presentations. Your audience would be attracted from a population of about 170,000 in this university city and additionally, would draw on other major nearby cities within Germany and the Netherlands (It would be great to reach out to two countries at once!). Most people here can speak quite good English or are bilingual and from the British occupation there are quite a few of Dr. Dawkins’ fellow countrymen still residing here. The city’s university also attracts quite a few overseas students many of whom are from the US. It has quite a surprising cultural diversity eg. I’m from Australia and permanently reside here with my German wife and we bought our house from a Vietnamese couple and live next to Italians, Polish and Russians and they all speak English. Furthermore, the city has its own airport 20 minutes drive away, accommodation and recreational facilities to make Dr. Dawkins stay a comfortable and enjoyable one. Plus, it would do wonders for the sale of for his latest book ‘An Appetite For Wonder’ or any of his books for that matter opening up a new market (now is that incentive or what!). Finally, on a much more serious note, Dr. Dawkins is needed in areas especially where he can be useful rather than preaching to the choir. Osnabrück is one of those areas where he can make headways on the mainland. As a university city it is primed for debate with some freethinkers for support, some opposition with those still following the church, but many who are questioning tradition and would value Dr. Dawkins’s presence. Admittedly, I would love the opportunity to attend any function by Dr. Dawkins (it would be devastating if he made it to Osnabrück and I couldn’t get a ticket) and even maybe have the privilege to meet him personally. Osnabrück is known as the ‘die Friedensstadt’ or ‘the Peace City’. It is visited by many influential people eg. recently Angela Merkel was here. It is not the biggest city in the country, however, it resonates new ideas and concepts to the areas surrounding it and is a place where real change is made. Please come and make a difference! (http://www.osnabrueck.de/25374.asp)

  6. Please bring Richard Dawkins to Utah!

    I believe it was Dr. Dawkins who has said that when he visited the bible belt he was received more enthusiastically than he expected, and that it was a nice morale boost for the atheists and free-thinkers who showed up to see how many comrades-in-arms they had who came out of the woodwork. Well, please come do the same thing for Utah! We’re like the bible belt for Mormons–I guess you could call us the Book of Mormon belt. But still, there are more atheists here than you’d think and we could certainly use that morale boost.

    As for which city to visit, I would, with much bias, suggest Logan, home of Utah State University and the atheist/secularist group USU REASON (formerly known as USU SHAFT). However, Salt Lake City may be the safer bet, seeing how it is the biggest city in Utah, and the most likely to “fill every seat”. Or, if it’s controversy you’re looking for, why not try Provo, home of Brigham Young University (which is owned and operated by the Mormon church)?

    In any case, please come, even if for no other reason than the scenery. Utah is one of the most beautiful places in the world, if I do say so myself. Come check it out.

  7. Dear Joel,

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada would love to host Prof. Dawkins!

    As you know, Alberta is one of the leading paleontological-rich areas in the world – Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Pipestone Creek, and the Burgess Shale, just to name a few. Springtime in Alberta is quite spectacular, and would be the ideal time for you to visit our wonderful province’s capital. If you would kindly accept our proposal, and have the time, we would gladly arrange a guided tour of the world-class Royal Tyrell Museum.

    We have many venues to host this event. The University of Alberta has an excellent Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, with many collection displays and an excellent Paleontology museum that we could also arrange for him to visit.

    Unfortunately, we are also one of the most religious areas of Canada. We have a few (small) Creationist Museums scattered throughout the province, spreading their “Creation Science” to the gullible.

    But, we also have many active Atheist and Humanist societies in Western Canada that would venture to Edmonton to see their inspirational hero. Say “Yes” and they will come!

    • In reply to #10 by rob.athe:

      Dear Joel,

      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada would love to host Prof. Dawkins!

      I volunteer to collect Dr. Dawkins from the airport! Heck, I’ll even arrange to drive him to Drumheller!

    • In reply to #10 by rob.athe:

      Dear Joel,

      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada would love to host Prof. Dawkins!

      As you know, Alberta is one of the leading paleontological-rich areas in the world – Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Pipestone Creek, and the Burgess Shale, just to name a few….

      Once again, I’m going to second the motion made, this time by rob.athe, to invite Professor Dawkins to Edmonton, Alberta! I think his presence would be a great discussion instigator on the topic of atheism, leading to more discussions on the topic of Christianity, which would allow the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      And my offer of a place to stay while in town still stands.

  8. It looks like the Lexington, KY atheists decided to post as a group and I’d like to add Cleveland/Akron, Ohio. Since folks from Cincinnati will make the drive to Lexington, that leaves Columbus, Pittsburgh and Detroit to make the drive to centrally located Cleveland. (Columbus /Ohio State maybe too) Again, watch out for winter weather early in the month.I mentioned a few other cities in my last post which I think would be a good idea.

  9. Sir I think you clearly need to come to Edmonton, and while you are here, head down to Drumheller and checkout the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, its one of the best Dino fossil museums around, over 130,000 fossils.

  10. Dear Joel,

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada would love to host Prof. Dawkins!

    As you know, Alberta is one of the leading paleontological-rich areas in the world – Drumheller and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Pipestone Creek, and the Burgess Shale, just to name a few. Springtime in Alberta is quite spectacular, and would be the ideal time for you to visit our wonderful province’s capital. If you would kindly accept our proposal, and have the time, we would gladly arrange a guided tour of the world-class Royal Tyrell Museum.

    We have many venues to host this event. The University of Alberta has an excellent Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, with many collection displays and an excellent Paleontology museum that we could also arrange for him to visit.

    Unfortunately, we are also one of the most religious areas of Canada. We have a few (small) Creationist Museums scattered throughout the province, spreading their “Creation Science” to the gullible.

    But, we also have many active Atheist and Humanist societies in Western Canada that would venture to Edmonton to see their inspirational hero. Say “Yes” and they will come!

  11. Richard, please, you must come to Salt Lake City, Utah. As you know, the American Atheist Convention will be held in Salt Lake City in April, 2014, in the same month as your arrival to North America. We desperately need you here. Please don’t disregard us.

    • In reply to #19 by maryann:

      Please consider one of Texas’ towns such as Dallas, Houston, Austin or even College Station for reasons already stated. Help!

      My advice would be Austin. It’s a surprisingly nice place with lots of smart people. How it ever ended up in Texas I’m not sure, I suspect the Judoon picked it up and brought it to the moon at some point and then put it back in the wrong place.

  12. It would be an honor to have Richard visit Burlington, Vermont at the University of Vermont. The university recently invited Steven Pinker to speak, and was able to attract a great number of people to the event. According to the Department of Education and US Census figures, Burlington is one of the most educated cities in the country, so you’re likely to have many people attend who are intimately familiar with Richard’s work. Hopefully this will make for a robust Q&A session.

    He also seems to tour just outside of reasonable traveling distance of Vermont, which is unfortunate, because I’m very eager to see him speak (as are many of my friends).

    Thank you for your consideration!

  13. Richard Dawkins last visit to New York City was amazing and left me wanting to learn a lot more! I always learn something new through his lectures and that is why it I would love to have Dawkins visit my city again

  14. I’m spoiled in the Bay Area and love seeing this consideration.

    As a connoisseur of the interior, here are my thoughts. Utah has obvious strategic value, but also a great counter culture for an enthusiastic reception. Beautiful scenery, especially if you’re into lunar landscapes. If you like the Bible Belt, consider the different flavors of virulent religiosity found in the Midwest, such as Lincoln, Nebraska as Sadako mentioned in the 5th post. Omaha would be a good option as well, huge closet atheist mentality for such a populated city.

  15. Please make Richard come to Boston! I know I need a better reason than “I moved there and am now a few hours away from your usual venue, NYC.” Okay, so how about this? Has Richard done a Boston event? Well, in any case, Boston is the HUB, with MIT, Harvard, etc… perfect venues for a Dawkins event (okay, technically they’re just outside Boston, in Cambridge…) Hell, do one here with Steven Pinker, since he lives in Cambridge.

  16. Extending the conversation?Reserve a 2,500 seat arena on spec?College groups?Sorry,but I guess I’m not following here.I previously requested that Dr. Dawkins consider Ottawa.My request stands.Please come to Ottawa,Ontario,Canada.

  17. I hope you will come to speak with us at Bowling Green State University in bowling Green, Ohio. I am a professor who teaches a course called Integrated Molecular Evolution (and have written a textbook with the same title). Although Bowling Green is a relatively liberal town for the Midwest, in other areas of the state there are sporadic, as well as continuous, attacks on the teaching of evolution. This creates problems when some of the students from these areas enroll at BGSU, and we have to use some remedial methods to teach them the principles of evolution. Many of them are totally unaware of the broad wealth of evidence available. On the other hand, I am pleased that most students have at least a rudimentary knowledge of evolution and agree that it is a central part of life on Earth, and are eager to learn more. Please come to Bowling Green State University if at all possible. Best Regards, Scott O. Rogers

  18. Philadelphia. (1) There are a lot of young, impressionable minds here. (2) Pennsylvania, despite being a northern state, is very religious and conservative. A twenty minute drive out of Philly can make you feel lost in the deep south, confederate flags and all. Last, I know Richard likes to focus his energy on bible belt creationist areas of the U.S., but I would make the argument that focusing on regions of the North is just as or more important because the North has more money and power. NJ, NYC, and the West coast are very powerful indeed, but are also pretty secular already. Pennsylvania is an area around here that needs to play catch up with it’s neighbors.

    All the best,
    Nate Link

  19. Austin, Texas. Not only are we an oasis within the state of Texas, we’ve still got the same problems that the rest of Texas has with science education (I teach high school, and I’ve had kids challenge me on both the Big Bang and on Evolutionary Biology). I think that both teachers and younger, more impressionable students would benefit greatly from attention a lecture by Dawkins. While I’ve been out of university for quite some time since I got my M.Ed, I’d wager that either UT or another local venue would be happy to provide auditorium space.

  20. I would like to recommend that Prof. Dawkins visit Houston, TX again in 2014. While he has spoken here publicly in 2010 and 2011, there are some new developments in which I believe he would be interested.

    Houston is the home of Houston Oasis, the largest weekly freethought congregation in the US to date. Houston Oasis was first started by Mike Aus, one of the first graduates of the Clergy Project started by Prof. Dawkins and Prof. Dennett. I believe that a visit from Prof. Dawkins would do an amazing amount of good for the secular community in Texas and Oasis in particular. Oasis espouses a message of humanism, tolerance and reason, while providing a sense of community among non-believers who would otherwise need to attend a theistic church for such community interaction. It’s my understanding that Prof. Dawkins cares deeply about the direction the world is moving, away from faith and towards reason. By supporting Oasis with a speaking engagement, he would bring even greater legitimacy to our causes, which include growing and supporting other Oasis chapters in other cities. Former speakers at Oasis have included:

    Jerry DeWitt, former fundamentalist pastor and Clergy Project graduate
    PZ Myers, professor and science blogge
    Dan Barker, chairman of the Freedom from Religion Foundation
    Matt Dillahunty, Atheist Experience TV host
    Zack Kopplin, science education activist
    AronRa.,science vlogger
    

    I hope that like me, you see the benefit of putting Prof. Dawkins’ ideas into action by supporting Houston Oasis.

  21. Toronto, Ontario please! We could really use a visit, and I just wont die happy until I meet you. Plus, my birthday is in April.

    Also, I’m certain there are many thousands who feel the same. Please!

  22. Dr. Dawkins, please come to Vancouver.
    Vancouver is not only the best place to live in north america but also one of the best in the world. Vancouver is a very progressive city, however we, the medical community are increasingly frustrated with our current prime minister. We have created Insite which is the first legal injection site in North America for drug addicts. Insite operates on an evidence based harm reduction model that the conservative government has tried to close several times.The federal health minister has also breached the international medical ethical standards by stopping participants in a Downtown Eastside clinical study from getting post-trial access to heroin, according to a scathing editorial in Canada’s leading medical journal.
    Your time in this city that has one of the leading universities in North America (the university of British Columbia), needs you.
    Please consider coming to this wonderful city.

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Medical+journal+slams+Ottawa+cutting+post+trial+heroin/9264795/story.html#ixzz2n0b5kkm2

  23. Please bring Richard Dawkins to Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Iowa would be glad to host Dawkins and hosted Neil Degrasse Tyson. There are many Christian student organizations at the university and the student body is predominantly Christian, but there is support for secularism among quite a few professors. University of Iowa needs just such a speaker as Dawkins to start a real Secularist presence on campus!

  24. Hello,
    I am writing this in an attempt to bring Prof Dawkins to a destination that is somewhat more reachable for the Central European folks than the countries he usually visits.

    Since the professor has already tackled the intricacies of German language so successfully (judging by his recent youtube video), it would be greatly appreciated if he could stop by in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. I know it’s no North/Central America but no worries – we all speak English over here.

    The city of Freud, Wittgenstein, Pauli, and Schrodinger would be most honoured to welcome you, Mr. Dawkins.

  25. We have an annual conference in Kamloops BC, called imagine no religion. We have had Daniel Dennet, and Lawrence Krauss attend in previous years. The venue is more intimate as i understand it is more 250-300 people. However, I am pretty positive that they would have no problem coordinating something with one of the Universities for something bigger if that is what you are looking for. Please bring Lawrence back with you, if you do decide to attend. I couldn’t go last year, and I missed him. It broke my heart…

  26. Boca Raton (or anywhere in S. Florida). We have a varied collection of backgrounds for the locals that will guarantee a good reception and entertaining evening. You might even consider the site of the last Presidential Election debate, at Lynn University. And in April, we have beautiful weather here. We would love to have you, Richard!

  27. Come to Uppsala Sweden! I know it seems that we the secular Sweden do not need you, however that is not true. Pseudoscience and or rather anti-science can easily get a grip in the vacuum left after religion. In fact a kind of morality is left, which may or may not rest on ambiguous grounds. Scientific facts are condemned when they do not adhere to these moralistic or political truths. This kind of an attitude is unfortunately too much alike the ones that hardcore religious people have.

  28. I don’t know how many science lovers there are in Chicago, IL but having Richard here would be one of the highlights of my life. Richard is my hero. The God Delusion opened my eyes, it was the first book of many on the subject. Lead me to others by Dennett, Hitchens, Harris, Russell etc. I remember the day I was browsing in a Barnes and Noble book store years ago and saw The God Delusion on the shelf. To think, IT ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN. But I am so glad it did. It changed my life! My regret now is that I have wasted most of my life believing there was a supreme being watching over me. How could this have happened, I keep asking myself? How is this still happening to millions of people? The subject now fascinates me.

  29. Derry/Derry City/Derrylondon/Londonderry/Slash City would be a natural for you, Professor Dawkins. Not only is it becoming the most enlightened city in Ireland, it is UK City of Culture until year’s end and it is relatively close to your home so you won’t be adding much more CO2 and AGW-ing contrails to your already sizable, peripatetic contribution to our ailing planet. Derry has shown the world that it is possible for a city, once racked by murderous sectarianism, to put aside its religious differences for at least a year and embrace a common humanity. That should be celebrated before year’s end, don’t you think? Talk to fellow atheist and Derryman, Eamonn McCann who I am sure would be glad to have you come and speak at perhaps a winter solstice gathering at the Millenium Peace Bridge. https://twitter.com/eamonnmccannpbp

  30. Although we don’t have as many creationist nutbars in Toronto as you may find in many American cities, (and we don’t have a “creationist museum”) you would definitely find an audience that would be overjoyed to hear you speak. We could certainly use an injection of intelligent discourse at this dark hour in our history (i.e. the Rob Ford Fiasco).

  31. If professor Dawkins has time to visit GERMANY I recommend to go from North to South, from Berlin, Hamburg via Cologne, Frankfurt to Stuttgart, Munich and to visit the Universities where the students will be very attracted . Present society here is influenced by mediocre intellectually flat circumstances: the media are striving for sensationalism only with every dum person allowed working in the industry , State TV (ZDF, ARD) is a silo of boring paralysis, politicians talk about to boost natural science but do nothing , demography shows an upside down pyramid with masses of lively but intellectually under-challenged citizens? Before this background Professor Dawkins with his whit and respectful eloquence will fire up many young and seniors because science needs promotion that way.

  32. I’d like to second Larry Mendoza’s suggestion for VCU in Richmond, the capital of the Old South. Virginia is tipping from a stalwart conservative to a mixed state, and has become a ‘swing state’ in elections. Humanists and secularists are just becoming visible in the past two years. A visit in the spring could really advance the movement.

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