What We Do

Our Beginnings

Founded in 2006 by Richard Dawkins, the foundation’s mission is to realize Richard’s vision to remove the influence of religion in science education and public policy, and eliminate the stigma that surrounds atheism and non-belief.

 

Our Focus and Values

We believe people should be free to be open about non-belief without risking their job, business, personal and family relationships or standing in the community.

The foundation focuses on alarming statistics. Both of which have serious implication for America’s ability to innovate and compete in the 21st century:

1)    Forty-six percent of Americans tell pollsters human beings arrived on this earth in their present form within the last 10,000 years. (Gallup, 2012)

2)    Fifty-three percent of Americans say they are unlikely to vote for a politician who is an atheist on that basis alone — a percentage that far exceeds the number of Americans who say they won’t vote for a gay politician or a even an adulterer. (Pew Research Center, 2014)

Think about it. A huge percentage of Americans reject what we know about human evolution. And more than half of Americans say they are less likely to vote for a candidate simply due to the fact they subscribe to an evidence-based view of the natural world. Meanwhile, politicians who say the earth is fewer than 10,000 years old routinely win election.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation sees its job as nothing less than changing America’s future.

 

Why Our Work Matters

These facts have real-life consequences. They lead to political attacks on science’s understanding of climate change that prevent us from acting to avert disaster. They interfere with stem cell research, setting back medical advancements. They hamper the ability of health teachers to provide young people with comprehensive sex education, leading to more unwanted pregnancies. And still, to this day, they lead to attacks on biology teachers who teach evolution in our schools.

America will lose its standing in the world if this does not change.

Openly Secular 2014:

RDFRS is heading “Openly Secular” a highly sophisticated effort to get non-believers to come forward and be true to who they are.

Openly Secular will formally launch in Sept. 2014. Its purpose is to make non-believers feel they are not alone. Assist them in becoming comfortable declaring their non-belief. In turn, this exposes religious people to non-believing neighbors, friends, co-workers and loved ones.

The hope is once everyone knows someone who is openly secular, societal bias will fade and eventually disappear.

The campaign, in partnership with a number of other secular groups, consists of many interlocking parts:

  • We’re making the case by collecting and vetting stories of discrimination and alienation against non-believers, to demonstrate that this is a serious issue with implications for social equality.
  • A special website and social media presence is being created to bring the online community into the campaign and multiply the reach of messaging and communications.
  • There is a nationwide push for strategic video development, featuring non-believers in public safety positions such as firefighters, EMTs, military personnel, and in the caring professions, such as doctors and nurses, who will speak out about their secularism.
  • Celebrity videos are being planned featuring actors, musicians, politicians, and sports figures as open atheists, to help show non-believers are everywhere.

 Rebuilt Website:

Our website has been completely overhauled and new, exciting features added, bringing together expert information and original voices from the vast community of science and secularism.

Click around the site and enjoy what is on offer.

Atheist TV/YouTube Channel:

RDFRS has a one-hour, weekly time-slot on Atheist TV, a Roku station launched by American Atheists. We have an active YouTube channel loaded with an array of offerings from Richard Dawkins’ appearances.

 

Social Media:

With more than one million “likes” on Facebook, the foundation is a social media powerhouse. Pair this with Richard Dawkins’ more than 950,000 personal Twitter followers and the foundation is able to communicate to a huge audience around the world.

Bringing Evolution and Secularism to People:

We are building an active speakers bureau to dispatch experts in evolutionary biology and secularism to civic groups and other community organizations. We will expose people to these topics in a nonthreatening and collegial atmosphere with speakers prepared to answer critics.

 

Changing the Culture:

The foundation is looking to create and produce live theater, cable television and other entertainment products for general audiences that support secularism and fight scientific illiteracy.

 

RDFRS as a Launchpad for Secular Innovation:

The Clergy Project was created by the foundation as a confidential online community for active and former clergy who no longer hold supernatural beliefs. It is a “safe house” where members can anonymously and freely discuss the challenges they face in leaving ministry and establishing a new life.

Non-Believers Giving Aid was established by the foundation to raise money from secular communities for disaster relief across the globe. This fund raised and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to relief agencies worldwide.

The Secret Science Club, a wildly popular and free science-themed lecture and arts series, received its first infusion of funds from a grant secured by the foundation.