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Richard Dawkins guest of honour at opening of Life Sciences building

Public lecture 12 January 2012
18 November 2011

The internationally renowned evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins will visit the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences on 12 and 13 January 2012 to perform the opening ceremony for the new Life Sciences Building. On Thursday 12 January Dawkins will give a public lecture in the Nieuwe Kerk. Friday 13 January he will first debate with a select group of biology students and then officially open the new Life Sciences building, the Linnaeusborg.

Dawkins is one of the world’s most eminent writers on evolution theory. He is best known for his popular science books The God Delusion and The Greatest Show on Earth. As an advocate of rationalism and atheism, Dawkins often enters into debate with supporters of other beliefs. He has contributed to many television documentaries and is co-founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Dawkins worked at the University of Oxford for many years, where he was the first to hold the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science, from 1995-2008. He has been elected to the British Royal Society for his contribution to science and to the Royal Society of Literature for his achievements as an author.

Biology in Groningen

‘We are of course extremely honoured that such an eminent scientist and author as Richard Dawkins is coming to visit us’, says Prof. Peter van Haastert, the Faculty Board member for Education at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences. The Faculty teaches and conducts research in many biology fields, including ecology, behavioural biology, evolutionary biology and biomolecular sciences. The University of Groningen is also the only university in the Netherlands where students can do a Master’s in marine biology.

Popular science lecture in the Nieuwe Kerk

On Thursday 12 January 2012, Richard Dawkins will give a popular science lecture in the Nieuwe Kerk entitled The Tyranny of the Qualitative Mind. The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. and has been organized by the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences and Studium Generale Groningen. Reservations for tickets can be made at Studium Generale, Oude Boteringestraat 13, or via, beginning on 5 December.

General information on events surrounding the opening of the Linnaeusborg (Nijenborgh 7) can be found at  Neither the opening ceremony nor the student debate will be open to the public.

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.57 a.m.
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