The Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against StupidityAs part of our twentieth anniversary celebrations Philosophy Now created a new annual award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. Nominees can be philosophers, authors, scientists, journalists, playwrights or anyone else who has made an outstanding recent contribution to promoting knowledge, reason or public debate about issues that matter.
Philosophy Now editor Rick Lewis described the purpose of the Award in greater depth in his editorial, ‘Against Stupidity’, and in an article inThe Telegraph, ‘The world’s biggest problem is stupidity’.
21 October 2015 update: The winner of the 2015 Award is Cressida Cowell
We are delighted to announce that the 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity will be presented to Cressida Cowell, the author of theHow To Train Your Dragon series of children’s books. She will be the first children’s author to receive the Award.
After considering several very strong nominees for this year’s award, the panel decided that nothing combats stupidity in the world more effectively than encouraging children to think. Children are great thinkers and their intellectual abilities are all too often underestimated. In a cultural environment in which children’s natural curiosity and critical spirit are easily dulled and slowly replaced by couch-potato conformity, Cowell’sHow to Train Your Dragon books stand out not only for their humour, excitement, and startlingly vivid descriptive language, but also, more surprisingly, for their profound meditations on complex political, historical, emotional and moral themes. They incite children to reason and to question, and inspire their imagination and inquisitiveness. For this reason the panel decided to award the 2015 Against Stupidity Award to Cressida Cowell.
Responding to news that she will be presented with the Award, Cressida Cowell said: “I am incredibly honoured to receive this award, and be in such illustrious company of past winners. As parents will know, even quite young children are able to understand complex concepts, and I make a conscious effort never to write down to them.”
The Award will be presented during the Philosophy Now Festival on Saturday 21st November 2015 at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4LR.
The event is free of charge and all Philosophy Now readers and members of the public are very welcome. You don’t need a ticket, though in the event of overcrowding latecomers may have to be turned away.
Previous winners of the Award have been:
2014: Prof. Noam Chomsky (linguist, philosopher, scientist and logician)
2013: Prof. Raymond Tallis (doctor, philosopher, author and poet)
2012: Dr. Ben Goldacre (doctor, scientist and author of the book/newspaper columnBad Science)
2011: Dr. Mary Midgley (philosopher and author)
The prize is always a book token and a trophy. The Award is usually presented at Conway Hall in London, and whenever possible is followed by an acceptance speech by the winner.