Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity

The Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity

As 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.
Description: Cressida Cowell
Cressida Cowell
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.

Monday, October 05, 2015




Programme launched for five-day children’s illustrated literature festival from 22-26 October 2015


The programme for the first-ever Loogabarooga Festival of children’s illustrated literature includes appearances from some of the nation’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators.

Events at the Loogabarooga Festival will include workshops with children’s favourites such as Korky Paul, illustrator of Winnie the Witch; Caroline Holden-Hotopf, illustrator of the Adrian Mole books; Nick Butterworth, author/illustrator of Percy the Park Keeper and The Whisperer; Knife and Packer, illustrators of Fleabag Monkeyface; and Steven Butler, author of Diary of Dennis the Menace.

Loogabarooga Festival will take place in Loughborough from 22-26 October 2015 and is based on the theme of ‘incredible illustrations and brilliant books’. As well as appearances from some of the nation’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators, it will also showcase new and existing illustrated literature for children through a series of workshops, events, readings and activities.

The Loogabarooga Festival programme will be available from libraries, museums and venues across Loughborough and Leicestershire. All of the events are available to view and book (where charges apply) in advance at

The Loogabarooga Festival is organised by Charnwood Borough Council in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, Leicester Shire Promotions and supported by Arts Council England, Love Loughborough and Loughborough Building Society.

Councillor Hilary Fryer, Charnwood Borough Council's Cabinet member for Open Spaces and Leisure, said: “I'm delighted that Loughborough is hosting this festival. Workshops and talks are taking place at venues all across the town and even include a book swap in the market place. The We Love Ladybird exhibition and workshops at Charnwood Museum are a must. We hope people attending will stay for the whole day or more as the festival will be a delight for anyone who enjoys reading books, writing stories or drawing.”