MEDIA ALERT: Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker on Capitol Hill, Monday

Washington, D.C. - The Secular Coalition for America will host two Science-themed Capitol Hill Briefings on Monday, September 30, featuring Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker-named the world's No. 1 and No. 3 top "world thinkers" respectively, by Prospect Magazine in 2013.

Dawkins and Pinker will offer insight into the uphill battle to gain widespread public support for sound science in the United States. Topics will include public attacks on science by lawmakers, evolution in public schools, "Intelligent Design" legislation and America's low world standing in science education.

The authors will also take audience questions and discuss more general topics based on their areas of expertise, including questions such as: Has humanity become less violent and why?  What is a "meme"? What truly makes humans happy? How did everything begin? Who was the first person? Are humans alone in the universe? and Where is the human race headed?

Event Information:

U.S. House Briefing
Monday, September 30, 2013
Congressional Visitor's Center, Congressional Meeting Room North
Address: Entrance at First and East Capitol St. NE, Washington, D.C. (Across from the Supreme Court)

U.S. Senate Briefing
Date: Monday, September 30, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562
Address: 239 Dirksen Bldg, Washington, DC 20510

The events are geared toward Congressional staffs, but are free and open to the public. The first 100 attendees will receive complimentary signed copies of the speakers' most recent books, including Dawkins' newly-released memoir, "An Appetite for Wonder: the Making of a Scientist."

RICHARD DAWKINS - Named the No. 1 top "World Thinker" by Prospect Magazine in 2013. Dawkins, an Oxford evolutionary biologist, coined the term "meme" in his book "The Selfish Gene" 37 years ago. Richard Dawkins taught zoology at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and has served as the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. Today he enjoys half a million Twitter followers and uses this platform to promote science and rationalism. Dawkins will sign the newest of his 12 books, the newly-released memoir, "An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist." Some of his best known works include "The God Delusion," "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design," and the children's book "The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True."

STEVEN PINKER - Named the No. 3 top "World Thinker" by Prospect Magazine in 2013. Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind. His popular and highly praised books include "The Stuff of Thought," "How the Mind Works," and "The Language Instinct." The recipient of several major awards for his teaching, books, and scientific research, Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He also writes frequently for The New York Times, Time, The New Republic, and other magazines. In the latest of 13 books by the Harvard professor, "The Better Angels of Our Nature", Pinker argued that humanity has become less violent over time. Whether writing about evolutionary psychology, linguistics or history, what unites Pinker's work is a fascination with human nature and an enthusiasm for sharing new discoveries in accessible, elegant prose.

The Secular Coalition for America is a non-profit advocacy organization representing over 150 nontheistic organizations and millions of atheist, agnostic, humanist and secular Americans. The Coalition lobbies at the federal level for a strong separation between religion and government. The Secular Coalition has chapters in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., which lobby at the state-level to protect and strengthen the secular character of state governments.

The Secular Coalition and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.S., in August announced a partnership aimed at promoting shared goals, including the RDFR's mission to "support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding," and the Secular Coalition's mission to promote a religiously neutral government that bases legislation on reason, science and logic. Dawkins sits on the Secular Coalition's Advisory Board.

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 205, cell (202)630-9725

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