[Richard Dawkins is the author of “The Selfish Gene”, “The Extended Phenotype”, “The Blind Watchmaker”, “The Ancestor’s Tale” and “The God Delusion”, among others. This interview followed the publication of “Unweaving the Rainbow”.]
OB: Your main argument in “Unweaving the Rainbow”, and in your recent lecture with Dr Steven Pinker, was that far from ‘killing the soul’, you believe that science ‘awakens the imagination’. Are you encouraged, then, by the popularity of your works and of science writing in general? Do you think there’s been a general change in the way science is perceived in the last few years?
RD: I’d like to think so, and people are constantly telling me so. I certainly get very encouraged at lecture meetings – like the one you refer to – and my book sales are certainly encouraging. What’s less encouraging is when you actually go into bookshops and try to find science books. We are told in the papers that people are buying science books like hot cakes, but where are they? I never see any in the shops! I see political biographies, I see cookery books, I see gardening books, I see astrology books, I see religion books… but science books you really have to dig for. So it may be that the book buying public has got the message but the book selling trade hasn’t! Read the rest of this entry »