You can’t always get what you want

The Awa Book of New Zealand ScienceHot Topic didn’t win the Royal Society of New Zealand’s first Science Book Prize: the cheque went to Rebecca Priestley, who compiled and edited The Awa Book of New Zealand Science — a very worthy winner. I had a glass of wine with Rebecca before the event, and we were both picking other books to win. We were both wrong… The judges said some very nice things about HT, which I’ll stick up in the sidebar when I can remember what they were, but the real honour was in being shortlisted.

Apart from the excitement of the presentation, the evening’s highlight was an amiable Sean Plunket pressing Richard Dawkins on which religion he’d choose if his life absolutely depended on it. After no more than moment’s thought Dawkins revealed himself to be a Pastafarian: a devotee of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The author of The God Delusion prefers a delusional god…

[Update 18/5: Kathyrn Ryan interviewed Rebecca Priestley on Nine To Noon this morning: audio here.]

[Stones (not obscure at all, StephenR)]

6 thoughts on “You can’t always get what you want”

  1. All the short listed were good, Gareth, and the final choice could have been any of them depending on the criteria used. So, I think the real honour was getting into the short list.

    I was surprised at Sean Plunket interviewing Dawkins. He is so confrontational on Morning Report (and this usually gets in the way) I wouldn’t have chosen him myself for this job. However, he seems to have done it well – at least I have not heard any complaints.

  2. Sean was actually quite avuncular. He did press Dawkins on a few things — on (any) religion’s lack of redeeming features, the indoctrination of children being akin to child abuse and so on — but was genial throughout. There was fairly regular laughter…

  3. I was there with Gareth and, on reflection, I think Plunket’s interview was lame. I learned nothing about Dawkins’ career, his science, his life, his views on anything other than religion, his epistemology or his thoughts on any of the latest discoveries about human evolution. I would have been interested to know what he makes of climate change or of teahing science to kids or the state of science writing.
    Apart from catching up with Gareth and seeing my friend Rebecca win, it was a bore.

Leave a Reply