Best-selling biologist and outspoken atheist among those honoured by University

Best-selling biologist and outspoken atheist among those honoured by University

One of Britain’s best known biologists who has championed and expanded upon Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is among those being honoured today (November 26) by the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, best-selling author and outspoken atheist, is receiving an honorary doctorate on Thursday morning (November 26) – almost 150 years to the day Darwin published his seminal works On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection

Prominent Scottish composer, musicologist and broadcaster Dr John Purser; journalist, broadcaster, author, writer and sociologist Laurie Taylor, and offshore industry leading light William Edgar CBE are also receiving honorary degrees at the University’s winter graduation ceremonies.

Professor Dawkins - widely recognised for his popularisation of Darwinian ideas - is receiving his Doctor of Science (DSc) degree in the year that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin.

His degree will be bestowed at the first of the graduation ceremonies - Thursday 11am - which take place at Elphinstone Hall, King’s College.

Bill Edgar - a highly regarded figure in the subsea and offshore oil and gas sector who is chairman of the National Subsea Research Institute, European Marine Energy Centre, and Subsea UK and has been in the industry for more than 35 years - will also receive his DSc degree on Thursday at 3pm.

Dr John Purser - also a poet, playwright and writer whose book Scotland’s Music is an all embracing account of the history of the nation’s music and musicians from the Stone Age to the present day - will receive a Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC) degree on Friday at 3pm.

Laurie Taylor - who has appeared on many BBC Radio 4 programmes and numerous tv programmes; writes for newspapers and magazines, has published 14 books and is a public speaker - will also receive his DHC degree at the same ceremony.

More details of the graduands appear below.