Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards for 2024

The NCSE Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards.

NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2024: Riley Black, a science writer and the author of the award-winning The Last Days of the Dinosaurs; Kostas Kampourakis of the University of Geneva, a prolific author and editor on topics in biology education whose latest book is the anthology Darwin Mythology: Debunking Myths, Correcting Falsehoods; and Jonathan B. Losos of Washington University in St. Louis, a leading evolutionary biologist and the author of Improbable Destinies and The Cat's Meow.

"Riley Black, Kostas Kampourakis, and Jonathan B. Losos have been consistently remarkable communicators about evolution with a variety of audiences, including the general public. A shelf filled with their books would be a marvelous introduction to evolution all on its own," commented NCSE's executive director Amanda L. Townley. She added, "And all three of them have worked extensively in various ways with NCSE to promote our shared goal of improving the public understanding of evolution, for which we are grateful."

NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2024: the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, directed by Edward W. Maibach; Lorne Trottier, a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist and a former member of NCSE’s board of directors; and Dawn J. Wright, a geographer and oceanographer who is Chief Scientist of ESRI, a geographic information system and spatial data science company, as well as a 2024 U.S. Science Envoy for the U.S. Department of State.

"The Friends of the Planet for 2024 have tirelessly promoted the cause of climate change education," Townley explained. "The Center for Climate Change Communication's work is deservedly influential, including at NCSE, while the value of 'Deepsea Dawn' Wright's outreach on the importance of oceanography in understanding climate change can't be overestimated." She added, "And of course it was Lorne Trottier's extraordinary generosity that enabled NCSE to expand its portfolio to include climate change."

The Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards are presented annually to a select few whose efforts to support NCSE and advance its goal of defending the teaching of evolution and climate science have been truly outstanding. Previous recipients of the Friend of Darwin award include Tim M. Berra, Philip Kitcher, Steve Mirsky, Bertha Vazquez, and Lisa D. White. Previous recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award include Andrew Dessler, Kelley T. Lê, and the Paleontological Research Institution.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.