Words Matter When Seeking the Truth

From the Richard Dawkins Foundation Newsletter. Subscribe here.


Confronting the kinds of problems that the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science was created to address—such as the spread of anti-science attitudes and the intrusion of religious beliefs on the rights and freedoms of nonbelievers—requires us to utilize many different tools. Language may be foremost among them.

Never underestimate the importance of using clear, concise language to define a problem and describe a reason-based solution to it. Words have incredible power—which is why it’s always worrisome when people attempt to restrict free speech or limit what language is deemed “acceptable” to use.

Richard Dawkins is a compelling and powerful orator (this is not news to anyone, I know). He has demonstrated time and again over many decades the power of words and ideas. So I am very excited by the announcement earlier this week that he will be embarking on his largest-ever speaking tour of North America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union this fall.

I’m also very pleased that two of the world’s most popular and best-known science communicators, Brian Cox and Neil deGrasse Tyson, will be featured as part of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s CSICon 2024 conference this fall. So will a number of other outstanding scientists, skeptics, and critical thinkers.

Richard recently spoke at length with the journalist Andrew Sullivan about the danger of soft-pedaling reality and placing artificial limits on what can and can’t be talked about. We’ll have more on that conversation, as well as a report on a ludicrous initiative within the intelligence community to avoid “biased language” when describing Islamic terrorism.

We’ll also look at a recent op-ed that warns about the danger that anti-science political actors pose to our country and the world at-large. Fortunately, the Richard Dawkins Foundation, a subpart of the Center for Inquiry, stands ready to oppose the forces of science denialism, bad faith, and illiberalism. And we will use every tool at our disposal—especially direct, truthful language—to do so.

Thank you for your continued support. None of this would be possible without you!

Robyn E. Blumner,
CEO and President, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science

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