Cranford, NJ—American Atheists announced Thursday a new series of annual awards honoring podcasters, musicians, bloggers, and others who portray atheists or atheism positively. The inaugural 2013 EVOLVE Awards honor achievements in 2012.
“The landscape of American atheism is changing rapidly,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “We have a lot of work to do, but the days when society felt free to display open bigotry toward atheists without being called out on it, especially by American Atheists, are over. Nevertheless, stereotypes and stigma remain, and so it’s our pleasure to call positive attention to those in the media who have made special efforts to represent atheists as the caring, compassionate, and virtuous people we are.”
“The EVOLVE Awards are meant to bring attention to the media’s portrayal of positive atheism and atheistic characters,” said Amanda Knief, Managing Director. “One of American Atheists’ primary goals is atheist equality and by encouraging and rewarding positive cultural references, we advance this goal. This year we highlight podcasts, blogs, music, television, and movies. For 2014, we will expand the nominations into categories including sports, politics, and print media.”
American Atheists solicited nominations from the public during the past six weeks without revealing the purpose of the inquiries. The categories are Excellence in a Podcast, Excellence in a Blog, Excellence in Music, Excellence in Science Fiction Television, Excellence in Scripted Dramatic Television, Excellence in a Documentary, and Excellence in a Reality Television Show. Each winner will receive an engraved plaque.
American Atheists is proud to announce the 2013 EVOLVE Award Winners:
For Excellence in a Podcast: Seth Andrews, The Thinking Atheist
Andrews tackles issues about the world, atheism, and religion while showing that a person can be an atheist without being a grouch.
For Excellence in a Blog: Hemant Mehta, The Friendly Atheist
Every day, thousands of people, atheists and theists, come to Mehta’s blog to find news and commentary about atheism. His wit and sly humor show that not taking oneself or one’s positions too seriously are key to dealing with prejudice and misinformation.
For Excellence in Music: John Boswell for Symphony of Science, “We Are All Stardust”
For all the gospel music and all the references to god, Jesus, and the lord in today’s music, a compilation of some of the best scientists talking about our origins is a panacea for the rational music lover.
For Excellence in Scripted Science Fiction Television: producers, Doctor Who
Every episode challenges prejudice, questions assumptions, and tries to make us ask questions about what kind of humans we want to be. Would the Doctor still want to be our defender?
For Excellence in Scripted Dramatic Television: producers, The Good Wife
Alicia Florrick told a reporter she was an atheist as her husband campaigned for governor and no one seemed to notice. This main character in a top-rated drama has lovingly and carefully worked to understand her daughter’s Christianity while not questioning her own nonbelief. Alicia is a refreshing change from the grouchy, god-hating atheist traditionally portrayed by entertainment media.
For Excellence in a Documentary: Scott Thurman, director, The Revisionaries
This revealing inside look at the attempted takeover of public science education in the United States by young-Earth Creationists is a film that filmmaker Michael Moore said, “… every American has to see.”
For Excellence in a Reality Television Show: (tie) Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman, Mythbusters and Denise Stapley, Survivor: PhilippinesTM
Savage and Hyneman show over and over why science and a little ingenuity triumph over myth and superstition—and they make it fun. Stapley, an agnostic, was overwhelmed by religious castmates on her season, but kept a rational and humane approach to her interactions that helped her win the title of “Sole Survivor.”
Nominations for the 2014 EVOLVE Awards will begin in the fall.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
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Keywords: American Atheists, EVOLVE Awards, nominees, Mythbusters, The Friendly Atheist, The Good Wife, The Revisionaries, Doctor Who, Survivor, Symphony of Science, The Thinking Atheist, atheism, humanism, freethought