Hili has a Big Announcement about Professor Ceiling Cat

March 4, 2015 • 12:04 pm

Hili has something to tell you: here’s her dialogue with Andrzej:

Hili: Open the Wikipedia entry with Jerry Coyne…
A: It’s open now…
Hili: It must be updated: my Jerry just got the Richard Dawkins Award from The Atheist Alliance of America!
A: How do you know?!
Hili: I knew it for ages but it was a Great Secret.

Hili announcement
In Polish:
Hili: Otwórz Wikipedię z hasłem Jerry Coyne…
Ja: Otworzyłem..
Ja: Skąd wiesz!?
Hili: Od dawna o tym wiedziałam, ale to był Wielki Sekret.
Yes, ’tis true, though I can hardly believe it.  Given the list of previous winners, which include some people I admire very much, like the late Christopher Hitchens, I’m not only honored but deeply humbled. I’ll get the Big Prize at the AAA conference in Atlanta, which goes from Oct. 15-18 of this year. (Good Southern noms in that town!).  But I hope to God I don’t have to make a speech, for I’d never come close to the beautiful and heartbreaking talk that Hitchens gave when he got the award in 2011.
For those of you who were there, or who have watched the talk, do you remember this?
Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.14.11 PM_________
UPDATE:  Since my avid feline fans span the globe, I have received another cat dialogue from England, involving Theo the Coffee-Drinking Cat and his servant Laurie:
Laurie: Theo, I must tell you the great news about your friend, Jerry.
Theo: I already know, Mummy; now allow me to swoon!
And other, from Orson, sent by his servant Tubby:
Orson: Totes awesomeballs!
Gus and his staff Taskin weighed in, too:

Me: Hey Gus, have you heard the news about Jerry’s award?
Gus: Of course I have. Should we send him these flowers or shall I just eat them for him?


128 thoughts on “Hili has a Big Announcement about Professor Ceiling Cat

  1. Congratulations, Jerry! You surely do deserve it!! I’d love to be in the audience for that, but will be in France. 🙁 Pretty good noms there, too. 🙂

    1. “Amy Monsky [/Philomena Cunk accent], executive director of Atheist Alliance of America…”

      1. (pardon, that wasn’t meant as a reply. I was thinking earlier of emphasising the shortness of the list…)

  2. Congratulations on a well deserved award.
    In the unlikely event that you don’t have your culinary itinerary already mapped out, Gladys Knight & Ron Winans Chicken & Waffles is an excellent, upscale soul food restaurant and how many times will you have the opportunity in life to tell people that you ordered the sweet potato cheesecake from the woman who sang “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare.”

  3. Congratulations!
    But I see they got your postdoc wrong – they have you at UChicago instead of UCDavis.

  4. Congratulations, and I’m sure Hili will receive some well deserved noms for bringing this to our attention.

  5. Congratulations, Jerry! You’re a purrr-fect choice for the award.

    Now we know that cats are good at keeping secrets.

  6. I actually teared-up a little bit! It must be all that angry atheist anger spilling over.

    Kudos to you – and also to the Dawkins Award committee for their wisdom and insightfulness.

    They could not have chosen otherwise!

  7. This is by no means unique, but it is heartfelt. Congratulations Dr. Jerry Coyne. You have changed, and continue to change lives in an important way, so being recognized is the least of what you’ve earned.


    1. ! Y E S ! to the changes made by way of Dr Coyne and for the sharing with us all of your wisdom.

      You DO so deserve this award, Professor.

      Congratulations and THANK YOU for YOUR COURAGE to keep bringing it on every day — these changes over All of the World’s landscape.

      I have a godless Kiddo some several years a resident of Atlanta. Perhaps Child may be able to come to your honoring.


  8. First the Discovery Institute’s “Censor of the Year” award and now this. Will it ever end? 🙂

  9. Congratulations Jerry, well earned!

    I think you can now be officially invested as a Disturber Of The Peace. You have now been moved to the primary target list, if you weren’t on it already.

    More seriously, thanks for being outspokenly critical about important issues in an environment that is strongly biased against you and which often deals harshly with any perceived criticism.

  10. Yes indeed. Congratulations and well deserved. I hope to be at the convention in Atlanta when you receive it.

    But I hope to God I don’t have to make a speech, for I’d never come close to the beautiful and heartbreaking talk that Hitchens gave when he got the award in 2011.
    For those of you who were there, or who have watched the talk, do you remember this?

    As far as I can recall all the recipients have given a speech of some sort (the lone exception I think being Susan Jacoby who wasn’t able to attend and then last minute technical difficulties cut out the nice one she had recorded.) Some have been longer than others. Ayan Hirsi Ali wasn’t allowed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach (Homeland Security + nervous local police) so there was a brief and shaky live feed from an undisclosed location and she could only do a few sentences. Hitchens’ situation was also dramatic — though for different reasons. Yes, I was there for it and remember it well. When he got up there you could have heard a pin drop.

    You’ll be talking as people are finishing their desserts so it’s a relaxed, friendly, happy crowd. My suggestion is to prepare something related in some vague way to the topic of “atheism” … and don’t sweat it. You’ll be great.

  11. Congratulations! Definitely well deserved recognition. You do so much great work that makes a real impact. Thank you for all your effort and passion!

  12. Congrats! Well deserved indeed! I’ve posted this announcement to various atheist and humanist groups I belong to in order to spread the great news! 🙂

  13. I am very happy for you. Congratulations!
    I for one do hope you give a speech. No need to compare to anyone. You are superb most of the time and always interesting to read or hear.

  14. All I know to say is, Congratulations! You deserve it. And not the least of the reasons why you deserve this honor is for running one of the best blogs in the world with an emphasis on evolutionary biology (among other things).

  15. Big congrats…but of course you need to give a speech! You can’t get “decoration” without oration. No badge without the badgering. No laurel wreath, unless a spiel you bequeath. 🙂

  16. Great news, Jerry. To say your website is spectacular is to understate its quality and its importance to the atheist community. It is always nice to be recognized for your efforts, especially from such a “critical” collection of folks. So from one of the most skeptical of your readers, I’ll simply say “congratulations on a job well done.”

    PS – Judging from the quality of your posts, I doubt you’ll have any trouble putting together a fine acceptance speech/talk. I can’t wait to hear what you will say.

  17. Just to add one more, though certainly not the last: congratulations! Along with so many others here I’m in awe of your brilliant and tenacious mind and your unexampled energy in conducting WEIT. The AAA award recognizes this good work. Shows that the organization is on the ball.

  18. Congratulations!!! I hope the award is secretly laced with catnip. I’ll be sure to catch this event! I also hope you give a speech!

  19. The BusStopCats and PavementCats of Istanbul were out sunning themselves and looking particularly self-satisfied, even deigning to answer this un-transported geologist’s requests for directions with an informative “Miau”. Which I realise in retrospect was them informing me of the news.
    Needeless to say, the d*gs in the streets had to wait for their hoomin masters to pass on the news.The cats dispensed the information to their staff as they deemed appropriate.

  20. This is wonderful news and a great accolade not just for PCC but for reason and science. My daughter adds that her master and mistress, Tom and Cat, add their own best wishes. Many felicitations!

  21. What wonderful news to wake up to on a lovely sunny Tokyo morning!
    Congratulations, Professor! Gojushō, medetō gozaimasu! ご受賞、おめでとうございます。

  22. Congratulations Jerry. I’m sure the new book will further cement your place in the firmament of atheist stars.

  23. Congratulations and well-deserved too. I watched the 2011 Dawkins Award and Hitch’s talk was both very touching and characteristically impressive. I do miss the Hitch.

  24. Although I am some 200 miles from Seattle, I now suspect that the loud bang that woke me this morning was the sound of heads exploding at the Discovery Institute.

    Hearty congratulations Professor!

  25. Pongezi, Jerry! I must say I welled up a bit. Recognition of a wonderful being’s efforts to spread the value of critical thinking.

  26. That’s a heckuva consolation prize after losing out on Censor of the Year this year! Congratulations!

  27. Jerry, your continued contribution to both the academy, and to your educative blog is remarkable; and I’m one of the lucky ones to have found you and your site. I will continue to quibble about the meaning of ‘free will’, however I respect your breadth and depth of knowledge and your generosity of spirit in sharing it.

  28. Late to the party. When I asked Baihu why he didn’t bother to tell me, he told me I had to be pretty daft to not have predicted it, myself.


  29. Proof that Ceiling Act is almighty, benevolent and fathomable – if there were still skeptics left.


  30. Well it’s about time!


    Congratulations, fearless leader. (I’ll bet you can sell a lot of books there, too. 🙂 )

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