About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Announcement: I have won the 2017 AAP Media Prize

I can announce that I have won the 2017 AAP Media Prize, which was presented by the Australasian Association of Philosophy at the Alan Saunders Lecture, held on the evening of 4 July 2017. On this occasion, the Alan Saunders Lecture was delivered by Professor Nancy Sherman. This annual lecture takes place in conjunction with the AAP's annual conference, which is being hosted this year by the University of Adelaide.

My citation from the judges for the AAP Media Prize states:
Russell Blackford has created an impressive body of work that deftly weaves together his academic research and popular writing across a wide range of topics and outlets. On subjects as diverse as philosophy of religion and science, ethics, and political philosophy, Blackford’s clarity and earnestness demonstrates the indispensability of philosophy for public debates. The panel particularly commends the way in which Blackford’s writing not only communicates philosophical ideas, but also models philosophical practice, taking the reader along through a process of lucid and balanced argument to reach his conclusion. His work has, deservedly, found a wide and eager audience.
This particular prize means a great deal to me, as I have long been an advocate for public philosophy. I encourage colleagues to present philosophical ideas to the public in an accessible way. I also see a role for philosophers in addressing issues of current public concern with the clarity and intellectual rigour - and perhaps a certain fearlessness - that our discipline shows at its best.

My thanks to my editors, notably Tim Dean, founder of the Cogito philosophy blog hosted by The Conversation, and Zan Boag, the editor of New Philosopher, both of whom have done much in the cause of philosophical outreach.

As it turned out, Zan was a co-winner of the other award announced on the night, the AAP Media Professional Award, along with Kyla Slaven from the ABC podcast series Short and Curly. Tim Dean has won that award on a past occasion (2015).

While I'm at it, I should also thank Tom Flynn, the editor of Free Inquiry, where I have a regular column. The AAP Media Prize is specifically for publications in Australian popular media. Nonetheless, Tom deserves mention for his ongoing support for my work and for his efforts in bringing the ideas of philosophers (among others) to a large and dedicated international audience. We need and should honour editors who do this.

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