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Celebrating the Ideas of Templeton Prize Winner Ian Barbour, 1923-2013

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Ian Barbour
Ian Barbour

Ian G. Barbour, one of the founding figures in the academic discipline that studies the relationship between science and religion and winner of the Templeton Prize in 1999, died December 24, 2013, at the age of 90. “[He] probably did more for the creation of the field than anyone else,” remarked 2010 Templeton Prize winner Francisco J. Ayala in an obituary published in the New York Times. Peter Hess, Director of Outreach to Religious Communities at the National Center for Science Education, called him “a towering figure, one of the truly great interdisciplinary thinkers of the 20th century.”

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Purpose Prize 2013: A “MacArthur Genius Award” for the Encore Years

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“Angling,” mused Washington Irving, “tends to produce a serenity of mind.” As it turns out, he may have been right. The link between fishing and inner peacefulness has been put to the test by Ed Nicholson, one of the winners of the 2013 Purpose PrizeProject Healing Waters uses fly-fishing to help disabled veterans along the path of emotional and psychological rehabilitation. As one participant explains, “The therapeutic value is that it’s not therapy.”

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Religious Freedom and Security Comes to Vietnam

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Religious Freedom and Security Comes to Vietnam
Credit: Religious Freedom and Security Comes to VietnamReligious Freedom and Security Comes to Vietnam

In 2004, the United States State Department designated Vietnam a country of particular concern. This meant that Vietnam exhibited ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom. However, just over a decade later, it is rapidly becoming a model nation in Southeast Asia for dealing with issues of religious freedom and the law.

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Where Science and Religion Can Overlap

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Keynote speaker Owen Gingerich
Credit: Keynote speaker Owen GingerichKeynote speaker Owen Gingerich

It is a common thought that the worldviews of science and religion are very different and are best not mixed. This is one way to summarize the “non-overlapping magisteria” view of the relationship between these two great quests for understanding, associated with the late American paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But is this assessment accurate?

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Research on Grit and Self-Control Recognized in “Genius Grant”

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Angela Duckworth
Credit: Angela DuckworthAngela Duckworth

Grit and self-control. These two personal qualities are at least as predictive of success in life than IQ or socioeconomic advantage, according to research conducted by Angela Duckworth, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, a John Templeton Foundation grantee, and now a 2013 MacArthur Fellow—the award also known as a “genius grant.”

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MacArthur Fellowship Supports Exoplanet Breakthroughs

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Sarah Seager
Credit: Sarah SeagerSarah Seager

The detection of hundreds of exoplanets is one of the most exciting stories in contemporary astronomy. These planets, which are orbiting stars other than our sun, are fascinating for many reasons, not least for the possibility that they may offer homes to extraterrestrial life. But how can we know?

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