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Templeton Report: 2014

The Templeton Report is a twice monthly electronic newsletter featuring items on current research, initiatives, and events supported by the Foundation. The Templeton Report is available online and by email subscription.

December 18, 2014

Young People Discover the Laws of Life

Photo: Young People Discover the Laws of Life

What are the rules, ideals, and principles that can guide us through a full and joyous life? Over 25 years ago, Sir John Templeton launched the Laws of Life essay contest to encourage young people to reflect on their purpose. Writing from the Heart, published in 2001, captures many of these extraordinary essays in an inspiring compilation that details what young people have learned about life. Today, the competition continues to spark thousands of students to put pen to paper and describe their experiences, their hopes, and their insights.

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November 25, 2014

Send a Gratitude Gram! New Website Promotes Cycles of Thanks and Giving

Photo: Send a Gratitude Gram! New Website Promotes Cycles of Thanks and Giving

A new website and initiative from the John Templeton Foundation intends to help increase the spiral of gratitude. ElementofGratitude.org aims to put the ancient insight and scientific evidence into practice by demonstrating that gratitude and thankfulness do indeed lead to giving, and vice versa. The goal of the site is to start a chain reaction across the internet, an online manifestation of the gratitude spiral.

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November 6, 2014

Older and Younger Generations Celebrated in 2014 Purpose Prize

Photo: Older and Younger Generations Celebrated in 2014 Purpose Prize

Six individuals have won a 2014 Purpose Prize, alongside 38 other individuals who have become Purpose Prize Fellows. The program was established by Encore.org to recognize social innovators over 60 and is funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation. This year’s winners were honored on October 28 at an awards ceremony at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona.

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October 23, 2014

What Made Us Human?

Photo: What Made Us Human?

There can be little doubt that human beings are different from other animals. What other terrestrial creature notices its differences and seeks to understand itself to the extent that we do? But what makes us—and made us—unique? A new $4.9 million, three-year grant at Arizona State University’s Institute of Human Origins is enabling a multifaceted, transdisciplinary research project that will help chart the processes that led us to becoming human.

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September 30, 2014

Heroes Celebrated in National Liberty Museum Welcome Gallery Opening

Photo: Heroes Celebrated in National Liberty Museum Welcome Gallery Opening

It has been said that liberty is always unfinished business. Liberty is strong and fragile; it must seize its opportunities and be lived. Fostering such an engagement with liberty lies behind the National Liberty Museum’s (NLM) new Welcome to Liberty gallery in Philadelphia, an interactive space, free to the public, uniquely designed to bring liberty to life and celebrate heroes of liberty of the past, present, and future.

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September 11, 2014

Reframing the Debate on Poverty

Photo: Reframing the Debate on Poverty

Enersa is Haiti’s only manufacturer of solar panels and appliances. The company hires and trains employees from some of the poorest parts of the country, as well as develops products tailor-made for the local economy. The company is creating new opportunities for wealth creation in Haiti championed by PovertyCure, an international network that fosters free enterprise and entrepreneurial opportunity in the developing world. The John Templeton Foundation is supporting efforts to expand the connectivity, communication, and vision for this project.

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July 31, 2014

National Humanities Medal Awarded to JTF Grantee Krista Tippett

Photo: National Humanities Medal Awarded to JTF Grantee Krista Tippett

Krista Tippett has received a National Humanities Medal, the annual American award for deepening the nation’s engagement with the humanities. Creator and presenter of the radio show On Being and John Templeton Foundation grantee, Tippett received the award at a ceremony at the White House on Monday, July 28th.

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July 17, 2014

Toward a Science of the Imagination

Photo: Toward a Science of the Imagination

“When the imagination sleeps, words are emptied of their meaning,” reflected writer and Nobel laureate Albert Camus. But what is the imagination? Is it sheer fantasy, or might it be crucial to engaging with life and exploring the world? How might it relate to dreaming, to personal development or mental flexibility? And what scientific information is needed to understand how imagination functions and grows?

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June 26, 2014

Gratitude Summit Explores the Queen of the Virtues

Photo: Gratitude Summit Explores the Queen of the Virtues

Studies have repeatedly confirmed that gratitude lies at the heart of joy. The scientific exploration of wellbeing, called positive psychology, continues to illuminate the ways in which the capacity to give thanks plays this critical role. It is the “queen of the virtues,” says Robert Emmons, one of the leading researchers in the field and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. And yet, Emmons has also observed that studying gratitude is often met by a marked resistance.

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June 5, 2014

2014 World Science Festival Explores the Big Questions

Photo: 2014 World Science Festival Explores the Big Questions

Science and technology progress at a thrilling pace, and often in novel directions. How can the average citizen keep up with developments, not only out of interest, but also out of the need to be informed when advances pose difficult ethical questions? One answer is the World Science Festival, an annual event providing lively and informed discussions of the Big Questions.

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May 14, 2014

Churches Empowered When Informed About Science

Photo: Churches Empowered When Informed About Science

Science is often presumed to be a tricky matter for people of faith. Pew Research has found that Americans can feel uncomfortable accepting scientific discoveries when they are perceived to contradict their religious beliefs. But Scientists in Congregations is discovering that the apparent opposition can be overcome. 

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April 23, 2014

Nurturing the Gifted, and Why That Matters to Us All

Photo: Nurturing the Gifted, and Why That Matters to Us All

How can gifted children be helped to reach their full potential? What benefits might accrue to society with their full flourishing? Can the environments that enable the development of talent be better understood?

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April 9, 2014

The Makings of Genius

Photo: The Makings of Genius

What generates genius? Are studies coming closer to understanding scientific or spiritual brilliance? Can genius be nurtured or grown? The subject was recently explored in a series of events and discussions called “7 Days of Genius,” presented by the 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community organization in New York City, and supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.

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March 27, 2014

Tomáš Halík Wins 2014 Templeton Prize

Photo: Tomáš Halík Wins 2014 Templeton Prize

The 2014 Templeton Prize has been awarded to Msgr. Prof. Tomáš Halík, a Czech priest and philosopher who risked imprisonment for advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet occupation of his country. 

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March 12, 2014

Entrepreneurs of Reform Gather at the Antigua Forum

Photo: Entrepreneurs of Reform Gather at the Antigua Forum

A project of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, based in Guatemala City, and sponsored through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Antigua Forum brings together entrepreneurs and reformers from around the world to “think disruptively.”

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February 27, 2014

The Vastness of Cosmic Reality is Good News, Says Max Tegmark

Photo: The Vastness of Cosmic Reality is Good News, Says Max Tegmark

Are we insignificant? Does living on a small planet around an average star leave us lost in the unfathomable vastness of space? Or do our self-conscious minds and complex brains, able to contemplate the vastness from whence we came, actually make us the most noteworthy feature of the cosmos that we know of to date?

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February 11, 2014

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

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

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.

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Email: Communications

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