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Templeton Grantees Respond to the Coronavirus

At the beginning of 1665, a deadly plague shuttered Cambridge University and sent a 23-year-old Isaac Newton back to his family estate. There, in relative seclusion, Newton thought and wrote and calculated — making breakthroughs in calculus, motion, optics, and gravitation. Newton’s annus mirabilis has become an oft-repeated (and at times embellished) chestnut in the history of science, but it gets at the truth that when the world is turned upside-down and many possibilities are foreclosed, others can open up. 

Today, as then, tragedy, uncertainty, and massive shifts in the rules of everyday life are touching all of us in different ways. During times of turmoil brought on by the coronavirus, we are grateful that many of the grantees we work with are lending their talents and the fruits of their research to contribute to the difficult questions we all are facing — of what human flourishing and service to others can look like in a state of social isolation and pandemic. 

Below we’ve highlighted a few of their efforts. We know this is just the tip of the iceberg. We invite you to let us know if there are other ways that our community of grantees is exemplifying a spirit of service, insight, and innovation in a time of need.