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Video: What Is Life?

Have we encountered alien life already and just not realized it? Will deepening our understanding of life in the universe transform our understanding of ourselves? Explore the profound questions surrounding the nature and origins of life that propel the research of astrobiologist Dr. Sara Walker of Arizona State University in this interview. Walker is the recipient of a $2.9 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a project, co-led by Templeton Prize laureate Paul Davies, to explore the transitions bridging chemistry and the origins of life. What Is Life? "Life is literally the physics of creativity," says Walker. "It's…

Video: The Science of Morality

Right and wrong, good and evil -- when viewing the world, our moral judgments often feel clear-cut and consistent. Research shows, however, that we're willing to be more forgiving and flexible with those who are socially close to us, while applying sterner judgments to those who are far away. Why do we make these exceptions? And how can we broaden our sense of morality to be more fair to people outside of our tribes? Learn more about the science of morality in this interview with Dr. Liane Young, professor of psychology at Boston College. Young is the project co-leader with…

Research: The Surprising Power of Prayer in Relationships

Scientists explore prayer’s power to change us—and how we care for others In moments of joy, delight, and wonder, humans pray. In great need, in adulation, in fear and trembling, humans pray. To Allah, Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, to our ancestors, to God—and to gods—humans pray. We pray even if we don’t know what—or if—we believe. For as long as humans have a history, we see signs of prayer. The human impulse to pray is reflected across millennia of art and culture. In contemporary times, movies and books are rife with characters casting themselves on a higher power. Beyond the ubiquitous…

Prayer, Relationships, and Health

Over the course of dozens of studies, Frank Fincham has compiled an impressive list of ways that prayer and forgiveness make a difference. Frank Fincham, who holds an endowed chair of the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, is a former Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford doctorate and a long track record of insightful study of relationships, religious practice, and health. In 2011 he was the recipient, as director of the FSU Family Institute, of a $1.13 million, four-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to investigate the ways that prayer and forgiveness affect relational well-being and physical health.…

Dr. Francis S. Collins Awarded 2020 Templeton Prize

GENETICIST AND PHYSICIAN DR. FRANCIS S. COLLINS AWARDED TEMPLETON PRIZE AT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES BUILDING IN WASHINGTON, D.C.   “In Praise of Harmony”   WASHINGTON, DC — Geneticist and physician Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, who led the Human Genome Project to its successful completion in 2003 and throughout his career has advocated for the integration of faith and reason, was awarded the 2020 Templeton Prize this evening in a largely virtual ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. In his Templeton Prize address delivered on the stage of the…

Foundation Approves Over $105 Million in New Programs

In June and July 2021, the Board of Trustees of the John Templeton Foundation approved 91 funding requests with an approximate total value of $105 million to support new programs. Learn more about recent projects we have funded that are now active. These include: Investigating how the arrow of time emerges from the building blocks of reality How and when children learn how to forgive Exploring the health effects of religion and spirituality The role that gratitude plays in long-term relationships Understanding the limits of our current knowledge Developing a global perspective on the philosophy of religion Addressing poverty in…

John Templeton Foundation Approves Over $49 Million in New Programs

During the final quarter of 2020, the Board of Trustees of the John Templeton Foundation approved 31 funding requests with an approximate total value of over $49 million, the Foundation has announced. "The proposals we have approved show exceptional promise to benefit humanity by contributing to human flourishing," said Heather Templeton Dill, President of the John Templeton Foundation. "Like all the work we support, these projects aim to contribute new perspectives and ideas to subjects of profound importance. Such topics have included research on forgiveness, intellectual humility, and the origins of life, as well as projects that advance our strategic priorities…

‘Thank You’ — The Simple Secret to Love

Foundation-Supported Researchers Win Nobel Prize and MacArthur Fellowship

Two researchers who have received support from the John Templeton Foundation were announced this week as winners of the Nobel Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship. Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on developing a method for editing the genome. She received the award jointly with Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier of France. Doudna was the co-leader of a John Templeton Foundation-supported project to convene discussions among scientists, ethicists, and civil and religious leaders on the challenges and opportunities of gene editing and to develop “a set of common principles to…

Monthly Grant Report – July 2019

Recently Approved Grants Character Virtue Development Project Title Grantee(s) Project Leader(s) Grant Amount #CultivatingCharacter: A Global Movement to Cultivate Character both Online and Off Through Living 24/6 Let it Ripple, Inc Tiffany Shlain $350,000 Exemplar Interventions to Develop Character Wake Forest University Eranda Jayawickreme, Michael Lamb $1,686,200 Identifying Metrics of Character Development in Adults: Insights from shared life in L’Arche L'Arche USA Tina Bovermann, Brenna Case $220,000 Individual differences and children’s motivations for forgiveness Trustees of Boston University Peter Blake $233,917 Innovative Videos for the Greater Good Regents of the University of California at Berkeley Jason Marsh $234,800   Human…