Preposterous Universe

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Love unlimited

Mark gets one of the most amusing grant-program notices ever.
The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love - Altruism, Compassion, Service (http://www.unlimitedloveinstitute.org/), which was established through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (http://www.templeton.org/), has announced "Unto Others: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on the Love of Neighbor," a course competition for secondary school faculty.
I don't want to be on record as coming out against unlimited love, but -- would it be cynical of me to think that, as goals go, this one is perhaps a little vague and unrealistic? The Templeton folks are just throwing money right and left, though. I got a notice myself, but it was only for lunch, not for unlimited love.
The John Templeton Foundation Brown Bag Lunch Program

As a follow-up to the mailing sent last week, we wish to encourage you to apply to lead a discussion group at your university. The aim of the Templeton Brown Bag Lunches is to create space for the discussion of broad, interdisciplinary, and timely themes relating to questions of human significance. We have great hopes that this program will succeed in fostering creative conversation and stimulating new research ideas.

Attached are the program announcement and application form. We are welcoming applications now, and they must be postmarked by no later than June 1, 2005 to be considered for funding. The first program cycle of this new initiative will run from September 2005 - December 2005.

Please respond to this e-mail with any questions you may have.

Maya Brym
Program Manager
Templeton Brown Bag Lunches
They've mastered the art of proposing things that seemingly nobody can disagree with. Who would be against the creation of space "for the discussion of broad, interdisciplinary, and timely themes relating to questions of human significance"? But as Mark says, it's all part of the bigger agenda of lending respectability to religion through an apparent affiliation with science.

Usually cosmologists don't have to work very hard to avoid temptation, since nobody considers us important enough to warrant corruption. It's nice to feel wanted.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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