I just came across John Horgan’s piece on The Templeton Foundation. In 2005 he was invited to be one of the first batch of Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellows in Science and Religion. This involved spending several weeks at Cambridge University, listening to scientists and philosophers talking (‘pontificzting’) about science and religion. As an added inducement he would receive $15,000 in addition to all expenses.
Understandably, he accepted. The article tells us what happened and also how he feels about the organisation now.
Although there were no conditions attached to his attendance at least one offcial thought that some reciprocation was implied.
She told us that the meeting cost more than $1-million, and in return the foundation wanted us to publish articles touching on science and religion. But when I told her one evening at dinner that~— given all the problems caused by religion throughout human history~— I didn’t want science and religion to be reconciled, and that I hoped humanity would eventually outgrow religion, she replied that she didn’t think someone with those opinions should have accepted a fellowship. So much for an open exchange of views.
If, like me you’ve always wondered about the foundation, you will find this article interesting.
Horgan’s site has a lot of other interesting articles; well worth exploring.