The John Templeton Foundation has announced grants totaling $85 million in support of fifty-seven initiatives.
In its latest funding round, the foundation approved proposals in support of several of its program areas, including the social and physical sciences, individual freedom and free markets, character virtue development, and voluntary family planning. Recent grant recipients include Washington State University ($3 million), in support of research on epigenetic biomarkers that could provide early-stage diagnostics for disease susceptibility; Harvard University ($7.2 million) to launch the Black Hole Initiative, the first worldwide center dedicated to the study of black holes; and the University of Kent (£2.3 million), in support of a multidisciplinary research effort aimed at mapping the nature of atheism and "unbelief" in Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"We're delighted to move forward with approving these requests, which represent a range of our philanthropic interests as well as our strategic priorities over the next five years," said Templeton Foundation president Heather Templeton Dill. "We look forward to seeing these projects develop and hope that they will continue to add to the remarkable results achieved by recent grantees. From studying the nature of 'unbelief' to exploring the health impact of environmental factors on human epigenetics, and revealing the first-ever image of a black hole, our grantees are pushing the boundaries of knowledge across a variety of fields. And their efforts are having real human impact, helping children to develop character virtues; bringing science education to seminaries, madrasas, and synagogues; and expanding platforms for freedom and human rights around the globe."
(Photo credit: the Black Hole Initiative)