Templeton Awards $7.2 Million for Black Hole Initiative

Templeton Awards $7.2 Million for Black Hole Initiative

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded $7.2 million over three years to Harvard University in support of the university’s recently launched Black Hole Initiative, the Harvard Crimson reports.

The grant will be used to encourage the interdisciplinary study of black holes. Announced in April with a presentation that included noted physicist and theoretician Stephen Hawking, who earlier in his career correctly hypothesized that black holes emit radiation, now called Hawking radiation, the initiative will use the funding to establish programs that bring together faculty and students from the humanities and sciences and produce a film that explores the deeper philosophical questions raised by the existence of black holes.

“The goal is to bring these people together that otherwise do not meet very often and to cultivate a sort of culture of people interested in black holes,” said Abraham Loeb, director of Harvard’s astronomy department and leader of the initiative. “It’s the only center worldwide that is focused on research on black holes, and because of that Stephen Hawking made it a special priority to come here.”

Alec J. Grigorian. "Black Hole Initiative Receives $7.2 Million in Funding." Harvard Crimson 05/11/2016.