The awards are intended to encourage rigorous journalistic examination of the dynamic and creative interface of science and religion and are open to those working in print, broadcast, and online news. Among the inaugural Templeton-Cambridge Journalism fellows are journalists, editors, and correspondents from the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, New Scientist, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Newsday, and news producers at NPR, ABC, and the BBC.
The relationship of science and religion is a subject of increasing scrutiny. After centuries during which each discipline was considered antithetical to the other, the past several decades have seen an active pursuit of understanding how, for example, science may deepen theological awareness or, in turn, how spirituality may illuminate the scientific realm.
The ultimate goal of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships, say program organizers, is to encourage journalists to write and publish journalistic pieces and news segments that advance public awareness of a complex and rapidly evolving area of inquiry. The program combines optional and required activities in an atmosphere that offers time for study, colleagues who will encourage critical discussion, and access to renowned experts in an extraordinary intellectual and cultural setting.
The Templeton-Cambridge Journalism fellows named today are:
"Science, religion, and the bridge between them is one of the most important stories of our age," says Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships Co-director Fraser Watts, Reader in Theology and Science, University of Cambridge. "The outstanding journalists selected for this fellowship are uniquely suited to investigate, scrutinize, and, ultimately, report on this modern phenomenon."
The two-month program, which runs this June and July, begins with an initial week of preparatory study, followed by two weeks of intense science and religion seminars at Queens' College at the University of Cambridge, under the guidance of renowned scholars, scientists, and thinkers who will offer an overview of key issues.
Speakers at the Queens' College seminars include:
Following the seminars, fellows will undertake five weeks of independent study and private research into areas of their own specific interest, such as origins of life, anthropic principle, cosmology, genetic engineering, astrobiology, and spirituality and health. They will also receive a detailed program of readings tailored to their individual interests, including the development of a personal library of some 50 books that will serve as an ongoing resource for future research and reporting.
The independent study includes preparation of an oral presentation, ultimately publishable, to be given at a concluding seminar during the last week of July.
The Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships are administered from offices in New York and Cambridge. Information and applications for the 2006 fellowships, to be accepted after October 1, 2005, can be found at www.templeton-cambridge.org.