Public Release: 

Leading journalists named for new Templeton-Cambridge fellowships

John Templeton Foundation

NEW YORK, February 28--Ten journalists with distinguished careers covering topics ranging from science and the environment to ethics and religion have been named as the first recipients of the annual Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science & Religion. The fellows were announced today by the New York office of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships, which were established last year by the John Templeton Foundation of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The fellowships include a program of scholarship and research at the University of Cambridge in England. Fellows also receive a book allowance, travel expenses, and a $15,000 stipend.

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:

  • Michael Brooks, Senior Features Editor, New Scientist magazine

  • Dan Fagin, Environment Writer, Newsday

  • Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion, Spirituality and Ethics Reporter, USA Today

  • Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Religion Correspondent, National Public Radio

  • John Horgan, Freelance Journalist and Author and former Senior Writer, Scientific American

  • George Johnson, Science Writer, New York Times, and winner of the AAAS Science Journalism Award

  • Kristina Kendall, Producer, ABC News, 20/20

  • Martin Redfern, Senior Producer, BBC Radio Science Unit

  • John Timpane, Commentary Page Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Shankar Vedantam, National Correspondent, Science and Human Behavior, Washington Post

    "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:

  • Denis R. Alexander, Head of the Laboratory of Signalling and Development, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK

  • John Barrow, Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences, and Director, Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge

  • Margaret A. Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex, UK

  • Ronald Cole-Turner, H. Parker Sharp Professor of Theology & Ethics, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, US

  • Paul Davies, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

  • Richard Dawkins, Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University

  • Thomas Dixon, Lecturer in History, University of Lancaster, UK

  • Owen Gingerich, Research Professor of Astronomy and the History of Science, Harvard University, US

  • Bruno Guiderdoni, Director of Research, Paris Institute of Astrophysics, and Director, Islamic Institute for Advanced Studies, Embrun, France

  • Sir John Houghton, Chairman, John Ray Initiative, London

  • Barrie W. Jones, Professor of Astronomy, Open University, UK

  • Peter Lipton, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

  • Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology, University of Cambridge

  • Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary, US

  • Sir John Polkinghorne, President Emeritus, Queens' College, University of Cambridge

    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

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