NEW YORK, March 5 - Ten prominent journalists from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been selected for the third annual Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science & Religion. Widely praised since their launch in 2004, the fellowships include a program of research and scholarship at the University of Cambridge in England. The 2007 fellows were announced today by the New York office of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships, which are funded by the John Templeton Foundation of West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
In the fellowship program, a diverse group of eminent journalists examine key areas in the broad field of science and religion through independent research as well as seminars and discussion groups, led by some of the world's foremost physicists, cosmologists, and theologians, at the University of Cambridge. Fellows are provided a $15,000 stipend, a book allowance, and travel expenses.
"The fellowships provide some of the top journalists worldwide with an opportunity to engage in a rigorous and wide-ranging examination of the field of science and religion," says Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships Co-director Fraser Watts, Reader in Theology and Science, University of Cambridge. "With the deeper understanding that they gain through the fellowship program, these journalists will be better able to promote a more informed public discussion of science and religion."
The 2007 fellows represent a broad sweep from the field of journalism, a reflection, the program's organizers say, of the extent of the current interest in science and religion. Included are journalists, editors, and correspondents from the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Vancouver Sun, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nature, and National Geographic Adventure, as well as a freelance writer and a documentary filmmaker.
The Templeton-Cambridge Journalism fellows named today are:
Sandra Blakeslee, Science Reporter, New York Times
Andrew Brown, Feature Writer, Guardian
Richard Denton, Documentary Filmmaker
Juliet Eilperin, National Environmental Reporter, Washington Post
Michael Fitzgerald, Freelance Writer
Paul Kvinta, Contributing Editor, National Geographic Adventure
Jeremy Manier, Science and Medical Reporter, Chicago Tribune
Ehsan Masood, Consultant-Editor and Lead Writer, Nature
Peter McKnight, Columnist and Editorial Board Member, Vancouver Sun
Sharon Schmickle, Reporter, Minneapolis Star Tribune
The relationship of science and religion is a subject of increasing scrutiny today. After decades during which leading voices from science and religion viewed each other with suspicion and little sense of how the two areas might relate, recent years have brought an active pursuit of understanding how science may deepen theological awareness, for example, or how religious traditions might illuminate the scientific realm. Fellowship organizers note that rigorous journalistic examination of the region where science and theology overlap--as well as understanding the reasoning of many who assert the two disciplines are without common ground--can effectively promote a deeper understanding of this emerging dialogue.
That discussion will be furthered, organizers say, by encouraging journalists to write articles and produce news segments that advance public awareness of this complex and rapidly evolving field of inquiry. The extraordinary intellectual and cultural setting at Cambridge, they add, will provide fellows with an opportunity to meet with colleagues for critical discussion and have access to prominent experts in the field.
"The story of science and religion, with its deep roots in the past, has grown into one of the most complex, interesting, and important stories of our time," says Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships Co-director Sir Brian Heap, Research Associate, University of Cambridge. "This program aims to support the outstanding journalists selected for the fellowships in covering this story with the depth, rigor, and thoroughness that it requires and deserves."
The two-month program, running in June and July, begins with an initial week of preparatory study, followed by two weeks of intensive science and religion seminars at Queens' College at the University of Cambridge, June 9-22, conducted by renowned scholars, scientists, theologians, and intellectuals who will offer an overview of key issues.
Speakers at the Cambridge seminars include:
- Denis R. Alexander, Director, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, University of Cambridge
John D. Barrow FRS, Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director, Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge
Nicholas Lash, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity Emeritus, University of Cambridge
Peter Lipton, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
James Lovelock FRS, Honorary Visiting Fellow, Green College, University of Oxford, UK
Simon Conway Morris FRS, Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology, University of Cambridge
Baroness Neuberger DBE, Liberal Democrat Peer, House of Lords, and President, Liberal Judaism
Ken Pargament, Professor of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, US
Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne FRS, President Emeritus, Queens' College, University of Cambridge
Jamil Ragep, Canada Research Chair in the History of Science in Islamic Societies, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Canada
Tariq Ramadan, Visiting Professor, St. Anthony's College, University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow, Lokahi Foundation, UK
Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus, University of Oxford, and Professor of Divinity, Gresham College, UK
Lewis Wolpert FRS, Emeritus Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine, University College London, UK
Following the seminars, fellows will undertake five weeks of independent study and research into areas of their own specific interest, such as origins of life, neuroscience, the laws of nature, cosmology, genetic engineering, astrobiology, spirituality and health, and Islam and science. They will also receive a detailed program of readings tailored to their individual interests, including the development of a personal library that will serve as an ongoing resource for future research and reporting.
The program finishes with an oral, ultimately publishable presentation by each fellow, to be given at a concluding seminar in Cambridge, July 29-August 3.
The Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships are administered from offices in New York and Cambridge. More information can be found at www.templeton-cambridge.org.