RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The John Templeton Foundation has awarded UC Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer an additional $100,000 to support research on issues related to immortality.
This latest grant will fund four graduate fellowships at UCR -- two each for the next two academic years -- for immortality studies, and a weeklong workshop for young scholars from around the world prior to the June 2015 capstone conference for The Immortality Project.
"We are very excited about this supplementary grant," Fischer said. "We are grateful both to the John Templeton Foundation and also to UCR for providing additional support that will allow us to provide the four graduate fellowships. Specifically, the dean of Graduate Studies, Joseph Childers, has been very generous in providing additional financial resources."
The Immortality Project was established at UCR in 2012 with a $5 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. Fischer, a distinguished professor of philosophy who is widely regarded as the world's leading philosopher on free will, is the project's principal investigator.
In May, the project awarded $2.4 million in grants for science-based research on issues related to immortality such as phenomena associated with near-death experiences, immortality in virtual reality, and genes that prevent a species of freshwater hydra from aging.
The John Templeton Foundation, located near Philadelphia, serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers and theologians, and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights. The foundation's vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton's optimism about the possibility of acquiring "new spiritual information" and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The foundation's motto, "How little we know, how eager to learn," exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.