metanexusinstitute: projects

The symposium honored the vision of theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler in his 90th year—and took it forward into a new century of increasingly expanding discovery.
The program at the University of California, Berkeley convened some of the greatest minds in physics and cosmology, including 18 Nobel laureates, for an exploration of some of the challenges in 21st-century science. The symposium was in honor of the 90th birthday of Charles Townes, the invention of the amazing laser, the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s “miracle year,” and the World Year of Physics
This interdisciplinary social scientific research initiative on the economic and social consequences of religion and spirituality was made possible with funding from the John Templeton Foundation. The program sought to integrate the concept of spiritual capital into the human sciences by supporting rigorous and innovative research to build a network of scholars for a new field of study.
The research program supported rigorous investigations into various aspects of the sociocultural, psychological, and neurological factors that underlie the spiritual transformations of individuals and groups. The program sponsored conferences, awarded 24 research grants, and conducted special activities to help create an interdisciplinary field in the human sciences for researching spiritual transformation using cutting-edge methodologies and experimental designs that could provide new insights.
The primary goal of this research program was to foster innovation in research design as well as the scientific scope and impact of religion and spirituality. A second goal was to encourage the development of creative insights into the forces that shape and expand world religions and the human conceptualization of God.
The primary aim of the Templeton Research Lectures was to promote dialogue and research between the sciences (physical, biological, human) and religion, theology, and philosophy. Science can inspire great reverence, wonder, and awe. It also raises religious questions of meaning, purpose, and values. By probing the nature of reality through experiment and discovery, science changes our world and our worldviews. This project sought to create long-term scholarly networks for interdisciplinary research.

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