The Templeton Foundation III: Cash for rose-tinted spectacles

Rose-tinted spectacles.Shortly after I wrote the pieces for the Times Higher Educational Supplement and Association of British Science Writers newsletter last year, Prof. Paul Davies (a well-known physicist and former Templeton prizewinner) contacted me and asked if I would be willing to participate in a documentary about the Templeton Foundation being put together by an Australian team. I was, he said, one of the few people willing to take the anti-Templeton side. I took his request at face value and, initially, I agreed. Read More …

The Templeton Foundation II: The Agenda

Let Freedom RingThe Foundation was set up by Sir John Templeton (now in his mid-90s), who made his money in the financial markets. Though supposedly set up “to pursue new insights at the boundary between theology and science”, it funds many activities that are entirely religious. These include the Epiphany prizefor the, “most inspiring movie and the most inspiring television program of the year… presented by the Christian Film & Television Commission.” There is a similar film prize for Europe, plus three prizes for religious journalism. Though not traditionally creationist, the Templeton Foundation Press publishes many books that suggest that the universe was ‘designed’. Read More …

The Templeton Foundation I: Buying science

Buying scienceOne of the most insidious programs I’ve ever been invited to apply for (needless to say, I declined) is the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science and Religion. Run in part by the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University, it’s stated aim is offer, “an opportunity to examine the dynamic and creative interface between science and religion.” Or, in my words, to help blur the edges between science and religion. Since a postcard from them just dropped through my door (again) I thought now might be the right time to discuss this program and the foundation that funds it. Read More …

Government backs medicine without science

http://www.kitchenemporium.com/cgi-bin/kitchen/prod/49np695.htmlI don’t want this blog to become a tirade against pseudoscience: there are too many interesting, real science and technology stories out there to cover. Also, medicine is not usually my beat. However, in the UK, the support of pseudoscience—in the form of homeopathy—has recently become law. To me this speaks of a shift in this country away from science and towards superstition and wishful thinking: it’s therefore worth writing about. Read More …