New Grant Expands Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology

by William Storrar

CTI has received a new grant of $1.7 million from the John Templeton Foundation to support additional research fellowships and program initiatives in the Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology.

Last fall, CTI announced a groundbreaking program of research fellowships, symposia, and young scholar workshops exploring the societal implications of the search for life in the universe. Supported by a major grant from the NASA Astrobiology Program, the Center’s Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology aims to engage the humanities, social sciences, philosophy, and theology with current science exploring the origins and extent of life in the universe. The Inquiry will bring research scientists and scholars in other fields together in an interdisciplinary discussion of how society supports and structures the search for life and how we will understand the discoveries that flow from it.

Research teams for the Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology will be in residence at CTI in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

This new support from the John Templeton Foundation will provide more fellowships for resident scholars in both years, allow additional participants to join symposia with NASA research scientists, and enable CTI to launch an ambitious three-year outreach program to share the results of the Inquiry with global leaders in interdisciplinary studies, religious thought, and the public understanding of science and society.

CTI has already received applications for research fellowships for 2015-16 supported by NASA funding. With this additional support from the John Templeton Foundation, we are pleased to announce additional fellowship openings for the 2015-16 academic year. Details of fellowship requirements, qualifications, and application procedures can be found on the Apply page of the CTI website. Applications will be received until March 23, 2015, with notification of results by April 30.

Those who have already applied for fellowships during the application period that closed on January 30 will receive full consideration for all available 2015-16 fellowships and need not make a second application.