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← Correspondence regarding the Templeton Foundation

Cartomancer's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Cartomancer

I would be interested to know just how influential the Templeton Foundation and its money have been on the public perception of science and its incompatibility with religion. Obviously it has the potential for great harm, with its many millions of pounds to distribute, but as far as I can tell its actual impact on public perceptions has been rather limited. To be honest I had never heard of the Templeton Foundation before I read about it in The God Delusion, and I hardly ever meet anyone who knows what it is outside the charmed circle of internet atheists. I suspect it is rather better known among academic scientists of course.

Does Templeton money do what the foundation wants it to? If a scientist received a huge cash prize from another institution completely unrelated to science, but with its own agendas and preferences, would that do anything to affect their scientific standing? More importantly, would it affect the credibility of the company itself? Obviously scientists in the pay of tobacco companies are somewhat untrustworthy, but what would we think of a legitimate scientist who, say, received a massive prize from the British Cheese Council, or the Red Arrows Aerobatic Display Team, or the Walt Disney Company? Would that make us think that double gloucester or aerial displays or mickey mouse were any more compatible with science?

Mon, 22 Jun 2009 04:32:00 UTC | #372669