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CTNS STARS Program Awards Grants
to Five Research Teams

Interdisciplinary Teams Each Receive $100,000

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Phone: 510-649-2564


BERKELEY, California, December 14, 2007 – STARS, the “Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series” sponsors ground-breaking interdisciplinary research on the ways science, in light of philosophical and theological reflection, points towards the nature, character and meaning of ultimate reality.  STARS research will be undertaken in a highly innovative way: through small teams of scientists and humanities scholars.  Today STARS awarded $100,000 research grants to five interdisciplinary teams. 

“I am delighted with the extraordinary quality and ground-breaking approaches to interdisciplinary research by these five winning teams,” said Robert John Russell, STARS Principal Investigator and the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union. "Their proposed research is at the center of a wide range of scientific research spanned by STARS: from fundamental physics and evolutionary biology to the neurosciences and mathematics.  The implications for our understanding of human spirituality, ethics, aesthetics and religion are very promising.”

In December 2008 two of these grants may be renewed at $200,000 each. The awarding of these grants is based on the recommendations of a panel of distinguished judges.

STARS is a program of the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences (CTNS) in Berkeley, California. Since 1981, CTNS has worked to build bridges between theology and science through research, teaching, and public service.  STARS is funded through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

For more information about CTNS, visit  or call 510-848-8152.

For more information about the STARS Program, visit

Recipients of $100,000 STARS Research Grants

On the Reality of Top-Down Causation
Gennaro Auletta, Director of the Specialization “Science and Philosophy”, Pontifical Gregorian University (Co-Principal Investigator)
Luc Jaeger, Assistant Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara (Co-Principal Investigator)
Paolo D’Ambrosio, Doctoral Student, Pontifical Gregorian University
George Ellis, Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town
William Stoeger, Staff Scientist, Vatican Observatory, Associate Professor, University of Arizona

The Rationality of Ultimate Value: Emotion, Awareness, and Causality in Virtue Ethics and Decision Neuroscience
Warren Brown, Professor of Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary (Co-Principal Investigator)
Gregory Peterson, Associate Professor, South Dakota State University (Co-Principal Investigator)
Kevin Reimer, Professor of Psychology, Azusa Pacific University
Michael Spezio, Assistant Professor, Scripps College; Visiting Scientist, California Institute of Technology
James Van Slyke, Adjunct Professor, Azusa Pacific University

Observation of the Gravitational-Wave Analog of the CMB and Its Implications
for the Origin of the Observable Universe
Raymond Chiao, Professor of Natural Sciences and Engineering, University of California,
Merced (Co-Principal Investigator)
Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Assistant Professor of Theology, Boston University School of Theology (Co-Principal Investigator)

Information and the Origin of Life
Andrew Robinson, Honorary University Fellow, University of Exeter (Co-Principal Investigator)
Christopher Southgate, Research Fellow, University of Exeter (Co-Principal Investigator)

Subjective Experience as a Window on Foundational Physics
Yakir Aharonov, Distinguished Professor of Theoretical Physics, Center for Quantum Studies, George Mason University (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jeffrey Tollaksen, Assistant Professor, Founder and Director, Center for Quantum Studies, George Mason University (Co-Principal Investigator)
David Albert, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University
Paul Davies, College Professor and Director of Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Arizona State University
Brian Greene, Professor, Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics, Columbia University
Maulik Parikh, Assistant Professor, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics


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