Die Templeton-Stiftung – immer wieder eine Erfolgsgeschichte.
I recently received an invitation to speak at Amazing Light, a conference in Berkeley in honor of Charles Townes. The conference is devoted to science, not anything about religion, and I was asked to give a standard review talk about dark matter and dark energy. But the timing was suspiciously close to the announcement of Townes’ Templeton Prize, and a quick glance at the conference web page revealed that it was indeed receiving funding from the Templeton Foundation. It is being organized by something called the Metanexus Institute, and is part of a program known as Foundational Questions — organizations that are somehow associated with the Templeton web.
The point is that the entire purpose of the Templeton Foundation is to blur the line between straightforward science and explicitly religious activity, making it seem like the two enterprises are part of one big undertaking. It’s all about appearances. You have a splashy scientific conference featuring a long list of respected participants, and then you proudly tout the event on a separate web page for your program to bring science and religion together. It doesn’t matter that I am a committed atheist, simply giving a talk on interesting findings in modern cosmology; my name would become implicitly associated with an effort I find to be woefully misguided. There are plenty of conferences, with less objectionable sources of funding; I can give this one a pass.
The unfortunate aspect of this late-blooming twinge of conscience is that none of the buckets of money being thrown around will be thrown at me. The honorarium for giving a talk at the Townes conference is $2,000 (over and above travel expenses), and writing a contribution to the proceedings gets you an extra $6,000.
A guy could have quite the weekend in Vegas with that kind of scratch.
(Hervorhebung von mir. Der gesamte Artikel ist auf http://preposterousuniverse.blogspot.com/2005/04/purity-of-essence.html.)
In Oxford fand seit Sonntag (bis heute) eine von der Templeton-Stiftung organisierte (und finanzierte) Tagung über die Multiversums-Theorie statt.
Die Tagung trägt den Titel PHILOSOPHY OF COSMOLOGY 2009 – characterising science and beyond, teilnehmen dürfen nur eingeladene Gäste.
Autor der Berichte ist Sean Carroll, derselbe von dem der oben zitierte 2005 veröffentlichte Artikel stammt. Immerhin stellt er (in einem der Kommentare zu Tag 3) aber klar:
[…] when I’m reporting what someone says, those are their words (as well as I could reproduce them), not mine. I didn’t edit, even when I strongly disagree.
Ob und wieviel das Discover Magazine für die Berichterstattung bezahlt, wird in den Beiträgen nicht erwähnt.
P.Woit kommentiert in “Not even wrong”:
The problem with Templeton funding is not that they choose the speakers, but that they use their money to try and legitimize a pseudo-scientific subject as science, a project then carried out by legitimate scientists. I believe that the majority of physicists consider most multiverse research to be pseudo-science, and would object to a conference about it being funded out of standard peer-reviewed sources.