Templeton Prize

When and where?

I was awarded the 1995 Templeton Prize for my work on the deeper significance of science. The award was announced at a press conference at The United Nations in New York. The ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey in May 1995 in front of an audience of 700, where I delivered a 30 minute address describing my personal vision of science and theology. It was followed by a private meeting in Buckingham Palace, where Prince Philip presented me with a cheque, a medal and a certificate. The judges for the 1995 prize included President George Bush Sr. and Baroness Margaret Thatcher.


What is The Templeton Prize?

The Templeton Prize is the world's largest prize for intellectual endeavour, and is automatically increased to remain ahead of the Nobel Prize. In the year I was awarded the prize it was described as for "a living individual who has shown extraordinary originality in helping to advance the world's understanding of God and/or spirituality." The prize has been running since 1973; other prizewinners include Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Ian Barbour, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Sir Alistair Hardy, Carl Friederich von Weizäcker, Freeman Dyson, John Polkinghorne and George Ellis. For more information, see http://www.templetonprize.org.


Who is John Templeton?

Sir John Templeton was born in the USA and educated at Yale and Oxford. He became an investment fund manager in the 1950's, and took up residence in Nassau, Bahamas, where he lived until his death in 2008. In addition to sponsoring The Templeton Prize, he founded the John Templeton Foundation, based in Pennsylvania. The Foundation supports hundreds of research projects, book and essay competitions, and lecture courses worldwide, ranging from cutting edge research in cosmology, the foundations of physics and mathematics, through primate research, human evolution and social behaviour, to studies of philosophy, religion and spiritual practices. The Foundation does not subscribe to any particular religion; rather, it takes its vision from the methodology of science, adopting a spirit of open-minded inquiry and a constructive engagement between science and religion/spirituality. Its ethos is summarized by the words of Sir John Templeton: "How little we know, how eager to learn."


Press conference at the 
United Nations


Presentation ceremony at 
Buckingham Palace


With other Templeton Prize 
winners Ian Barbour & Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn