The FQXI organization has just announced the details of $2.7 million dollars in grants that it will be handing out. The winners and their projects are described here. As usual, one of the main topics funded by FQXI is multiverse studies. There’s also another news story on the topic from them here, which examines the question: “Are we in danger of a fatal crash with another universe?”
At the same time, FQXI announced an essay contest on the topic of “The Nature of Time”, first prize is $10,000.
FQXI is funded by the Templeton Foundation, an organization whose goal is to bring science and religion together. The founder of the Foundation, Sir John Templeton, died last month at the age of 95, leaving his son in charge of the place. While the father seems to have been a rather Unitarian sort, the son Jack is the money behind the right-wing PAC Let Freedom Ring. Sir John’s death will provide Jack Templeton with a lot more money to spend. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a story about this, which explains that the plan is to hire new vice-presidents, with the goal of coming up with new ideas of how to spend more money to support free enterprise and virtue. Not clear yet what this means for FQXI, or for some of the other physicist beneficiaries of Templeton largess over the years.