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Science Meets Spirituality: Dartmouth Professor Marcelo Gleiser Awarded Templeton Prize

A headshot of Dartmouth College professor Marcelo Gleiser
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College professor Marcelo Gleiser was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for 2019.

Dartmouth College professor of physics and astronomy Marcelo Gleiser has won the prestigious Templeton Prize. Gleiser was awarded the 2019 prize for his work blending hard science with deep spirituality, examining how the study of physics can engage in the world of the unseen.

Gleiser calls science “a flirt with the mysterious,” and said it's scientists' job to explore things that aren't yet understood.

“[Science] is a portal for us to engage with something much, much bigger than we are,” Gleiser told VPR. “And in that sense, I find that this pursuit of this engagement with the mysterious is a very spiritual endeavor – not within particular organized religion, you know, but as something which speaks directly to the human condition. You know, to our urge to understand who we are in this very, very big universe.”

More from NPR — "Marcelo Gleiser Wins Templeton Prize For Quest To Confront 'Mystery Of Who We Are'" [March 20]

The Templeton Prize comes with a $1.4 million award. Gleiser said the money is not delegated for research purposes, and he plans to put it toward his retirement, college educations for his five children, and charitable contributions.

Previous recipients of the Templeton Prize include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.

Listen above to Marcelo Gleiser's interview with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Bayla joined VPR in 2018 as the producer for Morning Edition. She left in 2019.
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