Physicist Marcelo Gleiser won Templeton Prize 2019

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Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser has been awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize, worth USD 1.4 million, for his work blending science and spirituality. Gleiser, 60, is the first Latin American to win the award. Previous winners of the award, started in 1972 by late global investor Sir John Templeton, include the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.

Marcelo Gleiser :

Marcelo Gleiser is a Brazilian physicist and astronomer. He is currently Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. Gleiser is a theoretical physicist and author, and a leading science popularizer. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1981 from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, his M.Sc. degree in 1982 from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and his Ph.D. in 1986 from King’s College London. 

The Templeton Prize is an annual award granted to a living person who, in the estimation of the judges, “has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works”. It was established, funded and administered by John Templeton starting in 1972, and then after 1987 by the John Templeton Foundation.  

The prize was originally awarded to people working in the field of religion (Mother Teresa was the first winner), but in the 1980s the scope broadened to include people working at the intersection of science and religion.