4.5 Million Rea$ons for Optimism
Andrew Chignell (Cornell) and Samuel Newlands (Notre Dame) are the recipients of a $4.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for their project, “Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations.”
What will they do with these funds?
The three-year interdisciplinary effort will explore the theoretical, empirical and practical dimensions of hope, optimism, and related states by supporting new research in the social sciences, philosophy, and religion. Grant activities will include three separate research initiatives (social sciences, philosophy, and philosophy of religion) with residential and non-residential fellowships for faculty, post-docs, and grad students…. The grant will also sponsor a weeklong collaborative conference for all grant participants in the summer of 2016, as well as other major conferences, publications, and a series of workshops and other informal collaborations. As part of an effort to reach out beyond academia, the grant will also provide $60,000 in funding for playwriting and amateur video competitions.
One can’t help but wonder whether Simon Critchley was anticipating this announcement when he chose the topic of his NYTimes essay this week: