$3.4 Million Grant for Project on Humility in Inquiry


Philosopher Nathan Ballantyne (Arizona State University) and psychologist Norbert Schwarz (University of Southern California) have won a $3.4 million grant for their project, “Humility in Inquiry”.

“The project focuses on humility in inquiry—the practices and processes that encourage humble, open-minded thinking,” says Professor Ballantyne. “The project’s aim is to support intensive collaborations between philosophers and scientists, and ultimately to establish a new paradigm of interdisciplinary research.”

The grant supporting the research was awarded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Professors Ballantyne and Schwarz will in turn be distributing subawards totaling $1.3 million. These will support research by multidisciplinary teams with members drawn from philosophy, psychological science, and related fields to address one or more of the themes of “Applying Epistemic Ideals, Science and Organizations, and Mindsets and Metacognitive Perspectives”. (If you’re interested, letters of intent are due by the end of February, and funding will be available for subaward teams this summer.)

The project will also be hosting a summer seminar, a conference, and workshops.

You can learn more about the project at its website.

Beyond the Ivory Tower. Workshop for academics on writing short pieces for wide audiences on big questions. Taking place October 18th to 19th. Application deadline July 30th. Funding provided.
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Matt Ferkany
1 year ago

Big congrats to Ballantyne and Schwarz! Fantastic news. I do hope that some of these funds will be used to support research relating to science denialism, a big problem for public inquiry and dialogue on the major socioscientific problems like climate change and vaccine hesitancy. Years ago I proposed to the JTF to do research relating to humility and arrogance in public thinking and discourse on climate change, and was told over the phone by a grants officer that they do not fund anything relating to climate change. I was rather shocked. Isn’t this one of the most important areas in which we need some greater understanding of the demands of humility? I’m probably hereby killing any opportunity of my ever receiving their support again, but I do hope the culture there has changed on this subject.

Nathan B
Nathan B
Reply to  Matt Ferkany
1 year ago

Thank you, Prof. Ferkany. My understanding is that the Templeton Foundation can fund research on how people make judgments and reason about all sorts of topics, including climate change. If a proposal on humility, arrogance, and climate change denialism were submitted for the RFP on humility in inquiry, our team would certainly consider funding that type of work.

David Thorstad
1 year ago

Great news! This sounds like a very interesting project.

Perez Ehinon
1 year ago

This is a welcome development! Congratulations, Prof Ballantyne and Prof Schwarz. Our team will participate in this

Tristan Haze
1 year ago

Let’s hope the money doesn’t go to their heads!