Marcelo Gleiser, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is the 2019 Templeton Prize Laureate as a leading proponent of the view that science, philosophy and spirituality are complementary expressions of humanity’s need to embrace mystery and the unknown.
A native of Brazil, Gleiser is well known for his books and television documentaries – he was born in Rio de Janeiro to an influential family in the city’s Jewish community. He is the first Latin American to be awarded the Templeton Prize.
He received his initial science degree at the Pontifical Catholic University in 1981 and earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from King’s College London.
He is known for his critique of so-called “theories of everything.” His research has ranged from the behavior of quantum fields and elementary particles, to early universe cosmology, the dynamics of phase transitions, astrobiology, and new fundamental measures of entropy and complexity based on information theory.
He often describes science as an “engagement with the mysterious,” inseparable from humanity’s relationship with the natural world, according to the Templeton Foundation.
“The path to scientific understanding and scientific exploration is not just about the material part of the world,” said Gleiser in his acceptance speech. “My mission is to bring back to science, and to the people that are interested in science, this attachment to the mysterious, to make people understand that science is just one other way for us to engage with the mystery of who we are.”
He will formally receive the Templeton Prize at a ceremony in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in New York City on May 29.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.