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Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek is the 2022 Templeton Prize

“Wilczek is one of those rare and wonderful individuals who bring together a keen, creative intellect and an appreciation for transcendent beauty”, the foundation giving the award says.

AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus PHILADELPHIA 13 DE MAYO DE 2022 11:37 h
Illustration of Frank Wilczek, winner of the Templeton Prize 2022. / Wessonart, [link]Templeton Prize[/link].

The Templeton Foundation has announced that it is awarding the 2022 Templeton Prize to US theoretical physicist Franck Wilczek. The Foundation describes the laureate as having an “exceptionally fertile scientific imagination”.

The scientist from the Unites States is also a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction.

Wilczek has now been recognised for the whole of his work and achievements in the scientific field, which include establishing the theoretical description of one of the four fundamental forces in nature and proposing a leading explanation for dark matter, with concepts such as the “time crystals”, and “axions”. He has also been very influential in the understanding of the forces that govern the universe, presenting them as “mathematical beauty at the scales of the magnificently large and unimaginably small: a universe inherently beautiful in all its parts”, the Templeton Foundation said.

[photo_footer]Wilczek’s work is key to understanding the workings of the universe and the definition of dark matter / Michael Clark, Templeton Prize. [/photo_footer] 

“Wilczek is one of those rare and wonderful individuals who bring together a keen, creative intellect and an appreciation for transcendent beauty”, said Heather Templeton Dill, the foundation’s President.

The theoretical physicist won the award after renowned ethologist Jane Goodall did so last year.


Studying how the world works and learning what God is like

The Templeton Foundation compares Wilczek to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, saying he is “a natural philosopher who unites a curiosity about the behavior of nature with a playful and profound philosophical mind”.

The scientistcomes from a Catholic background but now describes himself as someone who can “no longer accept the dogmas of the Catholic Church that had meant a lot to me as a teenager”.

The theoretical physicist often makes references to God in his work but recently claimed in an interview with Scientific American that “those dogmas include claims about how things happen that are particularly difficult to reconcile with science”. According to Wilczek, “the world is a bigger, older and more alien place than the tribalistic account in the Bible" he says.

However, Wilczek has also written in one of his books that “by studying how the world works, we are studying how God works, and therefore we learn what God is”.

“The use of the word ‘God’ in common culture is very loose. People can mean entirely different things by it. For me, the unifying thread is thinking big: thinking about how the world works, what it is, how it came to be and what all that means for what we should do”, he says.



  [title] 51st Templeton Prize[/title]




2022 is the 51st edition of the Templeton Prize, which started in 1972. It was created by philanthropist John Templeton “to honor those who harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it”. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of 1.3 million dollars.

People awarded before Franck Wilczek include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Teresa of Calcutta and the Dalai Lama. In 2019, the work of Brazilian physicist Marcelo Gleiser, a staunch advocate of complementary knowledge between science and faith, was recognised. In 2020, the award went to Francis Collins, director of the US National Institute of Health, and a Christian of firm convictions.








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