Martin Rees, a 68-year-old expert on the extreme physics of black holes and the Big Bang, is the recipient of the 2011 Templeton Prize, the John Templeton Foundation announced Wednesday. The 1 million pound ($1.6 million) award is among the world's most lucrative.
Rees — who professes no religious belief — was chosen because of the nature of his research, which he said invites everyone "to wrestle with the most fundamental questions of our nature and existence," said Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr.
The Guardian asks "Why are atheists so cross?"
Good news for us slowcoaches this morning. Brilliant scientists at some of our great seats of learning, men whose lives are devoted to the rational pursuit of knowledge, turn out to be capable of as much intolerance and stupidity as the rest of us.Thinking Anglicans has a roundup from the British press and online science magazines/blogs.
What have they done this time? They've hurled abuse and reproach on Lord Rees of Ludlow – the astronomer royal and recent past president of the Royal Society – for accepting a £1m prize from a body called the Templeton Foundation...
"From big bang to big bucks", as the headline writer wittily put it. It should be a happy story: top boffin gives correct answer to no-brainer question – "Would you like £1m, no strings attached?" – without having to phone a friend. Instead, a meteor shower of abuse descends upon his head.