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Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jesuits inspired winner of top science prize
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¬†Prince Philip will next week present the world's richest prize to a South African academic nominated by a Jesuit scientist. Professor George Ellis was lecturing at Cambridge University in the late 1980s, and credits Fr William Stoeger SJ with getting him "involved in science and religious issues". Professor Ellis told a press conference in Cape Town that Fr Stoeger asked him to write a book of responses to a papal statement on those issues, and "from there I became increasingly involved in the topic". Fr Stoeger is on the staff of the Vatican Observatory Research Group based at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and Professor Ellis also paid tribute to the Vatican Observatory's Director, Fr George Coyne SJ. The Templeton Prize for Progress Towards Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities (originally called the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion and first awarded to Mother Teresa in 1972) totals 10 million South African Rand (approx £86,400). Professor Ellis, who is now professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, says he will divide the money among the university (his alma mater), a trust for his retirement years, and "a varied set of excellent projects in South Africa". The 2004 Templeton Prize will be awarded at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 5 May. Source: Jesuit Communication Office
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