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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Copernicus Center Opens in Poland

Back in March, when he won the 2008 Templeton Prize (valued at more than 1.6 million dollars), Michael Heller, a Polish cosmologist and Catholic priest, said he would give all the money to endow what he called the "Copernicus Center" in Krakow, Poland. The center, a joint venture between Jagiellonian University and the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow, would be dedicated to studying the relationship between science and religion as an academic discipline.
The Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies is now officially open—funded in large part by Heller. Research will focus on interactions among theology, philosophy, and science (including astronomy, cosmology, biology, mathematics, physics, and the history of science), and the center will organize lectures and public seminars, and publish two monograph series and a yearbook called For Philosophy and Science (in both English and Polish). The center has already established 12 research teams studying various topics related to science and religion. —Michele Calandra