The Enhancing Life Project

The University of Chicago, in collaboration with Ruhr-University Bochum / Germany, is pleased to announce a new, two-year project on “Enhancing Life,” supported with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. 

The Enhancing Life Project explores an essential aspiration of human beings that moves persons and communities into the future.  Given the profound expansion of human power through technology as well as advances in genetics, ecology, and other fields, the vulnerability and endangerment as well as the enhancement of life are dominant themes in the global age. The Enhancing Life Project aims to explore this rich but widely unexamined dimension of human aspiration and social life, and increase knowledge so that life might be enriched.

The Project will support:

  • 15 research projects of advanced career scholars with $100,000 each
  • 20 research projects of early career scholars with $50,000 each

The Project will support applications particularly but not exclusively in the following areas:

  • Religious Thought/Theology/Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Biology/of Science/of Technology
  • Social Sciences (e.g., Anthropology/Law/ Political Science/Psychology/Sociology)
  • Communications and Media Studies

The Project will realize the important objective of connecting the research of individual scholars by means of three required scholarly seminars which will innovatively link two paradigms of scholarly work:

1) the seminars will allow for in-depth exchange and collaboration by means of multiyear projects (along the lines of Institutes for Advanced Studies such as at Princeton University) 

2) the seminars will foster the intellectual focus of a shared concern (similar to single theme conferences).

The scholarly seminars will take place in the summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017 and be comprised of two-week residency seminars for advanced career scholars, and will include early career scholars for the last five days in a round-up seminar. The structure of these seminars will bring into conversation advanced career scholars and early career scholars. Scholars are required to attend each seminar, as they are key components of the Project.  See the News & Events page for locations and dates.

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