Bates professors receive a Templeton Grant

John Smedley, associate professor of physics, and Thomas Tracy, professor of religion, have been awarded a $10,000 grant by the John Templeton Foundation for their course “Caring for Creation.” Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, the interdisciplinary, semester course considers scientific and religious accounts of the origin of the universe and explores how these accounts shape attitudes toward the natural world. The grant may be used to bring speakers to the college and to purchase books and support materials for the course.

A member of the Bates faculty since 1987, Smedley specializes in atomic, molecular, optical and chemical physics. He graduated magna cum laude from Colby College in 1979 with membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and he received a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Tracy, author of God, Action, and Embodiment (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984) and editor of The God Who Acts: Philosophical and Theological Explorations (Penn State, 1995), specializes in the philosophy of religion, Western religious thought in the modern world and medical ethics. He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in 1971 and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University. Tracy joined the Bates faculty in 1976.

Established in 1987 by international investment manager John Marks Templeton, the John Templeton Foundation awards grants to encourage the discovery and use of scientific evidence to reveal knowledge about God and the natural laws that govern the universe.

Located midway between the coast and the mountains in south-central Maine, Bates is a 142-year-old undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences and is rated among the top 25 national liberal-arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Bates offers majors in 23 academic departments and seven interdisciplinary programs, and encourages independent study, research with faculty members and participation in off-campus programs. Bates does not require standardized-test results for admission.

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