As part of our update to the logo, website, and purpose statement of the Templeton Prize, we have also updated our criteria and selection process.
Beginning with the 2020 Prize cycle, candidates are submitted by a select group of anonymous, expert nominators who aim to bring forward exceptional individuals of varied backgrounds who fulfill a set of revised criteria. The candidates are then reviewed and selected by a panel of independent judges, as they have been in the past. Previous judges have included Margaret Thatcher, Jehan Sadat, Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
After all nominations are received and reviewed, a set of finalists are sent to the judges. The judges independently vote for each finalist based upon the degree to which he or she exemplifies the purpose and criteria of the Prize.
Criteria of Merit for the Templeton Prize
- The Templeton Prize honors a living individual who exemplifies the purpose statement of the Prize.
- Candidates are recognized for their cumulative body of work rather than for their achievements within the last year.
- Candidates may include scientists (primarily but not exclusively from the physical, biological, cognitive, and social sciences) whose body of original scientific research has shed new light on philosophical and theological questions.
- Candidates may include scholars (primarily but not exclusively theologians and philosophers) whose scholarship has successfully incorporated the methods and findings of the sciences in order to significantly advance understanding with respect to philosophical and theological questions.
- Candidates may include opinion leaders who have used their public voice to encourage greater curiosity, open-mindedness, and intellectual humility with respect to the use of the sciences to inform, challenge, and enlarge our understanding of the universe and our place within it.
- Candidates may include religious leaders who have created new norms, standards, and expectations within their religious communities, particularly concerning the use of the sciences to inform, challenge, and enlarge understanding of received doctrines within the religious community.