The Immortality Project awards $2.4 million to researchers

In an update to an earlier story here, a grant that came from the Templeton Foundation has been distributed among various research proposals.

UCR Today: Science Research Grants Related to Immortality Announced.

Grants totaling $2.4 million will be awarded to 10 research teams from the United States and Europe in the scientific component of The Immortality Project, said John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at UC Riverside. The recipients were selected from among 75 proposals, which were reviewed by a panel of seven judges drawn from the disciplines of neuroscience, biological science, philosophy, and psychology.

The Immortality Project was established at UC Riverside in 2012 with a $5 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality.

“The research should push forward the frontiers of knowledge about death and immortality in various ways,” Fischer said. For example, “I expect that we will advance our understanding of the prospects for increasing human longevity and of the ability of certain creatures (hydra) to achieve a kind of immortality by reproducing themselves; that we will achieve a more refined evaluation of the nature, significance, and impact of near-death experiences; and that we will gain a better understanding of the relationship between our ‘commonsense’ or ‘natural’ beliefs about personhood, religion, or the deceased and our views about immortality.”

The research teams include international collaborations, and some involve cross-cultural studies, Fischer added.

The first proposals to get funded include near-death experiences, immortality in virtual reality, and anti- aging. I’ll be interested to see what comes out of this. I assume the research will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

  6 comments for “The Immortality Project awards $2.4 million to researchers

  1. Chris Jensen Romer
    May 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Is the title intentional or a joyous typo? I am happy to participate in an immorality project, though my girlfriend may look askance at this! I actually critiqued the whole thing quite severely on my blog last year…

  2. May 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Best. Typo. Ever.

  3. Chris Howard
    May 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Haven’t there been issues regarding bias, when it comes to the supernatural, and religion in general, with The John Templeton Foundation?

  4. May 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    OH WOW! That was a doozy! Fixed.

  5. May 25, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Even with the typo fixed in the headline, I still read it as ‘immorality’ at first glance. I would really like to see an immorality project. At the top of my list would be the immoral prohibition of Cannabis, which is entirely based on misplaced morality and ideology rather than scientific evidence. That immorality is harming the rights and health of humans all over the world.

  6. One Eyed Jack
    May 26, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Haven’t there been issues regarding bias, when it comes to the supernatural, and religion in general, with The John Templeton Foundation?

    Was that sarcasm? ‘Cuz, yeah.

    Templeton is a religious foundation that rewards research that supports their world view. They aren’t interested in answers. They’re just looking for “research” that fits their beliefs.

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