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Meanings of Science Project


Science is our most powerful source of knowledge. But it remains the least accessible domain of learning. New forms of knowledge and scientific breakthroughs happen every day, yet these insights are rarely made available to stakeholders like policy makers, scholars from other fields, or the public.

With support from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the Marginalia's Meanings of Science Project” integrates science's deepest insights and brings them to everyone.


Knowledge, even when it is created, often has no path to reach those who need it. That is why we will be featuring regular publications by scientists and scholars trained to think about science and its significance in contexts beyond the laboratory—all without a paywall.


Science has answers to issues of fundamental human importance. But if such knowledge is only distributed to a select few, then there can be no integration with other forms of knowledge for the public good. 


The Meanings of Science project embodies our core mission, and it is a first-step towards a larger goal: helping create a new culture of scientific literacy and debate that deepens the public understanding of science.


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Philip Ball

Writer, former editor of Nature, winner of the 2022 Royal Society's Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture, Marginalia's Contributing Editor for Science, and author of over 25 books, most recently, The Book of Minds

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Lorraine Daston

Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Permanent Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, regular visiting professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the American Philosophical Society, the German National Academy of Sciences, and corresponding member of the British Academy


Lindy Elkins-Tanton

Principal Investigator of the NASA Psyche mission, the Regents Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and the author of Portrait of The Scientist as a Young Woman


Stephen Gaukroger
in memoriam

Historian of Philosophy and Science, Professor Emeritus at School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney, former editor of Intellectual History Review, and author of Civilisation and the Culture of Science: Science and the Shaping of Modernity 1795-1935


Peter Harrison 

Emeritus Professor, of History and Philosophy at the University of Queensland, former Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a founding member of the International Society for Science and Religion, author of seven books, including The Territories of Science and Religion (winner of the 2016 Aldersgate Prize), and the Co-Director of Marginalia's Meanings of Science Project


Vittorio Hösle

Council Member for the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Founding Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, Paul G. Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures and concurrent Professor of Philosophy and of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, winner of the Fritz-Winter Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and author of over 20 books, most recently The Philosophical Dialogue


Abraham (Avi) Loeb

Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, head of the Galileo Project, Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative, and best-selling author whose books include Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth and most recently, Interstellar: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Our Future in the Stars

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Samuel Loncar 

Philosopher, writer, and scholar of religion, Director of the Meanings of Science Project, and Editor-in-Chief
of the
Marginalia Review of Books


Tom McLeish
in memoriam

Professor Emeritus of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, UK and physicist, academic interdisciplinary leader, writer, and author of Faith and Wisdom in ScienceThe Poetry and Music of Science and Soft Matter – A Very Short Introduction 


Iain McGilchrist

Psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher, philosopher, and writer who has contributed to the British Journal of Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, the TLS, The London Review of Books, the LA Review of Books, and the Wall Street Journal, current Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World 

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Erika Lorraine Milam

Charles C. and Emily R. Gillispie Professor in the History of Science at Princeton University, author of Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America, and Chair of the Editorial Board for Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences


Lisa H. Sideris

Professor and Vice-Chair in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection, and President-Elect of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture


Nick Spencer 

Senior Fellow at Theos, author of Magisteria: The Entangled Histories of Science and Religion, and Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion

Support the Meanings of Science Project

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