$5.75 Million Grant to Focus on Improving Public Discourse

templeton foundation logoThe John Templeton Foundation has awarded $5.75 million to the UConn Humanities Institute for research on balancing humility and conviction in public life.

The grant is the largest for the humanities ever awarded to UConn, and is one of the largest humanities-based research grants ever awarded in the United States.

“As this presidential campaign is constantly reminding us, real political dialogue — and any sense of intellectual humility — seems to have gone missing in American politics. But we can’t just blame that on politicians or those on the other side of the aisle; we need to look at what it is about culture, psychology, and the human condition that has led us to this point,” says the project’s principal investigator Michael P. Lynch, a professor of philosophy and director of the Humanities Institute. “We want to know the underlying causes of our dramatic breakdown in open dialogue and how to fix it.”

Lynch says the grant will provide an unprecedented integration of research from the humanities and sciences, as well as extending and applying research developed by previous projects on intellectual humility and related concepts funded by Templeton.