An Anglo-American expert on the evolution of the universe and an Irish-born historian of the rise of Christianity and the cult of the saints are two of the four winners of this year’s Balzan Prizes.
Astronomer Joseph Silk and historian Peter Brown joined Polish philosopher Bronislaw Baczko and Russell Lande of the United States in winning the 750,000 Swiss franc (euro670,000; $950,000) prize, which seeks to highlight new or emerging areas of research and to sustain overlooked fields of study.
It all started with a chance encounter. Three scientists met at a social event and struck up a casual conversation about religion and mental health.
Wouldn’t it be neat, they thought, if we could somehow measure religion’s impact on the brain?
“I kind of thought about it later,” recalled Martha Payne, a professor of psychiatry at Duke and co-director of its Neuropsychiatric Imaging Research Laboratory, “and I was like ‘You know, we could actually do that with the project I’m working on now.’ ”
On Friday, January 21st, Mayor Michael Nutter proclaimed Thrift Week in Philadelphia at the Thrift Leaders Roundtable, making the home of Benjamin Franklin the first city since 1966 to celebrate National Thrift Week. He urged Americans to consider how thrift can help create economic growth.
A mayoral press conference will be held to announce that, after a 45 year national hiatus, Philadelphia is leading the way in re-launching National Thrift Week. A diverse coalition of community leaders working in economic development, education, and greening will join the celebration.
National Thrift Week has been neglected in America for the past 45 years. As the home of Benjamin Franklin and the birthplace of our nation, the City of Brotherly Love is leading the way in renewing this American tradition.