The John Templeton Foundation was established in 1987 by the late Sir John Templeton to serve as a 'philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality'.
The Templeton Conversation on 'Does science make belief in God obsolete' is the third in the series of the 'Big Question' conversations. It features contributions by eminent personalities like Christopher Hitchens, author of God is not Great, William D. Phillips, a Nobel Laureate in Physics and Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, O.P., a Dominican friar and Archbishop of Vienna, Austria.
Sir John Marks Templeton was an acknowledged pioneer in financial markets and like many wealthy financiers of his time, he was also a philanthropist. The difference with Sir Templeton was that he applied his highly developed natural curiousity to successfully innovate in both fields of endeavor.
By the extreme application of the principle of 'buy low, sell high', he recorded astronomical success in his business endeavors. This is directly reflected in the size of the foundation's endowment, reported to be $3.34 billion as of 2013. The annual Temperton Prize, first awarded in 1973, is worth one million pounds sterling and is always higher than the Nobel Prize, in part to underscore Templeton's belief in the importance of the Big Questions- particularly relating to spirituality and human progress.