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Oklahoma Christian University chemistry professor awarded nearly $260,000 grant for joint research into how art informs science and religion

Dr Amanda Nichols

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 6, 2024) – Templeton Religion Trust awarded a $250,910 research grant to Oklahoma Christian University (OC) professor of chemistry Dr. Amanda J. Nichols and co-investigator philosophy professor Dr. Myron A. Penner of Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada, to conduct research exploring beauty and truth in science and religion.

“Scientists are often struck by the artistic qualities of observations, theories or even experiments,” Nichols said. “Our research will explore how we can use what we know about aesthetics in science to give us new insights into aesthetic encounters in faith and religion.”

Drs. Nichols and Penner have previously published in the field of philosophy of science, as well as in science and religion. Some of their work has explored how scientists model the structure of molecules and how a molecule’s symmetry explains chemical behavior.

The grant began in September and will run for three years. Drs. Nichols and Penner will work with other collaborators from the University of British Columbia, Baylor University, the University of Nottingham, and Point Loma Nazarene University.

The initiative is made possible by a grant from Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II, a project run by Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford, the UK subsidiary of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, with funding from Templeton Religion Trust and The Blankemeyer Foundation.

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